…many claim to have found in John ‘the promise, famously repeated by Martin Luther King Jr., that the ‘arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ . . . This worst of all nightmares ends not in terror but in a glorious new world, radiant with the light of God’s presence, flowing with the water of life, abounding in joy and delight.” Well, yeah, but this happens only after all the millions of heretics, past and present, have been burned alive and the planet destroyed. That’s some long arc. It’s like the inevitable moment in an apocalyptic blockbuster, ‘Independence Day” or ‘Armageddon” or ‘2012,” when the stars embrace and celebrate their survival. The Hans Zimmer music swells, and we’re reassured that it’s O.K. to rejoice. Millions are annihilated, every major city has been destroyed, but nobody you really like has died. It’s a Hollywood ending in that way, too.
Adam Gopnik, “The Big Reveal”, The New Yorker (5 March 2012), 80.