Happy 2012. A new year, and when I should be – like many others – hopeful, happy, etc, etc.
Instead, I’m vacillating between hope and some sourness on the whole new year. Thus, it seems perfectly appropriate (on this blog examining the apocalypse especially) to provide some predictions for 2012, rather than resolutions.
1. Someone, probably several someones, will be certain that the world will end this year.
2. There will be bad news, and then more bad news: war, famine, atrocities, economic collapse, etc.
3. Some people will be relieved that the end of the world is coming.
4. Some people will be terrified the end of the world is coming.
5. Someone will try (and possibly succeed) in making money as a result of apocalyptic fears.
Yeah, I know, not exactly Nostradamus, but my predictions are a lot less vague. Indeed, they make the whole year look pretty crappy – better to just hide under the covers perhaps?
Well, we’ll just see, hmm, after we take a closer look at each of them.
1. Someone, probably several someones, will be certain the world will end this year. Hmm, does anyone remember May of last year, when the world was supposed to end? Or what about the whole millennium doomsday thing (my computer’s still working, what about yours?) These kind of predictions are not limited to our modern times and the ease of getting your message out (nutball or otherwise); technically the world should of ended in 2600 BCE according to the Assyrians, 365 CE according to Hilary of Poitiers … and then pretty much every ten years (and some decades every year) until the present day and year. (Check out this link to a List of Dates Predicted for the Apocalypse).
Very well, yes, this year is 2012, which gets it’s very own apocalyptic predictions section, but you know what? 2000 did, too. And in case you’re wondering, no, I am not convinced the Mayans have predicted the end of the world; their calender simply works on cycles, and it’s time to flip it over to start another cycle – the same way I have to buy a new calender for the fridge.
2. There will be bad news, and then more bad news: war, famine, atrocities, economic collapse, etc. I believe they call this “the media.” I’ve heard that good news stories don’t sell (or that’s the story), which is why sensationalizing and dramatizing everything is more common. The good news, and good things happening in the world will be out there too – but no one will want to focus on them (hmm, perhaps I should start posting some good news item once a week …).
3. Some people will be relieved that the end of the world is coming. People have, since the beginning of time, long been fairly obsessed with believing the end of the world is nigh. In some cases, perhaps this is a relief (did you see point 2? Bad news all the time?) And perhaps it’s just human nature – I won’t say too much more on this since I’ve covered it in a previous blog (see link to the question of why we obsess about the apocalypse here.)
4. Some people will be terrified the end of the world is coming. Again, see previous points. But I mean, really: if you’ve become convinced that the world is going to end in a lot of screaming, fire, rage, and pain and suffering for you and everyone you love, it’s a pretty scary thought, isn’t it? My tip: try not to think about this too much, and it makes it a lot less scary.
5. Someone will try (and possibly succeed) in making money as a result of apocalyptic fears. Okay, this is the one that makes my mad. I remember last year when the apocalypse was supposed to end in May (oh, then ‘oops! October’), there was a news article where a young couple, with one child and expecting another, were talking about how they’d sold and given away everything they had since the apocalypse was coming anyway, and that way they’d be able to help distribute the word of the completely wrong apocalyptic predictor (I’m not bothering to look up his name – he’s not worth my time). I always wondered: so what happened after that? They only had enough for a week, so it would be a scramble to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves even if they did expect the apocalypse again in October. And especially, what happened to their children? I bet the “good ol’ rev” didn’t put them up or give them his money and clothes … or care, since he’s probably convinced he has the right date this year.
By all means, if you want to prepare for the apocalypse, go to it. If you want to help others to do so – especially with the idea of helping them survive, and with ideas of hope and a future – power to you. But it always makes me sick when someone just wants to panic and scare people for a buck or two; isn’t the world sometimes scary enough with slimeballs like that?
Okay, I’ll step down from the soapbox now. So basically this year, same old, same old. Is there hope? There is always hope. It’s a new year. And who knows: maybe this year all my predictions could be wrong, and how wonderful that would be.
Thanks for reading, and happy new year.