Saturday, February 16, 2013

Timecube, Revelation Style

I'm not sure what the correlation between political and ideological extremism and crappy web design is, but between this, Timecube, CAP, and a number of extremist websites, I'm pretty sure that we have proof epistemic closure results in pathetic withering of those facilities.
In a sense, what we're here today to do is to swing at the low hanging fruit. I found this link through the Slacktivist, since there's no way I'd go looking for this stuff on my own (lies. That's pure bunk, but don't tell anyone. I just didn't go looking for this one). We I have for you today is a End Times Tribulation Chart (You have to scroll down to find it, but you'll see it. It looks like a worksheet table in a Microsoft office document, because I'm pretty sure that's where it was originally designed). This document comes us courtesy of the blackest pits of Hell the authoritative Tribulation Institute (no, the rest of the site isn't any prettier). This outline is a full map of the Tribulation, and because I love the intellectual aspect of picking apart ideas, I'm going to high light all of the various problems I can find with this one.

"But... you put too much thought into what Christian Fundamentalists believe."

"Well, someone has to."

Before we speak, I see that I'm mentioned by name at the beginning :"Yahshua speaks to the Seven Churches, before opening the seals and the four horsemen and the seven seals below [sic]." Mind you, my name is spelled wrong (Yĕhôshúa, which is translated into Greek as Ἰησοῦς, more commonly Joshua/Jesus - yes, I'm an atheist named after God. If you ever wondered why I have a strong taste for irony, wonder no more), but I feel honored that I should get a mention here before we start.

So, anyway, starting at square one:

"Ruler behind the UN sitting on the horse with a bow & a crown (symbolizing the United Nations) went forth conquering"

(I miss comic sans). Right off the bat we have a problem. If you're using any symbolism at all, then you're appealing to figures of speech. Most of us would not take issue with this; after all, we use figures of speech like, every day of our lives. It's inevitable; attempting to not use figures of speech would make language almost impossible (since language only means what meanings we assign to it. What about "table" makes it a "table," besides what you've been taught your entire life? I understand this is Deconstruction Theory and, therefore, postmodernism, but I maintain that postmodernism does sometimes serve a purpose. Not always, but it sometimes does). Language is based around figures of speech, metaphors, metonymies, synecdoche, and others. Without these things, language would either cease to have meaning or be drastically reduced its meaning.

To most of us, this isn't a problem. We accept this reality and we move on.

For a certain subset of the population, the fact that language has no absolute meaning and is nothing more than a string of figures of speech, half thoughts, and inferred meanings that may not always be correct poses a huge problem. See, you cannot take language literally. Whether said language is written, or whether it's spoken, language simply cannot be literal. The only language that comes close to being literal is the onomatopoeia, because that's designed to capture something that's actually physical, like a sound, and replay what that sound is using the spoken language (and even then it's imprecise, since different people hear sounds in different ways). Language is entirely subjective, and even the most literal of language, the onomatopoeia, is subjective to a large degree (was that a "thud" or a "thunk"?)

This makes the claim "I take the Bible/Quran/Torah/[insert holy book here] literally" problematic, because you can't, because language is not literal. The meanings you drive from something might be entirely different from the meaning that someone else drives from it - there's  whole school built around this, it's called "literary criticism" - and admitting that you're using symbolism right from the start shoots any claim to "literally interpreting the Bible" in the foot. You can't literally interpret a symbol. It's going to mean different things to different, as we're going to find out later.

"Extreme inflation will begin, especially with food."

Either they're talking about inflation with the price of food or they're talking about food becoming larger because someone has finally figured out how to attach a bicycle pump to a pear stem and pump that puppy up (see? I can take things literally, too. And that's an image that'll stick for a while).

But, let's humor them. Let's assume they're talking about the prices of food inflating. Prices generally do not inflate. Prices go up or down to match inflation, but the prices themselves are not described as "inflating" (at least, not to my knowledge of economics which, admittedly, is not very advanced). The worth of the dollar you buy it with inflates or deflates (or stagflates), but the actual price only goes up or down to match that.

Food prices might well inflate, especially as arable land decreases and global warming starts impacting growing seasons. But it that’s not why they’re including this (in fact, it’s the exact opposite. You’ll see). They’re doing this because it sets up the introduction for Famine later.

