Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orson Welles, You Fraudulent Whore

I can't say no to an apocalypse. I'm putting together a funny story about the end, and I just finished a book about it, which I already told you about. That got me thinking about a man named Hal Lindsey, who wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, which became a TV special. I decided to find it on the web, because the web has every terrible program that ever appeared in the 70's and 80's. And also because it supposedly wrecked the childhood of a friend of mine.

This is the first part -- you can find the rest of the series on the site, which is called www.godtube.com. It was ridiculous, because it made all kinds of dire predictions back in 1979 about the decades to come, and here we are unraptured and not burnt to nuclear cinders at all. But the fact that Orson Welles narrated this really smacked me in the face...

...Because this is him narrating another end-of-the-world piece of shit about Nostradamus:

My friend was scarred by Lindsey's show. But the Nostradamus video is the one that ruined my life. I spent the entire 1980's waiting for the guy in the blue turban to destroy us all, which was supposed to happen sometime between 1994 and 1999. There were other predictions that didn't come true: massive earthquakes that levelled San Francisco, famines that turned us all into cannibals, and Ted Kennedy becoming president. And all of this bullshit was delivered with the same gravitas as the recommendation to buy Paul Masson wine.

So there's a pattern emerging here. Maybe we should have noticed:


That fat bastard spent a good chunk of his career irresponsibly scaring the wits out people. Sure he was a genius. And yeah, he gave The Muppets their first big break in Hollywood. But he kind of peed on the childhoods of people who grew up during the late Cold War years. Now all the stuff he said looks dated and silly and wrong.

So... maybe you should remember this the next time someone tells you that the end is coming. Maybe you should keep in mind that the Big Crunch always delays getting here, and the ordinary death rate is still holding steady at 100% for all of us.

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