29 November 2009
The Sky Is Falling!
(Photograph copyright 2009, all rights reserved)
All right, all right. I give in. More correctly, I can't help myself. See, I have this "thing" if you want to call it that, about people who earnestly declaim on subjects that are utter nonsense, quoting twaddle from unknown Internet people and chain letters as if it were.....well (said the irreligious and occasionally blasphemous writer who can say these things because no one's the boss of her here).. like Gospel.
All right. There were a lot of things that led up to this, not the least of which is an utterly ridiculous movie. Ok. The world is going to end in....2012. Truthfully, I have no idea why people are saying this now, except that it has something to do with the Mayans or the Aztecs....or was it the Inuit? Some First Nations group who are all conveniently dead and can't answer any questions or go over the calculations for us. We'll just have to believe them. Er...we'll just have to believe what "someone" is TELLING us about what that particular First Nation had to say because they're all dead. A long time ago. Really really. After all maybe Someone in Authority got a supernatural e-mail about it or something and naturally knows more than us, the Great Unwashed.
Anyway, a great many people are taking this seriously it would seem, so I just had to look into it. Of course, I'm just barely old enough to remember that the world was ALSO supposed to end in the 1980s a bunch of times, and there were a whole lot of people who were convinced that the End was coming every year of the 90s, and let's not forget 2000, either. A lot of people have toxic out-of-date canned goods and stale water left over from that one!
(Disclosure: The Boy and I spent the evening of Dec. 31, 1999 on a beach in Hawaii drinking vast quantities of very good champagne and waiting for the world to end. We may not have noticed it, being half snapped at the time, but I do remember lovely fireworks....or maybe it WAS an Apocalypse and we all just missed it altogether. It was a great deal of fun, though.)
After that non-event (there wasn't even any turbulence on the flight home, sorry guys), I've ceased altogether taking news of our Coming Doom seriously. I consider these dates to be good excuses to throw dinner parties and drink a great deal of wine and my friends are all happy to be fed by me if I supply the wine, too. It's a win-win, and the next morning, we can all crow about it and brag that the world ended and none of us even had hangovers. My kind of party.
I see that my views on this are echoed by Sybil Adelman . This is a lady with the right idea. If the world is REALLY going to end and there's nothing we can do about it, then why not drink the wine and have the fun? It's not like we'll be around the next day to whine about the credit card bill from the restaurant, right?
So I Googled 2012 predictions and found...a whole lot of very earnest stuff about the whole situation. There are sites like the-end.com, 2012predictions.net, 2012endofdays.org, and they all say pretty much the same thing. We're doomed, the sky is falling, The world is going to Hell LITERALLY this time, and our gooses are cooked unless we.....do whatever the crackpots that own the web sites tell us to do, most of which appears to be to buy their book. One wonders why they're SELLING the books if the world is going to end, anyway? Do they think they might need money afterwards?
Sigh. In the spirit of Apocalypses (Apocalypti?) everywhere, Smagboy kindly sent me a link that has a reasonable list of prior dates when the World Was Going To End. There are elaborate mathematical formulae provided for many of the dates and they all include something religious (but not necessarily Biblical) that has the reasons for it. Now, at the time, a LOT of people were utterly convinced that the world really was going to end. Seriously. Even the illiterate types who didn't even know what year it was....you'll have to read the list.
I have to kind of laugh at all of this. I suppose that some people find some sort of "meaning" in their lives contemplating the end. No doubt there are a lot of bitter folk who see it as an "up yours" to the universe. Judging from what I've seen about it there are a LOT of people who take it very seriously, though, and to them I say this .