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Richard Roeper Blog

Doomsday seers unmoved by being wrong

‘Since the world is supposed to end Saturday, could you please get me a screener of “Green Lantern”? That would be great.’ — message from a Twitter follower.

All the philosophers, prognosticators, preachers and fools who have predicted the End of Days have one thing in common.

They were all wrong.

But then you kinda knew that, didn’t you?

The latest doomsday nonsense comes from Harold Camping, an evangelical broadcaster for Family Radio Worldwide who says he’s done the math and the world will end on May 21, 2011. According to Camping’s website, “Judgment Day on May 21, 2011, is the culmination of five decades of intensive Biblical study by Mr. Camping and other Bible teachers who have studied the same Biblical data.”

This is the same guy who said the world would end in 1994. Guess his math was just a bit off back then.

Not that the world will actually end on Saturday, says Camping. It’ll just get a whole lot messier.  According to Family Radio Worldwide’s website, on May 21, “a great earthquake will occur . . . [and] throw open all the graves. The remains of all the saved believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies . . . [but] the bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed.”

But wait, there’s more:

“The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.”

And what happens if May 21 comes and goes and there’s no earthquake throwing open all the graves and transforming the dead into glorified spiritual bodies?

“The Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong,” sayeth Camping and Co.

Looking forward to hearing what manner of B.S. the preacher will be shoveling come May 22.

Trump this

That sound you heard Monday afternoon was every joke-writer in the nation deleting the largest file on his computer. Surprising absolutely nobody, Donald Trump announced he wouldn’t be running for president — and just like that it became a little bit more difficult to write monologues for the Conans of the world.

Some will claim Trump’s the real winner in this whole charade because of all the press he drummed up over the last couple of months, including all those mentions of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which, as he constantly reminded us, is NBC’s most successful prime time program. (Or at least it was until “The Voice” came along.)

The Donald also used the spotlight to brag about his real estate deals and plug a number of other projects. Why, look at the new profile in Rolling Stone, which features a photo of Trump doing “The Thinker” pose while perched on a golden throne, as if he’s a constipated clown wondering why he doesn’t add more bran to his diet. Within the two paragraphs of the story, Trump gets in plugs for his brand of neckties (“I have the number-one selling tie in the country”) and his cuff links.

“They’re magnificent!” Trump says of the cuff links. “Everybody’s buying them! If I said I got them at Harry Winston for $100,000, you’d believe it! Forty-nine dollars at Macy’s! Macy’s doesn’t even want to carry other brands! We blow them out!”

See that? I repeat the plug, and Trump just got another plug! He’s a genius!

He also succeeded in creating a whole new level of caricature of the greedy blowhard without a speck of self-awareness.

Anybody who says all publicity is good publicity has never been at the epicenter of a bleep-storm of bad publicity. Is Trump really better off today than he was before he started blithering and blathering about running for president while expressing his doubts and concerns about Barack Obama’s birth certificate and college transcripts, sharing his stupefyingly simplistic plans for dealing with OPEC and China and telling us how well he gets along with “the blacks”?

How can anyone say it’s good publicity when you become the nation’s go-to punch line at the age of 64?

Trump announcing he wasn’t running for president on Monday was akin to Charlie Sheen announcing he wasn’t returning to “Two and a Half Men.” The decision had already been made for you, buddy.

 
 
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