Apocalypse Now? Soon?
When I was in University, I went to a screening in a theatre of a re-cut of the original Exorcist film. It had maintained its scariness over the years, and in fact included scenes cut from the original, such as the infamous “spiderwalk” sequence, making for extra chills. However, after scary scenes, where the audience was silenced, the next scene would always be greeted with a general laugh from the crowd. “Ha, that wasn’t even scary. Haha, such an old film. Ha”. Nobody ever laughed during the scary scenes, and the laughter obviously contained a large amount of relief that it was over, as well as maybe laughing at oneself for being scared in the first place.
We’ve all had a good laugh lately as a week or so ago, that Camping guy in America failed pretty spectacularly in his absolute, definite vision for the end of the world, when after May 21, the world stubbornly continued to exist. It’s just the most recent in a series of Doomsday predictions that seem to have come about in the last few years, going back in my immediate memory to 2000 with the Y2K bug.
Well, none have come true so far, but exactly how much of our laughter is free from relief? A quick look around the world today shows you pretty fast that the place is in a mess, seemingly primed for an Apocalypse.
The world economy has been destroyed, leading to depressions, riots, and a lower standard of living for many people, including of course, all the people involved in the numerous businesses which have gone under. Countries are in an absurd amount of debt, ready to implode at any time. North Korea continues to be that irritating bully in the back of class who just likes to lash out sometimes, and though we wish we could do something about him, we know we’re not going to be able to until it’s too late. And natural disasters are knocking out as much of the world as they can, with huge earthquakes in Burma, New Zealand, Japan and Turkey – the one in Japan causing a nuclear emergency – floods in Australia and America, as well as tornadoes in America, and plenty of others all over the place, all happening before we even hit halfway through the year. Protests starting in Tunisia have led to civil wars throughout most of the Middle East, on top of the American wars being fought in the area already. And now, Europeans are being killed by their vegetables.
Which made me think of something. According to the Bible, there will be Four Horsemen who are harbingers of the Apocalypse.
The first horseman rides on a white horse, as the Conquerer. Have there been any prominent world leaders who have set out to conquer anywhere recently, perhaps any with any connections to a White Horse? The American War on Terror jumps immediately to mind, as the White House sends forces out to sedate anywhere they see fit, including the latest (illegal? thats another issue) assassination of Osama Bin Laden (real?) in Pakistan, a move which Obama has happily said he would do again, basically if he felt like it.
The second horseman rides on a red horse, as War. Scholars have said that this is likely to be civil war as opposed to international war, as the Conquerer will take care of that. Any countries experiencing civil war, maybe with any relation to Red? A look at the Tunisian flag, and the situation in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Libya and the rest should be enough to check that one off.
The third horseman rides on a black horse, as Famine. A sudden outbreak of e.coli in Europe has hospitalized hundreds, killed some, and is spreading to the UK and USA. The cause is as yet unknown, but is strongly believed to be related to vegetables. At any rate, it is almost certainly coming from food, meaning that food in Europe may become fairly restricted. Bearing in mind that a lot of food from Japan is already off-limits thanks to the radiation (which has also affected noted numbers of fish), and also, although relatively minor, an outbreak of a disease called PSA has destroyed kiwifruit crops in Europe, and is at risk of doing the same in New Zealand.
The fourth horseman rides on a pale, sickly horse, and is known simply as Death. Once he arrives, we’re pretty much done.