The Thursday Blog: Wrath of God Edition

On the last day of 2010, 100,000 drum fish washed up dead on the banks of the Arkansas River. The next day between 4,000 and 5,000 red winged blackbirds rained dead from the sky less than one hundred miles away in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas. Two days later another five hundred or so blackbirds fell out of the air close to nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana, having died in mid-flight. Last Tuesday the Maryland Department of the Environment reported hundreds of thousands of fish, primarily croakers, suddenly died in the Chesapeake Bay… too many for an accurate initial count.

The explanation is obvious.

Churches in the affected areas are claiming that god is responsible, citing his holy pissed-offedness over everything from gays on television to Kathy Griffin making fun of Sarah Palin’s youngest daughter, Willow. The tinfoil hat crowd is pointing fingers at HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, which is a government lab that studies communications and surveillance in the ionosphere. They relate HAARP’s many other offenses, such as the murder of Senator Ted Stevens, the drought in Venezuela, and numerous floods and earthquakes around the world.

“Authorities” in Arkansas are claiming that the up to 5,000 birds who plunged from heaven there were so upset with the fireworks that they all collided in midair with one another, died, and fell to the ground to the horror of the children, and the delight of the childrens’ cats and dogs. Scientists are studying the corpses, but say they will likely never really know what happened to the birds, though the fish in Arkansas likely contracted a virulent illness, and those in the Chesapeake Bay could well have been over-stressed by a sudden and dramatic temperature drop.

The fact is that this sort of thing happens all the time. January 1976, 15 million spot (fish) died of “winter stress” in the Chesapeake Bay. The U.S. Geological Service, which keeps records of such things, lists 90 mass kills of wildlife in the United States, in the last six months alone, and says that this is not a bit unusual. Most times it’s a blip on the radar and no one pays much attention, but occasionally someone will notice, take a look back over the last few weeks or so and decide that the world is coming to an end.

For the sake of argument, let’s just say that I am god. (I am not saying that I actually am god, that would be crazy. Every person in the world should be left to make up their own mind about whether or not I am god.) So here I am, being god, and one day I say, “Hey, there’s nothing good on TV, I think I’ll destroy the world today!” But I decide that I want to warn the humans that it’s coming. There’s nothing they can do about it of course, but it always gives me a good chuckle to watch them run around in a big panic. So what do I do? On the one hand, I could make some birds die in mid-flight and rain like splatty feathered stones all over the town fair. The downside is that I do this all the time whenever I want to tell anyone anything (I am divinely angry about church attendance being down, there’s this Kathy Griffin woman, I ate cabbage and my bowels are bothering me…) and no one ever knows what I actually mean by it, but the upside is that there’s already a macro set up for it on my keyboard. I could write my intentions in the sky in giant, fiery, 1,000 foot tall letters… but really, I don’t actually owe those people anything, and I fucking hate feeling like I have to explain myself to anyone. Clearly there’s only one way to plainly say to the people of the world that I’m taking back my ball with actually saying it, so only the people I really like will understand and everyone else can go hang.

Willow Palin’s mommy, Sarah — in 2012.

58 Responses to The Thursday Blog: Wrath of God Edition

  1. Sounds to me like God is sniggering at the scientists from behind his hand and elbowing St. Peter or whoever happens to be nearby and saying “Now watch me really mess with their heads…now it’s gonna rain FROGS!”

    • I know he said she wasn’t qualified and that she is a distraction to “actual” politics, but I’m not sure what he said that would be of comfort if she got elected.

        • To me it was. I heard about that movie, supposed to be about the world ending and such(because of all the stupid religions that have roamed the earth of course the Mayans’ would be the one right about the end of the world…if they actually believed it was going to end like paranoid people say. There’s no real proof the new cycle or w/e starts with the old one going up in flames).
          Haven’t seen it. Can’t say it’s on my to-do list for the near decade, either.

          • Actually 2012 doesn’t END the Mayan Calandar, it’s just when they were scheduled to go out to the drugstore for a new one…of course since their Calandar was carved in stone and weighed something like a zillion pounds, and the lack of demand once their civilization went poof prevented publication of another.

          • To judge from the trailer, it’s about some guy called Emmerich destroying the world with gratuitous CGI and a hackneyed “family values” plot.

  2. As GM enjoying to make my own universes and systems, making up civilisations will often have me think up several religious systems but even the most backward troglodyte belief system makes more sense than that !

