Posts Tagged ‘Armageddon’

He who makes kittens put snakes in the grass

-Jethro Tull, Bungle in the Jungle

There is a prevailing sense of doom in the air. From the dearth of avocados in the lead-up to Cinco de Mayo to the rising cost of bacon because pig fever epidemic, the nearness of the End seems to be quickening.  Don’t look now, but in the wee hours of Tuesday, April 15th, a lunar eclipse will occur in such a fashion that will paint the moon a rusty hue of red. It is known as a “blood moon” when the earth’s atmosphere distorts the light of the sun reflecting off the moon to create the bloodiness. Now dig this: the next four lunar eclipses all happen to be blood moons. For apocalyptics looking for signs from above, this does not portend well. For doomsday capitalists, though, business is booming.
blood-moons-1
Search Amazon for “blood moon” and you will find three different books detailing the same basic plot points: four blood moons (what astronomers call a “Tetrad”) occurring over four Jewish holidays is not just eerie, it is historically profound. In the past, according to the snake-oil salesmen of this doomsday du jour, four blood moons falling on Jewish feast days have occurred alongside the beginning of the Inquisition (kicking Jews out of Spain), the 1948 creation of Israel and the 1967 capturing of Jerusalem by Israel in the 6 Day War. What Goliathian event must await the world with this pending tetrad of four blood moons beginning with April 15th?

Allow me to reintroduce Cyrus Lee Hancock, a gentleman scoundrel who I’ve outed as a charlatan in the past. After swindling his fanatic followers with his doomsday insurance for the anti-climactic 2012 Maya Apocalypse, he and his wife (affectionately called by locals, “the Princess Di of Oviedo”) were forced to flee Florida for the Appalachian comforts of Tennessee where Cyrus Lee was born again as a preaching man. He too has picked up on the blood moon hysteria and is selling his doomsday insurance and hosting parties (his wife, Layla Santana Crow, is planning each extravagant bout of revelry). While Cyrus Lee is not taking my call, I knew I could lure one of his henchmen out of the wilderness to discuss the Blood Moon Prophecy in more detail.

photo

Finding Rufus Holdsworth is no easy ordeal. He lives off the grid like the neighborhood tomcat that keeps knocking up your pet and stealing the coffee grinds out of your garbage. For me, I knew which disillusioned housewife was laying scraps outside her window for the tomcat, so I dropped him a message vis-à-vis her. As expected, Rufus showed his weathered and wizened mug at my suggested burger joint in Longwood, Fla an hour late. He was excitable, showing pictures of the paw prints of a Florida Panther he had been tracking in the scrub brush while drinking bottles of Corona with an expediency suggesting he expected the heavens to ignite with a nuclear mushroom cloud at any moment. Which he did. Expect. At any moment. Luckily for me, he was willing to answer questions in his fleeting time.

“Hancock saw how much money these fat preachers were making off of their ‘four moon’ books and his initial thought was to put out a ‘five moon’ book.” Rufus Holdsworth informed me. “Y’know, what is worse than four blood moons? Five blood moons.”

How could that possibly work when astronomers know there will only be four in a row?

“He argued we don’t need to convince the science boffins and space wonks, we only need to convince the doomsday crowd.” Rufus explained, as he reached for another bottle of Corona, sticking in a slice of lime before overturning the beer and toasting, “First one today. Hancock knows he will never convert skeptics like yourself, but he doesn’t need to. There are enough lemmings waiting to take the bait. I was able to talk him down from five blood moons to the four, but it might not have mattered.”

How so? You cannot peddle complete lies.

“This is where you are wrong.” Rufus informed me as he scrutinized the beer wench. “She has kind eyes. So… Vic, here’s the thing, man, people do not take new evidence and change their opinions. They take whichever new evidence supports their moral objective and ignore everything else. You know this, dude. If someone believes global warming is a left-wing conspiracy, they will ignore every scientific fact while grabbing a hold of an irrelevant blizzard in Atlanta to prove the world is not getting warmer. You do not convince people with facts, you convince people by playing upon their predetermined moral objectives. If you have people desperate to have the return of Jesus to end their misery, and cousin let me tell you there are scores of theses lunatics about, then they will believe anything you present that suggests their dreams of Armageddon are about to come true.”

There is no point in trying to reason with them?

“No! What did I just tell you? Reason is but bricks used to rationalize their preconceived notions of a wall. They take the bricks of reason that helps build the wall they want, they ignore the facts that will not support the wall. This is new neuroscience stuff, man. Scientists are finding reason is only a tool used to prove what people want to believe.”

Blood Moon Prophecy is selling, but could there be something to it?

“Sure, search the Bible and you will find passages about moons turning to blood and stars falling out of the sky, so yeah, there might be something to it.”

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

– Joel 2:31, King James Bible

What about the Jewish feast day coincidence? Is there something to that?

Rufus Holdsworth pulled his jowls out of a cheeseburger and spoke while moving the clump of food into his chipmunk cheek. “’Ere’s what you got to know…” He chewed and swallowed a chunk big enough to give me heartburn. “The Hebrews are an ancient race and like many pre-Christian peoples, their calendar is based off of the moon and not the sun. This is why their holidays float around so much; there are more than 12 moon cycles in a year. Ancient calendars wouldn’t have just a leap day every four years; they would need a leap month to catch up. Ironically, Cyrus Lee Hancock was born on a leap day on a blood moon and he doesn’t hesitate to capitalize on that shit. It’s on his fucking resume.”

What do lunar calendars have to do with anything?

Rufus Holdsworth gulped the remnants of his Corona and winked the barkeep over. She arrived all smiles and blue eyes. He saddened his expression, “It’s damn hot in here. If you can’t drop the air conditioning a couple of degrees, I might have to take off my shirt.” She teased him something about no shirt, no shoes, no service. Rufus was adamant with his douche-bag grin, “You and I both know I’d still get service.”

After a few finger-snaps, I redirected Rufus’s attention. What do lunar calendars have to do with anything?

blood-moon-tetrad“The Blood Moon myth is based off of the coincidence there are four straight blood moons on Jewish feast days. Jewish holidays are based on lunar cycles, so there is a high chance they occur on a full moon. You can’t have an eclipse without a full moon and 1 out of every 6 eclipses just so happen to occur on a Jewish Holiday.”

So it isn’t a coincidence?

“Not so much.”

Two similarities is a coincidence. Three similarities is a conspiracy. Four blood moons is the end of the world as we know it.

– Cyrus Lee Hancock

What about the history described by the prophecy pushers?

