Monday, May 30, 2011

A Disconnect From Reality

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with family and friends at my Sister's house. There were upwards of 25 people there. A big barbecue occurred, along with much chaotic activity by the younger generation.

As the evening approached, the weather began to turn nasty. Thunder and rainstorms approached. Tornado sirens wailed off in the distance.

The normal response when hearing tornado sirens by any rational person is to immediately seek secure shelter, preferably in the basement of whatever structure you happen to be near or in. It really doesn't matter if a tornado will actually come. The point is that when and if a tornado comes, there's very little you can do to protect yourself once it's there. So the rational thing to do is to make sure you are already protected.

So what was the response of everyone there?


Everyone (but me) reacted like tornado sirens were something they heard every day.

Ask the citizens of Joplin, Missouri, if that's a good idea.

After the storms had passed--without incident, thank God--I began to ask myself why no one treated this incident as an emergency.

I can come up with several reasons, not the least of which is that the parents in the group did not want to cause panic among the crowd of youngsters, most of whom were younger than 6 years old.

But I don't think that was it. Arguments like that were used to rationalize George W. Bush's lack of action after being told about the attacks of September 11th, when he sat there looking like someone had hit him in the face with a shovel for seven minutes. I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now.

No, I think the real reason is more insidious: the people who dwell in the privileged world that my sister, her family, and her friends currently live in do not believe that anything bad could ever happen to them.

This is understandable, to a certain extent. It's been a long time since my sister or any of her friends had to realize the experience of living from paycheck to paycheck. Or worrying about which expense to put off until the next month because you can't afford it. Or being one major financial setback from living on the street.

I pray that they never have to find out what that feels like.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Back-Pedaling

Now that the supposed date of The Rapture has come and gone without incident, the billboards have disappeared, the people who gave away their life savings feel stupid, and, of course, the 89-year-old radio pastor who created all this hoopla in the first place has admitted, for the first time, the possibility that he may have been wrong.

What a surprise.

Of course, the man, Harold Camping, is shocked, SHOCKED, to find that gambling is going on he--I mean, to find that the apocalypse did not happen after all.

The only surprising part to me was not that people believed this Quack's doomsday predictions, but that TENS OF THOUSANDS of people believed them.

Actually, it's not that surprising. P.T. Barnum was incredibly naive. There are hundreds of suckers born every minute.

How else do you explain:

Pyramid schemes.
Bernie Madoff.
Salting mines.
Gold-painted bricks.
The Nigerian Scam.
The Irish Lottery.

(How many times do I have to tell you people that I'm not going to link to those. I ain't your damn search engine!)

I really shouldn't be surprised that Mr. Camping used religion to create the biggest scam of all. Nothing has ever been used to fool people more than religion. And that fact should scare everyone more than anything else in this world.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rapture Watch

It is now officially 45 minutes past midnight EDST as I write this. I'm still here. My dog is still here. Nobody's been taken bodily into heaven yet, at least as far as I know.

If anyone needs a further display of how silly the doomsday prediction was, please stay tuned.

Updates will be continued...

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.
One half-hour 'til noon, EDST. Still waiting on the rapture. As far as I can tell, none of my neighbors have been taken, including the pastor who lives next door. I figure he would've been one of the first ones to go...

Meh. Whatever. I'm still waiting.

To be continued.

Update: 2:30 P.M. EDST

Still here. So are all my neighbors. So is everyone else, at least judging by the traffic and by the number of people shopping at Costco. And I doubt people were stocking up, because if they thought they were still going to be here, they'd just wait until the others had left and then just loot the store...

Update: 7:00 P.M. EDST

Still here. So is the traffic on the street. Haven't seen my neighbors, but it is Saturday night, it is raining, and I can't expect them to be losers like me. It will be midnight here in 5 hours. Another 6 hours after that it will be officially midnight on the International Date Line. At that point, May 21st, 2011 will officially disappear into the history books. So, Rapture, if you're reading this, you'd better get a move on. You've only got a few hours left!

Update: 11:50 P.M. EDST

In honor of the predicted apocalypse, I got seriously drunk. It is now 10 minutes to midnight EDST. May 21st is about to disappear from my time zone. I'm gonna wake up tomorrow with a major hangover.

Or not. The Rapture has 6 hours left to happen before May 21st crosses the international date line and ceases to exist. Attention Rapture: You have six hours to take me into Heaven before I wake up cursing you on every possible level for doing this to me!

Good night folks! See you tomorrow. Or not. Depending on what happens in the next 6 hours. This update officially ends VITC's rapture watch. I'm going to bed.


