Friday, October 21, 2005

Blissful Ignorance

Like a fat man lowering himself into a hot tub, I am immersing myself slowly back into the news-intensive existence I left behind for two-plus weeks. Don't want to shock the system.

The day we started our trip to China, Delay's indictment and Bush's Supreme Court nomination were on the airport monitors. It was the last bit of news I would deliberately consume until my return. No email or surfing. No newspapers or TV. No phone calls. And little chance of stumbling across stray bulletins, isolated by distance, language and a river boat continually pushing upstream through lands where farmers worked as they did centuries ago.

Instead of keeping up with current affairs, I turned my attention to the swirl of the river, the line of the mountains, the variety of Chinese faces. Instead of capturing these things in photos, I practiced seeing them, sketching roughly as they passed. Instead of grazing on the blogosphere's instant outrage, I dug into products of deeper reflection, called books.

Only four bits of U.S. news and world reports penetrated this pleasant, peasant-like consciousness, during a brief exposure to CNN Asia. New York City issued a terror alert related to a potential subway attack. Mexico suffered severe flooding. An earthquake hit Pakistan. And Boy George was arrested for cocaine possession.

Guess which story got the most air time?

I figure if this was all that got through, the world was not about to end in my absence. Pat Robertson had not yet ascended into heaven and Tom Delay had not yet descended into hell. At least all the way.

Now I'm back wasting my time checking out things like the Rapture Index:

You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture.


Oh, bliss!

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