Monday, March 7, 2011
It's The End Of The World As We Know It, And I Feel Fine
Because of my recent reading material I have been thinking about *the end of the world* and all of the latest craze surrounding it, which got me thinking about the most vocal of them all right now, Dec 21, 2012, of course. So I’ve been doing a tiny bit of reading and I have to say folks, it seems that the End of the Worlders are at it pretty hot and heavy. Which shouldn’t be a surprise given the human race’s predilection for doom mongering. But before I move ahead and accidently scare anyone into thinking that they should head for high country this instant, let me bring out a few samples of predictions from the murky past to the, oh so present day, just so we can put things into perspective. What was the saying? Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
To begin with, as far as I can tell the oldest known written apocalyptic prediction is found on an Assyrian clay tablet dating back to 2,800BC. Yup, it looks like the Assyrian’s beat everyone today by almost 5000 years in the “crazy for end times” phenomena. Oh and just as a note, they were also blathering on about how the youth of today have no respect for their elders like they did when the fogy Assyrians were young.
Not surprisingly I found that the majority of apocalyptical prophecies, by a landslide, were the religions of the world. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all right up there, not only in predicting the end of the world, but many times actively working towards the goal. What a fun bunch they are me hearties. The book of Revelations itself was a wellspring for more than 2000 years of Christian cults. In 1284 Pope Innocent predicted the end by adding 666 years to the inception of Islam. In 1624 a rabbi by the name of Sabbatai Zevi figured that the kabbalah was predicting the return of the messiah. In 1666 Londoner’s thought that the Great Fire was a harbinger of the Last Days. Oh and who can forget the leading doomsayers of modern times, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they actually managed to base a religion on their penchant for predicting the end, 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984. I think they are leading the pack, but they had better not sit on their laurels for too long.
Of course it would be unfair to the other nut bars to leave them out of this discussion, just because their beliefs aren’t founded on obscure holy texts. Some are actually founded on obscure astrological texts. Then there are the, Halley’s Comet Gang, starting in 240BC and every 76 years after. Oh and speaking of comets, how about that zany Hale-Bopp team of 1997? New Nike’s anyone? Speaking of the 1990’s, Holy Prophecy wars Batman!” Thanks, I believe, goes to the internet for allowing the mania to take off and grab even the most discriminating prognosticator and throw him/her/it out onto the world stage. The number, and type, of *End of the Worlders* increased exponentially with the net’s advent. Nostradamus must be rolling in his grave because he is missing out on all those royalties for his quatrains. Even Prince William gets to be the Antichrist in one. I’m just surprised that they don’t have a special groundhog set up at the Vatican. “Can we please have quiet in the square while the pontiff pulls, Vatican Vito, from his slumber and listens to his revelations for this year’s world’s end.” I pick December 31st. Speaking of Dec 31st, who could forget the Y2K circus of 2000? Now wasn’t that a fun little field trip in Millennium Fever. The last time it happened was only a 1000 years ago.
As you can see the human race has been at this for a long, long, long time. Man is a master doomsayer, and these days there are as many sites, books, and papers on the topic as there are minutes in the day. Does this mean that I don’t think that the end is nigh? Oh contraire, I am not that silly. I know that it is just a matter of time before we go boom. Do I think that it will be because some invisible deity takes offense to the fact that people just don’t give two hoots about it and comes riding into town on a pale horse? I think not.
The fact of the matter is that, the world as we know it, hasn’t always been like it is today even the landmasses have shifted many times over in the last billion years, or four. So the real question is not, will the world end for us, but how will it end? Are we sowing the seeds of our own destruction right now? Will our world collapse because we are destroying it by mismanaging our resources? Will we destroy ourselves because we are unable to stop ourselves from shitting in our own yard? Will we finally end up picking the wrong fight? Or will it be something outside our sphere of control (as hard as that is to believe) so when the magnetic pole shifts, because it will and soon, will that be all for, Big Jim, and his young ‘uns? Or is there a big chunk of rock out there with a postal code marked, EARTH?
My prediction is; (drum roll please) I don’t know. But in my humble opinion we are doing a dam good job of shitting where we live, and mismanaging what we do have control over. So I suggest that we spend a little bit more time trying to clean up our back yard, and a loottt less time praying for it.