Friday, May 20, 2011

In This, Our Last Day on Earth...

It has come to my attention from certain reputable sources (i.e. people wearing t-shirts distributing pamphlets on the subway) that the world will end tomorrow, May 21st, 2011. Or the Rapture will happen and the world will be destroyed by fire in October or something to that effect. Whatever the case, I am here to dispel fears and reassure the frightened masses that the world WILL NOT END at the said date and time. And no, don't expect me to go into a scientific breakdown of the diarrhea that issues from senile West Coast ministers who haven't enough brains to blow on hot soup. I'm going to give you REAL reasons why the world can't possibly end and that it will endure far longer than any millenarian cultist will tell you. I present:


1. Maria and I have not yet married. They say you're supposed to present your strongest argument last, but to hell with that. Let us just say that if God decides to Rapture all his chosen people into heaven tomorrow after all the time and effort that Maria and I (but especially Maria) have put into this glorious event, he's got something worse than Satan's wrath to deal with - the wrath of Ms. Olsen. I am relatively sure that my mother would punch him in his perfect, omnipotent face if he did ANYTHING the mar the plans of our Blessed Event. I can already see him whining, droplets of precious blood staining his millennia-whitened beard, apologizing to the 5'1" behemoth that just bitch-slapped him. One minute with Ms. Olsen, and I'm certain that God would return the world to its former splendor and pretend that none of that nonsense ever happened.
Which reminds me, the vote! I had every intention of blowing off the dozens of voters who opted for the blue whale tie and choosing another tie. J. Press was having a sale this week, and so I popped into their store on Madison Avenue, where I was greeted by their best salesman, Mark Clark. I was about to buy a 25% off burgundy tie with white colored polka dots, but none was available. Whilst perusing the other ties, my eyes fell upon the whale tie. In the sales pitch of the century, Mark pressed the tie into my hands and said, "It was practically made for that suit." Long story short, you win voters. This time.

2. They Might Be Giants have not yet released their latest adult-oriented album, Join Us. Scientists have proven that God is a huge TMBG geek. No way would he call it all quits before Brooklyn's Ambassadors of Love, who have been installing and servicing melodies since 1982, got their chance to release another album. It's just - not - happening.

3. I am not finished reading The Autobiography of Mark Twain. And even if this will be the last day of Earth, let it be known that I'm GLAD the last book I shall have read was Mark Twain's autobiography. Have you ever wondered what it's like to be an old, bitter man, sitting in bed reading newspaper clippings and ranting to a stenographer about how biographies SHOULD be written and completely dodge the subject of your own personal life and matters entirely? Then this is your book. Of the over 700 cereal box-sized pages, only about 250 contain the autobiography proper - if you can call this a proper autobiography. The balance consists entirely of scholarly bullshit more suited to the kindling pile than to literature bearing the name Mark Twain. I can just picture how Twain would have felt about 500 pieces of paper wasted by doctors and post graduates trying to guess and surmise what he wanted the people of 2010 to read. It's insufferable.
And as I said, Twain does everything in his power not to talk about himself. His topics range from the distasteful decorations of his living quarters, to the iniquity of Jay Gould, to explanatory notes on a biography written about him by his deceased daughter (which is brilliant), to overbearing landlords. And perhaps one of the funniest things is his insistence on bringing up the subject of a woman being escorted out of President Roosevelt's White House because the President hadn't time to meet with her.
Of course this anecdote only serves to prove his thesis that all news fades away and becomes unimportant; that big stories of the day just aren't as big as you get further from them. Still, those juicy little headlines are oddly entertaining to read 100 years after the events that caused them to be printed transpired. He apparently wanted to make a literary magazine consisting solely of seemingly inane newspaper clippings from decades ago. Notwithstanding, he keeps bringing up the subject of a woman being forcibly removed from the White House. Now naturally I was astonished by this whole anecdote, as the idea of a normal citizen waltzing into the national mansion is impossible to comprehend. No doubt they'd be shot by a sniper before they had a chance to wipe their feet nowadays. But Mr. Twain is BESIDE himself with anger at President Roosevelt for not dealing with this issue more delicately. Any modern reader would find this whole event asinine; the concept of someone entering the White House without a birth certificate and passport and a writ of consent signed in triplicate by Jesus Christ himself is baffling to the modern reader. But Mark Twain included it in his biography.
There is one matter of the autobiography that does pertain to tomorrow's (fictitious) events. Twain recalls the night in Hannibal, Missouri when the real person upon whom Injun Joe was based died. A massive thunderstorm struck the Mississippi River town that turned the streets into muddy rivers. Twain was certain that the thunderstorm was the Devil coming for Injun Joe's soul. It is perhaps coincidental that the weather here in Brooklyn has been rainy, and that thunderstorms haunt the forecast for the next 6 days as well.

4. If the following clip did not produce a black hole that consumed the world and all of time and space with it, THEN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL DESTROY THE WORLD*.

Fig. 1: Daniel Patrick Moynihan v. William F. Buckley, Jr.

Wow. Just. Wow.
The late Senator Moynihan frequents this blog often - because he was the greatest senator of all time - but I think this marks Mr. Buckley's first appearance in this corner of the interpipes. What can be said of this video? Here are two persons who have mastered the English language on entirely different levels. Moynihan's command of English sees him picking esoteric, professorly words, intentionally fumbling whilst searching for words, over-elaborating vowels for the purpose of drawing attention to his word choice, and syncopating the syllables of important words. It's wonderful to watch. And I have always been jealous of his style of public speaking. There is something very commanding and patrician about his speaking style.
But then there's William F. Buckley, Jr., whose voice is like butter melting over warm blueberry muffins. Perhaps no one else on Earth has ever had such an accent; a mid-Atlantic verging on BBC received pronunciation, peppered with Southern twangs and toothy whistles on chosen S's. Listen to him say, "'Your immortal soul,' the monseigneur replied," on repeat, and tell me if you aren't immediately transported to the Twilight Zone. And how I ENVY someone who can get away with unapologetically pronouncing the highest office of the United States as "prez-dint," only to follow it with a pure New Orleans "Caw-tuh." Buckley's pronunciation of Jimmy Carter's name and title make the erstwhile Commander-in-Chief sound less like a cardigan-clad peanut farmer and more like THE MOST POWERFUL MAN ON PLANET EARTH.

Fig. 2: This style is acceptable only for soft-spoken Pennsylvanians on public television - not men who can hit buttons that annihilate entire nations.

So what does this have to do with Doomsday or the Rapture? Simple. The fact that two of the most fantastic public speakers in American history were able to sit next to one another in a television studio and exchange such exquisitely embellished English words without a space-time rift opening up and the voice of Stephen Hawking announcing the impending doom of Earth bears testament that this world will CAN WITHSTAND ANYTHING.
Ozone holes?
Global warming?
More like a tiny fever!
Bill Buckley and Pat Moynihan SPEAKING AT ONE ANOTHER.

* - The death of the sun will likely destroy this world, but humanity will likely have colonized space at that point - hopefully.

So ladies and gentlemen, we are quite safe. So long as Ms. Olsen, John Linnell, John Flansburg, Mark Twain's Autobiography, and video recordings of a well-spoken Senator and a butter-voiced conservative pundit exist, GOD WILL NOT DESTROY HIS MOST FAVORED CREATION.

...but have a drink on my account just in case.


  1. Mulcahy and I were talking about this and I was saying that if God is truly loving and wants us to be happy (which I believe he does), he wouldn't destroy the world before the last Harry Potter movie came out. To which Mulcahy responded, "maybe we'll get to watch it in heaven..."

  2. DPM looks extremely uncomfortable in that chair.