The Rapture is scheduled for tomorrow, and this is roughly the 17th time in my life that all of us were supposed to die according to some kind of vague, medieval prediction. All of these Rapture predictions, of course, are born of hubris. Everyone wants to believe that they will be alive during the most momentous events in human existence — namely, the end of the world and first contact with space aliens. Everyone wants to be a witness to something completely beyond their grasp. That's why you have retards telling you that God is coming for the Big Payback, and why other yahoos go around telling you they got the ol' tractor-beam-and-anal-probe combo platter.
No one wants to believe the historical events of their lifespan will prove insignificant in the long run. But the truth, of course, is that your lifetime represents such an miniscule portion of the history of both the Earth and of the human race that it's hard to believe you'll have the good (or bad) fortune to be around for that PRECISE moment when everything goes to shit, or when a giant alien spacelog hovers around the Earth and demands that Captain Kirk travel back in time to go find some whales to shoot the shit with.
This is why Rapture predictions are so comically wrong. But it also explains why people are drawn to them. On the surface, I enjoy making fun of Rapture idiots as much as the next person. Ha ha, you'll lose your clothes… whatever. But, deep down, I also secretly wonder to myself if perhaps, this time, they're RIGHT. Ninety-nine percent of my brain knows it's bullshit (LEGIT 99%). The other one percent is busy packing, secretly praying it all comes true because who the fuck wouldn't want to see how it all ended? I know I would.
The question is… what would be the BEST way for all of us to go out? Let's assume the actual Rapture happens on Saturday and you, fair Deadspin reader, don't make it onto God's guest list, because God is an exclusionary prick like that. Here, according to a completely random website, is what will happen:
After The Rapture, God will begin executing judgments against unbelievers, during a period called the Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation all nations will attack Israel, and Jesus Christ will physically return, leading the armies of heaven. At the Battle of Armeggedon [sic] they will destroy everyone who is not a believer. Then Satan will be bound, and Jesus will set up the Millennial Kingdom, headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus and the saints will rule over the nations of the Earth for a thousand years. During this period there will be people born who are not loyal to Christ. However, it usually will not be obvious. Therefore, at the end of the thousand-year period, God will release Satan and let him tempt those who inhabit the Earth. A large group will take up arms against the Lord and be defeated. Then, Christ will judge all who have ever lived, giving rewards to some and punishment to others. Those who were "destroyed" will be cast into the Lake of Fire, i.e., Hell. After that, God will destroy heaven and Earth because they have been polluted by sin. He will create a new heaven and a new Earth, put those who were saved on the new Earth, and rule it forever.
So the Rapture, actually, isn't a real end-of-the-world scenario. It's more of a horrible ethnic cleansing scenario, where the Earth sticks around but you don't because you diddled yourself to Kiss's "Reason to Live" video. However, imagine Jesus personally returning to Earth and killing YOU! Yes, you! I have to say, if I'm gonna die at the hands of a bloodthirsty killer, I think having Jesus be that bloodthirsty killer would be AMAZING, if only for the irony.
But the above scenario is strictly a product of Christian dogma. There are other ways the world could end. Some fanciful. Some quite real. If you HAD to suffer through the end times, what would be coolest way to go out? I'd like to take a moment to rank the possibilities:
1. Alien Invasion
This is the best scenario because you get to experience both Armageddon and first contact. As I've noted before in the Funbag, not a day goes by when I don't look out my window and hope to see a giant fucking alien spaceship engulfing the sky, with little tiny individual spaceships orbiting around it. Then they start firing lasers and shit and sucking out our blood with their big vagina-mouths and we all die. As much as I would enjoy seeing the miraculous Second Coming of murderer Jesus, I say aliens are more exciting. It would be terrifying to be eaten by an alien. But somewhere in the middle of the disembowelment, I bet I'd secretly be saying to myself HOLY SHIT! I CAN'T BELIEVE AN ALIEN IS EATING ME! COOL!
2. Zombie Apocalypse
The dead rise, walk the Earth, and one bite turns you into one of them. Eventually, everyone gets converted and the living are wiped out entirely. The dead then roam the Earth forever, in search of fresh brains they'll never find. Sounds unpleasant. HOWEVER, you would hopefully get to kill at least one zombie before you were finally overtaken. And how many years of your life would you trade in for the right to kill just one zombie? I think I'd trade a year. If someone went up to me and said, "Hey fatty, you're gonna live till you're 66. But you can kill a zombie if you let us cut it down to 65," I'm all in.
The nice thing about an interplanetary collision is that we'd probably get a bit of advance notice. So you could have some time to say goodbye. You could say goodbye to your kids. You could ask the wife for sex one last time. You could try heroin. It's not like a zombie apocalypse, where the zombies just come out without warning and then BAM! You're fucked. This is a bit more elegant. Plus, I'm assuming that President Morgan Freeman would deem me cool enough to be included in the government's secret space station reserved for the 100 most important Americans, who will be counted on to find a new home and have lots of sexy space sex.
Okay, seeing Jesus in the flesh and seeing Satan in the flesh would be pretty exhilarating. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
5. Nuclear War
The scary thing about nuclear war, of course, is that it just takes one bomb to set it all in motion. And that seems inevitable at some point. Someone will blow up a suitcase nuke, and the resulting barrage will end up killing us all. If I die in a nuclear holocaust, I better die QUICKLY. I don't want to be one of those people that hangs around in the fallout zone and sprouts five ears on his head as a result of radiation poisoning. They showed pictures of a Chernobyl kid in Newsweek the other week and the kid had a head shaped like a mushroom and a left leg that had four different hinge joints. It was unpleasant to look at. I'll take sudden obliteration, thank you very much. That way, I can avoid both radiation poisoning and the profound regret I'd feel as being part of the generation that ended human existence. "I can't believe we let it get this far! I BLAME ROGER GOODELL!"
6. Massive Worldwide Earthquake
I think I'd rather see everything blow up in a nuclear war, than see it all reduced to rubble. Plus, I live in great fear of walking into a spontaneously formed crevasse in the Earth. I fear crevasses. Very dark, and awfully deep.
7. Spontaneous Worldwide Volcano Eruptions
And not just known volcanoes. I'm talking random hilltops in your neighborhood EXPLODING with red hot lava that ends up swallowing you up and burning you to a crisp. Painful? YOU BET! Cool to watch until the fire gets to your feet and begins destroying your nerve cells? Oh yes.
8. 100-Year Flood
And that's what watching The Killing more or less feels like. We get it. You're in Seattle. You don't need to hammer that point home so relentlessly. NOW TELL ME WHO KILLED ROSIE, DAMMIT.
9. Various Environmental Factors
Not only would it suck to see humanity killed by the Greenhouse Effect or by the polar ice caps melting and making the planet uninhabitable, but then I'd have to spend my remaining days guilt-tripped by the Tom Friedmans of the world about what a prick I was for using air conditioning. Fuck you. I like a frosty TV room.
This does not include any kind of zombie plague, where you get to kill zombies. This is just plain old SARS or bird flu or something boring that like, where you get sick and then you fucking die. Of all the endgame scenarios, I find this one among the least desirable. It's just so bland and predictable. Unless the disease in question is VAMPIRIC NYMPHOMANIA. Then I might adjust my ratings a bit.
I'm sure I missed out on a few other scenarios. By all means, bring them up in the comment section. And enjoy the end of the world.