“Men will become lovers of themselves”

You can probably guess where my mind went with that. I have a dirty mind, I will admit it. Unfortunately, half the population has been excluded (tell me it ain’t so; tell me this has never happened before!)

“Social Justice is promoted Community Salvation &Christ Consciousness which is Apostate Christianity which is perverted Christianity & Earth (climate change) and creature worship begins to flourish. Lesbianism & Homosexuality”

Social justice is promoted! Oh noes! Tell me it’s not so, social justice! No, anything but equality, fairness, and human rights! Jesus is the exact opposite of those things, and we can’t have that, so clearly it’s the work of the antichrist. I love how they threw in Lesbianism in there – ladies, this is the last mention you’re getting, so you better get used to it.

Also, right there – climate change is apparently earth and creature worship. That’s how I know they’re not including famine as an attempt to foreshadow actual food shortages caused by global warming. See, global warming is really just part of Earth worship, and therefore, not real at all! I swear it! I haven’t seen no climate change since I shoved my head in the sand 40 years ago. It’s where I found Jesus.

“World Communism intensifying and USA will not escape.”

Communism died, and has been dead for a while now. Please join us in the present, thank you (this was written in the 1990s, which was still after the fall of the Soviet Union, so there’s still no excuse).

The kings of the ten regions are ruling behind the scenes through UN treaties.ppt  EU region elects first president 2010

The United Nations does not work like that, and the European Union does not work like that, thank you and good night.

What, you want me to explain? Fine. The European Union is not a government. It’s a very loose federation, designed mostly to facilitate trade and a common currency. There is something that resembles a government, but it’s extremely weak. That’s part of the problem with what’s happening right now in the Eurozone; the EU council doesn’t have the force to act and try to stabilize the disparities between some powers (like Germany) and others (like Greece). Funny that the European Union should come up, since the EU is probably a good example of just way a global currency is impossible given the way markets work today. Imagine the problem with Greek right now. Now scale that up, until it’s affecting Central Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Africa (better than half the planet’s total surface area). That alone would destroy entire countries and send the world into a horrific economic recession that would undermine any further attempts to unify the planet under a one world government.

I mentioned that the EU is weak. Do you want to know what’s weaker than the EU council? The United Nations. The United Nations has enough power to pass non-binding resolutions and it the “governing body” has the power to facilitate even less. It has a lot of good programs – UNESCO, WHO, and others – but as a governing body, it sucks. To create something like the EU with the UN would require global restructuring and that’d be bad for everyone. Why do you think it hasn’t happened yet?

Also, the EU doesn’t elect presidents. It’d be a prime minister if it was anything, because the EU is not a state, it’s a government (and prime ministers are, in general, heads of government, not state).

Censorship will begin in all media sources via FCC regulations

Someone turn the projector off, please. The light’s getting in my eyes.

Terrorism will escalate in the world especially in the USA via sleeper cells as well as domestic terrorists. Tension in the Middle East explodes because of  high food prices, high unemployment ppt poverty and gov.corruption. Nations including USA headed for bankruptcy due to DEBT through bailouts, stimulus packages, etc.

The United States is nowhere near bankruptcy. In fact, the United States has one of the best debts on the planet, and it’s also one of the most secure to invest in. Debt, while not necessarily a good thing, is nevertheless helpful in establishing credit and a credit rating, in addition to the fact that government debt does not work like household or business debt. In short, you fail economics forever. But we have to throw the “small government, so small it fits in your vagina” crowd a bone, right?


We already live in a police state. A police state is a sliding scale; we didn’t have to wait for any of this to happen. We’ve been living in one since the war on drugs in the 1970s; you’re not making future predictions, you’re just telling me what’s already going on.

The New Age religion of the One World Governing body (UN) will begin to rise […] Climate change, sustainable develpoment [sic] and going green is a hoax and Cap and trade designed to bankrupt USA.
Cleansing of Mother Earth will begin

Sustainable development (I couldn’t misspell it wrong, no matter how hard I tried; I tried to spell it wrong and I forgot how to spell it until I typed it spelled right) is apparently a bad thing. And if going green is a hoax, explain Iceland and Germany. Please, I’ll wait.

