We had a party last night. The invite said “Apocalypse Party. What better way to go out than hanging with friends, with a drink in your hand!” I guess we ended up with about twenty people over there. I served from my two kegs full of homebrew, and people brought various six-packs and variety packs of beer. Which I guess is cool, because now I have probably twenty unique types and brands of beer in my BeerFridge. Twenty that I’ve never tried. Pretty cool, I say. But what about the real question here?
Why didn’t the world end?
So people in Australia ruined our fun yesterday by posting on various forums around the internet saying, “It’s December 22 here. We made it.” They’re 17 hours ahead there. But what about all the people who truly believed the world was going to end? Not sure how it works? Well, let me run it down for you, briefly. The Maya had what they called a long-count calendar to take care of vast spans of years at a time. Based arbitrarily on a date of somewhere around 3400 BC, this calendar counted forward some 5200 years at a time. I’m not getting it entirely perfectly right, but you’re welcome to go have a look for yourself. See if you can figure it out. But it basically runs down to the fact that they only went so far with their calendar cogs. For every cog or gear they put in place for long-counts, it added 5200 years or some such. They only added so many. Because they knew it was a long time away and wouldn’t need to update them for a few thousand years. I liken this to our Y2K fight at the turn of the century. We fixed it to a four-digit year system. Why did we not go ahead and add another ninety-nine thousand years and make it a five-digit year? Because we knew it was too far away to worry about. Same with the Maya.
This was, therefore, very obviously, not an attempt to predict anything – namely the end of the world. Just because the calendar you buy at Hallmark doesn’t go past January of 2014, does that mean the world is going to end after that? No? Then why did people think the Maya had the ability (and furthermore, the authority) to call the end of the world? So all these tinfoil-hat-wearing fools who thought it meant the end of the world, and cashed out all their bank accounts, quit their jobs and moved into the mountains… Well, how do you feel today?
Pretty much anything can be turned into a conspiracy. But it’s not just a little ludicrous when someone creates a belief system based on negative information. There is no December 22, 2012 on the Maya calendar. So that means the world ends. Huh? This makes about as much sense as an empty gumball machine. People who join cults in general are usually stupid. Heaven’s Gate, anyone? That dude who predicted the rapture this year? And was wrong… Twice? How is he not dragged out into the street and shot by now? Seriously people, if you believe what he is preaching is Biblical, then follow the Bible and stone this guy. But then if anyone who followed this guy actually knew the Bible, they would know the verse that said “no man shall know the day, nor the hour” (Mark 13:32).
So I guess the bottom line is that anyone with any smarts knew this was a bunch of hogwash. But it sure was fun to have a party since it lined up on a Friday. I think we’re all glad we’re still here. And the world is okay. At least for another day. Well, at least those of us who weren’t preaching the end from the street corners. Seriously, dudes. Go hang your heads in shame. You’re all idiots.