Rapture Schmapture: This Week’s Real Storm

We can all breathe a sigh of relief, now that the judgment has come down and failed to derail the future of humanity. Yes, The Hangover II will open today, despite the best efforts of Mike Tyson‘s copyright-happy tattoo artist to stand between America and her traditional Memorial Day blockbuster featuring full-frontal male nudity.

While the Rapture failed to materialize last weekend, it didn’t stop the ominously-named Grímsvötn volcano in Iceland from cutting short President Obama‘s trip to Ireland–where in between other, presumably more official duties, he threw back a pint of Guinness in celebration of his victorious Bin Laden mission, which we now know was internally called “the trip to Atlantic City.” (Atlantic City? Really? We know the boardwalk is collapsing, but it’s not that Abbottabad!)

Nor did the massive recall on the Armageddon save-the-date cards stop storm clouds from gathering expectantly above New York for the better part of the past week–the city skies looked grayer and angrier than Bill Keller trying to navigate his Facebook page. In this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, Mr. Keller once again took to his ill-advised media column to shake his fist in at the confoundingly futuristic enigma that is social networking, musing belatedly that “Facebook friendship and Twitter chatter are displacing real rapport and real conversation, just as Gutenberg’s device displaced remembering.” (Hopefully Frank Bruni, the paper’s new Sunday columnist named Frank, will be able to discuss Foursquare without making wistful references to 15th-century inventions.)

Perhaps the clouds were darkening to mourn the death of Academy Award-winning composer and alleged rapist Joseph Brooks, who committed suicide on Sunday in his Upper East Side apartment, forever casting a pall on the most popular song in Debby Boone‘s canon. Maybe the skies were crying for Gwyneth Paltrow, whose recording contract with Atlantic Records fizzled out after months of negotiations, according to Page Six, or for Glenn Beck, who’s now using his crocodile tears to sell discount chocolate and credit-score monitoring through Markdown.com, the soon-to-be erstwhile Fox pundit’s brand new Groupon ripoff. Maybe it was for Mr. Beck’s fellow radio pundit Rush Limbaugh, whose ratings are down 33 percent, or for former decider George W. Bush, who was nearly brained by a baseball in his native Texas. (Speaking of baseball, maybe all the sturm und drang was for the New York Yankees, whose arch-rival Red Sox have nearly pulled even with the Bronx Bombers after an abysmal start to the season.)

And speaking of abysmal starts to the season, we’re 18 months out from the 2012 election and apart from Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Herman “the Herminator” (no, really, that’s the name of his PAC) Cain, no one is stepping up to the GOP plate. According to Pete King, Rudy’s flirting with the idea of throwing his hat into the ring, but by all accounts we’re well past the foreplay stage. When Obama’s making victory laps around the E.U., chugging beer, it’s time to get on the field, guys. Storm’s a-comin.’

  Rapture Schmapture: This Week’s Real Storm