Yesterday's Myths & Mysteries

Whatever Happened To The End Of The World?

You know, I’m actually surprised.

In the lead-up to Y2K, you couldn’t turn on a TV without seeing something about the coming Dark Ages. It was all the rage on Coast to Coast AM, and even slightly incorporated into John Titor’s Excellent Adventure. There were Y2K toys. Disaster kits, computer upgrades, New Year’s Eve parties where someone killed the lights right at Midnight to freak everybody out (that was me).

The 2012 doomsday prophecies are falling a little flat in comparison.

Apocalypse…Not Now

A Mayan Sculpture
Will anything happen on December 21, 2012? (Image: Flickr/Nick via CC by 2.0)

Of course, you can venture into those places on the Internet and still find all the conspiracies and prophecies you could ever hope for.

Really, though, I’m interested in mainstream awareness — the 2012 Apocalypse’s mind share, if you will.

We’ve had a few TV shows, slivers of mainstream nods to the apocalypse. Just recently we’ve seen a handful of “experts” come forward, attempting to convince everyone that, while the Mayans did make prophecies, they never predicted the end of the world.

Otherwise, there’s been nothing on the scale of a fully overblown media onslaught of fear mongering. Which is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also odd.

“People…believe the Maya may have been privy to impending astronomical disasters that would coincide with 2012, ranging from explosive storms on the surface of the sun that could knock out power grids to a galactic alignment that could trigger a reversal in Earth’s magnetic field.”

Mayan experts race to convince people that tribe did NOT predict an apocalypse for this December, The Daily Mail

I wonder if most people have simply grown tired of the hyperbole that always builds up with end times prophecies and looming disasters. After Y2K and a spattering of other failed predictions, not to mention the very real disasters that have plagued the entire world since the turn of the Millennium, perhaps we’re just not interested anymore. We’re also, for the most part, less superstitious.

Or, I suppose, doomsday scenarios based on dubious “prophecies” just don’t do well with test audiences.

Maybe I’m wrong. We’ve still got a few months left to really get excited about the End Of The World, and there are many people out there (unfortunately, I guess I should add) who genuinely fear the apocalypse. But, at the moment, 2012 is charting about as well as last year’s Rapture.

Whatever the case, after 2012 we have the Year 2038 problem to look forward to, so there’s still hope (er, doom). Then again, we already know how to fix that one

Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

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