The 2012 year has begun, and, if you’re reading this, so far so good – we’re all still here. As Christmas of 2011 concluded, and the barrage of holiday tunes dissipated, R.E.M.’s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (and I feel fine) was the tune that took their place playing inside my head. Whether it be Nostradamus, the ancient Mayans, or some nut jobs like Harold Camping or The Westboro Baptist Church, it seems that every couple of years someone else is predicting the “end of days”… Can you hear me yawning?
As someone suggested to me only days ago; “How do we know the Mayans didn’t just run out of stone to make more calendar?”
Besides being completely overrated, I think this whole “End of the World” thing should be a little more organized, not chaotic and haphazard like the lyrics of the R.E.M. song. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable of me to ask some specifics, so that I might know when it would be acceptable to stop making mortgage payments. The word mortgage itself – taken from the Latin meaning “engagement until death” – suggests that perhaps Fannie Mae might be behind the vagueness of it all. Essentially, Armageddon would mean no more bank bail-outs, and we all know ‘they’ can’t let that happen.
But I digress.
Apparently what is “great” is that it all starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes and an aeroplane, not to mention that Lenny Bruce is not afraid (giving much relevance to a comedian, and perhaps the irony of it all). I mean, of course Lenny Bruce isn’t afraid, he’s been dead since 1966 for Pete’s sake. Being that I personally experienced my first earthquake in 2011, I can tell you there’s really nothing great about them. As far as the birds, they must be the Alfred Hitchcock variety, and the snakes could be anything from the serpent in the Garden of Eden to the ones on that aeroplane, which wasn’t even invented til long after the decline of the Mayan culture, so really, what does it all mean?
“The future’s uncertain and the end is always near”.
-Jim Morrison, deceased.
It’s fairly clear that our society has some obsessive, if not romantic fascination with the end of the world, and regardless how it would come to pass, I’m afraid we would get no warnings like snakes or birds, it would just happen. That being said, if this whole Mayan thing doesn’t work out, things will be business as usual. Instead of concerning ourselves with endings, perhaps it’s best we embrace beginnings, and all that is good in the world. The sun will still rise, children will still laugh and smile, life is good…
And I feel fine.