Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Apocalypse now?

The sinking country
Originally uploaded by * Ivan *.
Another blogcritics post from Elvira:

Yeats' "The Second Coming"--a chilling vision of the End of Days--has somehow never seemed more prophetic.

Apocalypse now?


At 2:10 PM, Blogger Maggs said...

Eh, what does it matter if it's now or ten years from now? I already know I'm going to hell, LOL

At 4:00 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


Well, the way I figure it, if the End Times are upon us, I don't want to miss the three ring circus that leads up to the Big Bang (or whimper). We've all gotta go sometime, and I think I'd rather check out together with everyone else and party beforehand like it's 2099.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Swifty said...

Okay, first, I have to tell you I'm pissed. Now if you know your British culture you'll realise I'm not talking about being angry; on the contrary, I'm a lump of woosy jelly rendered harmless by too many G&T's, and a couple of glasses of champagne. To translate, 'pissed' means drunk.

Down to business, with, as ever, a quick comment (I have to get to bed, but this is countered by the need to have my say - arrrgh!)

Recently in the Times (UK) I came across the term 'Presentism': the belief that the current era is worse than any preceding time. And to some extent, it's virtually a law of mankind. Oh how we love to scare the shit out of ourselves.

As for the 'Second Coming'. If you were to ask me which poem epitomised poetry, I would choose this for the very reasons you've already cited - it's power; so appropriate when talking about 'presentism' - the poem scares the shit out of us!

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Ivan Roquentin said...

Elvira, did you read "Le Mythe de Sisiph" of Albert Camus?

At 9:22 PM, Blogger fugusashi said...

Frightening. I try to push these thoughts to the back of my mind, but the world gets smaller every day and the troubles of the world are suddenly our troubles.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


To quote from the Ice Storm, one of my favorite movies about the seventies:

Scene: cocktail party; everyone is getting tight.

"Feeling no pain?"
"You know what the Indians say. Pain is just an opinion."

(That's American Indians, of which there are not many left, and the ones that ARE are generally dirt poor and pissed in your sense and probably in ours).

Presentism, huh? Well, that's probably been true since Adam and Eve got chucked out on their asses from the proverbial Garden of Eden. And in a sense, every time is probably worse (and better?) in some ways than the time before--in large part due to us.("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..") But I digress.

I think The Second Coming is so effective because no matter what "present" you read it in--Yeats' or yours or anywhere in between--it still works to, as you say, care the living bejeezus out of you. But it also leaves me utterly awestruck every time I read it. That's what I call a Classic.

PS: thanks for your cool comments here and on Blogcritics!

At 7:29 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


No, I don't know if I've ever read much Camus. I'll look it up and check it out!

And once again, I am floored by your wonderful picture. It seems like a combo of a (post) modern day Magritte and a post-apocalyptic Planet of the Apes scenario, where at the end of the film Charlton Heston sees the torch of the Statue of Liberty upended on the beach. Awesome!

At 7:32 AM, Blogger elvira black said...


As far as the state of the world, I feel like I'm simultaneously aware and in denial--like it's happening to us but not to me, or something. I think it's the only way we could possibly go on--if we got totally bent out of shape about all the horrors of the world 24/7, we wouldn't be able to function and tend to our own lives. Weird, huh?

At 4:31 AM, Blogger digibrill said...

I concur. Well, maybe. The end times have always been here. I sometimes wonder what church services were like during World War I and II. I remember reading Yeats in undergrad (circa 92) and thinking the same thing - War in the Gulf, terrorism, hurricanes, etc. Still, things could be escalating. With as small a view as I get through the media I can't say worldwide what really is happening. Of course, 9/11 happened and we were shocked, like we didn't know there were people capable of that.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger elvira black said...


"The end times have always been here"--profound statement! Could be interpreted many ways--as in, its been preordained (as you probably see it?); or creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin, as are life and death.

Since human's time on earth has been so relatively fleeting (I think this is true whether you believe in evolution or creationism, no?) saying the end times are upon us could mean anything from tomorrow to a thousand years from now.

I'm sure some in every generation have thought the end times were near (or something equivalent). Although it's been predicted many times, I have no problem believing this could really be It.


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