Rufus spoke to the bartender in the gray tank-top instead of responding to me. “Hey, so do you have any roommates?” The bartender smiled quizzically as she admitted she did have roommates. “Will they mind if I shower at your place? I’ve been camping for the last month and could use a good scrub.” The girl was closer to 20 than 30, but she didn’t mind they grayed temples of Rufus’s wild mane or his middle-aged sunburnt smile. Her gasp of startle was filled with enough delight to qualify as approval, though she said little else. I told myself I wasn’t envious of Rufus and the coquetry on display as his object of desire sauntered away. I snapped my fingers to recapture his attention.

WHAT ABOUT THE HISTORY?

“Bollocks.” He admitted before saluting his bottle of beer, “First one today. First of all, these preachers talk about three tetrads that occur on Jewish holidays (tetrads are four consecutive blood moons). There has been more than just those three significant tetrads, but the spares do not have any historical significance, so they are ignored. So these blood moon preachers are already fucking with the data, eliminating inconsequential detail to improve their statistics. You follow? Yeah? So what of the three tetrads they do bring up? Three tetrads that have been important to the Jewish people?

“First they reference the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1478. There was a royal decree in 1492 to expel from Spain any Jew that did not convert to Christianity. Well, the fucking blood moons don’t even start until April of 1493. If the blood moons are some sort of warning to the Jewish people, the Almighty was a little late to the party. While we are on the subject, if these blood moons were supposed to be this great warning, why weren’t there any before the Holocaust? Might’ve been handy to have then, right? Fucking Nazis.”

I once saw Rufus Holdsworth fight a Holocaust denier at a tailgate party before a football game. Rufus not only walloped the denier with a half-eaten turkey leg, he disposed of the imbecile in a portable toilet box. The home team Citronauts won on that day. No word on the denier.

What of the other historical blood moon tetrads?

“I won’t call her.” Rufus spoke about the barkeep. He scowled an admission, “I have chiggers and my junk is all jacked-up. I mean, it isn’t scabbies or herpes or anything, but my junk is all itchy and red. I can barely sleep at night.”

I had been there. Have you tried applying meat tenderizer?

“The other historical blood moon tetrads being referenced are the nationalizing of Israel in 1948 and the 6-Day War of 1967 when Israel took back Jerusalem. Here is the thing: the first blood moon of the 40’s was in 1949 and the other tetrad didn’t begin until 10 months after the 6-Day War ended. What sort of warning is that? If we are really using history to predict blood moon prophecy, then we need to find out what happens before the blood moons begin. Since the blood moons begin on Tuesday, what the fuck just happened that is significant?”

Russia invaded the Ukraine. A Malaysian flight disappeared into the Indian Ocean. David Letterman announced his retirement.

“Right, so there you have it.” Rufus Holdsworth leaned over his empty plate towards the barmaid, “We’ll take the check. Put it on his card. Hey… do you have any calamine lotion at home?”

Come-to-Jesus moment (according to the internet) – An epiphany in which one realizes the truth of a matter; realizing the true weight or impact of a negative situation or fact; acknowledgment that one must get back to core values; moment of realization; turning point; sudden regret at driving all the way to Nashville.

BAYOU SAINT BASIL, Fla

Habits turn into patterns and patterns create predictability. In my line of work (freelance skullduggery), predictability is best avoided*. It is rare for me, Vic Neverman, to habitually patron any given establishment, yet within crawling distance of St Bas Trailer Park resides a watering hole familiar to this horse. It doesn’t take the casual observer long to see why I might frequent said establishment: most notably the blonde behind the bar. Upon my entry on this night in question, her smile beamed at me like a Fukushima firefly** before her brow furrowed in faux suspicion, “I thought I wasn’t supposed to see you again until November.” To this, my mumbled response was more coy than sly, I got thirsty…

*Predictability is #17 in Vic’s Paranoid Guide of Avoidance, right behind #16 GPS Devices and ahead of #18 fondue restaurants.

**Ironically, the prison-style tattoo on her neck under her right ear might just be a radiated bug of some sort

The name of the blonde beer-monger is not Jade Thunderbrook, but Jade Thunderbrook is what we are calling her. Jade was curious as to what business had me away (almost until November) in the first place. As she poured me a pint of a dark menacing draught, I told her as much as I dared about my new line of work up in Tennessee. Her reaction was quizzical, incredulous even, “The ‘Jesus Business’? …You?” Yup. Me. Vic Neverman, soon-to-be apocalyptic evangelist.

Vic and Layla during presentation of True 1st Thanksgiving (between Vikings and Sasquatch)

Vic and Layla during presentation of True 1st Thanksgiving (between Vikings and Sasquatch)

It was a new racket, this Jesus Business, and certainly not one I had in mind when driving up to Nashville last weekend in search of profitable endeavors. Even the drive to Tennessee was an unexpected digression from our regular programming. This story has no clear beginning, but this particular chapter began to be fleshed-out a week ago when I was summoned to The Cheese Pit, a fondue restaurant under a freeway bridge somewhere on the east side of Orlando. The summoning was by a former employer, a woman as wicked as she could be saintly, Layla Santana Crow. She had a new job for me, “Drive Mom to Nashville.” That beast? I laughed over Layla’s cauldron of boiling cheese. Not a chance. Layla, a former South Florida weather-girl, has always had a knack for persuasion and this night was no exception. By the time my gut reverse-engineered the digestion of my under-seared chicken, I had agreed to join her plot.

There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

-President George W. Bush

“Mom” was the 3 ton (curb weight) Ford Über-Truck that belonged to Layla’s husband, Cyrus Lee Hancock. The nickname was inspired by the curse I shouted at first glimpse of the four-wheeled locomotive, “Mother of Grendel!” The name stuck. The machine was designed to plow through whichever antagonists that came across her bow – hurricane, United Nation globalists, zombie outbreak, etcetera, etc., et al. You see, dear reader, Cyrus Lee Hancock and Layla Santana Crow were, in fact, “apocalyptalists” – essentially, apocalypse capitalists. They formed the OASIS survivalist sect (where I was briefly employed as a rescue diver (PADI certified)) in preparation for the 2012 Maya Apocalypse. The End Date of 12/21/2012 did not come with Armageddon, but it did leave OASIS with an empty bank account before the members could come looking for an End of the World refund. Where were the funds or the founders of OASIS in these post-apocalypse days? Layla had disappeared to Costa Rica while Cyrus Lee jetted off to Central Asia with the IRS chomping at his heels. 10 months later… Layla Santana Crow had returned to her favorite Floridian fondue haunt and Cyrus Lee Hancock had found asylum in the hills of Tennessee. Cyrus Lee wanted his toys back without having to risk a trip to Florida – which is where I, Vic Neverman, came in. I was to deliver to him his favorite toy of all, the monstrous truck, “Mother of Grendel”***.

