We have reached the year 2012! How time flies. With so much going on every day, we forget the events that boggled us not so long ago.
Remember Y2K, when the millennium freaks predicted that, as the New Year rang in for 2000, everything would blow up?
When confronted with the new millennium, computers around the world, especially big, powerful government computers, were expected to go berserk and start launching nuclear weapons. Jumbo jets would rain from the heavens like clusterflies. Anarchy would reign.
Remember how we ran around in a snit like Cinderella at the ball, fearing that her coach was about to turn into a pumpkin? We were buying generators and stockpiling water, food and first aid supplies.
At least some of us were. I found the notion of worldwide mayhem exciting, but hardly compelling. I just couldn't get into it somehow. It all seemed so sci-fi, and besides, there was the holiday season to prepare for. Who had time to get all worked up about survival when we had presents to buy, stockings to knit, pfeffernusse in the oven and a 20-pound turkey to defrost? Very few women with families to tend to bought into the millennium hysteria, I'll bet you.
"Oh honey, that's very interesting, but everybody get out of the kitchen now, I'm trying to do five things at once and I've only got two hands," we said.
There's an age thing, too. We Baby Boomers have subconsciously been waiting for the world to blow up since the Fifties, when we could be found on any given school day crawling under our desks, which were presumably extra sturdy in those days, the air raid siren screaming in our ears.
Yes, we had an air raid siren for when the Russian bombers came, a standard fire alarm bell and a tornado alert siren as well. For fires we marched out of doors, Indian file. For tornados, we huddled in the hallways against the wall. OK, everybody, back in your seats and open your books to page 36.
Mostly the worst things that happened on New Year's 2000 were the same worst things that happen every New Year's Eve, usually alcohol related, prompting the same old New year's resolutions. Luckily, as it turned out, the Millennium freaks were wrong.
Ah, but that didn't stop them! No, because some people who were good at ciphering figured out that the second millennium would actually begin in 2001, not 2000. It's like, when you're 1 year old, you're actually in your second year. Or no, wait.
Anyway, pretty much the same things happened at midnight on January 1, 2002, that always happen. Some of it was no doubt pretty dumb, but, at any rate, once again the world didn't blow up.
This year's winter solstice, December 21, 2012, has also been marked for the end of the world. As I understand it, Nibiru, a planet supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, was predicted by some enthusiastic The-End-of-the-earth-as-we-know-it (TEOTWAWKI) enthusiasts to collide with earth in May, 2003.
When Niburu failed to make an appearance, TEOTWAWKI predictors conveniently rescheduled the doomsday date to coincide with the end of a long-term cycle of the ancient Mayan calendar, which falls on the winter solstice in 2012. The Mayans didn't predict that the earth would end on this day, any more than we believe the world will end when the calendar pages run out at the end of December every year.
According to NASA scientists, the 2012 Doomsday talk is pseudo astrology, the product of an Internet hoax, just like the polar shift theory, the killer super nova theory and the super volcano scare.
According to the NASA site, "We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA NEO Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012."
You might think that NASA's refutations of the TEOTWAWKI alerts for 2012 would be reassuring to everyone, but I know better. I know people who, strange as it may seem, positively light up at the mere mention of Doomsday.
They won't be disappointed, though, because they won't listen to NASA scientists anyway. They'll just figure NASA is involved in a conspiracy.
And we'll have to put up with their pronouncements until the next winter solstice.
I think I'll offer to make a wager with my TEOTWAWKI friends. I'll bet $100 the world doesn't end December 21, 2012. If I'm right, I collect. And if I'm wrong I don't have to pay.
Have a good year.