Naked Repentance, Live Webcam and Art: Getting Ready for the Apocalypse

The latest end of the world predictions might save you from having to endure Christmas at the in-laws' house. After all, if the Mayans did indeed foretell the apocalypse, the world will end on December 21. Then again, if we learned anything from the Harold Camping fiasco and the judgment day predictions that came and went, odds are good that you will be shopping for last minute Christmas gifts on December 22. Society at large is nevertheless fascinated with the idea of an ending world, even though folks are taking slightly different approaches to processing the "what-if" question.

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Naked Man Calls for Repentance in a Texas State Park

Reporters for KVIA/CNN recently investigated reports of a naked man living in a Texas state park. Locals living nearby know that he chases away visitors, works out on jungle gyms and bathes in laundry rooms. While he vehemently denies flashing hikers and kids, he does want folks to "worry about their own selves to repent and help the community more." Since he is said to have been a nude mountaineer for about three years, it is unclear if this state park resident puts any stock in the December 21 prophecy.

Stalking the Messiah with a Webcam

Daystar Television Network and Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) want to train their webcams on the Mount of Olives, the Los Angeles Times reports. While Daystar has already succeeded and now posts live feeds of the locale, TBN is playing catch-up. Although there is talk that this move has more to do with giving evangelical Christianity a better foothold in Israel, those watching the webcam live feed religiously know the Mount of Olives as the anticipated place of return for Jesus Christ.

Art Foreshadows the End of the World

The Crossman Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, is currently offering artists' renderings of the apocalypse. Aptly named "This is the End My Friend," the exhibit draws on post-WWI German art to offer visitors a sense the macabre, the aftermath of economic collapse and apocalyptic visions that are quite in tune with the doomsday prophecy currently in the news.

Why is Doomsday Such Fertile Ground for Artists and Others?

Is it possible that the responses to the doomsday prophecy are little more than a reflection of current events? Terrorist attacks, wars, unrest and class struggles are concerns in the United States and abroad. Although it would be easy to simply shrug off these fears as expressions of a collective subconscious, Reuters notes that the belief in an end time apocalypse during our lifetime is actually rather widespread.

Currently an estimated 15 percent of people worldwide anticipate that the world will end during their lifetimes. Ten percent of polled respondents gave credence to the Mayan doomsday prophecy. One in 10 is also said to experience "fear or anxiety" about December 21. What about you?