    • That’s because there are real gods in RPGs, so the people aren’t just praying to thin air. If there were gods in real life you wouldn’t call it stupid no matter how absurd the rituals and beliefs were. Believing in dragon gods and all the back-story about gods fighting each other a-la Greek mythology is just as silly as anything else we have, probably even more so than a “simple” omnipresent, omniscient, spectral deity like in Judaism.
      In the end it all hinges on whether or not the ritual works- if it does you end up showing your god-inspired powers, if not you end up looking a ridiculous fraud.

        • Not really getting your meaning there, happens quite a lot lately with short replies like that one. Please elaborate.

          All I was saying is that D&D religions and pantheons are just as silly as anything “real” we have, probably because they’re based on those in the first place. And that the only reason we don’t laugh at them is that in D&D those myths are the truth and you’d get hit for 100d20’s worth of lightning damage if you say there’s no god. And because it’s a game and we take it as part of the story.

  3. I am Christian, but was raised atheist until converting in my early twenties, so I have a little different perspective than some who have grown up with it…

    See, sometimes I think God gets like a pissed-off woman, who gives ominous signs that you did SOMETHING WRONG but when asked (if you have the nerve to ask, and don’t just play ostrich and hope it blows over which will inevitably make it worse) responds with an angry “you should already know why I’m mad!” And, y’know, I think it’s for much the same reason- He wants you to *care* enough about Him to read what He’s already told you, figure it out, and get your act together. Or at least say “I’m sorry, I blew it.” The good thing about saying this to God, though, is that unlike a pissed-off woman, God forgives! And He doesn’t get mad all over again when you say “I blew it, now can you tell me what I did wrong so I can try not to do it again?” He actually likes that- it means you love Him enough to try.

    And yeah, I do think the end times are coming up fast, but not just because of mass wildlife deaths. There are going to be some epic “rocks fall, everybody dies” moments as He starts opening seals, and I’m glad I’m going to be watching it from Heaven, not experiencing it personally.

    • “There are going to be some epic “rocks fall, everybody dies” moments as He starts opening seals

      OMG(as in “exclamation”, not “a cry for help from one’s deity-of-choice” :P), Xykon is real and he’s about to release the Snarl?!
      But wait, does that mean Vaarsuvius is real too? Because I could totally go for that ambiguous-gender hot&nerdy Elf thing right before I die. Or maybe I’d go really wild and pick Sabine, as she can change herself at will and as a demon(or daemon?) I don’t think she has many inhibitions, if you know what I mean. 😉

      • Y’know, I think I’ve seen both of those at Ren Faires and Star Trek conventions. Okay, maybe not V & Sabine exactly, but close enough.

        Hmmm- that’s a thought- a kind of alarming one- Satan, not seeing anyone native to this planet as quite evil enough for his liking, nabs Xykon out of the Interwebs to serve as his Antichrist….

    • Seal guts everywhere…

      Jesus was preaching the end of the world in his own lifetime too. The Beast is taken by (even faithful) biblical scholars to mean Rome, which Jesus apparently felt was going to destroy the world.

      Just sayin’…

      • I think you mean the Apostle John, not Jesus. Jesus is QUOTED in the bible, he didn’t write it. And the events in Revelation were in a vision John had AFTER the big J had shuffled off the mortal coil the second time. Jesus had very little opinion on Rome as quoted in the Bible other than “Pay your taxes, ya greedy sod!” (OK, so the translation said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, but that’s what he MEANT.)

        • Sorry, I can see how that might have been confusing. I should have said that Jesus interpreted the Beast to be Rome.

          I haven’t read as much about John. He may have felt similarly.

    • The thing that scares me is that you’ll be in heaven, but still enjoying watching people get their heads crushed in by rocks.

      Then again, I laugh every time piggy gets it in lord of the rings, but I realized I wasnt going to heaven a long time ago.

      • Christians are forgiven, not perfect (yet)! 😛

        And besides, wouldn’t it just be cool to watch an epic-level Paladin smite armies of demons?

