Live it up, everyone. The world is going to end… again!
According to Biblical scholar — or conspiracy theorist, depending on whom you ask — Mathieu Jean-Marc Joseph Rodrigue, the world is scheduled to end on June 24. As evidence, he cites a passage in the Book of Revelations: “And a mouth was given to [the Beast], speaking great things and blasphemy, and it was given authority to act forty and two months.”
“I heard a voice in the middle of the four living beings,” Rodrigue said. “This is wisdom. He who has intelligence can interpret the figure of the beast. It represents the name of a man. His figure is 666.”
From this information, Rodrigue combined 666 with the number 42 and somehow arrived at the date June 24. (Don’t try that math at home.)
It’s true that the beasts have been busy in June 2018, and they have indeed been given mouths. On June 13, a raccoon climbed a 20-story office tower in St. Paul, Minnesota, captivating the entire planet with its determined, death-defying feat. And it was given a mouth, of sorts, by National Public Radio’s local affiliate station, Minnesota Public Radio, which kept up a lively Twitter feed chronicling the beast’s eventual rescue (via cat food). Does Twitter count as a mouth? Don’t tell the president. Also, the station sold raccoon tote bags (as one does, in public radio) and a local musician wrote a song about her.
Other, more terrifying and less marketable beasts have also been given mouths. In Indonesia, a reticulated python managed to get his mouth open wide enough to swallow a woman as she tended her corn. When her family reported her missing, villagers discovered her shoes and gardening tools, and nearby, a grotesquely swollen snake. In a disturbing video, the village is seen confirming its worst suspicions.
In Georgia, a rabid bobcat used its mouth to bite a 46-year-old grandmother, who had gone outside to photograph the beast when it attacked her. She strangled it with her bare hands. She did not use her mouth to call for help because her 5-year-old granddaughter was in the house. “I was scared if I screamed for help that my granddaughter would come out and I didn’t want that to happen,” she said.
So, Rodrigue might be on to something with the bit about the beast. Or beasts. But his calculations seem a bit vague, and his ability to market his prediction hasn’t been able to attract much attention amid a nonstop flow of news about torrid love affairs, tariff tantrums, and slimy business deals. Even though none other than Nostradamus also predicted that this would be the big year, June 24 doesn’t seem to be getting much traction as a deadline.