The Apocalypse Ends Today, Almost

MayanCalendarNothing is going to happen today. Except, of course, that something is going to happen today, and that is why all this Mayan calendar insanity will regrettably soldier on.

If you’ve been blissfully unaware that the world is supposed to end today due to some old Mayan calendar having the equivalent of the Y2K event, then skip this and go on with your merrily unharried life. Even if you do know, I’m not going to try to convince you that it’s not going to happen. There are plenty of debunking sites out there that will tell you 1) how ridiculous it all is, and 2) how they actually have the date wrong anyway.  On the other hand, if you actually believe this nonsense, why are you wasting your last day on Earth reading my blog?

And while part of me is looking forward to laughing at the true believers of the Mayan apocalypse, I’m also dreading what tomorrow will bring. Why? It’s not that I dread the world’s existence. It’s that I dread all the various things that will happen today being pointed to tomorrow as what the whole Mayan calendar was really predicting.

You see, not all of the true believers are predicting an end to the world. Some of them are interpreting this Mayan math as a signal to some other world-altering event. We’ll be contacted by the ancient astronauts, or perhaps we’ll all ascend to some higher plane of existence, or even more far-fetched… Paris Hilton will join Hugh Hefner in a vow of chastity. While that might be the end of the world for Hugh Hefner, these kinds of predictions leave the rest of us still standing. And since there will be hundreds of thousands of newsworthy events today, there is plenty of material to work with.

First, let’s talk about self-fulfilling prophecies. I fully expect that somewhere today, someone is going to blow something up. We might also see another mass-suicide doomsday cult. We’re also probably due for some kind of threat, perhaps some kind of attack on infrastructure or public places. Oh, and I imagine there a few thousand press releases queued up to be unleashed today. None of these have anything to do with what the Mayans were thinking about, if they were even thinking about anything other than, “We’ll all have upgraded calendars by then.” No, these events will all be about someone being stupid and/or evil and picking this date to do it, just to cash in the hype.

Closely related will be some staged events. The great prophet of New Maya will ascend today, or something like that. Far more likely is that he’s slipping away to Peru with embezzled church funds, leaving behind disappointed followers and an IRS investigation.

Random occurrences are harder to dispute. We might see a major melt event on this first day of Antarctica’s summer. There might be the start of a large forest fire somewhere. A world leader might keel over with a heart attack. A lot of random things happen every day. Today will be no different, so there will be no shortage of things for a true believer to point to and say, “That’s what it’s all about – don’t you see?” I can’t do much more than shake my head and point to the sheer randomness of it.

But the most annoying will be those small events that we cannot yet see their significance. These could be tiny things like some newsworthy birth or the discovery of yet another exoplanet. Even worse, these could be things that are so trivial as to have escaped the news altogether, with the faithful clinging to the notion that all will reveal itself in time. And to them, I say fine, believe what you want to believe. Just don’t expect me to get all excited about it.

So, stuff is going to happen today, but about the only thing I can tell you for certain is that we won’t be done with this Mayan calendar insanity in the morning.