Vic pulls Mother of Grendel into the parking lot of the future Church of the Revelator

Vic pulls Mother of Grendel into the parking lot of the future Church of the Revelator

***Each tire, which Cyrus Lee plans to upgrade, cost $315 with an extra $275 spent in bullet-proof rims. The exterior is painted in a metallic blue, giving Mom a shiny “bling” to assist in her extravagance. Mom also bears a tramp-stamp of a machine gun decal on her back window, which is of great assistance when attempting to merge into freeway traffic.

Leaving Bayou Saint Basil at the Hour of the Wolf...

Leaving Bayou Saint Basil at the Hour of the Wolf…

Other than a few moped casualties, blown away in Mom’s jet-wash as I skirted my way across Atlanta, the journey from Florida to Tennessee was relatively benign. Before setting out, Layla assured me the truck was street legal and was not transporting any contraband (guns, gold, girls, pills). I left my home at Bayou Saint Basil during the Hour of the Wolf, making the most out of the pre-dawn darkness while avoiding toll roads and other highways highly visible to DOT**** cameras. Cyrus Lee equipped the truck with a scanner that could pick-up Highway Patrol radar, Homeland Security drones and garage door openers. The resulting steady beep of the scanner detecting spook devices acted as paranoid musical accompaniment to the trip. Mother of Grendel moved north by northwest like a bowling ball: brute force and determined momentum crushing all asphalt in her path (along with the occasional moped).

****DOT is the Department of Transportation, which is in itself a puppet bureaucracy of Big Brother.

Hour of the Wolf +12, I arrived in Nashville.

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

“Welcome to NashVegas, the rhinestone buckle of the Bible Belt!” Cyrus Lee Hancock ushered me into the Nashville suburb-scape. He paused a moment as his eyes wandered lovingly across the frame of Grendel’s Mom, “God, I missed her.”

Compensation for my transportation of Mom to Cyrus Lee Hancock came with as many caveats as a traveler insurance policy. Cyrus Lee was broke, too broke to pay me for my cannonball run, but he did have the “Opportunity of a lifetime, no! The opportunity of an afterlife, an eternity!” I groaned, Oh, Jesus to which he confirmed, “Exactly. The End is Nigh, my friend. It is time we prepare for the Rapture.”

Within moments of arriving in Nashville, I met Cyrus Lee’s neighbor and apparent legal counsel, Dwayne. Dwayne, wine drunk as he was, happened to be a talent agent for aspiring “evangelical entrepreneurs.” Through Dwayne, we would establish our religious alter-egos, setup a commercial loan through local banks and begin shepherding our flock.

We? I asked.

“That’s right, Vic.” Cyrus Lee winked along with his salesman smile. “Or shall I start calling you ‘Reverend Bucky Swoon’? I don’t have a Tennessee State Driver’s License for you yet or a Passport in Bucky’s name, but I did manage to get your Clergy ID card as well as a Concealed Gun Permit.” He could sense I had my doubts. “Look, bro, Tennessee may have her share of Evangelical preachers, but they haven’t seen the likes of us, yet. Between your paranoia and my survivalist skills, we can take this Rapture idea to the next level! And let’s face it, ‘Vic Neverman’ is a little too… ‘Zionist’ for the likes of Tennessee. Your ‘Bucky Swoon’ persona is much more fitting. I even have an idea for what we are going to call our church. Instead of ‘the Church of Latter Day Saints’, we’ll be ‘Church of Modern Day Saints’. Just that, you know, we’re not Mormons. Unless you can convince Layla the practicality of polygamy, she listens to you more than me, so that’s all you, man.”

It took me a beer & a half to convince Cyrus Lee “Church of John the Revelator” was a better apocalyptic fit.

better to keep a good conscience with an empty purse, than to get a bad opinion of myself, with a full one.

– Davey F’ing Crockett, Tennessean extraordinaire

Dwayne, Cyrus Lee’s wino talent agent, went on to recommend certain business components necessary to take advantage of our constitutional right to Freedom of Religion. Cyrus Lee Hancock was already thinking about possible ‘End Dates’ when Jesus would return and begin the Rapture. “We need enough time to get the church established, but not so much time that we lose the scare factor.” Dwayne recommended getting started with complete assimilation into Tennessean culture. “Sweet tea and stock car!” Cyrus Lee raised his dismal can of domestic piss in a salud. “We need to learn how to become real southern gentlemen. You know: the kind of gent who is chivalric enough to remove his lawnmower-branded baseball cap before he is going to hit a woman.” Cyrus Lee followed his laugh with a frown when he saw my reaction. “C’mon man, I’m not advocating the hitting of woman, we just need to appeal to the fucking savages who would. We’ll be better than Robin Hood; we steal from those douchebags and feed the poor.”

“You’re qualifying us as the poor, I take it?”

“Dude.” Cyrus Lee grimaced. “I’m so fucking poor, my debt is larger than the GDP of Paraguay – if that is even a country, I am not convinced. Yeah, if anyone is poor, it’s this dude. On that note – do you have cash for a cab? We need to go downtown and start this assimilation.”

Gustave Dore's vision for Babel

Gustave Dore’s vision for Babel

After paying off our crook of a cab driver, we made our way along the downtown strip of “NashVegas”. The scene looked familiar enough, harking back to blurred memories of my past escapades in West Tennessee’s Memphis. Yet something was lacking here… where was the low-thrum of a bass guitar rattling my bones? It seemed the Blues of Beale Street was not present here; rather, it had been replaced by twangy popcorn country. The illuminated neon signs and the confusion of tongues made NashVegas a candidate for Cyrus Lee Hancock’s very own Babel, yet this prophet of doom was not looking for sinners to repent. As we approached a street corner where a handful of orthodox evangelists were insinuating my guilt through their bullhorn preaching and flier delivering, Cyrus Lee Hancock did not begin to march to their drumbeat. Nay. This dude grabbed their own game and beat them over the head with it.

Neverman in NashVegas

Neverman in NashVegas

“The End is Nearer than you think, friend!” Cyrus Lee Hancock sang as he climbed a bus stop sign like Gene Kelly dancing his way through a storm of frogs. With his Irish/Italian hybrid charisma and faunal carnality, Cyrus Lee quickly stole the attention away from the more Gothic & Orthodox Evangelists. Using his verbose doublespeak, the newly christened preacher, Cyrus Lee, singled-out the bullhorn-wielding ringleader of the street missionaries. “You! blower of false trumpets and sucker of the seeds of evil, You! are not doing the Lord’s work, rather you are working against Him!” Pedestrians in the carnival of transgression became charmed by this novel distraction as the missionaries were stunned into silence.

