from Life in Tennessee, Volume 1, Issue 2

In the winter months, the curmudgeon likes to start the fire in his wood stove with junk mail. Unfortunately, his gaze slips occasionally and falls upon the odious print on the paper that advertisers so kindly provide for his benefit. This is a sure-fire way to begin a good blaze.

This winter's attempts to stave off frostbite brought two books to the cabin's attention: Revelation, and The Millennium Planner, both by Peter Lorie. Billed by Barnum & Noble as "Your Personal Guide to the Year 2000", the former is a "life-affirming" new reading of the christian bible's Book of Revelations, with "color maps, photos & astrological artwork". The latter contains a book of prophecies for the millennium, a calendar for the year 2000, and more. [The curmudgeon is now really wondering about that astrological artwork inspired by a christian book: it looks like it's time to play another round of "What's wrong with this picture?".]

The first thought that crossed the curmudgeon's mind was the one I'm sure you all asked yourself: "Don't these folks know that the new millennium begins on January 1, 2001, not 2000?".

The curmudgeon sighed. Would it truly be a waste of time to rail against the belief that somehow the world will radically change because a clock happened to roll over? What if, horror of horrors, we had been born in a world where the years were counted in base 2, not 10 - and we experienced a triple digit rollover every 8 years!? Could our society stand the strain?

We can expect this millennial mummery to peak in just over six years. Can we count on ourselves to stand firm in our faith for the future, or will be swept away in a ticking tidal wave?

The curmudgeon watched the flames devouring the advertisement. It's a mixed blessing, he thought: fire provides a moment of light, a spark against the darkness, a rush of exhilaration; but progress requires a steady, well tended blaze.

With a wry smile, he closed the stove's door. "If 2001 doesn't pan out, at least there's the upcoming binary millennium 2049", he thought. And didn't stop to count how many years away it was.

Last updated 26 May 2000
All contents ©1996-2002 Mark L. Irons