Monday, June 29, 2009

The Apocalypse of 2012 pt. 2

When we think the end of the world, we generally think, "Oh fuck."  With 2012 just two and a half short years away we'd better start enjoying life and preparing for the end right away!  
What are you going to do?  I know I for one am going to finally turn my bathroom into a distillery and start making hooch.  If prisoners in maximum security prisons can do it, I'm sure I can do it too.  Then I'll sell it.  I'll become the Donald Trump of the post apocalypse. 
I've seen to wander off subject again.  Anyways, check out these loony sites if you're actually serious about this whole 2012 business,  
 (If I were you I'd go ahead and write some kind of book about 2012 being the end because the market is about to explode in that whole area.  Disaster-Prophesy literature is booming, just ask Nostradamus).

If you don't want to go through the trouble then let me break it down for you:

      1 part (religion) 
+ 1/2 parts (Science)  
+ 1 parts (Astrology)
+ 1/2 parts (Ancient Mythology)  

the square root of FEAR of the Unknown  


Apocalyptic Prediction

There will be more on this theorum at a later date but as you can see, predicting the apocalypse is a very complicated matter and requires integers, long division, multiplication, and courage in the face of irrational numbers--not to mention years of training that I just can't break down to you in a few paragraphs and equations.  
This leaves us somewhat befuddled.  Confused?  Don't be, it all adds up in the end! (no pun intended).
In modern times there seems to be a surface level feeling of anxiety which hints that something big and bad is in the future.  Pinning a date on it, like 2012, makes it more tangible and real; however, no less than what is already at hand.  There are lots of ways we could wipe ourselves out right now!
What ways you ask? 
Well how about bio-terrorism, nuclear holocaust, killer bees, and the cluster fuck that is becoming global warming?  It's true, yes we have a lot to be concerned with.  Not to mention the completely unexpected, like aliens from a distant planet invading, or Earth getting hit by a giant asteroid, or the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland actually creating a black hole that then swallows the Earth whole.  No wonder why predicting the end of the world can get so dizzying!  
Next, we'll look at how the media exploded a rational danger in the Y2K problem of 1999 and caused panic in America and at the local Home Depot store.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Apocalypse of 2012 pt. I

Have you ever been at a family gathering and heard this?  

"How do you know?"
"The ancient Mayan predicted it!"
"Oh really?"
"Yes!  And also, a huge volcano is going to erupt in Yellowstone and kill millions of people in the United States!"
"Yeah, and the sun is going to start producing massive solar flares that will send huge amounts of radiation to earth and eat up our magnetic fields!"
"You don't say?"
"I do, and also, Jesus is going to come back and lead all the Jews and Christians into battle in the Middle East against the forces of Satan!"
"Well, now you've got me, if Jesus is involved it must be true."
I hope none of your have ever had a conversation like this, but I guarantee at least one of you has.  And an interesting conversation it was too.  He was very serious for a fourteen year old and I don't blame him.  The apocalypse is no laughing matter.  
Chef Boy R D is the only thing that I will put in my apocalypse shelter.  Before I digress into another long story of what I want to put in my apocalypse pantry, let's discuss the whole issue of the looming date of December 21, 2012.  
First a brief history of apocalyptic predictions...