“Your hate and your spite and your contempt is not bringing people closer to God, it is pushing them away! You sew derision and you pave a path not to salvation, but to vulnerability. You trample the people under the weight of your elephantine guilt, leaving them susceptible to a master who will welcome them under his roof and will not admonish them for their nature. You are ushering this flock right into the hands of the Devil, himself!”

The missionary evangelist with the bullhorn looked around at his team, unsure of how to handle this unscripted development. Cyrus Lee Hancock, facing the growing flock of the curious, drew the attention to his opponent, “My friend here in the dark flannel says he is here to serve the Lord, but the only lord he serves from his knees is a dark one. Who is he, this stranger in generic branded jeans, who feels justified in casting sin down upon you, the children of the Lord? Who does he really serve? Not you! Who might I serve? Let me tell you: I am here to serve you!” Cyrus Lee Hancock shook his double entendre in the face of the public and they willingly reached for it and gulped it down. “I am here to serve the harlots, the misfits, the tramps. I will turn none away. Give me your undesirables and I will mount my army, I will mount them all against the coming of the Anti-Christ!”

Cyrus Lee’s opponent (or prey) reached for his bullhorn, “You are the Anti-Christ! You are the devil!” He was greeted by a chorus of boos from the pedestrian hordes who had gathered to watch Cyrus Lee Hancock perform. Even the bullhorned missionary’s celibate minions began to beg him off the soapbox.

“Man is inherently flawed, I am sorry to say.” Cyrus Lee Hancock shrugged to his newfound fellowship. “My friend with the false trumpet would have you resent your very nature. He would rather your life be one of darkness and flagellation. I beg to differ. The End is Near! But now is no time to turn against ourselves. Instead, let us prepare and become the leaders in the Second Coming we are expected to be.”

fireballThe converts lined up. John the Revelator never saw this coming in his sulfuric steam-bath hallucinations. Cyrus Lee Hancock had found his rock upon which he would build his church: cinnamon-flavored whiskey. It was baptism by Fireball. I did not partake.

“If I am going to drink whiskey, I am going to drink whiskey. I’m not going to dilute it with a breath mint.” I explained to Jade Thunderbrook, 44 hours after the baptism.

Jade Thunderbrook nodded as she digested all of the detail. “So, do you want to see a menu or are you just drinking tonight?”

spanish inquisition

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to the Pope! Um, I’ll come in again…

-Monty Python

Lightning struck the Vatican. Literally, lightning struck the same day Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope in six centuries has done – retired. Shockwaves of doubt and conspiracy danced and shimmered through the Catholic world like a sequined prom dress washed up on a morning beach. Why would Benedict toss the big hat out of the ring? Official Vatican reports cite overall health concerns with the looming Easter holiday blitz on the horizon. Is it as simple as that, that the pope wanted to retire before the Goodest of Fridays occupied his schedule? Tradition would argue popes do not retire, they just nod along to the choir until finis. In fact, no pope has given up access to the Jesus hotline since 1415…

Lightning strikes the Vatican the day Benedict announces his abdication

Lightning strikes the Vatican the day Benedict announces his abdication

vatican lightning
1415 AD was the last time a pope has abdicated.

1415 anno domini.

1415, 77 years prior to Columbus discovering India in the Caribbean.

Benedict, who was considered a traditionalist (the Vatican barber must be sooo bored), broke the streak. While one can empathize what the chief priest must have to go through with Easter commitments – egg hunts for octogenarians is typically not a grand idea – many conspiracy theorists have their doubts on whether the nature behind Benedict’s abdication is as suggested. La Repubblica is an Italian newspaper that has led the drivel stampede of mud-raking. Based on their journalistic voyeurs into the seedy world of the Holy See, this is what I read to be the basic rodeo run-down:

The fading embers of Pope Benedict XVI

The fading embers of Pope Benedict XVI

In 2012, Vati-Leaks occurs, where many Papal documents are released to the press. The prime snitch is Benedict’s own butler, Paolo Gabriele. Benedict, who was the priest formerly known as Joe Ratzinger the Cardinal-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (which is a fancy name for “The Inquisition”, seriously, no bollocks), decided to put his talents to use and begin an investigation into Vati-Leaks. He appoints several Cardinals to investigate and their findings were put into a cute little journal wrapped in ribbon. What is alleged in this journal is what La Repubblica is selling print like gangbusters with.

The findings are basically thus: the Vatican is filled with rival sects vying for power, with at least one group of priests having a common sexual persuasion. The persuasion is hinted at being same-gender affection, so we can only hope these priests are more prone to being bears (big hairy gay men who like other big hairy gay men) rather than the child sex abusers the church has been rife with. These clandestine perverted priests supposedly have hideouts and enclaves and nooks and crannies and disco-techs where they can find their man-on-man action with “lay-persons”.

The Swiss: good for knives and clownish mercenaries

The Swiss: good for knives and clownish mercenaries

For anyone well-versed with the Vatican’s scandalous history, such occultist practices are almost common and expected amongst the clergy. It should also be noted that Benedict has defrocked many a priest for sexual transgressions while his beatified predecessor and near-saint John Paul the 2nd just turned a blind eye to the child sex abuse around him. Is this common Catholic corruption enough for Pope “Joey Ratz” Benedict to pack his bags and bug the fuck out? Unlikely, thinks I. For Pope Bennie, this is just another paranoid day in the Vatican surrounded by a bunch of creepy priests and Swiss mercenaries in clown outfits.

Occam’s Razor insists the truth is most likely the answer with the fewest assumptions. Health and Easter weariness sound reasonable enough to me. More reasonable than a fear of bears. However, there is a prophecy to consider…

Saint Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes!

Irish Archbishop Saint Malachy b.1094, d.1148

Irish Archbishop Saint Malachy b.1094, d.1148


Malachy was an Irish Archbishop whose fevered delusions were written down in 112 twelve cryptic phrases. Each of the verses was a prophecy about a future pope. Verse 111 described a Benedictine priest ascending to Pope and while Benedict XVI is not Benedictine, he is 111th in line with Malachy’s prophecy. Why Joey Ratz chose the name “Benedict” is still a bit of a mystery, given that the name refers to a given sect of Catholic monks which Joey Ratz did not belong to. It is a mystery, unless, of course, being a traditionalist and perhaps superstitious to prophecy, he decided he wanted to play along with the Malachy Prophecy.

