So Saturday came and went and there was no Rapture or impending Armageddon, despite what all of Harold Camping’s billboards said…
Apparently Camping has revised his date again, now predicting — his third one — that the Apocalypse will happen later this year, on October 21.* Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool enough people into funding a $120 million radio empire, including sucking up some folks’ entire retirement savings or their kids’ college funds? I think Donald Trump might have a job for you.
* Although, to be fair, predicting the date of the Apocalypse is pretty challenging. Even Jesus got it wrong, and he’s the dude in charge of the shindig. (In Matthew, Jesus says to one of his congregations “There are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom… This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”)
It’s fine and dandy to nitpick Camping’s nitwit predictions on any number of grounds. I already suggested that the arithmetic constructions involved in his calculations were less the consequence of reasoned deduction than of an Ass Pull. Others (like Willy Graham) argue that Camping could not determine the dates of events predicted in the Bible from the Bible itself because the Bible itself clearly says these events cannot be predicted; also,
Others have argued that we missed the Rapture by several millions years: after all, what else could have killed all the dinosaurs?
Me personally? I don’t think we have to worry about some supernatural Superman coming down from the clouds to destroy humanity…
I think the iPhone’s gonna do it for us.
The G in 4G must stand for Goodbye
Well, not just the iPhone per se; rather smart phones and smart TVs will destroy humanity. It’s not like it’s even a secret or a conspiracy. Pretty much every smart-device commercial depicts its four-step plan to eliminate mankind in gory detail.
Phase 1. Minimize our interactions in the real world.
For example, take the Galaxy Tab commercial in which a lone man navigates his way through life always looking through a computer screen, only vaguely aware of the bustling real world in the periphery of his vision: he walks alone, he eats alone, and when he finally manages to speak with another human soul, he cannot bare to do in person. Or indeed, wearing pants.
This is a selling point for your product? This was what we were trying to stop the bad robots from doing in The Matrix!
Or consider the Sumsung commercial in which a troubled couple, unable to speak to or even look at each other, can only bring themselves to communicate through their television set.
Granted, this one theoretically ends on a happy note, but note that the gal changes her status to Single even though she’s married to the guy? No only is she a stone-cold bitch, but this reveals the second phase of our phone-inflicted extinction:
Phase 2. Render us incapable of basic interaction with human beings.
Take, for example, the AT&T commercial of two guys in a ski lift, one of whom is so entranced by his smartphone that he is completely incapable of displaying anything resembling tact or common decency for the feelings of his friend.
Dude’s lucky Zack Galifianakis didn’t throw his ass off the ski lift instead of just his phone.
If that’s not grim enough, AT&T goes further in another commercial in which 5 human beings, confined in a claustrophobic space traveling to a common destination, nevertheless grimly stare at their smartphones rather than interact with (or indeed, even acknowledge the existence of) each other.
Also, one of them has become so sedentary in his phone-induced stupor as to develop a crippling case of asthma, which gives us insight into the third phase of the Phonageddon.
Phase 3. Render us incapable of perpetuating the species.
Just look at the Windows Phone commercial in which a skydiver is so lost in his smart-toy that he nearly becomes a Darwin Award recipient.
(Did you also notice his friend is a victim of Phase 2?)
Or take another Windows commercial, which shows that it’s not enough to just that smartphones make us so stupid as to be unable to appreciate our own survival (although, to be fair, there are many examples of just this behavior in the clip). No, the phones have to make us uninterested in creating future generations too:
That’s Christina Cuenca in a nightie! Put down the freaking Farmville, dude!
So, what’s left after the human race is dumb, catatonic, and sterile?
Phase 4. Metamorphonsis.
Go out and spread the news! Our destruction is imminent if we don’t change our ways!
I’ll get to it in just a bit, after I update by Facebook status and finish this round of Angry Birds.