Remember how all the Republicans thought Obama was the Antichrist, and would bring about the end of the world? Well now those poor fools have my sympathy because that’s exactly how I feel about Donald “General Bone Spurs” Trump, and all his fattened criminal cronies here and abroad (seriously, fuck them straight to Hell). But since he still has his grubby, tiny fingers on top of the most devastating nuclear arsenal ever seen on planet Earth, my mind has been brought back over and over to the Apocalypse. And nothing says “Apocalypse” more than a good old 15th century woodcut (seriously I am crazy for woodcuts). So lets dive into the famous Four Horsemen by Albrecht Dürer (1498).
This woodcut is so incredibly impressive because of the grand and small-scale details found everywhere, and the constant sense of intense motion, chaos and fear that the End of the World promises. The muscular strength of the mighty horses, the severity of the riders and the anguished faces of Earthbound man struggling against the coming Doom. A frightful, powerful image.
“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come and see!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” ( Revelation 6:1-4)
As I always like to remark, the characters involved are in contemporary costume. These wizened figures ride with arms aloft, grimly prepared to undertake the mission they’re charged with. Are they angels? Are they men? No one knows. Conquest (or Pestilence) comes ready to strike with his fearsome bow. Does his crown show him to be a ruler of the world, or an anointed figure–the Antichrist himself?! Dürer (and the Bible) place him right next to the red rider, War, who may be a power of Mars. One forum author at Graham Hancock has suggested each rider may be represented by the mutable astrological signs Sagittarius, Virgo, Gemini and Pisces respectively. An interesting idea, but the imagery doesn’t match up in my view.
“When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
Scales were used in markets to measure weights and moneys. They were highly regulated and standardized even in the ancient world to keep markets fair. As such they also represent Justice, which can be easily tilted to favor the rich.
“When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7-8)
Here the most gruesome rider comes on his pale horse, which based on the Greek NT text “chloros” would be more of a sickly green. This skeletal figure comes running in, wild-eyed and in a frenzy. Pestilence, War and Famine have already had their carnage as Death comes in with his final wrath. At his feet the mouth of Hell opens to swallow up the wicked members of the human race who remain.
This is the future that Christians are hoping for. They hate this world, and want it to end in flames. They fancy that they themselves will be found worthy to witness this disaster from some comfy bleacher seat in Heaven, while they get to slowly masturbate to the cries of burning sinners down below as the world crumbles. Essentially, the evils of the Four Horsemen represent a Christian’s WET DREAM! Is this why the Christian Right has adopted the most offensive, the most disgraceful, the most incompetent, the most untrustworthy man they could find to raise to the most powerful office in THE WORLD?! So that he could utterly FAIL at PEACE and kill us all!? Signs point to “yes”.
Gather ye witches, far and wide. From sea to shining sea, come! Join the vast and faceless Coven of those of us united in bringing down the evil powers gripping our polity, through the manipulation and skulduggery of the President.