Happy End of the World Year!

Mayans liked snakes, snakes eat eggs, Earth looks like an egg, .....
People write me and point out that “any idiot can write about the end of the world.” After all, you just need to show how that apocalypse believers have been wrong over 200 times before. And I suppose that’s true. To an extent. But here at Nude Hippo’s World News Center we don’t just want to highlight historical inaccuracies. We want to completely humiliate the morons who pollute our gene poll and believe this crap. Fox! has its agenda, we have ours. Either way, MSNBC has its viewer and we all ignore her. She’d kind of odd. You know what? Come to think of it, abject humiliation is too good for them. We want to psychologically castrate them.

Let’s start by individually showcasing a few folks who should never be allowed to procreate.

Chicago’s very own Edward L. Brown who got naked in front of a theater full of kids because he was promised, allegedly, free cocaine. Don’t try and make sense of it, just accept it and move on.

Whitney Streiber, the author of that godawful book Communion about meeting a UFO, is back with more crap explaining how the paranormal is complicated. Much of his new tack on things seems to be based on the fact that many people, including your beloved author, pointed out that you could drive trucks through the holes in the logic of his alleged encounter. What bothers me about delusional tools like Streiber is when authors write crap like this; “Still, there’s enough compelling material to make even the rigid skeptic ask questions.” The only questions that anyone should ask is why this idiot isn’t in a rubber room. Nothing else is valid or justified.

Let us not forget the self proclaimed Barbie mom, Sarah Burge, who just bought her 7 year old daughter a gift certificate for liposuction. She also got her a gift certificate for breast augmentation. She is doing this so her daughter can always feel good about herself. Well, that’s her claim. In reality she’s doing this because she’s an ignorant, shallow, moron who believes that beauty is the sole source of self worth.

The good news is that she’s too stupid to home school her kid so there’s still hope.

Moving on.

In the aggregate we can dismiss the people in England who saw an ET doll float up on the beach and called the police to report an alien invasion, the people who saw orographic clouds (they’re the circular ones) and called police to report an alien invasion and the prostitutes for Paul who supported his run in the Iowa caucuses even though they’re based in Nevada and aren’t allowed to vote in Iowa.

On the plus side, Ron Paul may not attract the most educated people but he does attract the most interesting.

On another plus side, Mitch Horowitz does a nice job of debunking every single myth about the 2012 end of the world myths. My favorite part is the way he deals with the many predictions people post online.

6. The famous early-20th century psychic Edgar Cayce foretold bad tidings for 2012, didn’t he?

No. While this rumor widely circulates on the web, and while Cayce did forecast earth-change prophecies for the late 20th century, he never uttered a word about 2012.

7. But the soothsayer Nostradamus warned us over 2012, right?

Again, no. While this is another rumor that makes the rounds online and in tabloid weeklies, the Renaissance-age seer never mentioned 2012. Of course, many analysts of Nostradamus would find that debatable. Nearly all of the middle-French quatrains produced by Nostradamus were imbued with ambiguous, shadowy images and language, which led to the profitable development of a cottage industry out of their interpretation and translation. But the best scholars in the field, which include Stephane Gerson (author of a monumental forthcoming biography of the seer) and Richard Smoley, who has recently retranslated the middle-French quatrains, find nothing in the work of Nostradamus that deals specifically with the year 2012 (or with the events 9/11 either, for that matter).

8. Didn’t a computer program called Web Bot predict a 2012 apocalypse?

The Web Bot Project is a program that scans the Internet for repeat phrases to search out cultural and business trends. Its findings are broad and widely open to interpretation — and some do use its data for prognostication. But it hasn’t pinpointed anything that plainly speaks to 2012.

“The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it’s difficult to discern whether or not they are genuine.” – Abraham Lincoln

But it is our new best friend Jason Boyett who does the Lord’s work in dissembling the whole end of the world in 2012 crap.

“We were warned.” That’s the ominous tagline of the late 2009 disaster film staring John Cusack. The one in which earthquakes tear the world apart, tsunamis flood the planet, Los Angeles crumbles into the Pacific Ocean, and we all learn that the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar predicted the whole thing. We also learned that you don’t need a coherent script when you’re destroying the planet, but that’s a separate post.