  1. Joanna Southcott: (pictured above)  Self-Proclaimed Woman from the Bible with Prophetic Powers.  Born in 1750 Britain, Joanna thought that she was the woman from Revelations 12:1-6 (King James version) and that she was going to give birth to the Messiah and herald the end of the world.  The end date would be October 19, 1814.  When this date came and went her followers did not faulter but only assumed there was some kind of cosmic 'mix-up.'  Ironically Joanna would die two months later.  In a strange twist, her loyal followers kept her body around for a while in hopes she may raise herself from the dead but when it started to rot, they handed it over to authorities.
  2. Millerites:  These were the followers of an upstate New York baptist preacher named William Miller who taught that Jesus would be coming back roughly around the year 1843.  Miller drew a lot of his teaching based on a very literal reading of the book of Daniel combined with a smattering of things out of Revelations.  Interestingly, Miller's movement became widely circulated in the newspaper media of the time starting mostly in Boston in the paper, "Signs of the Times."  Overall there would go on to be some 48 newspapers and periodicals that published Millerite literature until "The Great Dissapointment" happened in 1843, which, as you probably guessed, was when Miller was proven wrong.  For several more times throughout their lives Miller and other followers went on to make predictions about armageddon but each failed.  Soon most left the organization and what was left split into several loosely connected organizations, some of them being foundations for modern protestant groups of today.
  3. Jehovah's Witness:  Daniel must have said some interesting stuff in the bible because he has inspired a number of people, for whatever reason, to believe that the end of the world was coming sooner, rather than later.  The modern Jehovah's Witness organization does not believe in making the end of the world predictions like it used to, now they adhere to a belief that the end is coming soon and it's best just to be ready.  Some famous predictions dates include 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, and 1994.  
Gathered here is just a short collection of stories of people hoping to predict the end of the world.  In understanding the predictions of 2012 and whether or not you should sell everything and move to the mountains and live in a cave, we'll continue understanding this history of apocalyptic prediction and prophesy.  Who knows, maybe we'll learn something!  More is coming.  That is, if the world doesn't end tomorrow.  

To Be Continued...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

6 ½ Reasons for Why the Apocalypse is going to be f#@&ing AWESOME!


6.  No bosses!  Everyone can agree when the apocalypse comes the one thing you won’t  have to worry about anymore is pissing off your boss.  That’s right.  Fuck it.  Treat everyday like you’re stuck in the movie Office Space.  Except, imagine it’s only you left, and no one else.  So what if you don’t get the benefit of having quirky co-workers who make you look and feel more like the cool, sincere slacker you really are.  Just know that you can achieve all you possibly can achieve if you put your mind to it.  Let that one settle while we go on to the next point.

5.  Gainful Employment!  While rejoicing the fact that you have no boss you can delight in the pleasure of becoming your own.  That’s right, you get to be in charge.  So what will you do with the new found freedom and responsibility, not having anyone looking over your shoulder every five minutes?   While you think about that, ponder some other reasons why the apocalypse is gonna rock your socks. 

4.  No Speed limit!  That’s right.  So, while you might have worried in the past about speeding to work so you won’t get in trouble with your boss, but too afraid to get pulled over by a cop to do it, your problems are solved.  First, you have no boss, you are your own boss now remember?  And second, well, there’s no cops.  But what makes this scenario even more fun is the fact that there is no one else around to cause traffic accidents, bottle necks, or to flat out cut you off from merging.  This is going to come in handy because while you might not be the only sole survivor, chances are you may find yourself in a situation where you have to make a fast getaway, perhaps from someone else who has decided to be their own boss too. 

3.  Looting!  Why else would you need to make a fast getaway?  And if you don’t have to worry about making the getaway, well, lets just say there’s going to be lots of stuff to go around.  And by stuff I mean all that stuff cluttering up your old boss’s house who happens to be one of the billion or so who didn’t make it through the apocalypse like you did.  Not to mention the fact that all the cool stuff from all the cool stores that you couldn’t afford is now on sale, 100% off!  The only problem of course is the fact that probably half the stuff you want to buy is electronic and well, there’s not going to be much electricity after you know, when the lights go out. 

2.  Shooting!  This skill goes hand in hand with all aforementioned.  Nothing says self employed like aiming down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun.  With no cops around to tell you to put your gun away, you can sling it around and shoot at anything and everything.  No problem.  That is of course until you start running out of ammo.  In which case you mind want to conserve some for picking off other looters who are trying to loot stuff on your turf.  Simple enough.  Of course, the catch to all this is all the other self employed survivals who’s number one job tool is also the 12 gauge shotgun.  In which case, shoot first and ask questions later. 

1.  Free Parking!  After a hard days work of looting, shooting, and getting shot at you’ll need a place to park after speeding back to your hideout.  Fortunately you don’t have to worry about meter mades and parking police anymore! 

