We made it through the weekend…. woo hoo. That’s more than I expected considering the impending doom we were faced with. I had given away my car and told my boss what I really thought of him so I spent the past few days righting those wrongs and now I make less money and drive a car with two more dents than it had last week.
I’m on the east coast and I remember the seconds ticking away as the second hand on my watch clicked, clicked, clicked its way along. At 5:59:58, I did that squinty closed eyes thing that the people in the movies do right before the bomb goes off and then it doesn’t of course and the same was true the world ending. I remember being perplexed as 6pm passed and when I opened my eyes, my cat was looking at me as if “Now that the world hasn’t ended, can you please fill up my food bowl and pat me on the head?”
Maybe I had the time wrong as I’m living in the east and the prediction was from the west. At 7pm, still, no end to the world. This Mr. Camping resides in California and 6pm PST translates to 9pm EST even though he was in Times Square for the countdown which is EST and I did watch him look at his watch as it rolled past six and at seven, he still had no explanation. I fed the cat and cracked open a beer and hunkered back for the next two hours; I thought about what I would do if I only had a few hours to live.
If the world did end, I doubt it would come at the top of the hour like the countdown to New Years and it really only has a one in sixty shot of happening that way if we were dealing with just minutes and not seconds too and in all of the paintings I’ve seen depicting Jesus and God, I’ve never seen either of them wearing a watch.
It’s now Wednesday morning and even if we were using 6pm Mars time, the world should have been over by now. The way I see it, the world has been ending since the beginning of time. Every generation has seen the world exploding and crashing down every few years. Just in the last hundred years, there have been two world wars, countless natural disasters, and the rise and fall of the great Charlie Sheen.
The first prophet of The End of Times was Chicken Little, a.k.a. Henny Penny, and we know how that worked out. With so examples of failed prophesies, why do people not learn from the past? Harold has now changed his world ending prediction to October 21, 2011. How many strikes does Camping get before we trade him to another planet?
If one predicts the end of the world and they’re wrong, it makes them a laughing stock. If you refute these prophesies and you’re incorrect, it doesn’t matter because you’re dead with everyone else including the Mayans.
The Mayan calendar says that the world ends on December 21, 2012. It doesn’t literally say that but that’s when the Mayan calendar just stops. It might be that they just thought that the world would end then or they just figured that by the time December 2012 rolled around, they’d want to create a new calendar; who knows. The Mayans dissolved into history, like the fans of a losing football team into the crowd, yet they had a calendar that post dated their existence by eleven-hundred years. I’d say that pretty impressive considering its 2011 and I’m still writing 2009 on my checks. My calendar just happens to expire every year and when it does, I don’t panic and jump out the window; I just buy a new one and I don’t get one a thousand years in advance.
The Mayan predictions, as with those of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, basically say that the world will not end in 2012; it will merely be a time of transition. That’s what Harold should have said. Transition can mean any number of things and the proper spin doctor could have made that work. It could mean a Noah type event, a chilly week, a pileup on the freeway, or a driver’s license renewal.
Scares are on the rise but it’s not a new thing. It’s what sells newspapers and get us to watch the evening news. We all remember Y2K and how panicked everyone was. People were moving out into the desert in self-sustaining houses and giving away their worldly possessions.
Maslow spoke about the basic needs being to eat and eliminate which makes sense as the grocery store was out of bread and toilet paper which seems to be what people think they need most whenever there’s a tragedy or a blizzard or a full moon. This is the same behavior as when there’s a snow storm. People wait in line to purchase a coffee table of toilet paper only to have the snow melt the next day and they’re forced to serve coffee to guests on the table-o-tp.
The Book of Revelation talks about The End of Times where natural disasters pile up and epic battles multiply like Einstein with a craving for venti lattes and Starbucks gift card. That seems to be what’s occurring but it’s not happening any more than it was a hundred years ago. We’ve had tsunamis, oils spills, lakes of dead fish, birds falling from the sky, and wars that never seem to end.
Between Harold Camping, the Mayans, the Web bot, the Hopis, and The Book of Revelation, I’ve had about as much mankind ending talk as I can take. Regardless of how many times the world has ended in the past, I’ve still had to show up for work the next morning. And it’s somewhat of a relief as the office makes me feel more secure even though the ceiling above my desk is leaking.