21st December is when it is all going to end, everything, the totality, you, me and every other person on the planet, your dog, cat and budgie. In fact the planet itself is going to end. According to the 5,125 year long count Maya calendar the end really is nigh.
According to the Telegraph panic is spreading amongst believers in the ancient Mayan prophecy.
We have Americans purchasing hi-tech underground shelters, Russians stockpiling kerosene, salt, torches and vacuum flasks, Chinese buying candles. Meanwhile the canny Mexicans in the home of the ancient Mayans have turned the prophecy into a tourist opportunity, with hundreds of Maya themed events.
The Mayans themselves think the whole thing is bunkum. Pedro Celestino Yac Noj, a Mayan sage, burned seeds and fruits to mark the end of the old calendar at a ceremony in Cuba. He said: “The 21st is for giving thanks and gratitude and the 22nd welcomes the new cycle, a new dawn.”
The whole Mayan prophecy gives rise to many questions such as: Who gave the Mayan’s the insider information on the end of the world? How do they know that this is going to happen at precisely the point they predict? What’s wrong with the the short count Mayan calendar?
Admittedly it is difficult to think of anything too dippy for hippies to embrace, but do they really believe it? Can we expect a huge surge of New Age related pre-Christmas shopping as they max out their credit cards on candles, crystals, hand knitted yogurt and lentils, secure in the knowledge that they will never have to make any repayments once the world ends?
If the world is going to end why stock up on food, buy candles and dig underground shelters? What is the point of Russians salting mountains of hallibut if they’re going to die anyway? At least the French are planning on gathering on a mountain top to await aliens who will take them to safety. Would any alien race intelligent enough to master interplanetary space travel choose to save the French?
But the biggest question of all is how is it that supposedly sophisticated, well educated people living in modern technological societies, and I include France here; people who have too much understanding of modern science to ever embrace something as “crude” as Christianity, can nevertheless immerse themselves in this New Age irrational hocus pocus?
What response do you think you would get if you approached one of the true believers and suggested that seeing the world was going to end they might consider transferring all their bank accounts to you on midnight of the 20th December? Do you think you might get many takers?