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 A lot of people have toxic out-of-date canned goods and stale water left over from that one!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 .


  1. I will say this about 2000...it gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use what I submit to be the lamest line ever used to talk a woman into bed...

    Right after the stroke of midnight on January 1, I said to my date "Better get to the bedroom and make sure our bodies are Y2K compliant." She could tell I'd been sitting on that one for months, how could she say no?

  2. Fox: you get your chance again, my friend. 12-12-2012. Hoo, boy, it's all over now!

    Messy: 12-12-2012 is - get this - my 13th wedding anniversary. Not only is the world going to end, for me, it'll end more fucked up and sucky than everyone else's world ending!

    Pretty dang hard to axe-cent-chew-ate the positive when faced with a double whammy like that, I tell you.

    Meanwhile, I iz most pretty sure that people looove the general up-fuckedness that comes with this culturally masturbatory hooey. It's got an anti-culture vibe to it like the hipster movement: If I am hip, I am like nobody else anywhere, ever. All my friends are just like me, because they, too, are like nobody else anywhere, ever. Thus, we are all just a bunch of limp dick losers who are just like each other, and we are legion in our not-like-anyone-else-ness, except we're like every fucking Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Gap commercial ever aired.

    So much for exclusivity.

    I suspect people who like this 2012 crap also like the 9/11 conspiracies, and the whole moon landing done on a sound stage thing, and they probably watch every "Real Housewives Of 'wherever'-Ville show and think it's...uh...real.

    They are NOT Sarah Palin fans, though. Those imbeciles prefer to think that their beloved lord and savior Jesus (whatever brand of Jesus they bought, leased, or borrowed) will come a-sailing back to Earth and make a big fat Obamalypse that'll carry all the truly holy ones (your experience may vary upon your brand of Jesus, of course) to heaven while people like you and I sit in fiery shrieking hell with The Dark One, roasting like last week's turkey and probably not sipping champagne. Talk about your scary ones - screw the Mayans: we have Westboro Baptist.

  3. 'tis nothing compared to what happened in Europe just before the year 1,000. People left their homes and took to the roads, men and women together and flagellating themselves and each others ((and hopefully also some kinder modes of intercourse (=old fashioned ambiguous meaning of "intercourse"))...

    Messy, a great and funny post! I too love the Singing Detective...

  4. I still get a kick out of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They predicted the end of the world in 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, then there was a break where they announced they were out of the Apocalypse business, but the the same number of people (only 144,000) were going to heaven no matter when it happened.

    It was too much for them though. I think contributions were dropping, so the world was supposed to end (AGAIN) in 1994. Now it's "soon".

  5. Schuyler, I have a GUARANTEED Anti-Apocalypse technique that I can send you for the trifling amount of..... Ah hell, I'll just tell you.

    1. Book a room at the Venetian in Vegas. Make sure it's a mini-suite. You'll need it for at LEAST 48 hours. Book early, because there'll be a LOT of people spending all their money that night. I'll send you some hotel points.

    2. Now. You need to make a package to send on ahead. It should contain at least three bottles of champagne and a whole bunch of yours and Mischa's favorite treats. Pate, stinky cheese, smoked salmon, whatever. Ship it to the hotel a couple of days before you arrive and tell them to empty the mini-fridge and put your stuff in.

    3. Arrange for the kids to be a Nana and Poppa's or something that weekend. (Because it's not like the world's going to end and it's your anniversary.)

    4. Go to the hotel. Put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign. Leave every stitch you're wearing on the floor. Don't unpack.

    5. If I have to tell you what to do at that point, then you need more help than anyone can manage. Put it this way, if you're not heaving with exhaustion on the way home, you haven't done your job correctly.

    Follow these steps and you will have a happy anniversary, a happy wife, and no Apocalypse, because even if it DOES happen, you won't care.

  6. What really ticks me off is that this is all about the Mayan's odometer rolling over, basically. *They* didn't believe the world was going to end in 2012. If they were still around, they'd just be getting out new blank stone calendars and making fun of the panicking white people.

    Yeah, the Jehovah's Witnesses not only think heaven only has room for 144,000, but it's a he-man-woman-haters club. No girls allowed in the afterlife. Nothing gets a JW off your porch faster than telling them you think that sounds a little gay.

  7. I think I'm going to take your anniversary advice myself, Messy. Even if my anniversary is in July, and therefore not particularly close to Doomsday, but why waste such valuable and fun advice? :)

  8. hbc - Blast, why didn't I think of that! Those guys can be a real pain, but as I get older I don't feel the need to be polite any more. They are, after all, at MY house knocking on MY door and wasting MY time. So now, unless I recognize the person knocking, I don't even bothering to answer the door at all.

    Yes, it is indeed cranky, but why not?

    Now, and this is off topic.....How can an eighteen-year-old Mormon boy be called an "elder"? I'm very curious about that one.

  9. hbc - What? For realsies? Why on earth are there any chick Jehovah's Witnesses, then? Chicks were the first ones that I ever encountered.

    I also wonder about the biblical 144,000. I'd like to think there are more than 144k decent Christians, and by that I mean the ones who quietly go about doing as many (practical) good deeds as they can, praying, not bugging people...

    I looked up the population of the Amish, and it looked to about... 144K {{sigh}}

    Also saw a short article about modern Mayans (descendants or whatever) who are sick of being asked about the predictions, and don't know any more than a typical scholar.

    Remember that it's not just the Mayan calendar that's setting people off. There's also the galactic alignment bit, i.e. where earth will be in line with the black hole in the center of the milky way. Not that we're not *always* in line, but it'll be a "nothing's in the way" kinda deal.

    Not being an astronomer, I could be wrong, of course (so could actual astronomers?) But black holes don't always suck; they often blow! Even if not an apocalyptic event (one hopes not), it oughtta be interesting.

  10. The Boy declared that the JWs Heaven sounds pretty bloody boring if there aren't to be any women there.

  11. Hey, sorry, I realized I exaggerated some. The people who get to hang out on Earth (144,000) after the rest of us sinners burn for a few days are a mixed crew. The smaller subset who get to sit up at God's feet in Heaven are all dudes. Apparently the big dog needs attention so badly that he doesn't want anyone distracted by a nice pair of tatas.

    What I like is that the non-chosen actually go off into nothingness after a short stint of torture. That sounds much more pleasant than the standard eternal suffering offered by most Christians. (Beats the hell out of Dante's version, anyway.) Maybe I'll choose to believe the JWs are right without making an effort to be saved.