Right now, some over-excitable people are fretting or evangelizing about the imminent End of the World later this year, in regard to the Mayan Calendar and its ending world cycle.
In all likelihood these are the same sorts of great thinkers (and in the case of authors, profiteers) who were all hot-and-bothered over the Millennium Bug, the year 2000, the year 2006 (according to the much-hyped ‘Bible Code‘), or the year 1999 (according to interpretations of Nostradamus).
Of course none of those other much-written-about Doomsdays ever amounted to anything and neither will this one.
End-Timers and apocalypse enthusiasts are no new thing, neither are fevered religious fundamentalist prophecies. Even last year there was a big fuss made by certain Christian end-timers in the US, certain that the world’s end was meant for October last year.
Even when the given Armageddon date came and went without incident, still the ‘revised’ predictions were duly churned out in no time at all.
All of this end-days hysteria is, subconsciously, a kind of enjoyable obsession to certain people, in the same way as comic books are to some or video games to others, or ghost-hunting to yet others. I myself am not completely immune to the enjoyment side of such literature, particularly during the late nineties and Nostradamus in particular. But I find it bizarre that there are those who take such matters so seriously, even convincing themselves of its reality, to the extent of being willing to make a complete fool of themselves in the process by publicly announcing ‘definite’ dates for prophecy fulfillment.
The Second Coming…
In terms of Christian apocalyptic expectations, it never really goes away; there are even schools of fundamentalist Christian thought that are currently jumping onto the Mayan/2012 bandwagon – despite the fact that the Mayan culture has absolutely NO connection with Christianity or Christian traditions.
The truth is that even the earliest Christian communities in the first and second centuries were also waiting for the apocalypse, fully expecting the Second Coming of Christ in their own lifetimes. The New Testament, and the letters of Paul in particular, are full of allusions to that fact.
The sheer amount of disappointment this Biblical prophesying has caused huge amounts of people over the centuries surpasses even the disappointment caused to fans by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; yet still every generation a whole new swathe of ardent rapture-philes put themselves through it all over again.
You’d think they’d have learnt by now.
You’d think, in fact, that they’d have learnt by the Second Century AD.
Further, it is well argued by various authors and researchers that the so-called ‘Armageddon’ actually referred to the destruction of Jerusalem as a kind of divine punishment for the orthodox Jewish rejection of Jesus as Messiah; this can be seen to have already been fulfilled – way back in 70AD with the invasion of Jerusalem by the Romans under Vespasian and the destruction of the Jewish temple and the deprivation thereafter of the Jewish people of a homeland.
Even aside from this, the more considered consensus is that the apocalyptic references in the New Testament, even in the Book of Revelations, were referring to events of the time, and that all cryptic references in the texts were referring to people or parties of the first century Jewish or Roman worlds; figures such as Nero, for example.
It is almost laughable that two-thousand years later, people are still using these texts to foretell a global apocalypse completely divorced from its original roots and based instead on prejudices and particulars of this present day and age.
As far as the Mayan prophecy goes, even if you put stock in it, it doesn’t even purport to foretell the end of the world, but merely the end of a cycle. The people who push the End-Times agenda, in terms of the Mayan Calendar, are simply people trying to sell books or DVDs.
Cults and Conspiracy Theories…
However entertaining a diversion such lore can hold for us, there is also a darker side to these things and to the cult mentality in general (and it IS a cult mentality), as can be seen in such travesties as the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide or the David Koresh insanity in Waco, where we end up with people so convinced of prophecy or so brainwashed with End-Times mania that they lose any sense of rational thought or perspective.
This end-times fever also finds its away into more general, unreligious conspiracy theories, and this bothers me as it undermines and cheapens some of the more logical, creditable strands of conspiracy theory research. A great deal of conspiracy theory has great merit (certainly not ALL of it, but a substantial amount), which gains nothing from being linked with unhinged religious mania or insidious right-wing propaganda, with its anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic, or anti-secular undercurrents.
Any well-meaning conspiracy theorists or researchers into political, global or other areas of corruption, hidden agendas and social manipulation, would do well to completely distance themselves from any talk of the Book of Revelations, or of fruitcake nonsense in general, and stick instead to things that are actually useful.
How the World Will Really End… And Predictably it’s Ricky Gervais’s Fault…
Here I now outline the Burning Blogger’s prophecy for the coming End-of-Days, which I suggest has just as much chance as those of the Mayan prophecies or religious end-times beliefs of being fulfilled this year.
It was revealed to me, incidentally, by the ghosts of Bettie Page, Louis Armstrong and Kurt Cobain, who appeared to me on three consecutive nights and urged me to warn the world of what was coming.
The end shall come in 2012 when Ricky Gervais hosts an American entertainment industry awards show and causes outrage by making an inappropriate joke at the expense of some treasured American icon (say, John Travolta).
This will provoke a fatwa by both the Church of Scientology and the Republican Tea Party, leading to the assassination of Ricky Gervais by Christian Evangelical agents of Sarah Palin.
Outraged by the killing of a national treasure, Britain will launch a retaliatory strike against the US. President Obama, realising that this is one fucked-up situation, abdicates his presidency and flees, leaving Washington open to a Republican coup and Sarah Palin being installed as US president in a state of emergency. Under Palin, the US subsequently attempts to invade Iran, leading to the Battle of Armageddon and great destruction from a nuclear detonation.
There will be fire and brimstone, wailing, and much gnashing of teeth.
At this time, Michael Jackson shall return to Earth to save all of those who believed in him via The Earth Song and Heal The World.
However, this apparent salvation turns sour when Jackson unexpectedly turns into the monster from his Thriller video. And then yet more horror unfolds…
The Burning Blogger has been sent only to warn…