Daniel Baird reports in The Walrus:
Anyone who grew up in Europe or North America (and many who didn’t), whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, or nothing at all, has in some way been shaped by the texts that comprise the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. If you’re North American, the version that secretly haunts you is most likely the translation commissioned by King James and published some 400 years ago. It’s what formed our literature, our philosophy, and even our science; it is literally in the air we breathe. It’s what created William Miller, Harold Camping, and the New Agers who prophesy that the world will end at the winter solstice in 2012. “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the Earth,” the prophet Isaiah intones… “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” The text of the Revelation of St. John the Divine is even more vivid and emphatic: “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth,” proclaims the great seer of Patmos. “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men, which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” The passage continues, “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead Man: and every living soul died in the sea.” For Isaiah and St. John, the wrath visited upon the world by God, the earthquakes and seas filled with blood, is a response to human failure and vice, but despite all the destruction and carnage there remains at least the possibility of redemption.
The ever-expanding cadre of bestselling science, strategic, political, and business writers who make a living prophesying the less-than-happy human future would not ally themselves with literal readings of Isaiah or the Revelation of St. John, much less with eccentrics like Harold Camping, but the stories they propose seem remarkably similar. Although they appear secular, they are Biblical tales of the pillaging of the earth by human greed and vice and the inevitable reckoning. Redemption will come, if it does, through contrition, humility, and moral soundness.
The last time there was this much anxiety about the end of the world was after the Second World War and the advent of the atomic age. When The New Yorker devoted its entire August 31, 1946, issue to John Hersey’s groundbreaking article “Hiroshima,” an intimate account of six survivors’ lives before and after the bombing a year earlier, it was the first time most people in the English-speaking world had become aware in a visceral way of the A-bomb’s destructive power. The harrowing scenes Hersey describes are, even now, sixty-five years later, impossible to get out of one’s head: the silent, blinding flash and then the literal erasure of the city; the soldiers with their melted eyes running down their cheeks wandering through the rubble. By the 1950s, it became clear that human beings had developed a technology capable of instantly destroying all life on earth. Countless novels, stories, and films that imagined nuclear apocalypse followed, and countless reinforced concrete bomb shelters were dug in the backyards of suburban homes.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Daniel Baird reports in The Walrus:
- Cartoonist Alan Moore, the Guy Fawkes Mask, and Occupy Wall Street
- 'The History of Oil - by Robert Newman
- Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
- Riots or revolt? - An insight into why Greece is now in flames
- Salvador Dali expounds on his 'Paranoiac Critical Method' philosophy
- The Last Roundup
- The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff
- UPDATED: Warriors out of their minds: Drugs of choice for super soldiers
- Holocaust Deniers - a growing club
- Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder
- Twilight of the Psychopaths
- The Bankers' Manifesto of 1892
- Jacques Ellul on Propaganda
Last Month's 13 Most Viewed Entries
- The pineal gland: Interface between the physical and spiritual planes?
- Uganda: Devil worship
- Obama and the Anti-Christ
- '1984: Grace Commission Report under Ronald Reagan showed IRS is a fraud that collects taxes for the Banking Dynasties'
- The Illuminated Ones
- Martial Law declared in United States
- Illuminati Occult Symbolism in The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony
- Israeli women take off clothes for Egypt “nude revolutionary” blogger
- The Bollywood star who nearly became Pakistan's First Lady
- Belgian Police brutality in action! Warning- this is upsetting
- Gregg Braden - A Field Exists That Connects Everything Together - The Ether Field
- Noble Gas Engine
- Hopi and Tibetan Buddhist Prophecies - The Connection