Since life as we know it is supposed to change forever before you even finish reading this, I figured our fellow freethinkers might appreciate the following works while waiting for the world to end. While fiction with post-apocalyptic themes are growing increasingly common, there are very few that deal specifically with the end of the world as prophesied by a religious tract, and fewer still that aren’t contrived, insufferably preachy, and near incoherent.
The first is the comic “Therefore Repent!” by Jim Munroe. It depicts a world where the Rapture went down more or less like how Christian groups described it would, complete with people floating up one day in the thousands. We see it through the eyes of a young couple that just happen to dress as a mummy and a raven. On the day of reckoning, the boy clung onto the girl rather than floating away with everyone else, because “he didn’t want any part of a heaven that didn’t want her.” Around their sweet little post-judgement day existence revolves a world which can’t seem to get the details of the Rapture right: the angels are dressed as Vietnam era American GIs that gun down people on the street with M16s and animals have begun conversing intelligently with the scattered remnants of humanity.
The second is an episode of the anime “Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World“, specifically the third, entitled “The Land of Prophecies: We No The Future”. The anime itself is about a traveler, Kino, who never stays in one place for more than 3 days at a time, for that person “would cease to be a traveler otherwise”. Each country Kino travels through takes some concept of governance or human society to the extreme while exploring the consequences of doing so, such as a land where everyone can read everyone else’s minds, a land that has ended war forever, and a land with absolute and perfect democracy. The episode I’m talking about here focuses on three separate lands, each influenced by an obtuse book of poetry whose original meaning has been lost. In one land the book is taken as a proof positive that the world will end on a particular day, the eve of which happens to be the day when Kino wanders by. While everyone in the capital city prepares for the end by huddling with their loved ones or praying in their temples, Kino takes the pragmatic approach and uses the opportunity to take food and bullets from shopkeepers who feel that they no longer have any need for money or inventory.
What I particularly like about both pieces is that for stories about the apparently supernatural and clearly scripted out end of the world, they wrap up in ways that are unexpected, satisfying, and touchingly human. Here’s to the hope that you manage to finish enjoying them before Jesus gets to you.