The cleansing of Mother Earth will begin. I guess that means it’s time to invest in really big SOS pads and a lot of cleaning fluid, huh? (See? I can take language literally, too. Besides, that image is a lot funnier).

Lastly, the United Nations does not work like that, goodnight.

Power was given to him, sitting on the red horse to take peace from the earth & to kill one another; given a great sword

And that right here is clear as murky water. You can’t not take that literally, since any “literal” take on it is going to be as much of a guess as anyone elses’.

World Communism/Socialism is the UN's ideology, coming from Great Britain where the Illuminati began in 1776

Eli Whitney did not invent those terms. You cannot use them interchangeably.

And Adam Weishaupt invented the concept of the Illuminati in Bavaria. Bavaria is not Great Britain. There’s a couple of very subtle distinctions that, while barely noticeable, are quite important: for instance, Great Britain is on an island just off the coast of mainland Europe while Bavaria is almost in the dead center of it. I know they sound a lot alike, but there’s a handful of differences that really should be factored in if you want someone to take you seriously. At least you got the date right, though. That’s a pat on the back, right?

There’s some stuff about excessive taxation, persecution of REAL, TRUE, CHRISTIANS™, and babble about Esau, red pottery, and violence (I’m not sure what Esau has against red pottery), and people related to Jacob being cut off forever and…


Bet you didn’t see that, did you?

A he-goat ppt (USA) comes from the west not touching the ground (by air) against the Ram (ancient Persia) which is Iran, Syria and Iraq and smotes them. Later his kingdom is broken ppt and final four kingdoms arise

Take note. Here, the United States is a “he-goat,” which I assume is just a goat, since males don’t get special names. Only females and children (which is pretty offensive, if you ask me). Nevertheless, we have a he-goat, coming from the west but not touching the ground against the Ram, which is apparently ancient Persia.


Which one of you made Xerxes and Darius into a lich?

Note: Iran is indeed ancient Persia. While Iraq and some parts of Syria were also part of Ancient Persia, they would not normally be considered part of Persia today, even if Iran were to somehow undergo resurgence. Perhaps you would be better served if your fictional Sassanid Empire included modern day Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Tajikistan, since those are all Persian-speaking regions. You could possibly stretch that to include modern day Kurdistan, but I’m not entirely sure that Turkey would be pleased with that outcome. Perhaps that’s where World War III comes from. Turkey gets pissed off at the Resurgent Aryan Empire, led by an undead Yazdegerd III, who somehow became a lich. Now that’d be a hell of a story – Iranian nuclear testing accidentally revives the corpse of Yazdegerd III, who returns to his throne, establishes a new Sassanid Empire in Modern Day Iran (naturally overthrowing the Mullahs in the process), and then proceeds a initiate Middle East empire building that would rival what the United States does, pissing off Turkey (by taking Kurdistan), Azerbaijan (by conquering them) and Russia and Georgia (through taking South Ossetia and Ossetia; Ossetian is a Persian language), triggering a war in the region.

That’d be a killer story. So much better than this tripe.

Blah, blah, some stuff about Jews banking and ruining the world through monetary policies, something about Free Masons (Trifecta! Jews, Freemasons, and the Illuminati. All we’re missing is the Bilderberg Group and FEMA Death camps and we’ll have caught ‘em all), Surviving Martial Law, Martial Law being called, FEMA death… damn. I called that too soon.
After the eagles wings plucked ppt (USA) Final Four kingdoms arise ppt. 1st Kingdom or beast that was like a LION (Great Britain) 2nd beast like a BEAR ppt (Russia) The 3rd beast ppt like a leopard, (Germany) and the 4th terrible and dreadful beast kingdom.

Just a few blocks ago, the United States was a he-goat. Now it’s an eagle. Literally – I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

The United States is clearly the Eagle, since no other country in history has used that as their national animal before. I can see the lion being Great Britain, since it’s often incorporated into British heraldry, and the Bear as Russia is a distinctive if unoriginal choice, but I’m not sure how the hell you get “leopard” out of Germany. Maybe because Leopold is a German name? I dunno. The Leopard is the national animal of Somalia, not Germany. You know what Germany’s national animal is?

