Wednesday, April 30, 2008

December 21, 2012

That day is soon going to be on everybody's lips, as The Stink-of-Money-Detecting Media picks up on a meme that's been circulating for awhile, recently fueled by Internet Buzz, that the day has some sort of Great Significance to a growing number of people who believe that the final day of the Mayan calendar represents some Harbinger of Doom. As my pal The Butcher notes, many people see this date as The End Of The World, and indeed, when troubled times seem to coincide with mysterious dates that seem to have held some significance to some group of people somewhere, those believers are known to attract followers. I of course have no idea what the meaning of 2012 is -- or if there is any. I know the Maya were skilled astronomers, in a time when astronomy and astrology were one and the same. They created an intricate system based on their observations of nature both terrestrial and cosmic, and they amassed a level of strikingly detailed knowledge of the way the Solar System operates, apparently without anything approaching tools that would come into play in Europe a thousand or more years later. We still don't know of what their available technology consisted or where it came from, but much of what they observed and recorded is now, via all our equipment to observe the Heavens, considered remarkably accurate.

Their calendar used the astrological constellations and movements, and described 'Ages'. The beginning of the calendar is a mystery (as the beginnings of calendars are wont to be), and so is the end -- but given the distinct Ages described in cosmic terms, the end of the Mayan Calendar is simply the end of the Piscean Age. What does it mean? Will there be devastation of some sort? Some traditions certainly point to that, and they are often traditions way older than the 19-century story that makes up much of Christian Dogma today (I'll explain this shortly, for those who don't know). Prehistoric legends abound of cataclysmic events marking the passing of Ages, and often the fossil record bears them out. As to whether the fossils and the cyclical events in the sky coordinate, that I can't say -- though I'm sure there are better-informed people than me out there on both sides of the argument, assuming there is one (isn't there usually?). Anyway, back to the End Of The World...

The 'world' -- meaning Earth -- is a big rock orbiting a star we call the Sun. This particular star will succumb to the fate of all things and all stars -- which is to die, likely taking the rocks that orbit it along with it. But this is, according to the estimations of modern science, about 50 gazillion years away. So if there is a thing which might be called The End Of The World, that would most likely be it.

What is generally referred to, however, as The End Of The World is variously referred to within certain religions as the day when whatever god decides to reboot his or her creation, often accompanied by some Judgement Day claptrap. In more secular circles it is generally the moment when the planet can no longer sustain life -- or at least Human life -- whether through a natural disaster such as an asteroid collision or, more likely, through a confluence of man-made disasters that are always, at least in modern times, looming on the horizon.

So The End Of The World, then, is for all intents and purposes envisioned as The End Of Humanity, because as much as we might love animals, the thought of not being here, even for their sake, is tantamount to picturing yourself obliterated, and, as a thus-far successful carrier of that DNA thing, we all have a hard time dealing with the idea of our own extinction. Well, with the exception of some Goth kids, a few crazy (as in, waaaaaaay over the top crazy) Animal Rights advocates, and way too many members of The Christopocalyptical Conspiracy (otherwise known as Fundamentalist Christianity), that is.

Anyway, I digress.

I don't generally buy into the whole Apocalyptic Prophecy thang, except where the post-postmodern irony of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy comes in. It's sorta like reading The Secret and then reading The Book Of Revelations, and then positive-thinking your way to Armageddon so Jesus will save you. And by the way, I'm being symbolic when referring to The Book Of Revelations, because if you give that book to someone who hasn't had it explained (with spoon-fed presumed interpretations), it doesn't make a damn lick of sense at all. That person would look at you like you just gave them a Chinese menu in Mexico, at a Middle-Eastern restaurant. All that crap about Jesus Coming Back To Rescue All The Perfect People is all made-up wackjob crap from as recent as the Nineteenth Century, man. Do you know that? 99% of the interpretation of Revelations that is taught as Hardcore Literal Dogma in Fundie Christianity, is from crap cobbled together from several books and re-interpreted into a farfetched and not particularly Biblical philosophy from the 1800s. Yes, folks, you guessed it. From the same era as Paul Bunyan and Babe The Blue Ox With Gigantic Testicles. So all you self-proclaimed knowledgeable and yet curiously illiterate Evangelical Types out there aren't spouting a bunch of shite from the Holy Mouth Of Jesus; you're echoing a primarily hundred and fifty-or-so-year-old patchwork of misinterpretations by people you would most certainly call crazy if they showed up today.

So in other words, all you geniuses that think bringing civilization to collapse will result in your Miraculous Salvation, I've got news for ya: 2012 seems just about right, thanks to y'all. And there ain't gonna be no Second Coming, no Rapture. Just those of us who manage to survive in roving gangs viciously taking out the clueless Middle America NeoCon Religious Hypocrite Idiot Fuckers who got us into this mess.

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