Why I'm looking forward to the end of the world Friday.
The world ends Friday, according to idiots.
I love it when this happens. The first doomsday I remember was when I was a kid -- probably in the 4th grade or so -- and some Nostradamus-inspired hysteria gripped the nation. Two or three families left the street where I lived to head to higher ground (that end of the world involved flooding of some kind).
Since then, every few years or so, certain kinds of people get all worked up about some historical misinformation and convince each other that the world is going to end.
The most recent and the best apocalypse of my lifetime was last year. Radio preacher Harold Camping said he was absolutely certain that the Bible says the world was to end May 21. After realizing that the world didn't get the memo, he retreated into prayer and reflection and came back convinced he was wrong. In fact, he said, the world would end October 11. Again, the world stubbornly refused to end.
Camping's cult headquarters were in the Bay Area, and there were dozens of billboards all over the place promising the end of the world. It was really funny to watch them take the billboards down after October 11th.
That doomsday was the best because the hysteria was spread by a single man, who genuinely seem to believe his own biblical numerology. Some of his followers quit school or gave away all their money, and were left undereducated and broke after their faith-based catastrophe failed to materialize.
I had stumbled across Brother Camping's program many times over the years while driving around, and sometimes gave it a listen out of morbid fascination. Pretty much everything I ever heard him say was wrong or at least misguided, though he gained millions of followers all over the world. How wonderful for him to be actually proved wrong so publicly.
And now another end of the world is upon us. According to believers, the Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012.
In reality, their calendar ended. It had to end. There isn't enough stone in the whole of Guatemala to chisel a calendar that never ends.
Nevertheless, the ignoramuses are coming out in force.
The Chinese government has arrested nearly 100 people for spreading rumors about the Mayan apocalypse. (That nutjob who knifed 23 school-children in China last week was reportedly "influenced" by the doomsday.)
Russians are buying up all the candles, matches, salt and torches to ward off the end somehow.
People all over the world are buying or building bunkers or survival pods.
And, of course, Twitter won't shut up about it: http://goo.gl/pw7gB
The reason I love the end of the world so much is this: People preach stupid, ignorant, emotional, ill-informed nonsense all the time, and you can never convince them otherwise. You can argue, persuade, use logic -- nothing works.
But in this one case, the small-minded, superstitious, anti-science, demon-haunted world believers actually get proved totally and utterly wrong, and even they have to accept it.
So point and laugh at the believers. Make the most of it. The end of the world only happens every few years, on average.
I always look forward to the next apocalypse, and I've been looking forward to the Mayan end of the world for a long time.
Thank God it's Friday. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-12/17/c_132046518.htmhttp://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_SCHOOL_STABBINGhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/17/mayan-apocalypse-mania-grips-russiahttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249502/Mayan-Doomsday-Bomb-proof-50-000-bunkers-leather-sofas-plasma-TVs.html(Pic props to the Mayans for this irrefutable proof that the world will end Friday.)