The eagle. 

Babylon (Persia) is fallen (1st Babylon), is fallen (2nd Babylon USA/NYC) that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Babylon was in modern day Iraq. Persia is not modern day Iraq. You really should think about investing in a geography course.

And there we go again. Your symbolism is inconsistent. One minute the United States is a he-goat, then next it’s an eagle, and now that he-goat suddenly became a woman? And of course, one associated with fornication, since, you know, that’s what those dirty, dirty whores are always tempting us upright and moral men into. Dirty whores.

It’d be helpful if I had a guide for this guide; something to explain why multiple symbols means the same thing. Since, you know, symbolism doesn’t usually work like that. Someone get me the goddamn spark notes…


(Persia: Iraq, Iran and Syria is fallen and then The United States of America/NYC is fallen (goes into martial law because of some nuclear strikes against it), but not yet utterly destroyed till 7th Vial (Rev.16:17,18,19)
The Final Four Kingdoms on the earth have now risen from the decline of the USA to fill the void left by its demise!! 

Sigh. This reads like a bad science fiction novel or crappy alternative history novel.

“Man, this is cool. I’ve redrawn the map of Europe and everything. I put so much thought into this…”
“Yeah, but what are you going to do with the Middle East man, you left it blank?”
“Shit. Uh… here we go. A big caliphate. It spans from India to the Atlantic Ocean. I mean, they’re all Muslim, right? And we’ll call it… uh… the Caliphate. It’s genius. I bet nobody’s thought of it before man, it’s so perfectly plausible.”

Persia =/= Iraq and Syria, and there was a lot more to Ancient Persian than just those two countries.

And we’re down to the Final Four! Call in now with who you think the winner is going to be, and place your bets because we’re going into the last elimination round!

The United States of America is not the same thing as New York City. I expect epistemic closure to kill any desire to learn about the geography of any other region, but c’mon. This is your home. You live here. Do you wander around in the night wondering where your house/kitchen went, because they’re the same exact thing?

Some nuclear strikes against it. Someone’s read Judge Dread too many times. One does not simply experience “some nuclear strikes” any more simply than one walks into Mordor.

Now proceed to the third seal, but do not collect $200 upon passing go. This is the crappiest game of Monopoly I’ve ever played.

He that sat on the Black horse had a pair of balances in his hand.  A measure of wheat for a penny.  Three measures of barley for a penny.  Hurt not the oil & the wine
(The USA and the rest of the world reels in economic collapse along with devastating inflation!)

(The USA and the rest of the world reels from economic collapse along with devastating inflation! Because having a one world currency didn’t damage it enough! We have to have devastating inflation! Devastating! Inflation! I will continue to use this term without having a clue what it means, because it’s serves my (inferior) storytelling purposes!)

A measure of wheat for a penny. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I remember that phrase. And a measure of wheat for a penny is awesome. Think about it – how many things can you buy with a penny anymore? Hell, pennies cost something like 1.2 cents to mint, so you can’t even buy a penny with a penny!

The Edomite Federal Reserve Bank has brought hyperinflation to the world along with war!

Remind me again: why do we have a federal reserve if we have a one world government? Furthermore, why is there still a United States if there’s a one world government? When the hell do we get the one world government, anyway? I’m so confused…

LAST 2,300 days. Some business about a beast with the mouth of a lion and the feet of a leopard (Germany and Great Britain team up?) And then, suddenly, a challenger appears! A dragon gave him his power (who? Who is him? The Antichrist?). This whole section is a prime example of what I mean when I say that language is ambiguous and can’t be taken literally for anything. I’m sure the explanation is on here somewhere (in this mountain of power point presentations I’m not planning on downloading), but your chart should be clear on its own.

… and it’s not. For some reason, beginning sentences with a … when there wasn’t a … Previously makes no sense. But then, neither does the whole notion of a city getting trodden upon by gentiles. What is this, Attack of the 50 Foot Gentile? Is it some kind of Yiddish science fiction movie?

The people of Jerusalem have made a covenant with death ppt and with hell they are at agreement that when the overflowing scourge shall pass through it shall not come unto us, for we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.

