After the Rapture, we will use the abandoned churches as raw material for barricades

 “I’ll say, ‘Oh, what are we going to do this summer?’ She’s going to say, ‘The world is going to end on May 21, so I don’t know why you’re planning for summer,’ and then everyone goes, ‘Oh, boy,’ ” he said. 

The two very refreshing things about the incontrovertible fact of the world's end on Saturday is that:

1) A rather notable distance from the Punctual End of the World as it's come to be cinematically composed, which - think Deep Impact, Armageddon, everything Emmerich touches - means an overabundance of schmaltzy last goodbyes and familial reconciliation, at the last possible instance.  Instead, the accounts so far have a thankfully quotidian, disabused bent to them:

She and her twin, Faith, have a friend’s birthday party Saturday night, around the time their parents believe the rapture will occur. 

“So if the world doesn’t end, I’d really like to attend,” Grace said before adding, “Though I don’t know how emotionally able my family will be at that time.” 

 With any luck, the beaches will not be overcrowded by awful born-agains in mom jeans clutching their previously secular-nihilist-flock straying children (who know have seen the error of their ways, and they know that their dad really loved them and that they didn't appreciate the traditional family values imposed on them enough and yes, there is no time left, but still, at least we can share each other and God as we're totally obliterated by a wave), as the Christian Right gets one final victory jab in with its infinitely desired we told you so.  Instead, those children will be off hating their dismal conservative parents, having sex at parties, reading Cioran, and swimming in the dark ocean, with no tidal wave or cloying scene in sight.


This is actually a win-win situation.  For either:

the Rapturites are wrong, and it's rather neutral, because they were jack-asses from the start, but even if one can't generate any pleasure from watching their frantic post-explanation about necessary recalibration (no pleasure there because we exist in a world in which these people aren't truly laughed out of the room to start), perhaps it will encourage their children to cut ties once and for all.

Or they are right, which would be some excellent news.  For:

Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, Judgment Day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months. 


On that day, arrived at through a series of Bible-based calculations that assume the world will end exactly 7,000 years after Noah’s flood, believers are to be transported up to heaven as a worldwide earthquake strikes. Nonbelievers will endure five months of plagues, quakes, wars, famine and general torment before the planet’s total destruction in October. 

By "plagues, quakes, wars, famine, and general torment," I assume to be meant the general state of human existence under capitalism.  It's near impossible for any notion of Doomsday to have real purchase in a world order that brushes itself off and plows ahead after, for instance, the Tōhoku quake, after Syria keeps firing on its own, after everything.

That is to say, we get five months of business as usual without Christians.  That is, five months of the contradictions of capital minus a significant portion of the conservative population here and elsewhere, from CEOs to morally-justifying racists and misogynists, all lifted up and out, leaving a structure of power wobbling and full of holes.  And we know that none of us will be saved, meaning that in this slightly teetering order free of evangelicals, we can get busy wrecking what remains and saving ourselves, if only for a couple weeks, a day, of existence without the social relations of value.

Skyline mapped by burning churches, from Ealham's Anarchism and the City, via Cartographies

We just may be a step closer to communising measures, or at the least, to really strutting like the damned we're alleged to be.  To taking over the now empty churches and using them as collective housing, as sites for black metal shows, as refuge and hospital, as raw materials for barricades.  They were fools to leave before we do.  The Vatican will be our strong-hold.  And they will cry in heaven when they see how we decorate the place.  Hint: gold melts at 1948 degrees Farenheit.

Once more, comrades, if you want to be heretics!


gamefaced said...


Renegade Eye said...

Get ready to do some looting.

Drew said...

Funny article no doubt, but I was a bit perplexed as to what you meant by this statement:

"By "plagues, quakes, wars, famine, and general torment," I assume to be meant the general state of human existence under capitalism."

This remark reminds me of Evan Calder Williams' remarks on capitalism representing hell on earth. How Williams' would seek to explain the supposed non-hell of a non-capitalist world is beyond me, seeing as mankind has lived in general unrelenting misery for millions of years prior to capitalism even existing. To take a page from Hobbes, I find it more likely that current capitalist order is the least of our problems, not the worst of all possible worlds. Likewise, I wonder what a socialist answer to this hell would even consist of. Is socialism capable of preventing famine, corruption, inequality, earthquakes, and so on? Not likely as it its track record is as identically miserable as that of neoliberalism, if not more. If socialism is to be successful, it needs to stop dabbling in utopian its-all-good fantasies and admit, just as Marx did, that capitalism is a positive force that overcame much of human suffering and need, but that could be replaced with something more efficient.

socialism and/or barbarism said...


"This remark reminds me of Evan Calder Williams' remarks on capitalism representing hell on earth."

Are you not aware that I am that Mr. Williams?

And in very, very brief:

I have never claimed that life was "better" before capitalism. One of the main arguments in the book is the rejection of any nostalgia for previous eras. The domination and subjugation of the species by itself is a very, very old habit. What is distinct about capital are its particular contradictions. Such contradictions form the ground of any communism worth the name.

But if you really believe that "the current capitalist order is the least of our problems," then I highly suspect that you and I have very, very little to say to one another.