Well, surprise, surprise. Nothing happened. That's the good (and not unexpected) news.

The bad news is that now I have to go back to work tomorrow. Dammit!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rich Idiots Should Give Me Money

I recently heard the news that the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore are demanding $10000 per episode for their "performances" in the series.

So. Now, not only are these people complete idiots--they are now going to be rich idiots.

And I have a plan for them.

As everyone knows, people who are rich need to invest their money. So to you, the rich idiots of the world, I offer you an investment plan. If you send me all of your money, I will invest it for you. I will not invest it in anything that will keep your money safe and secure. I will invest it in my personal expenses. I will invest it in things that will make me happy. In other words, I will use your money in a way that will bring you no security whatsoever. You will lose every dollar you invest with me.

But you won't care. Because you are idiots. You are fools. You know the saying about how a fool and his (or her) money are soon parted. You have an obligation to live up to that saying.

So here are the terms:
1) You must be rich. No one whose personal net worth is less than $10 million need apply.
2) You must be an idiot. The most apt pre-requisite for this requirement is to be a cast member of a reality show. Note: All cast members of Jersey Shore are pre-approved. All other applicants will be judged on a per-case basis.
3) You must realize that any money you invest with me you will never see again. As an idiot, I fully expect that you will have absolutely no problem with this requirement.

If you meet these three requirements, please leave a post in the comments detailing how I may contact you. Please include your name, Social Security number, Mother's maiden name, bank account numbers, credit card information (including the three-digit security code on the back of the card), and anything else you think I might need to access your money.

And don't worry. I will take care of you. And your money. You will get everything you deserve.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Provide for your Pets!

As the 3 readers of this blog may or may not be aware, this Saturday (May 21st, 2011) is the rapture.

And, as per usual, someone has found a way to take advantage of this.

Of course, the thing I am most pissed off about is that I didn't think of this idea first.

There are an extremely large number of unbalanced, naive, and gullible people out there.

(By the way: did you know the word gullible is not in the dictionary? Look it up!)

By and large, enough of those aforementioned people are just stupid enough to fall for this scam.

And, of course, their rate of customer enrollment must be greatly increasing thanks to this latest prediction, spurred on by a massive advertising campaign.

Ah well. As a Christian, I'm sure I'll be taken in the Rapture anyway. Right? Right?!


Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Last One

Claude Stanley Choules. Born 3/3/1901. Died 5/5/2011. Age: 110.

This man, an Australian, was the last surviving combat veteran of World War I.

World War I was called "The War to End All Wars". At the time, it was a global cataclysm that engulfed nearly every industrialized nation in the world. It decimated the populations of Europe, England, Russia, Turkey, and other countries. It unleashed methods of destroying human life like the world had never seen before.

More importantly, it should have been a lesson to humanity about the terrible price to pay for allowing ourselves to think all of our problems could be solved with violence.

Only 31 years after the end of WW1, another global war began. It took humanity no more than a single generation to forget the lessons learned from the first one.

Since the end of that conflict, there has rarely been a moment in time where there was not war somewhere in the world. Why is it that humanity is unable to learn the lessons of history?

By all accounts, Mr. Choules became a lifelong pacifist after his service. He refused to march in Veterans' parades, or participate in any commemorations of events of the war. He thought that war should not be celebrated. He was right.

The man lived a full and rich life. All 110+ years of it. He had 3 children with his wife of 76 years. He knew how to be happy.

I wish we could all learn how to do the same.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Me Like!!

Obama displays some first-class comedy chops...

And turns Donald Trump from possible Presidential candidate to national joke literally overnight.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

They Got Him

As I write this post, American news organizations are jubilantly announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden.

This is nearly a decade after he organized the destruction of the World Trade Center.

This is nearly a decade after George W. Bush declared that we would find him "Dead or Alive".

So now what?

Explain to me how this will end terrorism?

Explain to me how this will fix the world's problems?

Explain to me how this will make him anything more than a permanent martyr?

I once saw a Warner Brothers Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon. W.E. chased R.R. into a pipe that got smaller and smaller. At the end of the pipe, they both came out tiny. W.E. waved R.R. back into the pipe. Back at the big end, W.E. came out still tiny, while R.R. was back to full size. W.E. then held up a sign that said this "You always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?"

We can now celebrate the death of this ruthless madman. If he truly is dead, I sincerely hope he rots in hell for all eternity, and then for a few centuries after that. But I have sincere doubts that his death will have any effect on the long-term terror problem.

Time will tell.