I think this is where Jerusalem makes a peace treaty with the United Nations, so the United Nations will stop sending their 50 foot gentilezillas to stop stomping on the holy city. In the process, you end up with a World Government that, shockingly enough, does not control the entire world. Therefore, it’s not a world government, but hey, far be it from me to put some thought into this, since clearly they didn’t.

Some business about Oceania and having read 1984 too many times, and how he (presumably the Antichrist) will come in peace and flattery and gain the kingdoms by reciting every member state of the United Nations with a follow up of reciting all of their capitals, major exports, and last 40 Presidents (since countries only have Presidents and not prime ministers). Some business about pollution and abomination, presumably the Abomination from the Incredible Hulk throwing down with Captain Plant over this issue, and a bunch of people who now worship the God-Emperor of Mankind.

The Imperium is born, and we’re only three seals deep! Tada!

For my next trick, I’m going to pull a rabbit from my hat. Presto! *lion roars*

The microchip used for the electronic financial system of the beast is introduced in America by the False Prophet ppt- President of the USA - Rev.13:11-18)

I read about this the other day on facebook, sadly. The good news is that the other seals haven’t been broken yet, so they’re ahead of the game and it’s likely unrelated.

We’re back to this business about being “literal” in your reading of the Bible. A microchip is not the number 6-6-6 stamped on your forehead or hand. A Microchip is not on your hand. It’s in your hand. Am I going to have to start breaking down the differences between English prepositions, now, too? This is not a hard concept to understand. A microchip is not 6-6-6. On your hand or forehead is not the same thing as in your hand or forehead. Microchip goes in your hand. Number goes on your hand.

Tell me you at least grab that distinction. This is before we get into the fact that this is utter garbage, but we’ll never get to that point if you don’t understand how prepositional phrases and prepositions in general work.

Okay, we’re at seal number 4.

Green is the color of Islam. Yes, yes it is. That’s a rather astute observation. It’s the first one that I’ve seen all game and we’re four seals in.

The military power of the USA (because it was already in the Middle East in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) is integrated into the UN's standing army when martial law is declared in the US at the end of the 2nd Angel

Stop. Stop right there.

I thought the world was reeling from economic depression and that the various powers had been defeated. I thought that there was a void left where the United States fell, because the four kingdoms had rose to fill that void. Didn’t you have anyone proof read this? Where the hell did the United States come from? Yes, we were already over there. But… but… I’m so confused. Are you people out of your damn minds? How do you take this literally? It doesn’t even make sense figuratively!

And… we go downhill from there.

We have some business about sifting through the House of Israel, about Persia being defeated and being integrated into the UN (But… but… World Government! Do you not even understand what the word “World” means? Jesus Christ, people. No wonder they can take it literally. If you don’t understand what words mean, you can make them mean anything. Literally means figurative, clearly, just like war means peace and ignorance means strength). The Tsavo lions will have relatives, and since that’s a picture of a donkey (I think?), I am now imagining flesh-eating donkeys (that’s a terrifying image). 

Aaaand Harp (hark, maybe?)!

*KABOOM*. The deadliest mushroom this shy of the formidable jalapeno-stuffed Portobello.

Blessed are they that die in the Lord from henceforth, they shall rest from their labours and their works follow them. And I looked & behold a white cloud & one sat on it that looked like the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

*Phew*. They’re Commonwealth. I was really worried there; this makes so much more sense now. I can easily see how the NYC/United States got confused. I think. I can’t imagine any reason why they would have Commonwealth Spelling?

Anyway, Blessed are those who Die for the God-Emperor for they shall float in the Warp and hopefully not get eated by the demons that live there. And their labors and works (so, it’s not faith alone? What happened to sola fide? You’re a horrible protestant) shall follow them. And I’m going to give them a golden crown, and in my hand is a sharp sickl…


Isn’t *scrolls back up*. Yes. The sickle is on the Russian Flag.

Jesus is a communist. Shit, it’s a set up boys, bail! Abort the operation, we’ve been betrayed! It’s a Traaaap!

