These tracts have, in fact, got me to thinking about Judgment Day recently. I’m not sure if it’s the kind of thinking the tract-authors were hoping for. The thoughts are colored with the same kind of wistful detachment that accompanies the light contemplations I have in the car, while going 150% the speed limit, of how horrid it would be to be paralyzed and/or have the asphalt scrape my face off in an accident that is both catastrophic and completely justified by the laws of physics.
From these wistful ponderings, I have come to the solid conclusion that I like the idea of Judgment Day about as much as I like the idea of being paralyzed. Or, at least, I don’t like the image of Judgment Day that the rhetorical questions, gavels, and fire seem to be selling. My dislike doesn’t begin with the eventual consequences of ending up in heaven or hell, but with the notion of having my entire earthly existence recited back to me. This sounds extremely tedious and boring. Even if the mornings in church pews, sweaty nights in mosh pits, and other pleasant bits of my life were included in the playback, it would get very old very fast. I mean, really. If the posthumous plane of consciousness is so elevated, enlightened, and heavenly, how is there nothing better to do than listen to someone prattle off a million and one regrettable and/or nostalgic “been there / done that” moments? What good is that going to do?
I also don’t like the idea of Judgment Day because the judge, as much as I can glean from all this tract literature, reminds me of one of the professors on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unlike other special antagonists on BtVS, the professors don’t turn out to be demons. They’re humans, and generally assholes. The one that comes to mind is the one who told Buffy, with no humor or discretion whatsoever (a term which here means “in front of the entire lecture hall”), that because Buffy was there to crash the class, she was draining all the energy out of the room and must leave immediately.
So, on top of the tiresome task of trying not to fall asleep during a recitation of my entire earthly existence, it also turns out to be a Power Point lecture given by a cranky professor. Like a professor who has been a professor longer than their peace of mind can withstand, but has tenure so can’t be fired and doesn’t quit because, convenience, health benefits, and the daunting prospect of having to unglue oneself from the pod of bitterness they’ve been inhabiting for so many years. But in this tract-based, Judgment Day scenario, we’re taking about the Ultimate Cranky Professor, who was tenured before tenure was invented, see: Creator of the Universe. The Ultimate Cranky Professor (heretofore UCP) doesn’t hold your course load for this semester in your hands, but is there to weigh your whole damn life by his cranky, cranky standards.
And by the time UCP is done detailing all the reasons how and why you (hereunto “I”, because the impersonal you can be kind of rude) are and are not draining all the energy out of the room, it’s time for Lawyer Jesus to offer his defense. Lawyer Jesus is tired, and desires nothing more than to go home to fall asleep in his recliner in front of the TV. I would too if I were him, because he’s been in this windowless auditorium for, like, ever, and there’s not enough coffee in all of eternity to make sitting through Power Points for every single person who ever lived any less tedious. If I couldn’t infer this already, I’d be able to tell by the tone of Lawyer Jesus’ voice when he sighs and tells UCP, “Dad, she said the Sinner’s Prayer and signed it October 30th, 2008.”* Then UCP will not even bother to stifle an eye-roll, and begrudgingly admit me into heaven.
On top of all that, I’d have to stand in line to wait for my turn at this long, boring, occasionally embarrassing experience.
Fuck all of that.
In my humble opinion, that shit makes standing on top a pillar look like Splash Mountain.
After I die, if and when they tell me to take a number and stand in line, before I’m so insanely zonked from standing in line for longer than any soul can stand…
At the thought of that edge of endless irritation in UCP’s voice…
And Lawyer Jesus glazing over, quietly yearning, in the back of his head, for whatever’s waiting for him back home on his DVR…
I think the instinct to bail would hit me like that one time I had a near miss with a skunk on my cul-de-sac. I was finally starting to get the hang of t-stopping on my inline skates, feeling so triumphant as I brought myself to a halt. Then I looked up to see a skunk standing about ten feet away from me. I was already starting to turn around when the skunk started turning around, too. His tail rose and my whole body was electrified with the vivid instinct to SKATE AWAY! SKATE AWAY!
|OM[gosh] THESE ARE MY INLINE SKATES|
YES THAT’S DUCT TAPE HOLDING THEM
ARE THEY NOT THE MOST MAJESTIC
THINGS YOU’VE EVER SEEN?!?!
* I also heard something about Christians being co-judges of the world? I don’t relish the idea of being on jury duty for Judgment Day either.