It is past 11 PM in Wilmette IL, and if the Mayan prophesy is worth carries any weight, we have less than an hour to go before everything is sucked into a black hole. I have heard that in much of the rest of the world, in Nepal and Norway, in Siberia and Singapore, indeed all over the planet, people are partying, praying, playing, and engaged in a good many other normal activities. Even those who took the prediction seriously are not taking it that seriously any more.
Many are relieved they can continue with business as usual, come morning, others are concerned that their overly committed credit cards because of excessive restaurant bills in hopes that there would be no January 2013 bill, will now have to be paid. Authors will have to resume writing their books, students will have to prepare for exams, politicians will have to continue infuriating the public, religious fanatics will have to continue claiming they alone have the right answers to all the difficult questions – indeed everyone will have to carry on for the rest of their lives, now that the world has not vanished from the solar system as some Mayan seers were reported to have proclaimed.
I am inclined to think that the fault was not with the Mayan calendar composers. It must have been the result of a slight miscalculation on the part of the interpreters. Perhaps the encrypted date for the EOW (End Of World) which was to end every WOE of humankind was not the 21st day of the 12th month of 2012, but on the 42nd day of the 24th month of the year 21000012. Someone must have made an error and announced to the world this premature possibility of people perishing in the joyous season of this year.
The good news is that not many are complaining. They are willing to forgive the end-sayers, but only because the prediction has not come true. One wonders what the reaction would have been if indeed the prophesy had come to pass.
Not many may know that EOW had been predicted many times before by equally informed people in former centuries with equal precision. They were also believed by vast numbers of people who built underground shelters, bought extra groceries, said special prayers, and wept together before the date for arrival of the non-event.
This time the credit for propagating the inspired nonsense goes to the media. Tired of reporting only sad and sordid events, they focused their attention on the grotesque global guffa, stirring up fears and expectations in the minds of millions who believe whatever they see on TV screens. So good many crowds all over the world were taking the unintended joke quite seriously, reflecting the abominable state of silliness and superstition that clouds the minds of millions in every continent.
We live in an age when Darwinian evolution is questioned, planetary astrology finds a place in newspapers, atrocities in the name of God are routine: all this and more such things while ill-health and illiteracy, hunger and hate, are in epidemic proportions. The Mayan calendar catastrophe is only one instance of the importance given to myths and mischief in the media.
21 December 2012