Camping comforted his flock by telling them that The End would come five months later. Now that 21 October has come and gone and the world still exists — along with the website of Camping’s radio empire, Family Radio — what can we say that we haven’t said before? We have two thoughts:
First, maybe Camping was right. Everything ended, and a vast stretch of measureless time has passed since then, during which there was nothing — nothing at all.
But then a new creation occurred, modeled largely on the last one, and we are now living in what should be called Universe 2.0. This universe is similar to the one that existed prior to 21 October, but certain evil people and things have not only been purged from existence, but also from our memories. We’re now much better off than before, and for that we should all give thanks.
Our second thought is that maybe Harold Camping will permanently enter our popular vocabulary as the prime example of a flaming fool. His name will become a metaphor, a symbol, a figure of speech. There are many uses for such, because hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t say something so staggeringly stupid it deserves a snappy response that everyone will immediately understand.
For example, you may recall when Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry brought up the name of Galileo in the context of global warming. If you don’t remember, then see Rick Perry and Galileo. Scientific illiterates are always invoking the name of Galileo, as if his ordeal (the Galileo affair) were somehow a justification for their stupidity.
Thanks to Harold Camping, now we have what should be a readily-understood response for such occasions: “Hey, Governor — you have a lot more in common with Harold Camping than you do with Galileo!”
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.