Lincoln, Bob Dylan and the Apocalypse

Presumably the apocalypse did not come Friday.  I wanted to wait till I was sure before I started getting smart about it, but now that it is Saturday every where in the world then I feel safe to report.  

People started reporting on Thursday that a bright golden orb had been reportedly spotted overhead in Australia, as if that meant anything.  Technically speaking, the Mayans had no idea what Australia was, so even if they were predicting the end of the world you’d have to assume it was going to be on Mayan time, whatever Mayan time is.  As George Carlin pointed out so well, “we made that whole thing up.”

Anyway, my own theory on the apocalypse is no less crazy than the people who prepared for it yesterday.  I’m pretty sure that God, in the sense that he is a comedian on par with Carlin, told us all that we would never expect when the world would end, that it would come like a thief in the night.  As soon as He said that He made sure that somebody would always be checking the locks on the windows.  I’m not saying it wont ever happen, I’m just saying he made sure that we were always on our guard.  Of course, even when on guard you start to get complacent, a watched pot never boils, cliche, cliche, cliche.  The longer you spend thinking that every moment can be your last, the more moments you have.  Maybe.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the first book I’ve started in this brave new world is Team of Rivals.  I’m jumping on the Lincoln bandwagon, but I’m okay with that.  I’ve at least known that Team of Rivals exists since it came out, which I feel gives me a reason to read it.  Finding it for cheap at Wal Mart was a good reason too.  As much as I’m looking forward to Team of Rivals I think I’m looking forward to the biography of U.S Grant a little bit more.

Lincoln’s personality is a trap.  He’s represented as a congenially, sad man who seemed to make a lot of the right moves.  As a great man, we all want to see a bit of ourselves in him.  I’m not innocent, I’ve always admired the phrase used to describe him in my old history book, that he was a man “prone to bouts of melancholy” and I’ve stolen the phrase for myself numerous times.  I think the moment you think you understand a man like Lincoln is the moment that you’ve succumbed to self delusion.  

so, I sit here, the survivor of two apocalypses, listening to what may end up being Bob Dylan’s last album (course I think that after every new album), reading about Abe Lincoln and thinking about a short story and the next apocalypse, which may or may not have a date set.

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