        But, really, why do you think I bring it up? (especially knowing I’m vastly outnumbered and an Acceptable Target) Y’all are funny, I don’t want to see you smooshed. Far rather have you cheering and laughing and snarking at the bad guys while sitting next to me on the cloud… :mrgreen:

        • You’re assuming everyone here would rather be cheering on the fluffy white clouds instead of spreading death and mayhem everywhere for the armies of Hell.
          Go Chaos! 😈

    • Kat, i once managed to make one of these holier-than-thou-and-we-are-the-only-whom-are-truly-saved-by-GOD run after me and try to kill me with an umbrella because i said; “Yes, i believe she is black” when yellingly asked; “if i believed in the Almighty GOD, you miserable sinner” by this rather mentally unstable old lady.
      Ah, the joy of being 14 and a true smartass…. :mrgreen:

      I still counts this as a major achievment… 🙄

      • I like! (The smartass part, as well as the total wig-out in response.) Those types bug me too, always have. Of course, now that I’m a Christian and don’t have much call to use it, I’ve come up with a couple responses (variations included)- “Who died and made you god? How do YOU know that I’m going to hell? Isn’t that His call?”

          • Technically God would be Genderless…”he” can be whatever “he” wants to be, whenever “he” wants to.

            • That’s just poor male excuses. While God could easily take the form of anything she chooses her true, natural form is of a female. And a rather cute female at that, even with her terrible voice.

    • FUN FACTS TIME!

      1) Remember Y2K? And how it was going to be the end of the world?
      2) Remember that whole “the world is going to end” phase known as the Cold War?
      3) Did you know that people were announcing the end of the world during WW2 due to all of the signs of the apocalypse being there?
      4) Did you know that people really did expect the world to end almost immediately during WW1 due to the unprecedented scale of pretty much every sign of the apocalypse? (Look up the Spanish Influenza, yo.)

      I am sure you get the point. The world’s ALWAYS “about to end.” Always.

      *May or may not contain actual fun facts.

      • Heck, there are “end of the world” scares every few years…serves to flush out the Loonies. If they’re not selling “Comet Pills” (1910 New York Times story about the descovery of trace amounts of Cyanagen in the tail of Haleys’ comet led to a big boom in Gas Mask sales and “Comet Pills” (See: Snake Oil) ) Then they’re making movies about boring slideshows with science so inaccurate the movie can’t be shown in British schools without passing out a study guide listing the inaccuracies… ( http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/10/09/court-identifies-eleven-inaccuracies-al-gore-s-inconvenient-truth )

        Of course the most fun “end of the world” loonies are cults like Heaven’s Gate or the followers of Louis Farrakhan (Mother wheels? Spaceships? Cool!)

        • Personally I prefer the ones that commit mass suicides. Serves the rest of us the trouble of tracking them down one by one to do it ourselves.

    • “I’m glad I’m going to be watching it from Heaven, not experiencing it personally”

      Go on telling yourself that. You do know the seats are strictly limited and the tickets were all sold out approximately, oh, 2000 years ago, right? 🙄

      • Besides, only Jews are allowed, so shove off, Christian infidel! 👿

        I can’t decide what word I like better, “infidel” or “heretic”. Overall I think “heretic” sounds better(and it’s in the title of one of my favorite books, Heretics of Dune, which these days I’m rereading yet again), but “infidel” seems to flow better in a sentence for some reason. Am I right that “infidel” denotes a believer of a different faith(or atheist) while “heretic” also has the meaning(and perhaps more so than than the first meaning) of believer in a different part of the same religion, e.g Catholic&Protestant?

        • Right. An infidel was a term for a “false believer”, someone who is not of the same religion. A “heretic” however, is by definition someone of the same religion whose faith merely differs in some element from the ruling orthodoxy. So technically, an unbeliever cannot ever be a heretic. He might be a blasphemer, though.

          But really, if you ask zealot Christians, orald, no Jews are allowed into Christian Heaven, either.

          But then, the whole Rapture bullshit isn’t even in the Bible, but was an invention by an American fundi author, the “Left Behind” series. Being German, I had never even heard of it until I was an adult when I stumbled across this piece of American belief. Ask a random person in Germany what “The Rapture” is supposed to be and they won’t know. But after I had read about the Left Behind books, I could finally understand the reference for plot points and pictures in American movies, television and novels. It’s all over Fantasy literature: In the original Dragonlance trilogy, all the clerics of the gods were raptured up into heaven before the gods smashed the asteroid into the continent. In Angel, the spin-off series to Buffy, Cordelia (as a medium and conduit to the Powers That Be) is abducted into “heaven” from her moving car and hangs around in a light-filled place from where she can watch her friends but cannot help them… until she finds out the “angel” she trusted is really a demon. And I remember reading, many years ago, an Science Fiction short story by… I don’t remember, some famous author, mayhe Heinlein? Poul Anderson?… I think it was called “The Harvest” or similar; about energy-being aliens watching the Earth from above, where mankind is obliterating itself in a nuclear Armageddon; and as the souls of the dead rise towards the skies, the winged aliens think “Finally the time of the reaping has come.” and swallow the screaming souls one after another. (Mind you, I read it in German.)