If you, dear reader, have been watching closely you are likely concerned about how we are now 111 verses into a 112 verse prophecy. If you suspect Malachy thought the 112th pope was to be the last, you are correct. The last prophecy either predicts the apocalypse or just overall bad news to Italy. It goes something like this:

In persecution extreme SRE sedebit. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulantionabus, quibus trasactis civitas septicollis diruetur & judex tremedus judicabit populum suum. Finis.

For those of you who have let your dead language classes go to waste, this Latin can be translated (more or less) into:

In the final battle royale between the Holy Roman Church and her enemies, there will be a pope Peter the Roman who will take his sheep to pasture through many tribulations and after all that shit is over, the city of seven hills (aka Rome) will be fucked-up beyond all recognition and some dreadful dude will judge those left to be judged. They did not all live happily ever after. The End.

I paraphrase, but you get the gist.

Could it be that our boy, Joey Ratz, he who called himself Benedict, decided he wanted to be on the sidelines when the final act of the battle between good and evil (or at least the battle between the Papacy and modern society) played out? By stepping aside and allowing Pedro Romano to take his place as 112th pope in the prophecy, Joey Ratz is basically ushering in the end of the world as we know it (at least according to the Irish Malachy).

I will accept the tired old man excuse any day. Especially because of the gay priest scandal: who wants to sort through that cluster-fuck in their mid-eighties? Not I. No, if Vic Neverman persists into a ninth decade, I am likely to be harassing my robo-maid after taking my erectile-efficiency pills. Yeah, forget these priests and their persuasion for boy-flesh, I would rather be minding my automaton companion. Alas, I dream… Nevermen don’t last so long and Obamacare might not cover the cost for sex-bots in 2060 anyway. But I transgress… er, digress…

What is your opinion of Joe Ratzinger’s early exit as pope?

I think it is tied to the horsemeat scandal. I think Peter of Rome is actually Pietro the Gypsy (Roma), who sold to England beef that was actually Romanian horsemeat. Benedict was just the agent who organized the fraud, which is why he is getting out.

– Brother Rufus

Someone is stepping on Benedict’s balls

– Cyrus Lee Hancock

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.

― Søren Kierkegaard

Black Friday

I awoke to the sound of helicopters. This is not the norm. Normally, if helicopters are disturbing my sleep, it is the silent kind of helicopter – you know the type – those diabolical stealth machines seen (not heard) at the scene of cattle mutilations and Occupy protests. If anything keeps me up at night, it is the deafeningly mad silence of those damned black helicopters and their muffled drafts as they hover nearby, quietly watching my heat patterns with their Predator-infrared goggles as I eat my cereal and watch reruns of The New Girl. But on this morning… this morning the whirly birds were chirping.

Black Helicopters and their relation to dead cows and NATO, courtesy of zapatopi.net

The noise, or lack of silence, in this pre-dawn did not keep me from leaping out of bed to grab my nearby trusty tennis racket and assume a defensive (albeit naked) position at the door. I listened to the helicopters overhead. They didn’t possess that incessant thwack-thwack chop of the airborne cop, no, no, no, this was more of the thwip-thwip-thwip of the local eye-in-the-sky paparazzi, hovering, likely, over some nearby mall, zooming their lens in upon some slapdash blitzkrieg of consumption-obsessed, pie-bloated, meat puppets seeking out holiday sales. There are, you see, as many damn malls here in Central Florida as there are sinkholes, as many sinkholes as there are check-cashing loan-shark kiosks and there is at least one check-cashing loan-shark kiosk across the street from every mall, of which there are many. Realizing the benign source of the sound of the buzzards abuzz, I returned to bed. The couch, however, I left firmly braced against the front door. That could leave until daylight.

Ye shoppers beware! the NeverRant

This last weekend, Doc Kelly and I were served at a local watering hole by a smarmy beer wench who claimed to be double-majoring in psychology and marketing. “Another young girl who thinks she is going to rule the world…” Doc sighed for the 2nd time that day, his eyes thin slits from the alcohol exhaustion after a long week. Our server, to my keen perception, represented more than Doc’s American Dream pre-Spoilage, it was the ravenous Millennial appetite for capitalizing on the feeble minds of the consuming public. Portends ill tidings…

I dabble, as you reader may indeed know, in counter-intelligence. This involves preparing my vulnerable mind against subtle manipulations of these psyche-marketers, like the beer wench. As you may imagine, counter-intelligence maneuverings could seem counter-intuitive. Counter-productive, even… Yet such maneuvers prove essential. EXAMPLE: beware those BOGO programs. They are subversive acts by those ad wizards who are already injecting subliminal pipe dreams into your sports highlights, emasculating you until you begin purchasing boner pills and convertibles. My advice: if you see “buy one, get one free” you should buy the one and not accept the free. When the “well-intentioned” sales associate insists you “get one free”, this is when you know the dirty bitch is fucking with your mind. Tell her to stop. Stop fucking with it. This is America, we should have free minds, right? Tell her so. She will get the picture.

So my counter-espionage tactics keep me doubling-back, taking absurd routes and sometimes walking in reverse in order to throw-off pursuit. A time-consuming process? Yes. Yet, a process necessary if They are out to get me. And if They are not out to get me? All the better! This is the win/win scenario of the contemporary paranoid.

Back to Capitalism and Maya Fever…

As usual, this holiday season I look to capitalize on the hungry bellies of the Golden Horde. This year, my endeavor is to sell t-shirts that read, “my mom went to Rio and all I got was this stupid t-shirt from off the back of an impoverished drug trafficker the Brazilian government murdered in the woods as a part of their occupation/cleansing of the slums prior to the 2016 Olympics.” I expect them to sell like hot-cakes.

Perhaps I would be the better capitalist if I were to cash-in on Maya Fever, the media hysteria surrounding the end date of the Mayan Calendar: December 21st, 2012. AUTHOR’S NOTE: the Maya do not believe the end of the world is nigh, but damn does it sell paperbacks! The Maya Calendar is set to end (by some accounts) in twenty-something days, give or take something. This is the end date for a cycle that will leave the Earth (<- you are here), the Sun and the center of the Milky Way Galaxy aligned in a line as straight as a Texan dance hall, give or take some straight. This sort of thing doesn’t occur except for every 26,000 years or so, give or take some so, which happens to be about as long as the Calendar of the Maya. If that does not creep you out, both the Maya and Astrologers call this center of the galaxy “the Deep Rift” and both understand that gravity will be strongest upon the Earth (our planet) when we exist within this alignment.

