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Apocalypse? …Later

09 Jan Posted by in Jewelle Gomez | 1 comment
Apocalypse? …Later

Have you heard this?  About the apocalypse coming on 3.21.11?  I’m only asking because it seems like we should have heard something by now, that date is not that far away.  It’s even closer than the 2012 Mayan shut down date.  I saw the movie “2012” and it was not pretty!

I hate to start negative rumors especially since I only know about this because someone who lives in my neighborhood has posted it WRIT LARGE in the bay window of s/his home and lit it with a spotlight.  A situation that probably makes his neighbors across the street beg for the rapture to take s/him on up. The Wolf, my country music station, also postulated the validity of this prognostication without being definitively for or against. My neighbor, on the other hand, is sure s/he’s got it right.

I’m being careful with my pronouns here because I’ve never actually seen this neighbor and don’t want to assume it’s a guy…which I kind of do.  Maybe I think it’s a guy because there’s been a ladder leaning against the side of the house for months and whenever I pass it I think of the dangers it presents to neighborhood children.  Now that I see this is the house of the harbinger of the apocalypse I better understand the ladder…which is still leaning.  I never stopped to warn s/him about the dangers of the ladder; I think the scary vibe was already in place even before the sign.  And I do find this religious shadow over that city block and over our lives scary.

I’d find it more effective to scan the skies for a landing of the TARDIS and just move on to another time in space with the Doctor.

I don’t want to be unpleasant about people’s spiritual beliefs.  But I feel spiritual stuff is very private and should stay that way.  Or at least s/he should skip the ugly signage and talk to a few very close friends who might benefit from spiritual guidance to prepare for their ascent or descent as the case may be.

Truth is I believe we’ve been on the road to the apocalypse since the fish emerged from the ooze, or the first bird went to land on her favorite dinosaur and there was not one to be found.  I saw the film “Apocalypse Now” and thought it a brilliant depiction of men enjoying a pointless war (kind of familiar, yes?) as well as bright light shone on one of those steps toward the end of civilization.  Slavery was another sign that the end is near.  The Trail of Tears, Hitler, missionaries in Hawai’i and Africa, genocides too numerous to mention, Roy Cohn, Glenn Beck—all clear indicators of end-times to me.

I just don’t think it’s an Armageddon type of thing—fire and brimstone.  The end is happening all around us, little by little civilization gets chipped away by a million things like disregard for others when you’re driving, misogyny, rape, Shell Oil, pettiness, gross negligence, honor killings, bullying, defunding public education, golden parachutes, all those things.  They are chisels chipping away at the fiber of society that we read about everyday not just on March 21st.

But I think a sign in the window only annoys the neighbors.  I don’t feel any especially focused piety emerging from that block when I walk by.  And Faith is something you feel rather than have solid evidence for so I’m assuming I’d feel something different. Maybe some of the folks are hedging their bets and putting a little extra in the collection plate if they’re of that persuasion.  Or maybe returning to those bed time prayers from childhood?

Since the end is supposed to be so near…less than three months at this point…I’m not sure how much good will you can buy with the ‘guy in the sky’ as (I think) Ricky Gervais called him in “The Invention of Lying” in such a short time. I’d prefer to use the date as a challenge…how much harder I can work for social change between now and then!  Maybe get some young women together and help them think about how powerful they are despite what they’re told every day.

Maybe an extra donation to SF Women Against Rape The annual walk is in April so just in case it is end I better send the money right now.

Not to purchase my way into heaven, a place I totally do not believe exists. It would be a great time, however, to see if I can deepen the impulse to improve the lot of the world and not just complain about it. I can use it as a chance not to scare people but to touch them. That’s what radical, leftist lesbians do when faced with the end of the world.

This planet, much as we have grown fond of it, is just a speck in the universe.  I feel pretty certain that any ending that comes will be of our own making not the guy in the sky.  Let’s meet back here in the spring and see how it went.

Jewelle Gomez is the author of 7 books including the lesbian vampire classic novel, The Gilda Stories.  Her new play about James Baldwin will be produced in September 2011. Follow her on Twitter: VampyreVamp.  Or her website:

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One comment

  • liza says:

    Wouldn’t you love to spot The Tardis!!! I’m not sure I’d be much of a companion, but I’d love to run into The Doctor. And I don’t believe in the end of days. Nonsense.