It’s midnight on May 22. No rapture. No apocalypse. Harold Camping’s May 21 Doomsday prediction turned out to be as accurate as the daily horoscope, though, unfortunately for him, a little less vague. For many of his followers, Midnight on May 22 must’ve been as anti-climactic as the midnight countdown at an Amish New Year’s Eve Party.
My first thoughts on May 22 include, “How can I make money off of this?” “Are Harold Camping’s sermons auto-tuned and set to music on youtube yet?” and “How did Harold Camping get famous in the first place?” The last question baffles me.
While time was ticking slowly toward midnight, my roommate, Gabe, and I youtubed Harold Camping. Honestly, within one minute of watching him, we instantly felt sorry for the man. Gabe quickly asked, “Why is America paying attention to a guy with dementia? He shouldn’t be on youtube. He should be on the third floor at the Jackson Medical Care Facility. Next thing you know, he’s going to announce that he’s a glass of orange juice.”
CNN covered this guy and rode with his unusually small group of followers as they took to the streets bearing their May 21st message of doom. Numerous other media groups ran stories on him, and I’m blogging about him. Why? Well, I’m blogging about him because CNN and other media outlets made a big deal out of it, but why did they make a big deal out of it? Who’s alerting them to the crazy cultic leaders with fifty member congregations? And why do they care?
“If it bleeds, it leads,” was the old journalistic motto. In the age of social networking,”If it’s weird, it’s shared,” appears to have taken its place. Lately, I’ve seen “serious” news and discussion shows highlight youtube videos like “Charlie, Bit My Finger” and “Child after a Dentist Appointment.” I’ll admit, both funny videos. Newsworthy though?
I may have been mistaken in my last blog about how I enjoyed seeing people fail. Maybe that’s part of it, but maybe I and many others just enjoy the shock of being weirded out by the predictions and Koran burnings of crazy pastors, the English accents of kids who get their fingers bitten by a younger sibling, or by children who get a little too tipsy from their dentist’s novocaine shots. Weird is the new cool.
Here’s a weird thought in the form of a multiple choice question: It’s midnight on the day after you told all of the major media outlets that the world was going to end… What do you do?
a. Buy KoolAid and cyanide pills for you and your followers.
b. Turn your now world famous website into a multi-million dollar “I survived the May 21st Apocalypse” t-shirt business.
c. Have a vision explaining why the world didn’t end and why you are now the Messiah.
d. Replace Donald Trump as the leading contender in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
e. Based on your popularity, acquire the name Post-Apocalypse, and wrestle Hollywood Hogan for the WWE championship title belt.
f. Claim the rapture really happened, but only to a few people who made their mob bosses mad. Well, they disappeared, didn’t they?
g. Admit that you were in denial and that you really hate the thought of getting older without seeing something exciting happen.
Well, I’m glad the world didn’t end yesterday. When it does though, I’ll be ready. Watch out world, July 12 is coming! Visit robvischer.com and search through the hidden meanings of my music and lyrics to learn more…