Preparing for the Rapture - July 12, 2011

"One means of preparing might be to watch films and TV shows that will help us with the big day and its aftermath."

Now that the first Rapture—or I think it was actually the second—has, well,  wrapped, we need to prepare for the second—er… third: due Friday October 21st, time of day, as yet, not noted.  One means of preparing might be to watch films and TV shows that will help us with the big day and its aftermath.

For instance, some of you may think of the Mad Max series.  (And as it transpired, Max was mad about so many other things.)  Or perhaps The Day After Tomorrow comes to mind.  (Better known in New Mexico as Manana.)  Of course, The Day of the Triffids or Invasion of the Body Snatchers could be more to your vision of what might happen on or trigger the big day.  There was even a short-lived sitcom (and thank goodness, it was short lived) called Woops, about a group of teens who are the only survivors of a nuclear war.

Of a less humorous view—depending on how you look at it—is what in the world happens in the world once we are taken, all at once, from the world.  The History Channel’s Life After People, chronicles what happens to our planet if we all suddenly disappear.  (Sort of like the NFL and NBA for 2011 and 12.)   For the few survivors, you might want to watch On the Beach, Testament, Threads, and the made for TV movie The Day After. The first two are well done and powerful films.  While The Day After is disturbing, Threads will leave you feeling like you know what the end of world is like even if you miss the Rapture. 

However, you could take a more ethereal view.  Maybe you’re wondering what the higher power you hope to meet actually looks like: try Dogma, where God is a white woman with a very loud voice, Oh God, where God is a nice, white, genial male, Bruce Almighty, where God is a no nonsense Black man, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has an animated God, and in It’s a Wonderful Life, has just a star point in the sky.  Of course, movies aren’t the only place to see God.  In the wonderful TV series Joan of Arcadia, God is just a guy on the bus, a garbage man, a telephone repair man, etc.

What, though, would the Rapture be without a precipitating event?  The landing of Martians in War of the Worlds—either version—might be enough for some, and along that line there’s Independence Day, where Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum, save what’s left of the world.  When Worlds Collide—either version—offers another scenario for what could happen to planet Earth—or, if you’re a Velikovsky fan, what has happened a few times before.

This, naturally, leads to meteor or comet hits Earth movies, which could cause the end of world.  The two biggest are Deep Impact and Armageddon.  The latter is about special effects and the other is about people.  Uncharacteristically, the first had more impact both at the box office and on the psyche.

There are, as I am sure you guessed, hundreds maybe thousands of end of the world movies that can prepare you for October.  There are listings on the internet of the greatest disaster movies, the best meteor or comet hitting the Earth movies, and everything from Wall-E to Dr. Strangelove or—How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb to I am Legend to Twelve Monkeys to Rod Serling’s To Serve Man, where the true believers are taken away to what they believe is paradise but is, in actuality, a much hotter place indeed.  You probably don’t have time to see them all.  So I suggest see the best—which I’ve tried to list here—and hope that if there is a Rapture, it is a non-devastating, more personal one that afterwards will make you all the better for its existence.