It’s The End of The World as We Don’t Know It

Congratulations to us all!  Buy a round and celebrate the world not ending on December 21, 2012!  Hoorah!  Doomsday averted.

Let’s take a step back and be clear about the 2012 Doomsday Debacle – the Mayan calendar just stopped at the year 2012, it didn’t say that everything ended then. Professional Mayanist scholars had stated that predictions of impending doom were not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar ends in 2012 misrepresented Maya history and culture. So it was just some paranoid jackwads winding everyone else up.

It’s always some jackwad(s) winding everyone up with obsessed ranting about the horrible fate awaiting us on a specific date.

I was born in 1964, and that means a lot of crap has happened in my lifetime. Here are some of the doomsday prophecies that have occurred in my lifetime, and yeah. We are still here.

Heaven’s Gate (1997)

Comet Hale-Bopp and Williams ObservatoryIn 1997, with the appearance of comet Hale-Bopp, there were unfounded rumors that an alien ship was following this comet. Heaven’s Gate, a UFO religion, based on these rumors, concluded that the world would end, due to some universal recycling project that would wipe the earth clean, and the only way to avoid dying was to leave the planet via the aforementioned yet unverified spaceship following the comet.  The world ended only for 39 of the cult members on March 26, 1997, when they committed suicide in hope of surviving recycling. The earth is still here, as non-recycled as ever.

Nostradamus Revisited (1999)

For hundreds of years, people have found the metaphorical writings of Nostradamus intriguing. One of his most famous predictions of Nostradamus read as, “The year 1999, seventh month: From the sky will come a great king of terror.” Devotees were concerned that this was the vision of Armageddon.

It wasn’t. Some academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus’s quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. Still, people fall for it, over and over.

Y2K Bug (2000)

English: The Logo Created by The President's C...As the year 2000 approached, people began speculating that computers will trigger doomsday. This is not unfounded, as many of the software programs responsible for financial records were recording the date as the final two figures of the year only, and thus, might reflect ‘00’ as 1900, sending investments and such back a hundred years. Electrical grids would go down en masse and computers would stop working.

To correct this, many, many resources were allocated to help fix such problems in software and as the calendar flipped from 1999 to 2000, I sat in a cubicle, waiting for my phone to ring. I worked for Microsoft Corporation and I was prepared to help anyone with any computer problem that might have occurred due to the Y2K problem. The phone never rang, but I played a near-perfect game of Age of Empires.

God’s Church Ministry (2008)

God’s Church minister, Ronald Weinland, predicted in 2006 that there will be death of millions of people by the end of 2006, and the world will face the worst times in human history within two years after that.  One of his predictions also said that the United States would no longer be the world’s most powerful nation. This was all based on his interpretation of the Christian Bible.

Weinland continued his nuttiness and now proclaims that the prophesied return date for Jesus Chris is May 19, 2013, with great tribulation to proceed. Mark your calendars.

Summary

Yep, people bought-in to all this crazy ass nonsense every time. I even believed Y2K might have some effect, but it didn’t. Still, surviving past a portended Armageddon doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet.

The future is uncertain. The world may end. But one can always hope that the best of what we are rises to the top and whatever comes our way, we will adapt and survive. Nay, we will conquer it. I choose to believe that, in myself and in you.

Just don’t call me a prophet for that, please.

© 2012, Mitch Lavender

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