This image contains coded patterns which mystically herald the coming of the Apocalypse or some crap.
Island Packet (Stolen Hastily From November 2009) — ‘What do you think about this 2012 madness?” Paul Mitchell asks me via the newsroom’s instant-message system earlier this week. Paul Mitchell is a line of high-end hair care products, but he also is an actual human person who works in the newsroom. At one time Paul, being of a considerably younger vintage, failed to correctly identify Bruce Springsteen on the television. Illogically, we’re friends anyway.
The movie looks like silliness, I reply, but on the other hand, “Independence Day” was a pretty great movie in which many objects were indiscriminately exploded, such as the White House and Lone Star from “Spaceballs,” so it might be fun.
“Not the movie,” Paul says, an icy fear creeping noticeably into his online voice. “All I gotta say is I’m panicking if that mess comes my way in three years.”
Paul was, I surmised, referring to the Mayan prophecy that says the end of times will take place in the year 2012. It’s also the hook of “2012,” a new movie by destroyed-landmark fetishist and director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) that stars John Cusack, both of whom, it turns out, appear in a strong percentage of Mayan prophecies. In their lore, Cusack is actually immortal.
GateHouse — IMPORTANT RAPTURE PREFACE: When you’re making snarky jokes about the end of the world with your 7-year-old and his friends, it is important to ASSURE THEM THAT IT IS NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENING, because first and second-graders are WAY less plugged into the notion of hilarious dark sarcasm than us adults. Have you ever seen the look on the face of a second-grader who’s just spent a day at the beach until 5:15 p.m., and then hears that the world is ending at 6? It is the most heartbreaking thing ever.
My apologies in advance for beating a dead apocalypse, and I think we can agree that if there’s a rapture joke that hasn’t been made yet it exists only in an undiscovered dimension, but try to imagine preparing — literally preparing, doubtlessly, devoutly — for the Actual End Of Days, and then waking up at 8:23 a.m. Sunday to find the world spinning normally, life proceeding in its well-carved patterns, everything pretty much free of devastating earthquakes and horsemen.
I've written for the nice people at Men's Health, Time, GQ, Billboard, Paste, Nickelodeon's NickMom, brucespringsteen.net and The South Magazine. I'm also a syndicated humor columnist in "newspapers" and a father of two (the younger of whom has been personally approved by Bruce Springsteen) on the coast of South Carolina. Even longer bio/clips.