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[icon] Using whackjobs to amuse myself - Patti
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Subject:Using whackjobs to amuse myself
Time:02:26 am
There are billboards all over the bay area, and presumably the rest of the country, proclaiming that judgment day will be on May 21, 2011. At least around here, the billboards are done up in a fire-and-brimstone color scheme, I guess to scare us about what will happen if we don't pay attention.

The billboards all contain a link to FamilyRadio.com, which I guess is a chain of christian radio stations. The website gives a walkthrough of the math that they used in coming up with the May 21 date. It is... suspicious at best, and tends to involve a lot of handwaving and assumptions.

The local San Francisco affiliate is 610AM. I'll admit it... I enjoy a good freak show. Over the weekend I switched my radio away from NPR, and flipped it to the low end of the AM band.

The station is weird. As far as I can tell, it plays a lot of christian religious music interspersed with bible readings and inspirational messages. There's also a call-in show where people call in and ask the host about various bible verses, and the host gives his long, rambling interpretation of them in a moderately flat tone of voice. Today I heard a five-minute discussion about different uses of the word "before" in neighboring verses.

He also seems to give out advice, some of which doesn't seem to be too bad. One guy called in and said that his wife wants a divorce and he doesn't, and asked the host what he should do. The host gave a five-minute spiel about focusing on his own behavior, and treating his wife lovingly and affectionately regardless of how she might be behaving. "Pay attention to your own shortcomings and don't worry about hers." It's actually pretty good relationship advice.

I'll admit that I have the urge to prank the call-in show by constructing bible questions that will lead them into traps, but I won't do it. I have better things to do with my time.

I can only stomach so much of this station at a time, but I plan to flip back and forth between NPR and this station for the next few weeks. I'm really looking forward to hearing the fervor in mid-May, as well as the backpedaling on May 22.

Saturday night I went to see Justin Vivian Bond (who you may know as the mistress of Short Bus in the movie of the same name) in concert. She's a faaaaabulous cabaret singer, and it was an outstanding show. She mentioned these billboards during the show. "I pray that it's true. It would mean that all of those crazy people would be gone for good!"
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tigerknight
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Time:2011-04-11 11:24 am (UTC)
I saw one of those around here and it made me chuckle. The tag-line 'the bible GUARUNTEES it!' was just too much not to roll my eyes at.

It'll be interesting to see what sort of mania overcomes the country as that gets closer and then passes, along with the Mayan or whichever one of what.. Dec 11 2012?
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gunga_galunga
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Time:2011-04-11 01:20 pm (UTC)
The host should have the told the guy, "what does it matter if she wants a divorce, the world ends on May 21st!" I suspect very few of them are truly living as if they believe the world is ending.
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clutch_c
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Time:2011-04-11 02:37 pm (UTC)
The guy behind this is apparently Harold Camping, a 89-year old civil engineer. He predicted the end once before, in 1994, although he had the foresight then to say that 2011 looked good too. Based on this I conclude he is sincere, though deluded, because he was 73 in 1994 and it would take a lot of patience to set up a scam that would only pay off when he was 89.
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janinedog
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Time:2011-04-11 05:35 pm (UTC)
May 21 is conveniently a Saturday, so I'm planning on going to and/or throwing a party in celebration! :)
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gunga_galunga
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Time:2011-04-11 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm going to the U2 concert on the 21st. I'm kind of hoping that if the world is going to end it happens right in the middle of "Bullet the Blue Sky" or "Unforgettable Fire".
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[icon] Using whackjobs to amuse myself - Patti
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