Huntington, Al Gore, and every pastor making good on Revelation (which is more concerned with how we are going to die rather than how we are to live). EM! does give an answer to the pressing question (hint: It's the title), but the issue of how to live is not a yes-or-no issue. But for many readers, telling Armageddon to fuck off, like Junior must, might be a new idea.
Living in the near future, Eliot R. Vanderthorpe Jr., as the famous bad-boy son of a multibillionaire, enjoys a comfortable, hedonistic life. But while filming an episode of That's So Fucked Up, wherein he and the prime minister's son are about to do awful things to two passed-out girls, Eliot has a sudden realization where he develops, "like," ethics. Caught amid a new (but still vague) moral code, the temptations that wealth and celebrity can bring, and his father's designs for his future, Eliot can't decide what to do with his life until he stumbles across his evil doppelgänger and uncovers a plan to trigger the end of the world.
Dubbed "a possible satire," the book makes fun of the collision of commerce and ideology. The greatest leader in the Middle East, Caliph Fred, not only guides millions of people in their faith but also releases pop music and has a catchphrase: "Salaam, Dudes!" The government gives wars flashy names (Operation Icelandic Saga) with all rights reserved. Eliot's brother, frontman for the Christian group Eye for an Eye, sings songs of devotion for Jesus laced with curse words: "That's a'ight, you shitbags, Jesus Christ has sa-a-a-ved my soul!"
With satire aimed at easy targets and not-too-far-off technology, the book at points feels like an issue of Popular Mechanics edited by the producers of I Love the 80s (also spoofed in the book). Eliot is endearing throughout, making the tired jokes a little more enjoyable as he manages to screw with just about every aspect of his world. In a literary sense, destroying the world for cheap laughs may be extreme, but having Eliot as both a sage and a jester makes the Apocalypse a bit less worrisome.