½  Silence...  It's a halfway awesome reason because it's also halfway craptastic.  You've been driving fast, being your own boss all day, shooting stuff up on your way to that free parking space and so now what do you do when you get there?  Sleep?  Eat?  Play yourself in a game a chess?  It will both suck and be pretty nice at the same time.  Would you really want to be reminded constantly about how lonely you are after the world ends?  Seriously, what kind of person are you?

Thanks be to the end!

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Introduction

Where did you get such a sick idea?  The apocalypse?  Seriously?  First, a brief anecdote.  If you want to skip the anecdote, the real meat is in the last two paragraphs.

While the thought to do this blog didn't cross my mind till some years later, my interest in the apocalypse has for some reason always been a part of my life.  As a child I was always interested in how humans began and to complete that thought, how we'd come to end.  My interest in our specie's origins up until now is probably why i decided to major in history in college.  All that death and destruction thought is pretty perverse stuff for an eleven year old but the thought of how other's around me viewed it didn't really cross my mind until I was almost done with college.  It became clear to me that almost everyone, not just me, has some sort of opinion or concern regarding our extinction.

So, one lazy morning, fighting off sleep in my renaissance history class (imagine that) I woke up trying to figure out how the discussion had wondered away from religious depictions in Italian art (lots of nudity was invovled) to finishing grad school and about how long our professor thought it would take.  There was apparently a grad student in our class and he was trying to get some kind of daddy-like approval from the professor, so he kept going on and on with him, meanwhile the poor man  was probably trying to figure out an exit strategy to get the lecture back on track again.  I was immediately bored with it.  Suddenly the professor said to all of us, “If you want to get your phd’s many of you won’t be getting them until 2012 or later.  So get on it!” 

I muttered something rhetorical to myself about how it wouldn’t matter anyways because the ancient Mayans said we’ll all be dead by then (I was citing some crap I had heard on the History Channel, which is always a nice dart board for history students to throw things at).

Apparently this was not stated that way.  What I said,  I said out loud in front of the whole class and in my half asleep stooper didn’t realize it.  Suddenly the girl behind me perked up, a girl who had said nothing all semester, exclaimed, “Don’t joke about things like that!”

Thinking she was being just as sarcastic as I was, I pressed on and said something like, “No seriously, the apocalypse is coming, it won’t matter if we have our phd’s by then because we won’t get to use them.”

“You don’t joke about the end times.  Haven't you read your bible?  Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart?”  And yes, that’s what she said.  I immediately realized I was having a serious conversation.  The professor finally figured enough was enough and took over the conversation by continuing his lecture while me and this girl looked at each other is complete dumbfoundedness.

I didn't mean to intentionally offend someone, so I apologized,“It was only a joke.”  I whispered.

“You don’t need to joke about it.”  She said back. 

“The world is not really going to end in 2012.” 

“You don’t know that.  Some people think it’s VERY likely.”  At this point I shrugged and turned around.  She was obviously offended.  There was no point going on about it.  For the remainder of class I sat there and wondered how she had gotten so far in school with such backwards thinking.

And then it hit me.  You don’t have to be dumb or smart to believe the apocalypse is coming.  We’re being bombarded with it constantly.  If it’s not from some theocratic angle it’s in the news, on tv shows, on the radio, all over the internet, and in the video games we play.  Human kind is advancing (sort of), becoming over populated, and resources are being stretched thin.  To this end, it's no wonder people get so up-in-arms about how we're all heading towards an apocalyptic disaster of some kind.  The idea is so prevalent, it's like we've accepted from birth.  So I thought, why not talk about it?  Why not demystify some of the bullshit surrounding it?  And if we can, why not laugh about?  We're all going to go the way of the dinosaurs sooner or later... Or are we?

So this is my plan and hopefully you readers, the four or five of you that there are, will find it amusing.  I’m going to dedicate this space for all things “apocalypse style”—that is anything and everything pertaining to the notion and practice of figuring out how the world will end, and what, if anything, could be funny about all this hub-bub.  Anything is fair game.


Thanks be to the end!