Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh, Those Zany Mayans

Happy Dec. 23, 2012.

If you’re reading this today, it proves that we were hoodwinked by the
Mayans, those merry pranksters from long ago who predicted the world
as we know it would end this past Friday.

Not that I built a bunker or anything. I'ts tough to prepare for
total annihilation.

At the most, I was prepared to open a good Zinfandel and sip a glass
as we all sang, “We’ll meet again some sunny day” while awaiting our

Turns out it was all a big misunderstanding.

It seems that while the Mayans were perfecting the art of ritual human
sacrifice, a couple of their sloppy citizens left some artifacts
scattered about including a calendar that reportedly stopped after
5,000 years on Dec. 21, 2012.

This was immediately seized upon by doomsday aficionados as a sign
that we were toast. Of course, these are the same folks who see
omens and icons on a tortilla chip. Yet people worldwide were buying

We were to be swallowed by a Black Hole or toasted by a solar flare
or expire after we collided with a mysterious planet called Nibiru
which is near enough to eradicate us but has never been seen.

It almost sounds like Scientology. But, hey, if you’re going to buy
into cataclysmic scenarios, it helps to believe in the far fetched.

The problem is that anthropologists aren't even sure whether the end
of the Mayan calendar falls on Dec. 21, or whether it's already
happened or is still to come, according to an AP dispatch.

The date is mentioned in only two known cases, including an etching
that says nine gods will descend from heaven to Earth. The verb
describing what the gods will do is illegible in the etching. Maybe
they just wanted to hang out.

Personally, I think this whole Mayan calendar thing was dreamed up by
the Mexican Tourist Agency which saw more cash than catastrophe in
the end of days. And they succeeded by attracting hordes of folks
who traveled to the land of the Mayans to kiss this old world
goodbye, a pitcher of Margaritas in hand.

But Mayan doom isn’t the only danger we faced this weekend.

It seems that a tale making the rounds on the Internet predicted that
there would be a total blackout of the planet from Dec. 23 to Dec.
25, as the result of an “extraordinary phenomenon” involving the
realignment of the universe that happens every 11 million years.
This, the story goes, has all been confirmed by NASA, a factoid the
space agency denied in no uncertain terms.

“For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the
science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the
fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies,
documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple
fact,” said a statement on a NASA website. “There is no credible
evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events
taking place in December 2012.”

So if you’re reading this in the comfort of you well-lit home, score
it NASA 1, Universe Realignment Goofs, 0. If you’re reading it by
candlelight against the backdrop of a cold, dark and windswept
planet, well, NASA erred.

But not to worry. It will all be over in time for the post-Christmas

Those weren’t the only apocalyptic predictions this year.

Ronald Weinland, a minister in the Church of God for 25 years, first
called for the end of the world on Sept. 30, 2008, then on May 27,
2012, and then revised it all to say that the beginning of the end
was in May of this year and the final day will be May 19, 2013.
Stay tuned.

Harold Camping predicted the end would come in 1994, 1995, May 2011
and Oct. 2011, the result of the rapture and earthquakes. The
California preacher, however, has been honest about his failure to
such a degree that the Huffington Post reported in March of this year
that Camping was getting out of the prediction business.

It’s enough to give Nostradamus a bad name.

For 2013, some psychics are saying that a meteor strike will plunge
us into poverty and distress, especially in coastal areas. The meteor
impact will cause tidal waves and volcanic eruptions, they say.

Which brings me to my prediction for next year: There will continue
to be a chorus of whackos who claim they can predict the future.
They can’t.

Besides, if there’s an apocalypse, it will be one of our own making.

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