If you are not prone to worry about high gravity (which is likely already deepening the wave lengths of your mental thought), then think on this: such a passage through the Dark Rift might just rip our magnetic poles asunder. That is to say, your compass is screwed. Your GPS is defunct. Toilet flushes will stop swirling and maybe, just maybe, you will suffer amnesia. It has been proven (by quacks mostly, in their pseudo-sciences) that memory is deeply affected by magnetism. If you pass strong enough magnetics across your hard-drive, it will be left corrupted. Similarly, if you run your brain between some pretty intense magnetic fields, your entire memory could be wiped clean. Unsurprisingly, the best quacks in the field point to the Atlanteans (of Atlantis) as proof that the last magnetic pole dance 26,000 years ago completely destabilized a highly technical civilization and brought mankind back into the Stone Age.

Of course, the non-quack docs would disagree. But do they understand how the human brain stores memory? Nope. Do the non-quack docs know how magnetism affects memory? Nope. Could there be some truth to this Maya Pole Theory?

Dunno. I forget.

 

Appendix:the lovely site where the Black Helicopter diagram is displayed

http://zapatopi.net/blackhelicopters/

 

 

Any pessimist could be considered paranoid. What makes a great paranoid, a true mold-breaking, paradigm-shifting, fan shit-hitting paranoid is an impulse to imagine depravities beyond any reasonable probability. This is where I come in. I fear so that you, dear reader, do not have to.

Clinging to the edge of the world, gazing off into the oblivion of the void – nothingness, I was inspired towards ‘the end’. This is no rare occurrence. Well, it was the first time I may have been grasping this piece of weathered Irish rock while staring into the expanse of the Atlantic, but, but!, to folly with the muse that is la fin du monde is no new tango for this end of days dancer. At the farmers market I would see the avocado asteroid that would dent one corner of the earth and swamp the rest of the sphere with its wake. At the airport, I would pass the bar where the whore of Babylon may have passed the Bubonic uber-plague to me through her Budweisered regurge. At my ex-girlfriend’s acupuncturist, I felt the insectual crawl of nano-bots under my skin and in my veins before I ran out into the city streets, a panicked pin-cushion. At the beach, I watched the sunset with beer in hand as if it were the rising mushroom cloud of my coming-to-Jesus reckoning. Everywhere I turned, she was there: the muse of the end.

Cuda and Vic on the Edge of the World

While in Ireland, I visited the wind- blown fields of the Aran Islands, perhaps one of the most remote locations of Ireland (if, that is, the tourist ferries weren’t so regular here). I was the official wandering journalist for the “University of Catawampus” Men’s “Competitive Dance Team” (note: italics denote digressions from truth). Go “Feralcats”! Coach Cuda led his staff and umpteen young men onto the morning ferry and through Galway Bay to our desired destination in these isolated isles. As the ferries arrived and the tourists dispersed into a diaspora of rented bikes, hired cabs and us… pedestrian walkers, my mind began its Willy Wonkish dream down destiny’s tunnel of misfortune.

Imagine…

An unexpected solar flare engulfs the northern hemisphere in an electromagnetic pulse that slurps all circuitry of its power. In the flash of its celestial burst, all computers, cell phones, planes, vibrators, ovens, radios, cars, some sophisticated Scandinavian vacuum cleaners and home security systems are suddenly rendered, irreversibly, defunct. Das ist kaput, ja! Stranded on the outer isles of western Ireland, this band of competitive dancers are the last to realize their ride home has been cancelled. The first to realize the dire straits are the locals who have lost power to their satellite televised Premier League pre-game fluffings. The locals, prepared for months of isolation, quickly secure their doors against the oncoming panic of stranded tourists. Once the visitors realize they are castaways, they abandon all reason along with their rented bicycles and hurry to the nearest pub, only to realize the doors are barring their entry.

The Catawampus Feralcats on Patrol Along the Aran Path

It takes hours, but eventually, the gravity of the situation weighs in on those left without shelter. Night arrives and many cower in the tourist stands and idle boats of the marina. Fortunately, the Catawampus Feralcats have an experienced doomsdayer in their traveling journalist who suggests, “mutton, anyone?” The club of nomadic Yanks descends upon the wool makers of the island and butchers an unsuspected sweater. Coach Cuda guts the beast as Assistant Coach Drambull builds the fire. The team, those of whom have the appetite, eat well tonight. By the next night, they have herded the entire population of sheep into their own enclave while making stone tools to defend their claim.

Dissention!

Ruins of Innismore


Coach Cuda wants to work with the locals, who have some archaic forms of firepower as well as their own cutlery, while also trying to feed and defend the lot of tourist (mostly ladies) who are also stranded on this unforgiving, tree-less, island. Assistant Coach Drambull disagrees, insisting on spending time arming the lads against the local shepherds and the starving visitors. Unknowing of how long the end-of-world predicament may last, both Assistant Coach Pax and Journalist Vic remain by Cuda’s side. Drambull disappears into the night with half of the competitive dance squad, the entire stone age arsenal and a few thwacked sheep.

30 days later…

Coach Cuda is King of Cuda Town, the port area of the island. Coach Pax had led an expeditionary force to sail to the mainland and was overcome by the high seas (sadly, without motor, few have the ability to sail in such turbulent waters). Because King Cuda was forced to restrict rationing based on limited resources, many of his own competitive dancers have stolen off in the night with an emaciated Canadian or Swiss backpacker chick over their shoulder in order to join the rebel forces of Drambull, whose merry lads enjoy their pillaging on a social-Darwinian philosophy of only the strong will survive (note: social-darwinianism is obviously very different than Darwin’s theory of natural selection in that it is a social rationalism for inhumane acts versus theory based on superior breeding). While Cuda has secured the valuable “Sweater Shoppe”, Drambull has rebuilt the Dun Aengus fortress to secure his own power.

Bovinal Existence Along the Edge


No word comes from the mainland. The radio remains silent. Humanity lies in question despite the rise in overnight pregnancies.

Despite his best efforts at creating a fishing community, Cuda’s kingdom was starving. They must have what is left of the sheep Drambull has stolen off with. A militia is created. Only a few of the original Feralcat team remains behind, the rest have stolen away uphill with Drambull and their unwilling Swedish backpacking girlfriends. Fortunately, Cuda’s childhood chum, Vic, happened to have studied siege warfare while attempting to write his four-thousand page manifest on the Fourth Crusade. Unfortunately, Dun Aengus was hardly medieval Constantinople and Vic’s idea to dig underneath the walls proved idiotic after the first several seconds.

