Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the world? We can't be so lucky

Where do you read the date Dec. 21, 2012 in this?

If the conspiracy theorists (a.k.a., tin foil hat wearers, paranoid wackos) are correct, this is the last piece of copy I ever will write.

For the day has finally arrived on Friday that our society, our planet, our very sphere of existence, will come to an end.

FOR ALL I know, I wasted my time writing this, because you won’t be in any position to read it.

But I did take the time to write it, because I fully expect you to have plenty of time to read it. Along with all the other thoughts I plan to express during what remains of my life. Which I don’t expect to end anytime soon!

In short, I have always found a certain level of absurdity to those people who actually take seriously the idea that many centuries ago, the Mayans (one of the societies that have melded into the modern-day Mexicans) predicted that our world would end as of Dec. 21, 2012.

Of course, the people who interpret those round Mayan (whose own demise as a separate people came long ago) calendars to come up with Friday’s date are probably the same ones who can’t really read those Egyptian hieroglyphics. So we really don’t know much of what all those pharaohs of old were thinking.

BESIDES, IT WAS never really clear to me exactly what is supposed to happen Friday that will bring our society to its demise.

Earthquakes? A massive meteor smashing into our planet to knock it off its orbit just enough that it becomes uninhabitable?

And how long will it take? Will we suddenly just cease to exist? Or will it be one of those things that is nothing in the overall scheme of time, but seems like an eternity to us?

Which means that when we are still alive and thriving come 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the conspiracy theorists among us will probably come up with some picayune event that they say proves the truth of their beliefs – and that the end of the world has begun.

PERSONALLY, THERE WOULD be one advantage to having the end of the world at hand – we wouldn’t have to listen any longer to these paranoid people with their doomsday predictions. Because it’s not like they have some sort of secret rocket ship that will allow them to escape the demise of Planet Earth.

The idea of people who want to believe that one of those “X-files” movies gave their paranoid delusions credibility (by claiming that David Duchovny’s “Fox Mulder” character found the evidence that our government knew about the reality of Dec. 21, 2012 and was deliberately covering it up as part of a plot to hide the reality of extraterrestrial life) is something I could do without.

In fact, reading back that last sentence and what was forefold in that film shows just how absurd all this rhetoric is.

Because that film’s storyline is about as absurd as the reality espoused by the individuals who really believe that Friday has any real significance. Personally, the only significance to this date is that this weblog made it to the five-year mark in its existence.

BUT IF THIS date truly is the “end of the world,” then what’s the point? Somehow, I doubt the content of this weblog will be the one aspect of life on this planet that survives to be found by some future concept of life in this universe.

Which means that my real point is to mock the doomsday predictions, particularly in that no one followed the lead of “Dr. Strangelove” and came up with an underground bunker containing 10 women for each man to protect us!

Even that schpiel that computers would crash en masse on Jan. 1, 2000 had a tiny bit of truth to it – in that computer software can be so temperamental at times that nobody really knows what triggers a crash.

In reality, I expect Friday to be as uneventful a day as that one was (so uneventful that I can’t even recall what I did). Although it will be ironic for those people who pass away on Friday – because it WILL be the end of life as they knew it.

AND JUST IN the oft-chance that something cataclysmic does occur on Friday, I’ll leave you with R.E.M. and their song, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine).”

It will probably be the only time in my life that I don’t find that song completely annoying to listen to.


EDITOR'S NOTE: This commentary also will be published at The South Chicagoan, a younger sister (by three months) weblog of this site.

No comments: