So Harold Camping's prophesied apocalypse never materialized. First, he was “flabbergasted.” (Because it's devastating when millions of people don't perish.) Then, he backpedaled, taking to the airwaves of Family Radio to explain that May 21st was an invisible, “spiritual” rapture. The end of the world will actually occur on October 21st, according to Camping. Save the date. He really, really, really means it this time.
Aside from eating a few bad backpackers' meals for our series of Apocalypse Food Reviews, it's no skin off our ass. Camping is just the latest huckster in a long line of con artists, lunatics and false prophets. But he's also a financially savvy one.
It makes us sad (read: angry) to see reports that over the last few years, Camping may have spent over $100 million on billboards, radio programs and other forms of propaganda to promote his nonpocalypse.
We don't need horror stories about cataclysmic earthquakes and fire-spouting demons to understand suffering. Every day, people go hungry, people starve — right here, in the very real world. If Harold Camping had any interest in actually helping people instead of smugly predicting their slaughter, how much good might that $100 million have done? Plenty. It still wouldn't make him a prophet, but it would, at the very least, make him a decent human being.