21 May 2011

Will there be time to read after the Rapture?

In case you haven't heard, a man named Harold Camping is predicting the Rapture will take place today. In our research we have not been able to conclusively establish whether this is taking place at 6PM local time or 6PM Tokyo local time, meaning that if you are reading this you already know whether you have been Raptured or not.

The publishing staff here at Wormbook have become maybe a little unhealthily obsessed with this story, for which we credit Twitter -- a great place to hang out with people whose irreverent commentary might contribute to them not being Raptured. (Exhibit A; Exhibit B; Exhibit C. I love you all; sorry.) It's likely that we know some people for whom this is a genuine concern, whether or not one is Raptured, so we will state simply that we expect the prediction to be incorrect, and leave it there. If we expected differently we might be skimming the book of Revelations right now, which we assume will act as TIME Magazine for the faithful to get their analysis and commentary for what's happening on earth while we are elsewhere (and like TIME these days, will be a little too over-explanatory and familiar for comfort). It won't be all that urgent for them anyway, for the faithful.

Though not raised in a very religious household, nor evangelical Protestant, we were very impressionable children and the tradition we were raised in (to which our parents subscribe to varying degrees) stuck with us just enough room for the pry-fingers of doubt. We assume, for example, that you do not pack for a Rapture, but what if we get stuck in some sort of Celestial Waiting Room for a bit? Would it be worth strapping our Kindles to ourselves, just in case? Would a paper book be better, in case there are no outlets? Our Sunday-school educations didn't quite clarify what was going on in Heaven all that while. (Never mind that these inquiries are probably why we are not being Raptured. It's just we never go anywhere without one.) We tab to Google -- but we hesitate in time.

Anyway, aside from what might or might not be happening today it might do us all good to reread the "Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After" chapter of David Mitchell's CLOUD ATLAS and focus on what's really scary, the threat of a postliterate society. The Guardian also has a piece on the LEFT BEHIND novels, which would seem to lend themselves to a situation like this, unless people would rather not be spoiled on what's about to happen to them. We didn't have time to read them. Will we later? In any case, we didn't bother writing any posts for after today, in case we did get Raptured. So if we don't update, just listen to this song four or five times until you see it's actually fairly cheery.


Wade Garrett said...

Great song, great movie. The Talking Heads have gone in and out of fashion over the years, but they never stop sounding like New York (even when their most iconic concert was held in L.A.).

Elizabeth said...

The whole Rapture thing was pretty funny until I realized that my uncle-in-law's brother actually believed it, and that while my other uncle-in-law's brother didn't really believe it, he was going to make sure he was off the roads at 6pm, just in case. (Because, as we all know from Y: THE LAST MAN, the interstate is no place to be during the apocalypse.)

For this reason, I have very fastidiously avoided discussing it with my own family, lest I be horrified about what I find out.