Monday, December 12, 2011


Here we are a mere stone’s throw from 2012 and I’ll bet none of you are ready for the end of the world. We have Mayan’s with their faulty calendar, and we have asteroids, and we have a Presidential election –maybe the next president launches a nuclear attack, and we have terrorist threats, Nostradamus’ cryptic predictions, Biblical end times, economic collapse as the dollar loses its place as the currency standard, and much, much more.

I can’t lie in bed and watch TV anymore without some show focusing on the end of it all, and that is not including the dearth of reality shows that plague us like a case of the shingles. Is it the end? Does it really matter? We all die sooner or later! Is it fiction? How do we know?  At least Harold Camping now shuts his mouth having failed in 3 of his end of world predictions.  And like that old cartoon of the seer wearing a sandwich board with the words “The End is Nigh” on it, people like to point to the Book of Revelations as proof that we are in the end times.

And maybe we are, but hardly from any of the above aside from terrorism or economic collapse.  If you want an explanation then I direct you HERE to NASA which explains it all somewhat rationally.

So why the fascination with the end times? It could well be that we are fed-up with the societal decay that we long for something cleaner, safer, more optimistic. It could be that we are starting to recognize the self-indulgent generation that used credit like cocaine only to wind up struggling to make the bare minimum standards of a halfway decent life. Things have changed for the 99.5% of the country; the hard workers who get little beyond sustenance.  Certainly the Occupy groups are correct in their assessment of the situation even if they have no plan of attack beyond squatting and littering. Those future movies about the big, bad corporations ruling the world are not far off. Especially in this capitalistic society where the right to make a buck supersedes everything else.

I was watching the total eclipse the other night and today the near full moon in the morning sky, and I thought how easily it could be gone. We talk about asteroids hitting the Earth but never do we talk about it hitting the moon. How would the loss of the moon affect our planet? We rely on the gravitational pull for our tides, and even the effect it has upon us. But that was not the main thought; the main thought was how much we assume it will all be there; the moon, our country (still young on the scale of countries), our lifestyle, our families. In fact we wrap ourselves in a blanket of blind faith because we do not want to face the negative possibilities, including those of the country as a whole.

It made me realize that even now, in our vast civilization and history, we forget that we are our own worst enemy, a species split with the ability to be great, creative, inspiring and helpful, while also able to be ruthless, merciless, corrupt and beyond salvation.  The Mayan mystique with their long cycle calendar tells you nothing of their primitive aspects; their savagery which included child sacrifices toward the end time of their civilization.  Likewise Romans believed their empire would prevail; the gods demanded it, after all. They did not clue in to the same belief with the Egyptians, as well as other great empires that, at one time, thrived before being relegated to the history books.

2012 – it has a nice sound to it until I remember that it means I have aged another year and that the years ahead are fewer than those behind me. One thing that I do believe is that we have lost the ability to be more than just some statistical number used in an illusionary economics statistic. We have become so enamored with the illusion of substance that we have allowed it to be taken from us. Shopping malls, Black Friday sales, holiday spending and debts, we forget that all the crap we import comes cheaply and at a price; that being loss of local jobs to lead contamination. We forget that we have allowed arsenic in apple juice, and potentially dangerous industrial chemicals in our drinking water – you know you can no longer drink from streams without boiling the water; that is a development in this lifetime.

Schools talk about dumping lessons in handwriting, while math facts do not need to be memorized. And yet we still cannot advertise at schools in order to raise funds to offset state government’s rape of the system even as we dumb down the learning while claiming it has been toughened with those idiotic testing standards. And the kids that go on to college and get their $15,000 - $140,000 student loans wind up working at K-mart for minimum wage, certainly no longer experiencing that former glory of working hard for advancement. Twenty-somethings are moving back with their parents while older workers are getting laid off and well on their way to ever lower social security benefits.  And so on.

So we do not need the Mayan calendar to tell us the end is nigh; we just keep doing what we have been doing and we’ll take care of ourselves far quicker.