The winds, almost as if anticipating war, finally lapse. The Atlantic calms in order to spectate. King Cuda arrives at the gates of Dun Aengus, his militia having trudged over the width of the island. Before him is a spike with the severed head of Drambull ka-bobbed. The snake without its head, however, remains vigorous and as ever venomous. Within the suddenly stale air arises a Queen, the girl from Ottawa who claimed to vomit five times on the ferry ride over, she stands amidst the rise of the gnats of the night – the midges. She is… the Lord of the Midges. Behind her oiled and flamed reflective body stands her army of Feralcat competitive men dancers, waiting with their stone hand axes and hammers.

This battle is one for resources. If the world around the Aran Islands ceases to exist, then the only world for these tribes is what is here and now. With the coming of summer, there is the possibility of escape to the mainland, but what dangers wait there? For now, the truth, the future lies within a stone’s throw of Armageddon.

Catawampus Feralcats Defend Dun Aengus

Tusc and I became friends the old-fashioned way: in a drunken punch-up over a girl. I don’t remember much about the girl… and Tusc doesn’t recall anything at all. Fortunately, there is enough urban legend lingering around (search any library for “epic poetry of late 21st century”) to remind us all of the auspicious beginnings of the Tusc & Vic alliance without need of any further nose bloodying.

Years ago - Vic and Tusc prepare to dive to the center of the earth as the menacing waters of a sinkhole await

In the days that have since transpired, Tusc and I explored the labyrinthine submarine/subterranean Florida aquifer, we’ve chased rogue moose atop cross-country skies in Wyoming, and we’ve blessed countless football tailgates with our denim’d asses. Tusc even named his little lion man of an offspring “Kohvic” which on the surface seems like he just made up some random bullshit, but once you understand our history, the name of his son is obviously a homage to I, Vic Neverman (with “koh” resembling the prefix “co-“, as in “fellow of Vic”, similar to co-worker, co-pilot, etc.). If not obviously a homage, then arguably and if not arguably then coincidentally

With all of this history behind us, it was difficult to believe we had never faced quite the challenge as what lay ahead of us on this day. The day of the Armagedd-Run! One would not think this field trip into our own backyard would be so intimidating, yet I couldn’t help but feel an ominous rumbling in my suspicious gut (they say the gut is the most intuitive organ, which is why any properly paranoid conspiracy theorist almost always has irritable bowels).

“Tusc, we’ve seen a lot of shit together.” I spoke from the gut to my comrade. “A lot of shit, man. But I have got a bad feeling about this. A real bad fucking feeling.”

“Dude-bro, shut-up.” Tusc cursed me from behind the wheel of his family wagon as we journeyed through the orange groved valleys of middlest Florida. “You better stop saying that before you mess with my mojo.”

“Real bad.”

Tusc and I were wandering into this central territory of the state, far from the reaches of snow-bird tourism, to engage in a doomsday festival. Gathered by the tens of dozens of dozens in a stretch of Florida pine scrub were Revelations fanatics, Millenialists, survivalists, Maya Apocalyptophiles, and a miscellany of just over-all gloomy people. The purpose of this event was to simulate the “left-behind” apocalyptic scenario. If you believe nuclear war is imminent, or that Jesus will rapture the saved and leave the rest of us for the anti-Christ, or that genetically modified corn is going to create a zombie super-virus, or that a resource shortage will result in a global socio-economic meltdown, or that the Mayans predicted a complete polar shift in 2012, or that aliens will want to eradicate the human species before resettling Earth – this is your party! Welcome to Armagedd-RUN!

Pre-race, Neverman is caught on camera by the paparazzi


Rather than risk being identified as the renown Conspiracy Theorist, Vic Neverman, I decided to disguise myself as the right-wing extremist, Bucky Swoon. A bandana and feline tank top later and I had become Bucky: a proponent of state secession and anything related to the American Revolution (“Betsy Ross wouldn’t stand for this bullshit!”) or random American history in general (“Don’t tread on me you Benedict Arnold motherfucker or I will Aaron Burr your ass!”). As my alter-ego, “Bucky”, I tended to have a lot of popularity amongst the Daytona 500 Book of Revelations crowd, making Armagedd-RUN! a great networking opportunity.

My team may have had less colorful tank tops, but certainly were not without character. We were captained by Mrs Tusc, a lady so crazed she once jumped on the bare-backed wild mustang that was (long ago) young Tusc and tamed him into a bewildered domestication. The rest of the crew was a hodgepodge of misfitted adventurer. Together we were unstoppable, or so they said. My gut spake otherwise…

“Tusc, man… I just got a real bad feeling about this.”

And why wouldn’t I? What lay before us was a treacherous course of mud and obstacles, fire pits and wind tunnels. The four horsemen stood chuckling on the sidelines as these ever-eager doomsdayers did the apocalyptic labor for them.

“We’ve seen a lot of shit, man. But this…”

Ozzie Osborne was playing at the starting line as the hundreds of dreadful racers stretched, prayed, and gave their last confessions about cousin-fucking and whatever impure beastly thoughts that ran ramped through their faulty-wired minds.

MadMaxian Nightmare: a muddied Vic runs with Tusc and Mrs Tusc close behind
I tightened the bandana over my head, “I’ve got a real bad feeling about this. I wish you would have let me drink that bloody mary.”

“There are no bloody marys at the end of the world.” Tusc mentioned. “If you hadn’t been out boozing with Raz Kelly last night, maybe you wouldn’t need a bloody mary to get rid of your bad feeling.”

“Well…” I conjectured, speaking in my southern-fried Bucky Swoon accent, “I done figure the end of the world ain’t likely to announce itself a day in advance and even if it did, I probably be just as hungover. If we are simulating the last days, I might as well assume the hangover position.”

“You can assume my foot up your ass if you keep up your mojo-fucking-with.”

The race began and the doomsdayers jockeyed for position, hurrying in half-step through the gates and onto the dirt path. The runners screamed ecstatically about imminent death as they dashed along the trail. Those screams would quickly fade as the front sprinters crashed into a giant mud pit. A sucking wet mass of black earth swallowed limbs and spirits as the “survivors” struggled through. My beautiful white tank-top soon turned to midnight as I wallowed atop the mud, reaching for a lost shoe and attempting to not be trampled by the runners who realized it easier to run on the backs of the fallen than to try their footfall within the muck.

In the future, there will be lots of inconvenient campfires... (or "how Blue-eyes burnt his whiskers")


As I breast-stroked atop the quick-sand agony, I pondered if the fight against the end of the world would even be worth it. Schopenhauer’s “will to live” certainly would give way to a sense of pragmatism and a stronger “will to eat chocolate-covered bacon” as death beckoned at the door. If this was a simulation of the end of days, I should be on the sidelines with a beer. At least, Vic Neverman would be on the sidelines with a beer. Bucky Swoon would kick like hell… though still with a beer.

