I've accepted that, by simple virtue of geography (I live in Texas, after all. Houston, mind you, but still Texas), I'm bound to run into some seriously, SERIOUSLY intensely Christian people at least a couple of times a week. It's just gonna happen. And it did, yet again, when a gentlemen decided to recite what was essentially a summary of the Book of Revelations at me. I was raised Catholic, and Catholic in the time-honored, New England lackadaisical tradition. As a people, we're not too big on the fire and brimstone stuff. I'm a heathen these days, but even as a kid, Hell was always a pretty vague concept; Something that happened, you know, over there. To those weirdo Christians. The ones with the tents. That, and we had confession, so we were pretty much guaranteed to avoid Hell entirely, so long as we renounced our evil ways on our deathbeds (a tactic I still plan on employing, just in case.).
However, there are a lot of serious Evangelical folks around these parts (Jerry Falwell and such); so, in the interest of getting to know my neighbors, I decided to familiarize myself with the End of Days the best way I knew how: By reading the Wikipedia entry on the Left Behind series of books. Fitting, as I view anything Kirk Cameron is involved in to be the inspired Word of God. (Seriously. On Growing Pains, his best friend's name was Boner. Boner. This was the mid-80's, and here we had a family friendly sitcom on prime-time that got away with saying "Boner" an average of 19 times an episode. Now that's either God or the devil, and either way, you better respect that fuckin' autoritah.)
Now that I have what may be accurately described as an intense and thorough knowledge of the Book of Revelations, I posit this question, in all seriousness, to those Evangelical Christians among us:
Now, I'm a skeptic and an agnostic at best, but I'm willing to accept that I don't know or understand everything in the universe. I'm even willing to accept the possibility of some form of Creative force that has operated or is operating within it. I mean, all this stuff is here, so it's not completely gonzo to consider. But this John cat, and by extension those who view his brand of crazy as something that even begins to approach the house that plausible rents for two weeks out of every summer, are fuckin' SURE of it. And they're sure they're sure. And they're sure they know EXACTLY how this merry-go-round is gonna come to a screeching halt, and which one of us poor fuckers is gonna lose his damn ice cream cone in the process.
I mean....the fuck? They can tell you exactly how and where Jesus is going to be coming back, holding a flaming sword and riding a my little pony of light and wasting all the bad, unbelieving, probably brown people, and how they're going to have carte blanche in the sweet ass luxury box in the new heaven and new earth. They can tell you exacly which mound of dirt in France on which the J-Dizzle is going to set up his house for the ultimate episode of Cribs.
You know...they just can't tell you which particular millennia...but seriously...any year now. It's a' comin'. Get your shit packed.
It's all a little presumptious, really. To think that we are not only the chosen species on this planet, but in the entire fucking universe full of a spajillion other planets, some of which are bound to have life on them that look WAY cooler than us in Ray-Bans.
Me, I prefer a little mystery. The way I figure it, we're all gonna find out one way or another what happens. May as well be surprised. It's like riding a roller coaster that may or may not be on fire...only you're blindfolded. But the ride to the top of the biggest hill is like a hundred years long. And you get to have beer and cheesecake along the way. And maybe you're like me, and you marry a pretty girl who's funny and weird and puts up with your shit, and then you get to ride together (I scream like a little girl on roller coasters, so it's nice to have someone who actually is a girl to blame it on); maybe you have a couple of kids. Maybe you invent something that makes life for other people just a little weirder and more interesting. Maybe you write a play or a book that a few people enjoy. Maybe you come up with the idea for Lost and make me stick with the damn show for 5 fucking years because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE GODDAMN SMOKE MONSTER IS!
And you don't know if when you get to the top of the hill if you're going to hit a bunch of clouds, or like 47 big-titty virgins or a bowl of chocolate pudding or what. But fuck it....you still got beer and cheesecake, so you came out ahead. Just put your arms up and go "WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"
But hey...If we are headed for a full-on, biblical, capital A-pocalypse, it's not all bad. As Patton Oswalt, my brother from another mother says:
"Here's the good news: in the afterlife, like in Heaven you'll be in the fuckin' VIP section of eternity! Cause everyone up there is like 'Hey, how'd you die?' And they're like 'Bus accident,' and 'How'd you die?' And they're like 'Fire ants.' Then they go 'How'd you die, man?' 'How'd I die? In the fuckin' apocalypse! Oh my God, it was awesome! I'm in the velvet rope section of eternity! You should've fuckin' been there man, fuckin' volcanoes came out of the ground and spewed menstrural blood into the sky, and then it formed into Avril Lavigne's face, and she recited the 'Good Will Hunting' screenplay, then the words turned into sentient razors and they bored into your flesh, George Bush was president and mediocrity held sway!'"
Sprinkle some fries on those cupcakes, fuckers.