I don't spend a lot of time demeaning somebody else's beliefs. It's not my personality, and I while I enjoy being right as much as any of this generation, I don't seem to draw the pleasure out of proving anybody wrong that a lot of people do*. I just tend to disagree, but go on about my business, mumbling quietly to myself about all the idiocy in the world.
And there is much. Don't get me wrong on that count. You can't sling a handful of gravel without hitting three or four ridiculous ideas, especially in this neck of the woods. But most of them don't hurt people, and most of them are well-intentioned, so again, I just go on about my way. Especially since the local municipality has many opinions about my slinging gravel, largely toward the negative on that action.
All said, I tend to watch things with bemusement. It's how I do a lot of things. I'm a tremendous people-watcher. Don't know if I've ever mentioned that. Give me a good vantage point, and I can people watch and enjoy more than just about any sporting or entertainment venue.
And it was largely with bemusement that I watched May 21 approach, given Harold Camping's prediction of Rapture, with the End Times following immediately after. Don't know why this particular ominous announcement seemed to catch as much media attention (ahem, aside from the millions of dollars spent for self-promotion in terms of broadcast and roadside billboards, etc.) But the world picked this ball up and ran with it, and by the end of the week, you couldn't turn on the teevee without hearing even the guys on SportCenter mentioning it.
Most of it was tongue-in-cheek and I was not immune. I am nothing if not infinitely snarky.
But there was one aspect of this whole thing that really bothered me.
The money expenditure.
Money's been something on my mind a little bit for the past several weeks and months. There have been some expenditures that you have to make in the course of life, and there have been a lot of hours worked. It's one of those things...I say "working like a botard" a lot around these parts, but I think I've worked more from February to May than any other 3 month period in my life. The amount of money you pull in on salary really doesn't compare to the hours put in, especially with the price of gas going up, and having to spend money on life's little inconveniences.
I say all that to say this: while the numbers fluctuate depending on who reports them, I'm hearing a bottom line of at least 8 digits spent to advertise Camping's Idiocy, be it broadcast, print or roadside media, and that number could stretch into the 100's of millions of dollars.
I'm not a religious guy. I'll say that. There was a time in my life, but this isn't it. And a lot of this is why: too much Gloom and Doom...not enough using of resources to actually do some good in this world. How much of the money spent on billboards could have helped Tornado Cleanup efforts? Flood relief? Japanese Earthquake relief?
Look, I'm all for you spending your money however you see fit. Even the disaster movie fan in me has no use for the gloom and doom prophecy. My point, and I do have one, is this: If you have this disposable income, and it's just burning holes in your pockets, why not give it to a truly good cause out there. Red Cross? Cancer Research? Literacy Programs? Humane Society? Sending Tommy on a vacation that doesn't involve somebody saying "Staycation, huh?"
So anyway. If you're one of these people who lost your life savings sending it to a person I regarded as a Dementia patient from the moment I saw him? No sympathy over here, chief. I hope, this morning, you feel like the world's biggest idiot.
Not the way I normally feel about things, but that's where we are, this May 22. And since we are here, I thought I'd write about it.
Anyway, I hope the rest of you have a tremendous rest of the weekend.
*There are people I enjoy proving wrong with a passion, but mostly the revolve around the Designated Hitter rule....