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May 17th, 2011

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

[Ed. Note:  This morning's Countdown is dedicated to M-Bone Talbert, whose world got ended for him Sunday night.  RIP M-Bone.]

Hurry!  Hurry!  This week only – and I mean that!  There are only 4 shopping days left ’til the end of the world.  In case you’ve been living under a rock – and I would not blame you one minute if you had been – I’m highlighting a different thing each day that I’m NOT GONNA MISS come the Rapture, and I’m counting on YOU to comment if you haven’t yet with your own NGM thoughts as well – I’m keeping the list, and I’ll tally them up and see what we’re all least likely to miss at the end of all things.

Number 10:  Donald Trump’s Hair.
Number 9:  People who can’t drive in bad weather.
Number 8:  Annoying Facebook status update memes.
Number 7:  Cheap Beer.
Number 6:  Natural Disasters.
Number 5:  Prophesies about the End of the World that turn out to be wrong.
Number 4:  Organized religions.

There are some really, really smart people out there.  Many of them think that the smartest guy alive is a wheelchair-bound dude who needs speech-translation software to talk to us; yes, Stephen Hawking.  It turns out that Stephen Hawking, when he’s not expounding on Time, the Universe, and All The Things, is an avid reader of the Big Ugly Man Doll.  I believe this is a perfectly logical conclusion, and I base it on the fact that while he didn’t actually mention it in a recent interview, he was obviously rebutting my recent assertion that In Heaven, There Is No Beer.

Stephen Hawking believes in beer.  He just doesn’t believe in heaven.

And that’s ok.  But there are people – millions of them – who think he’s not just wrong, but so wrong that he should be censured and perhaps punished for saying that sort of thing in public.  Many of these people, it turns out, tend to make their livelihoods by getting other people to give them money in exchange for telling them not only that is there a heaven, but also that they personally will be allowed to go there.

In return for this kind of public display of assurance, people have been known to commit more and bloodier atrocities than for nearly any other reason I can think of.  Deus Vult!  “God Wills It” was the rallying cry for the crusades – a bloody-minded fool’s errand for which the world continues to pay the price to this very day.   Allahu Akbar!  God is indeed great.  If He’s that all-fired great, you would think He could just kill off His enemies without your help – and perhaps there’s a reason He hasn’t yet.  Perhaps He’d prefer you stop meddling in His affairs for a few minutes so He can sort things out.

People who are divinely inspired to do really crazy stuff in the name of the god of their choice, out there by themselves – I have no problem with that.  Sting sang it more succinctly than I can:  “Men go crazy in congregations / They only get better one by one.”   It’s the people who get together only with others of their own closeminded philosophies and decide that everyone else is wrong that worry me.  The older I get, the more I lean toward Militant Agnosticism:  “I Don’t Know, and You Don’t Either.”  Really, soon enough we’re all going to find out – why rush things?

So please Lord, because I’m Not Gonna Miss your more vocal, vehement, violent followers – call the Rapture on May 21st.  My buddy Stephen Hawking and I will expect our 72 virgins when we arrive.

Yep, looks like another post from the Big, Ugly Man Doll!