"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine... "
With the recent natural disasters in Asia (the earthquake in China and the cyclone in Myanmar), it got me to thinking about the end of the world, and the various predictions of when it's going to happen. Since the beginning of time, people have prophesized that the end is near. It seems that every time there is a disaster or cluster of disasters, natural or otherwise, crackpots come out of the woodwork to claim either that the end of the world is near, or that prior prophesies foresaw the disaster somehow. Now that Myanmar and part of China are in ruins, I expect that there will be a glut of prophets claiming that they knew it was coming - and some reinterpreting Nostradamus like they did after the 9/11 attacks. Here are some "end of the world" prophecies to keep your eyes out for in the relatively near future:
- Mayan and Aztec calendars are claiming that the end of the world is coming on the very specific date of December 21, 2012 (12-21-12). Seems more like a numerical anomaly than a good date for global apocalypse. Nevertheless, it's very specific about the date, so that's nice. It will be easy to tell if they were right. For people looking for guiltless apocalyptic sex, December 20, 2012 promises to be even better than the millennium for using the "the world is ending" line in a bar. Put that date in your Willard for future reference. It's even better than conjugal visit sex or fugitive sex*.
- Jerry Falwell has given himself a little wiggle room on the wording of his doomsday prediction. In a 1999 speech about the concern people have over the new millennium, Falwell said the Antichrist is probably alive today and is a male Jew. Falwell also told about 1,500 people at a conference in Kingsport, TN, that he believes the second coming of Christ probably will be within 10 years. "Probably" within ten years. Nice to be specific Jerry. At least the Mayans had a specific date. He died last year, so will be unable to witness the apocalypse himself. And the Antichrist is a male Jew? Nicely done, Nazi asshole.
- Pyotr Kuznetsov is the leader of a Russian doomsday sect called the True Orthodox Church. They reject processed food and regard bar codes as Satanic symbols, which should give you some idea of his mental state. He predicted that the world would end in May of 2008 (oh my gawd! it's here!). During November of 2007, thirty-five of his followers barricaded themselves in a cave near the village of Kikolskoye, 435 miles (725 km) southeast of Moscow. They threatened to blow up gas cylinders if officials tried to force them to leave. Twenty-four left when spring floods caused part of the cave to collapse; only a few adults remain. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov is believed to have become depressed at the failure of his prophecies and has tried to commit suicide by hitting himself on the head with a log. I'm no suicide expert, but I would not put "hitting yourself in the head with a log" on the top of the list of "most effective suicide methods." Perhaps he's not the brightest of fellows - which doesn't say a lot about his followers. They were not even committed enough to the cult to stay through a little cave collapse. Come on, cult members - you're supposed to follow your leader to the death, if necessary. The Heaven's Gate cult mocks you from their spaceship in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet.
- Someone called "The Final Peace" predicts that the Rapture will occur on February 13, 2009. She believes that she is communicating directly with both God and Satan. Her predictions are based on a number of calculations:
- The 3½ year countdown began on 2005-AUG, right before Katrina hit.
- Zeus' birthday is FEB-13.
- FEB-13 is a Friday the 13th.
- The time stamp in the Unix operating system is 1234567890 at 23:31:30 UTC on this day.
- References in the Gospel of Thomas.
So this one's totally based on numerology and computers. It seems a bit lazy for a prophecy. And who the hell knows when Zeus was born? Are mythological gods "born?" And how can she have a direct line to both God and Satan? So many questions...
- Someone called "Second Messenger" predicts that the Rapture will happen on October 31, 2009 (Halloween!) and that the end of the world will occur on April 2, 2010. He has a blog (which I was unable to find, but the way) explaining how this date was computed from biblical references. It is based on the belief that creation happened during 11990 BCE and the flood of Noah was during 4990 BCE, an interval of exactly 7,000 years. Working forward from the flood, another 7,000 year interval takes us to 2010. The rapture on Halloween? Awesome. You could be out trick-or-treating when you start to see people fly up toward the sky. Definitely a memorable Halloween, much like some Halloween parties we had in college. In fact, I may have seen one or two people flying at one of our Halloween parties...
- Patrik Geryl predicts a pole reversal in 2012. This is not the reversal of the Earth's magnetic poles where the North Magnetic Pole relocates to the South Magnetic Pole. This has happened many times in the past. Geryl is predicting that the North Pole and South Pole will reverse and cause the Earth to start rotating in the opposite direction. He does not explain from where the required energy will come - the energy required to rotate the poles would be immense. So if the world were to reverse rotation, there will have to be a point where the earth stops turning before it reverses. Unfortunately, this prediction lacks a specific date, so parties cannot be planned, and you can't use this one for apocalyptic sex.
These are just a few of the more interesting ones. There are lots more. And there have been many that have predicted the end of the world would have already happened. But obviously they have been wrong. Or have they? Are we already dead? I think I just blew my own mind...
*or so I've heard.
ADDED: Another possible sign that the world is about to end? This is our 100th post on this blog. Woo-hoo!