Now that it’s actually 2012, the year in which those fictional events supposedly were to have taken place, you may be wondering: Is the Mayan calendar a real thing? Were we warned? Is 2012 the end of the world?

The answers, in order: Yes. No. And probably not.

Yes, there is such a thing as the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, as mentioned in the movie. And yes, it does come to an end on the Winter Solstice of this year — Dec. 21, 2012. Just like your desk calendar came to an end on Dec. 31, 2011. And just like your car’s odometer will “come to an end” should you drive it all the way to 99,999.9 miles.

Only you know as well as I do that calendars and odometers don’t “end.” They reset and start over. Your car doesn’t implode when the odometer resets. Time didn’t end when the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve. Numbers change, totals reset to zero, and we keep counting.

Though it’s based on different intervals of time, the Mayan’s Long Count Calendar isn’t that different from modern calendars. Our calendars measure days, weeks, months, years and centuries, with our largest interval (for practical purposes) being a millennium, or one thousand years. The largest interval on the Long Count is called a b’ak’tun, which is around 144,000 days. The calendar resets each time it measures another b’ak’tun.

Though there is some disagreement on it, most Mayanist scholars date the starting point of this calendar back to Aug. 11, 3114 B.C. If this is accurate, then the calendar “resets” by reaching the 13th B’ak’tun on Dec. 21, 2012, at which point it rolls over and begins counting toward another milestone — just like our calendars rolled over at the end of 2011 and began counting the days and weeks of 2012.

So what’s the big deal? Why all the end-of-the-world stuff? According to ancient Mayan mythology, the world we’re living in now wasn’t our Creators’ first try. They attempted to create the world three times prior to it, but each of these early attempts failed. Before beginning our now-successful world, the Creators destroyed the previous world at the 13th B’ak’tun.

The arrival of the 13th B’ak’tun on Dec. 21, 2012, means that our current world will have surpassed the “expiration date” of the previous world. So it’s a significant occasion — if you believe in the Mayanist creation narrative.

If you don’t believe that our mythological Creators trashed three previous worlds before finally getting it right with this one, then the arrival of the 13th B’ak’tun on the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar should mean nothing to you.

But that hasn’t stopped fear mongers, conspiracy theorists, New Age kooks and other apocalypse aficionados from hitching their doomsday wagons to Dec. 21, 2012, as a potential date for the end of the world. We praise the ancient Mayan culture for being advanced mathematicians and astronomers. Couldn’t they maybe have been onto something with this end-of-the-calendar thing? Did they know something we didn’t?

That’s why a quick search of 2012 doomsday or Mayan apocalypse or something similar will result in a rainbow of fruity scenarios supposedly slated for Dec. 21 of this year, including an Earth-scorching supernova, catastrophic solar flares, alien invasion, asteroid collision, supervolcano eruption, a “dangerous” planetary alignment, nuclear Armageddon, the biblical apocalypse or the arrival of yet another Roland Emmerich disaster film.

If you believe the doomsayers, the transcendentally wise Mayans predicted it thousands of years ago, and created their ancient calendar to warn us. When the calendar ends, so does life as we know it. If you buy into their mythology, go ahead and freak out about our impending demise.

But if you don’t, then feel free to relax. The world is no more likely to end in December than it was when Harold Camping predicted apocalypse for October of 2011, or when Marian Keech predicted the world’s end in 1954, or when William Miller predicted the Rapture and Second Coming in 1844.

Humanity is obsessed with the end of the world. We predict it all the time. We are always wrong. The 2012 doomsayers will be wrong, too.

Jason Boyett is a writer, speaker and author of several books. His latest is “Pocket Guide to 2012: Your Once-in-a-Lifetime Guide to Not Completely Freaking Out,” currently available on Kindle and Nook. Learn more at jasonboyett.com or follow Jason on Twitter @jasonboyett.

Now, can you please tell anyone who thinks this is the year that people finally get the apocalypse right to just shut the f*** up and sit the f*** down? The rest of us have useful things to do and learn.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/33117677 w=400&h=300]

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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