Here’s the story.
And I’m warning you in advance, I do not come off well in this.
I was fourteen and still living in my hometown of Fort Bragg, California. I was watching TV and I started seeing commercials for a new film. I couldn’t make hide nor hair of what it was about but I knew one thing, it had a lot of explosions in it.
To young men grappling with their burgeoning sexual feelings but lacking an acceptable outlet for expressions, explosions are like catnip.
So when the film finally made it The Coast Theater, I was there front row for the opening night.
That film was “The Late, Great Planet Earth”.
For context, the film was based on a best selling book by Hal Lindsey. And was one of the earliest books to talk about biblical armageddon. For further context, if you looked on his Wikipedia page linked above, you will find that has also written for WorldNetDaily and and has said that Obama is paving the way for the Anti-Christ. (As opposed to actually being the Anti-Christ which makes him only slightly less crazy than Victoria Jackson. Which has to be one of the five great dubious achievements of all time. But I digress.)
Anyway, I go to see the movie and I get bombarded for the next hour and a half with bible prophecy and tales about the end of the world. All of which is narrated by Orson Wells in full Voice of God mode.
It was probably Wells’ narration that pushed me over the edge. My God, that voice! So much authority. How could someone with that much gravitas be lying? (It wasn’t until years later that I realized that this was near the end point of Wells’ career and that he was taking every job he could just to keep body and soul together. I wonder if he even cared what was on the copy he was reading or whether he just did it on auto pilot, all the while trying to keep his spirits up by remaining himself that he once got to bang Rita Hayworth on a regular basis?)
Well, long story short, i basically lost my shit. I was crying so hard that I didn’t even make it to the end credits. By the time I got home, I was a nervous wreck. I felt that I had essentially seen my own death staring me in the face. And even my mom telling me that it was just a movie did not help.
If memory serves, I think it took about three months to shake off the effects.
But a side effect is that to this day, any end of the world talk, no matter how silly it may be, no matter how easily it can be debunked, always hits me in one small part of my brain that’s still fourteen years old.
And it makes me ashamed.
So, forgive me if I choose to not share your jocularity about the Mayan thing.
I’d just assume sleep though this nonsense, thank you very much.
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