Well, I don’t know about you, but for my money 12-21-12 was about the lamest apocalypse I’ve ever seen. Phooey.
And so the Mayan calendar myth goes onto the trash heap with all the other end of times Cassandragrams, and I’m not just talking about those emails you got before the election. How about that Harold Camping yahoo from a couple of years back, the guy who twice predicted the exact date and time of the Rapture: Once when he said it was going to happen, and then again when he said it was really going to happen after his first prediction flopped.
But that was the work of an apocalyptic nutball preacher in 2010. Nobody really took it seriously because there simply was no reason to. Unlike 2012, when the doomsday prediction was built on the solid foundations of an ancient race with a religion based on human sacrifice.
In other words: Sheesh. Really, people? They closed schools in Michigan for this?
The one thing you can say for the 12-21-12 nonsense is that it was a modestly amusing diversion from stretch of pretty bleak news, and nobody with a brain larger than a walnut took it seriously. This did not, however, stop a proliferation of theories as to what was supposed to happen that on that fateful Friday because, as we all know, about a third of the people on this planet are walnut brains.
Here are my favorites:
1. Earth was supposed to collide with an asteroid and Bruce Willis was not able to save us like he did in “Armageddon.”
2. A strange magnetic vibration was supposed to trigger the pineal glands of every human on earth — all 7 billion of us — to release a hallucinogen, causing a worldwide psychedelic trip. Which would have been groovy, man.
3. Atlantis was supposed to rise. Presumably bringing Aquaman (the lamest superhero ever) with it.
4. The planet was supposed to be consumed by fires or floods or both, which would have been a neat trick.
5. Aliens were supposed to return to pick up those of us who had been properly picked from a select few, and no, you were not among them.
Or everything on the planet, from computers to can openers, would stop working, government and financial systems would collapse, and the Apocalypse would be upon us. In other words, the manure would strike the air conditioner.
None of which, you’ll recall, seemed to happen.
With all that kind of excitement at stake, I imagine there were a lot of disappointed 12-21-12 disaster predictors who woke up very disappointed on 12-22.
You have to wonder what drives people like that. I suppose it could be just a generalized sort of fear. There are lots of people who exist in a constant state of dread, skulking through their lives, glancing nervously upward as they wait for someone to drop a piano on them.
And there are those who find today’s belief systems entirely too cheerful, optimistic and empowering, and so go looking for something that is (a) out of their hands and (b) going to wipe us out any moment. Although you certainly don’t have to use the Mayan calendar for that as long as we have TV preachers.
Or maybe some people are just morons. See above under “walnut brains.” Or, as I also like to call them, Aquaman fans.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.