Studies in Crap: My Vision of the Destruction of America Atop Empire State Building
Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
My Vision of the Destruction of America Atop Empire State Building
Author: A. A. Allen
Publisher: A. A. Allen
Discovered at: Salvation Army Store
The Cover Promises: Allen's off by roughly 50 blocks and 47 years.
Representative Quote: Page 24, "I was amazed to hear the Statue of Liberty speak out in reply, 'I WILL NOT DRINK.'"
Here's what happened.
Just one day after finishing his anti-Mormon book, Seven Women Shall Take Hold of One Man, A. A. Allen - almost certainly the first doomsday evangelist listed in the phone book - rode an elevator to the top of what was then the world's tallest building.
There, after a couple minutes of scorning the United Nations ("It is man's supreme effort to gain peace without the help of God!"), Allen experienced a vision from God.
A deeply silly vision.
First, God spread out all of North America before Allen's eyes.
Then Allen beheld:
- The Statue of Liberty standing in the Gulf of Mexico.
- A "gigantic hand" taking the statue's torch and giving her a giant cup with a giant sword in it.
- God's peer pressure. "I heard these words, 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Drink ye and be drunken, spue and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send.'"
- "When the cup was withdrawn from the lips of the Statue of Liberty, I noticed the sword was missing from the cup, which could mean but one thing. THE CONTENTS OF THE CUP HAD BEEN COMPLETELY CONSUMED!"
- Also, here's some helpful insight: "I knew that the sword merely typified war, death, and destruction."
- A lightweight, sword-swallowing Lady Liberty nearly passes out. Meanwhile, a black cloud in the shape of a skeleton rises from Alaska and spews white gas from its mouth, covering the United States but ignoring Canada.
- "On [the gas clouds] swept until they reached the Statue of Liberty where she stood staggering drunkenly in the blue waters of the Gulf."
- Soviet missiles. The death of America. As tends to happen in crap of this sort, saints rejoice as the wicked perish.
Fortunately, Allen has published a shelf full of books to prepare us for the end.
Shocking Detail: The remainder of Allen's tract explains why and how this will happen. The book is subtitled "Will Russia Invade America?" but Allen identifies no Cold War causes for America's destruction, writing only that it will be Soviet missles and nerve gas doing most of the killing.
This Soviet aggression seems a manifestation of divine will, especially when Allen gets all caps-lock passionate with declarations such as "God declares that as sure as America has sown, SHE SHALL REAP!"
Why is God pissed? Do the math.
- "There are millions of 'religious' people in America who have never been born again."
- "In New York City, 92 per cent of the young people are untouched by any religious activity whatsoever."
- "A recent current digest magazine states that there are eight million homosexuals in America today, and that one twentieth of the population are sex perverts."
- "There are 10,000,000 Table Tennis players; 20,000,000 play Bingo regularly and twice as many indulge in sporadic intervals."
- "About 200,000,000 inhabitants in America cheerfully spend $150,000,000 a year for the mental agony of roller coasters and other carnival thrills."
Some sins cannot be quantified with numbers. Allen is especially incensed by the midcentury vogue for individuality: "Those professed 'social scientists' who are doggedly teaching 'self-expression' for youth are advocating a ruinous doctrine."
Speaking of end-of-the-world madness, here's a postcard I found in a raggedy old shop in Berkeley, California, in 2003.
This is as close as most of us will ever come to having sex with Giuliani.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.