          I have dim, vague memories of something I saw as a small child while my parents were channel-hopping, what I perceived as a horror movie back then, but what might have been The Late Great Planet Earth movie adaption, with George Orwell as the narrator. I only remember the scenes of people being sucked up from their speeding cars by some alien force, causing mass collisions, and fires consuming cities, and some sort of glowing monstrous Jesus figure floating above it. I found it pretty sick.

          Similarly with vague recollections I have of scenes of Ingmar Bergman’s movie The Seventh Seal.

          Maybe that contributed to my healthy disgust of all religious fundamentalists. I keep wondering if these people remember that hubris is supposed to be the deadliest sin of all?

          I must’ve watched some weird movies at a far too young age, although I didn’t watch that much TV. But hey, I also saw Orwell’s Animal Farm as a child (maybe my parents mistakenly thought it’s an animated movie with talking animals, hey it must be for children). Yikes. Good thing I could balance it out with liberal doses of Star Trek TOS and Raumschiff Orion and Timetunnel. I found aliens less terrifying than the goddamn Smurfs.

          • Eh, the Rapture doctrine is way older than the Left Behind series. I won’t bore people with apologetics here, but http://www.raptureready.com/ contains a good set of articles about what it is and where it’s from (especially check the Pretribulation Rapture section). As I said, I converted as an adult, so was able to decide on my own what made the most sense. I feel like the Pre-trib rapture position lines up better with the Bible than the mid-trib or Millenial or some of the other doctrines.

            Hey- you were raised on TOS, too? I remember watching reruns of it with my Dad when I was just a wee one.

          • For me “Blasphemer!”(always with an exclamation mark!) always brings to mind the stoning scene from Life of Brian, so I’ll never be able to use it seriously.

            “But really, if you ask zealot Christians, orald, no Jews are allowed into Christian Heaven, either.”
            Yeah, but why would I care to ask the opinion of an infidel from a shoddy religion set up by heretics who followed some small-time cult leader that no one of import gave a frack about at the time?

            Meh, the whole thing about Christianity and Islam is that they’re cheap copies of something that wasn’t all that worth copying in the first place, and it makes me laugh how believers of those denominations actually take them seriously. It all turns into bitter laughter though when I think how $cientology could become a legitimate religion in a century or two, with even the unbelievers not realizing what it was all about when it started or Hubbard being a pulp sci-fi writer etc.

  4. According to an Israeli news site there was also another such mass death in Sweden today, but I can’t be sure as the news sites here lie about and manipulate just about every other piece of news.

      • They died from injuries sustained from being hit by one or several vehicles. They had been found just sitting on the middle of the road and not moving even when cars were approaching. One explanation is that most birds in Sweden are weak after the harsh winter and there had been some fireworks going on in the area previously, which might have startled and disoriented the already weak birds, sending them in a state of shock, hence why they didn’t move.

      • I’m too lazy to, and I trust the big news-agencies like CNN or BBC etc just a little more than what we have here, and that trust level is just above whatever politicians promise during election time, so not so much.

  5. Today is the News ESP was found by some crazy university as being possible. God is just pissed off there are now all these people peeping in on him.

    hmm… or evil geniuses using new profound brain enhancing domes to insight fear into small animals… yes…

  6. It will be Palin in 2012 because there is no Republican left besides her that has even a quarter teaspoon of charisma. Seriously when McCain is your most charming guy you’re fucked. Unless it’s my own governor Arnold Schwarz… shudders. Anywayz it’s not HARP in my opinion, it’s the giant flying invisible space amoebas eating their souls, and as you said Kevin, it happens all the time. Just be glad they’re not allowed to eat humans. Anymore.

  7. Besides, only Jews are allowed, so shove off, Christian infidel! 👿 I can’t decide what word I like better, “infidel” or “heretic”. Overall I think “heretic” sounds better(and it’s in the title of one of my favorite books, Heretics of Dune, which these days I’m rereading yet again), but “infidel” seems to flow better in a sentence for some reason. Am I right that “infidel” denotes a believer of a different faith(or atheist) while “heretic” also has the meaning(and perhaps more so than than the first meaning) of believer in a different part of the same religion, e.g Catholic&Protestant?