By Brian Bloom
With apologies to REM, and for that matter, the Mayan Dynasty, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Try to get that tune out of your head now.
The apocalypse is upon us, according to apocalypse observers – do they really put that on their business cards? – as the Mayan and Hopi Mesoamerican calendar come to an abrupt end December 21st.
And this is no small time tradition. The Mayan calendar dates to 3114 BC so its conclusion, according to some, is troubling to say the least. Then again I have a wall calendar that is from 1951 and all I have to do is turn the page and aaaaauugghh!
How serious are some people taking this end of the world thing? NASA, yes the space guys, have actually waged a campaign to combat the fear mongering. There is a more than six-minute long YouTube video and if it’s on YouTube, you know it’s got to be true.
Actually NASA has been debunking a variety of apocalyptic scenarios. To their knowledge there are impending meteor strikes, no reverse of earth’s rotation and no solar flares. Magnetic flares, they admit, do happen every 400,000 years or so – do you remember that last one? – scientists claim they cause no harm to life on earth.
One theory that remains is called the Nibiru cataclysm which posits that the earth will collide with a planet by that name.
The theory originated in the 1990s by an American woman named Nancy Lieder. She claims she is a contactee with that planet because she allegedly has an implant in her brain that allows her to communicate with aliens from the Zeta Reticuli start system 39 light years away.
I say to the Reticuli – ridiculous.
It was a scant 12 years ago when pundits screamed the world would come to an end at the new millennium. People refused to fly believing computers systems would automatically shut down at the stroke of 2000. Times Square was a comparative ghost town as partiers stayed close to home or stocked up on end-of-the-world supplies like beer and toilet paper… okay, just beer.
So what happened as the millennium came and went. I still got my credit card bills and the beer got, well, kind of skanky.
That said, I don’t intend to be left behind if the world does conclude December 21. I want to open all of my Christmas presents early. I want to call my credit card creditors and laugh na-na, na-na—na. I want to kiss the prettiest girl I know – It’s okay, I’m married to her. And I want to wake up December 22.
I’ll probably still be humming that darn song.