And at the beginning of the 5th seal, we’re treated with a wonderful image of a guy who’s been beheaded, and then we get this:

How long O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth

Hearing something like this coming from a privileged western Christian makes me angry. It undermines the actual difficulty faced by Christians in non-western societies, who actually are persecuted, and who really do die for their faith. You are not dying. You are not being persecuted because you have to share rights that you’ve had all your life. Nobody is going to be avenging because there’s nothing to avenge.

Something about a great whore (the United States; the United States can be practically anything at this point, because by this point, it has been), something about the witnesses being beheaded, white robes and who has the white robes, and some business about sickles again – I’m telling you, Heaven is a communist empire and the whole thing is a trap. You just wait and see. Stalin is going to be up there and everything.

Millions of believers will be slain. Most of them by God, since he has notoriously bad aim.

And now we’re at seal number 6 and I’m starting to get ending fatigue. At 4,591 words so far, I’ve put more thought and effort into this one blog post than they did their entire belief system and that’s pretty damn depressing. So I’m just going to hop, skip and jump to the interesting parts.  

It strikes me that they really like this business about being betrayed by their kin folk. One of their younger (perhaps gay) nephews probably called them a raving lunatic and they felt like they’d be betrayed. Because being called fucking bonkers is the same thing as being beheaded.

And the earth was reaped. Because this time, it was personal.

Ooh… I get to go down both columns at the same time. I doubt it’ll make any more sense than I just went down them one at a time, but hey, we have to follow the instructions. Just keep telling yourself we’re almost to the end and when we’re done, we’ll go play a game more rooted in reality, like Lord of the Rings Risk.

There was silence for a half hour, and then there was thundering and lightning, because Thor arrived through the seventh seal and clobber the antichrist with his mighty hammer, and with him, came the Avengers to save the world and… what? I’ve got to make this interesting somehow. Anyway, the seventh seal breaks, and shit goes down. The Tribulation presumably kicks off now (I guess?) and the Antichrist is killed in war, and, if I’m reading this right (since I’m not Semitic or Japanese), the Antichrist is resurrected by Satan right before Michael throws Satan to the Earth to begin the Great Tribulation. The Manchild is born, and the woman flees into the wilderness for some years for… what again? And who the hell is Manchild?

Gah. Red background. No, please. Don’t subject me to that. His wrath, my eyes feel it.

WORMWOOD FALLS.  I think I’ve finally figured out where I am. This is the Tribulation (Don’t look at me like that. The United States has fallen at least three times but somehow it always comes back. I can’t trust the narrator). Where’s the Rapture, though? Did that already happen somewhere in the obscured madness a half dozen paragraphs back? All of the traditional tropes are there, and we know how this is going to turn out. 1/3 of the Sun was Smitten. It was Smitten with delight, or possibly smitten with anger, or maybe just smitten with… but it’s one 1/3, at any rate. Just like 1/3 of the stars are now smitten, and 1/3 of the ocean waters are now bitter, and 1/3 everything else. 1/3 of everything collapses, because nothing makes a battle look epic like killing 1/3 of the Stars, man. Do you know what that would do the Universe? There are quadrillions of stars. 1/3 of that is at least a few (thousand) galaxies. That’s a lot of smiting, and it happens at once, too – Relativity? Nah. We don’t need that.

We just killed 1/3 of the population, but rest assured, over one half are now dead. Gee, I should hope. Of course, if it were a literal prophecy, we’d have an exact number rather than that, but this is hardly exact. This hardly makes sense.

Ah, Jesus. Always with the red backgrounds; black text does not go good on red backgrounds. That’s the scourge right there. This just isn’t playing fair; my eyes, they buuuurn…

The End times harvest, sickles being thrust into the Earth (didn’t Jesus already do that?), blood up to horses bridals, the Mystery of God is finished and… the Rapture and Resurrection? I believe this is called “post-Millenialism”, but I can’t be sure. Anyway, God choses to rapture his church after he’s killed off half the human population and 1/3 of the Universe – for what purpose, again? I thought the Rapture was to spare the church, now to say “Hah. Oops. Sorry guys, I forgot you existed.”

And then Jesus returns. The end.

Well, there you have. 5,250 words to describe something that’s less than half that in word count and less than 1/3 that in total effort and thought. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go was my eyes out. That red background is murder.  


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