One Month of Hiding Under the Table…and Nobody Noticed!

28 06 2011

Can I have my stuff back please?

21st June, 2011 was the longest day of the year. The day of the summer solstice, the day when the free-standing rocks at Stonehenge receive the devoted attention of those who believe themselves to exist outside of “society”. The day when the sun sets later than at any other point in the calendar and the day when the long winter nights begin drawing closer again.

It was also the day when I decided to return from my self-imposed media exile following the end of the world a month earlier.

Which to my surprise hadn’t happened. In fact it seemed that the non-appearance of the Rapture hadn’t had an effect on anybody in the public eye – or even those who don’t crave Z-List Celebrity status.

The ironic news that Harold Camping (the bloke who had confidently predicted the apocalypse and who had persuaded thousands of others that we were set for five months of hell on earth) had suffered a stroke after admitting that his calculations may have been slightly off was vaguely amusing but just enforced the feeling that believing in something doesn’t actually mean that it will happen.

Unless of course you follow Ice Hockey and happen to be a Boston Bruins supporter.

First thing that I needed to do was check my twitter account and see what I had missed. Thousands of 140-character thoughts, hundreds of interesting stories that I didn’t have time to read and some pictures of a man’s genitals. All flowing through my social media portal while I hid under a table for a month.

The genitals belonged to the aptly named Anthony Weiner, a political figure in the Democrats who believed that being elected to serve the people wasn’t fulfilling his narcissism and thought that taking pictures of himself in various states of undress and then sending them (presumably) to women who had expressed an interest was a worthwhile use of his time.

It wasn’t. After denying that the package in question belonged to him, Mr. Weiner was forced to resign but not before providing hours of material for Republicans and comedians to comment on and provide the sense of moral outrage that underpins the majority of American society.

Elsewhere, Mr. Camping’s forecast for the next five months seemed to right on the money.

Selected highlights being

  • Continued unrest in the Middle East with political despots resorting to ever more desperate attempts to remain in power,
  • the head of the International Monetary Fund being arrested for attempted rape,
  • continued financial problems in the Euro-Zone – if Wall Street was too big to fail, what does that say about Greece,
  • FIFA officials being suspended for alleged corruption and leaving the odious Sepp Blatter as the unopposed leader,
  • the Republican Party nominees (including Michelle Bachmann) actually being allowed to debate their policies in public,
  • climate change coming to Massachusetts in the form of a tornado
  • A new Lady Gaga LP.

It has taken me nearly a week to catch up with one month’s news. And the news doesn’t care that I am behind, the world has continued to turn and spew forth elements of interest that are essential to my understanding of life. And that’s just fine with me.

Being bombarded with information is what sets humanity apart from the beasts of the field. Receiving facts about what is happening in the real world allows us to make decisions, sift through the choices on offer and (hopefully) enhance our life experience.

Which is why I hope that those people who thought that the world was going to end on May 21st have taken the time in the last month to re-assess what they truly believe in.

You can choose to follow a celestial being who seems to channel his announcements through a variety of unreliable sources – almost the same as Fox News but with more religion – or alternatively you can seek to find answers in a world that exists physically.

Irrespective of how flawed it continues to be.

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