Doomsday day: Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
OK, first of all, sorry for this rush post. It's got to go up quick because, well, you know, Saturday is doomsday day, so talk about publish or perish!
Honestly, I hadn't put much stock in this latest prediction. The Times, for example -- which, naturally, is where I go for all my serious news -- posted a snarky photo gallery headlined "Apocalypse when?: May 21 and other doomsday dates on film."
It recalled fun predictions from the "Terminator" movies and the like -- all wrong, of course. (Trust me, though, the photo folks here can afford to be snarky: None of them will be going if the "rapture" does arrive.)
But then I dug a little deeper into the paper, and things got scarier.
In the Business section Friday, for example, was this story, "Chrysler to repay bailout." It seems that the automaker will pay back money the U.S. government loaned it to stave off bankruptcy two years ago.
This is either a sign of the apocalypse or of hell freezing over -- which may be the same thing, actually. (I admit I'm a little sketchy on evangelical Christianity and the like.)
In the same section was "Facebook gets grilled in hearing on privacy." Staff writer Jim Puzzanghera reported:
A leading senator, angry that Facebook Inc. failed to stop millions of preteens from using its social networking site, accused co-founder Mark Zuckerberg of lacking "social values" and being more concerned with building the company than with children's privacy.
"It's my general feeling that people who are 20, 21, 22 years old really don't have any social values at this point," Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) told another top Facebook executive at a hearing Thursday.
See what I mean? If Mark Zuckerberg lacks social values, and so do most of our young people, what hope is there for Earth?
Then there's this shocking front-page news: "Ebersol leaving NBC Sports."
Dick Ebersol, one of the most influential and colorful figures in sports television for the last four decades, abruptly quit as chairman of NBC Sports Group less than a year before he was to produce what many expected to be his crowning achievement -- the 2012 Olympic Games from London.
So now I'm thinking, hey, if anyone knows there's no point in going on, it's Ebersol. Is he headed for that cave with the ships in China, like in that doomsday movie "2012"?
Of course, obviously not everyone has gotten the news, or believes it. Take Republican Tim Pawlenty.
"No more exploring: Tim Pawlenty will announce candidacy Monday," The Times reported Friday. Yes, the former Minnesota governor will make official his run for the GOP presidential nomination, but not until Monday.
Personally, I think this puts Pawlenty in a tough spot. I mean, the GOP's evangelical wing can't be happy with this blatant diss: Couldn't he have waited to announce that he's going to announce until he's sure the rapture hasn't arrived? Or, is Pawlenty suggesting that the rapture will arrive Saturday but he's not going to be among the chosen, so he can wait for Monday. But if that's the case, why vote for him?
On such weighty decisions are presidential races won and lost.
Anyway, there are plenty more signs, and stories, and permutations.
But as I said, I've gotta get this post up quick.
Oh, and good luck with that announcement speech, Tim.
-- Paul Whitefield
Photo: A scene from "2012." Credit: Columbia TriStar