It is with utter pleasure that I announce the birth of this website on the absolute very last day of the world.
Tonight a “Black Moon” will rise. At 7:11 p.m Central Daylight Time, the earth’s largest satellite will ascend the sky and reflect no light. The end of the world was foretold in Matthew 24:29. King James translation, of course:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Ignore that seven time zones would be shaken by the Black Moon Apocalypse before the midwestern United States. Never mind that the moon not giving her light is a normal astronomical event that occurs once a month. (Some highfalutin scientists call it a “new moon.”) The Black Moon’s advent can mean only one thing: the end is coming and, regrettably, there’s not a lot you can do about it.
The Black Moon Apocalypse is, as far as I can tell, the newest apocalyptic theory on the planet. Black moon is an obscure astronomical term like “blue moon.” A blue moon is the second occurrence of a full moon in the same month, and a black moon is the second new moon in a month. Black moons occur on a two-and-a-half-year cycle. While the Black Moon Apocalypse is fresh and fun and a just a little foolish, it is certainly not alone in the dark history of apocalyptic thinking.
On THE OBLIVIOUS, I hope to catalog many of the earth’s imagined Armageddons and lines of apocalyptic thought. We’ll spare no existential anxiety: from antibiotics running amok in the human immune system to zombie hordes running amok in suburban shopping malls. As the site expands, there will be four main parts. You’ll find coverage of:
- Apocalyptic literature old and new, from source material to creative works to commentary
- Scraps of popular culture that take inspiration from apocalyptic thinking
- Longer pieces of opinion, analysis, and off-the-wall commentary about the end times
- Resources to learn about apocalyptic thinking throughout time and across traditions
For now, you can read the manifesto that more thoroughly explains the premise for this website. You can also check out the first addition to the Codex, Dan Zak’s Almighty. It is a wide-ranging survey of the Plowshares peace activism movement and the nuclear weapons complex in the 21st Century. (Plus, there’s a nice bit of courtroom drama thrown in). There is much diversity in this realm of inquiry, and I hope it is edifying, if not entertaining.
Twelve hours out, there’s still no telling if the Black Moon is the symbol of the Last Days. As one Christian news source put it: “There’s probably no need to cancel your weekend plans, but a visit to the parish church never hurts!”
Until next time—perhaps!