Oh, dear me ... Ben Stein is wigging out:
End TimesI'd like to point out that Mr. Stein and his wife are passing their days in a house on this lake in Idaho:
There is that feeling in the air.
... Strange day.
I awakened to a text from a close friend who is a devout Christian and who was so angry at the elite media that she could not sleep. "I am so frikkin' sick of the media telling us that Islam is a 'religion of peace,'" she said. "Look, people make fun of Jesus all of the time and I mean ALL of the time and we don't kill them or harm them. But do anything at all that offends any Muslim and they start killing Christians and Jews -- and then Obama apologizes for it. How long can this go on? The times of Tribulation are at hand."
I got up, walked out on the deck and looked out at the perfect fall day over Lake Pendoreille. An absolutely perfect Fall day, blue skies, light breeze, just a slight chill in the air.
At breakfast, my wife suddenly said, "And then I beheld a red horse ridden by a man with a great sword...."
"What is that?" I asked her.
"It's Revelation," she said.
"I know, but where does that come from?"
"I just feel as if something big is about to happen," she said. "Something feels like we're about to live in a totally changed world. It feels like end times. Why are we apologizing to the Muslims? They're killing and expelling their Christians and we don't say a word. End times."
I nodded. There is that feeling in the air....
At Ivano's, I talked to a man who seethed with rage against Mr. Obama. He simply could not believe that Mr. Obama would make time to be among his Hollywood big shots but not make time to see Benjamin Netanyahu. "These are getting to be Biblical days," he said. "The final days." ...
If the shit hits the fan stateside, it ain't gonna get anywhere near Ben Stein's lakeside retreat. Meanwhile, much of the non-Western world experiences this kind of unrest all the time. What scares the bejeezus out of Ben Stein and his friends and relations is the potential for something that's just the daily grind for much of the planet.
But this is how wingers think -- every enemy is Hitler, every disturbance of the peace is the the impending arrival of the Beast.
Fox Nation tipped me to Stein's pants-wetting essay. Free Republic tipped me to this bit of apocalypticism -- the trailer for a forthcoming, rather capably done paranoid right-wing indie film (no, not that one -- this one is actually competently made):
This is the work some young people in Minnesota (the director is an Iraq veteran). They're very, very sincere -- and they really believe we're on the verge of experiencing (or actually are experiencing) precisely this kind of totalitarianism combined with economic and societal breakdown. They said as much to Alex Jones, whom they greatly admire:
They name-check FEMA and the Federal Reserve. They've also given interviews to a Minnesota truther organization. (Is trutherism becoming less a blind alley some lefties take and more a right-wing, Alex Jones kind of thing?) Oh, and they're trying to crowd-source funding for the movie on Indiegogo, with the following pledge levels:
$5: Proud Dissenter
$10: Angry Protester
$25: Riot Jockey
$50: Rebel Fighter
$100: American Insurgent
$500: Militia Leader
$1,000: Champion of Liberty
$5,000: True Patriot
Read the Ben Stein column, watch the movie trailer, and tell me: What's wrong with these people? My theory: They want this to be true. They want us to be in the Last Days because it makes them feel world-historical and gives their lives meaning. It makes them feel like heroes. It makes them feel like victims. And maybe that last bit is most important to them.