Today’s New York Times tries as hard as possible to take Saturday, May 21, 2011’s Judgment Day as seriously as humanly possible (for an organization based on facts) but ends up just teaching an age-old lesson: Every family has a goddamned nut job or two. The self-made Bible-thumper Harold Camping originally said that the Rapture — when believers go to heaven during the Resurrection and the world crumbles around the rest of us for five months — was going to happen in 1994, but now he’s pretty sure it’s this Saturday. The result of serious reporting on the matter is a bunch of families torn apart because a handful are in need of attention enough to believe this shit.
For instance, the Haddad family has three sad, unfortunate teenage children:
“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes.”
Or the Douglas brother-and-sister pair of Brooklyn:
“I’ll say, ‘Oh, what are we going to do this summer?’ She’s going to say, ‘The world is going to end on May 21, so I don’t know why you’re planning for summer,’ and then everyone goes, ‘Oh, boy,’ ” he said.
“I know I’m not going to see them again, but they are very certain they are going to see me, and that’s where I feel so sad,” said one believer who plans to sit in front of the TV all of Saturday, “waiting for the Resurrection and earthquake from nation to nation.”
He added, “I weep to know that they don’t have any idea that this overwhelming thing is coming right at them, pummeling toward them like a meteor.”
“We’ve got the proof. There are irrefutable truths, too many to deny,” an attention-addict told the New York Post.
The subways are more crowded than ever with people pamphleting in their ugly doomsday T-shirts. We’d say that come Monday, they owe us all a big apology for taking up space, looking tacky, and shouting, making this city more unbearable than it already is, but, actually, no. They should stay at home, the believers, and make amends with the people they annoyed who are forced to love them — children, brothers, sisters, parents — and leave the rest of us alone. Next time they show their faces, maybe Monday morning, they should be shamed into blending in. We can only pray.