Tusc pulled me out of the pit, which was no easy feat as the thick layer of mud added 15 pounds to my overall weight. My feet plodded heavily as the caked soil enlarged my footprint. Fortunately, the next obstacle a half mile ahead was a swim within icy black waters of the winter swampland. The cold water took my breath away along with the mud. I swam to a platform that simulated either the Titanic or the iceberg, climbed over it, and swam further until land was underfoot once again.

Our team raced through a junkyard, envisioning the lost souls trapped in the twisted metal beneath our feet. We helped each other over a wall, imagining the grasp of zombie and/or cannibal scavengers at our heel. We spider climbed across a web of net, sprinted up a dirt mountain, and distanced ourselves from certain demise. We leapt over pits of fire as hell reached up from below. We crawled through more mud as barbed wire teased our scalps from above. Finally, we reached the finish lines. We had survived. At least we survived this… the practice round to what may someday be the last day.

At last, I had my victory beer. My fingernail dug some mud out of my ear as I turned towards my friend, “You know, Tusc… you and I, we’ve seen a lot of shit together. A lot of shit… and I have a real bad feeling about what we just did.”

Crossing the Finish. Vic was charging the final mud pit full of steam before spectators screamed at him to slow-down. The pit is lined with barbed wire, forcing racers to swim/crawl beneath. Just another near-disembowelment in a day of the life of Neverman...

5/22/2011

Did Harold Camping not carry the one? His mathematics must be off as May 21st, 2011 has come and gone without rapture. I have already heard over the radio two rapture-readied Americans disappointed by Jesus missing his appointed return. One said she looked forward to the apocalypse so she didn’t have to face certain troubles. Another admitted that she needed the earthquake to strike East Texas to help her “with bills and stuff”. Certainly, these are just a few of many hangover stories that could be told today.

But there is hope!

Indeed, look no further than December 21st, 2012, the end date of the Mayan Calendar. Of course, the Mayans don’t claim the world is going to end, but what do they know when all of the outer fringe pseudo-academics claim this is what they really mean to say? I, for one, have not seen any new 26,000 year calendars for sale in the kiosks at the mall. Obviously, the end must be near. Perhaps Harold Camping was just off by 19 months. Perhaps he should have consulted the non-Mayan Mayan theory.

NOTE: Vic Neverman has been calling the non-Mayan Mayan Apocalypse one of the top three bull shittiest conspiracy theories for years now. Since the Maya are not out to end the world, where is the conspiracy (you might ask)? The conspiracy is with the studios and publishers and radio networks who peddle in this fear mongering bullshit without bothering to state the facts, like that the Maya see this as the end of an age, not the end of a world.

If the hungover masses cannot wait until 2012 and have mortgage payments due NOW, they should focus their energies on the worsening relations with Israel. Obama, high off his bin Laden kill, has pissed a line in the sand that his frequent antagonist and Israeli counterpart Netanyahu cannot possibly match. While I advocate a hardline stance with Israel to allow a free Palestinian state, the line in the sand Obama pissed is akin to Netanyahu tying his hands behind his back before walking into a bar fight. Israel would lose its defensive buffer zone, which they will not agree to, which will worsen relations further until Israel stands alone as a rogue state. Where does the term “Armageddon” draw its roots? From Megiddo, a hill in Israel. Perhaps John the Revelator, he of Patmos, was onto something? The doomsday enthusiasts can only cross their fingers…

…sigh…

We the public will grab a hold of this doomsday hysteria like a pit bull on cotton candy, refusing to let go until the sugary goodness dissolves in our mouth and the next thing we know it is 2013. Why do so many have a fondness for the end of times? Well, why do we believe anything? Let’s consider a couple of factors:

1 Meaning of Life – most of us want to know what this shit is all about. We want to know why we are here, what we are supposed to do, and what happens in the end. This is a common human desire, this knowledge. Many seek out religion for these answers.

2 Fellowship – most humans don’t like to stray from the pack. Safety in numbers, we like to be in the choir of our favorite preacher. We like being with those who validate our beliefs. Need for fellowship allows organized religion to take hold.

3 Faith – this is the trickiest aspect. While many seek out answers (1) and seek out community (2), faith is what makes one man a Lutheran and the next an existential agnostic who organizes a fantasy football league. For those that have faith, science and reason need not apply. For those who do not have faith, the faithful seem gullible and naive. There is no right side of the coin, only heads and tails.

The fourth factor is the final ingredient (get it, final? ha!). While the first three factors will describe why certain people are religious, this final factor is what is required to take a typical Christian and turn them into a doomsdayer. Two different options:

4a Deliverance from Suffering – these folks didn’t hear Buddha say life is suffering and our quest is to transcend this suffering. These are the people enduring hardships (economically, physically, socially, carnally) they would rather go away. A one way ticket to Paradise would do just that.

4b Fascination for Doom – apocalyptophiles line up here. This fascination is not reserved for just the religious. Take, for example, conspiracy theorists. We love our disasters (4) and our driving force is the seeking out of answers that explain the chaos of our world (1). If it wasn’t for conspiracy theorists having a natural sociophobia and distrust for authority (-2 & -3), we would be our own religion.

There are several seeds that may grow a fascination for doom. One is a bit self-centered, where the subject’s natural fear of death is accompanied by a fear of missing out on all the fun shit that is going to happen on earth after they are gone. This subject simply doesn’t want a world to exist without their part in it.

The main factor with the fascination for doom, I believe, is dissatisfaction with society. Pick your poison: be it meteorite, nuclear holocaust, global warming, or zombie virus, those that have a sweet spot for “end of world” scenarios often have issues with society at large and appreciate a world where the social customs are thrown out the window. There are two story lines that appeal to the doom enthusiast: the destruction of civilization or a world after the destruction where there exists no social constructs.

I can’t say how many times I have watched the Mad Max movies. I love anything with a post-apocalypse premise, but that does not mean I want to live in such a world, sharing a dinner out of a dog food can with Mel Gibson, wearing leather in the desert, getting shot at by crossbows – this is not the life for me. Deep down, though, when I watch these scenes there is a warm sense for the freedom of anarchy. No more job, no more rules, no mortgages or parking tickets or christmas shopping or body hair grooming.

Hell, I bet the doomsdayers were excited about their rapture for the same reasons. In the end, if it comes to that, we aren’t so different after all.