Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? Doomsdays

In the beginning, there was nothing. Then, something happened and, for some reason, thanks to random events, we came about and decided that it would be a good idea to set up an expiration date that we could all look forward to. Welcome to Doomsdays! This blog is written in commemoration of about 4,810 years of failed Doomsday predictions. Since there is an overwhelming amount of Doomsday prognostications, I have decided to inspect just three of my favorites. These three will be judged according to merit (which none possess considering the world is still around and other inconsistencies of the like), time period (otherwise known as “how gullible where they anyway”), extent to which it was believed, etc. Actually, I'm just kidding...I'm just going to make fun of them. The truth is, though, people need deadlines. Without them, they feel like they have all the time in the world and will behave likewise. If someone came up to you and mentioned that the world was coming to an end, pronto…I’m pretty sure you would exit your house and commence doing something with your life. But, then again, knowing of one’s imminent doom might actually make a person not want to do any work and just mope around in a puddle of the-world-is-coming-to-an-end sorrow that might end in either 15 empty buckets of Häagen-Dazs or the use of a couple bottles of lubricant and a computer. Sound like circular logic? That is because it is. Now get ready, because the world is about to end…again?

The first Doomsday that I would like to touch upon is one clearly stated in what is perhaps one of the dustiest books ever to lay on ones nightstand: The Bible. It goes as follows:

Verily I say unto you,
there be some standing here,
which shall not taste of death,
till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
-Matthew 16:28


Not only is a passage like this present here, but there are a couple others in Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27. You know what this means? Jesus definitely thought that he was coming back to save his buddies from the devil and such before they died. I guess that didn’t work out too well for him did it? This is probably comparable to that moment in a movie when a person says that they will take the burden of finding help upon themselves and brave the wilderness. Usually what follows is a harrowing story of the strife of the hero and basically his amnesia towards the friend that he/she left rotting under a log. Maybe it’s just now that Jesus is upstairs taking a shower when he finally has an epiphany (about 2000 years later) that he forgot to show up for his own party. He was clearly supposed to bring the Kingdom of Heaven onto earth…that seems like a big party that he completely overlooked to me. Kind of a big deal. Well…I guess the only analogy to this situation would be that of the apostles and every other Christian follower at the time getting some blue balls because there was simply too much anticipation; or maybe it’s as anticlimactic as when Deep Thought announced that “The Answer to the Great Question Of.....Life, the Universe and Everything.....(is) Forty-two.”

Second on our great list of past due-dates is the infamous year, 1999. It’s interesting to note that there were an overwhelming amount of Doomsday prophesies that were set to come to fruition during the course of this year. Apparently, most cults did not want people to live to see the new millennium. As a matter of fact, there are so many Doomsday predictions for this day that it would take a couple of pages for me to list! If you want more information on these predictions apart from the ones that I will mention, feel free to click here. For those of you either not curious enough or brave enough to learn about the days that you survived, read on. Firstly, the Seventh Day Adventist and the Jehovah’s Witness denominations both believed that the world would end this year…for some odd reason. Secondly, Nostradamus predicted that many things would come to pass during this year including bad people falling from the skies to take over earth and rule because they got lucky. Conveniently, though, this has since been postponed. Lastly, since there would be a heavenly body known as Comet Lee coming into the solar system, the Cassini probe would be flying by the planet, the planets would be aligning, there would be the last solar eclipse of the millennium, ect., people basically began to believe that for some reason this would all come together and blow up the world in a plutonium-fusion-comet-crashing-antichrist-returning-coronal-mass-ejection-orgy ball of flame…and the earth would change its axis by 90o. That should about cover it…the earth would definitely be dead by this point.

Probably the biggest phony fear of them all when it was dawning upon humanity was the idea of a computer meltdown that came to be called Y2K. Short for “Year 2,000,” many people believed that for some reasons computers would not be able to handle the amazing transition from a 9 to a 0 at the end of a year and decide that the best and most logical course of action would be to crash, sending all forms of communication, protection, and interconnectivity to the dark ages. The reality of the matter is that the computers were, in fact, dumb, but they weren’t going to cause a catastrophic infrastructure meltdown. Instead, they were going to change the year 1999 to 19100. Since they are programmed to go in a set direction, they needed to be programmed to count upwards in millennia instead of in hundreds of years. A simple editing of the code and the whole problem was solved. How the ludicrous idea that the number 19100 was somehow the activation code for Russian nukes, aliens, the stock market, and French body odor simultaneously and, when reached, would wreak havoc around the world escapes me. Apart from computer meltdown, many people just thought that the regular old WWIII, comet, planetary alignment, photon belt, Glenn Beck, antichrist, and axis realignment might get the world finally to the point where they began pulling their children from schools. To their surprise, all that the year 2000 brought were fireworks and a bit more of their sad, sorry lives to live through.

Honestly, the amount of Doomsday prophecies that have come and gone are unfathomable. It’s the equivalent of shouting “NOW!” every second until something happens, then saying “See, I told you so…” The fact of the matter is that people shouldn’t be living their lives expecting the world to end to give them justification for their actions or behaviors. “Carpe Diem” was probably coined because some guy got so upset over a failed Doomsday prediction (stating that spoiled sausages and stale beer would rain down and drown the earth) that some panhandling religious nut on the street claimed would occur. Just because people go around saying that some magnificent, earth-destroying orgy of fire will consume all doesn’t mean that they are sane and should be trusted. Either they are severely misinformed and in need of counseling, or they have overdosed on a drug of their choosing (I would like to think that it is a toxic mixture of shrooms, LSD, and urine). Next time some crazy person tells you to prepare for the unfortunate demise of the human race, tell him that your schedule is full and that you would prefer another Doomsday. After all, they are a dime in a dozen.



*2012 was conveniently left out because of another series of blogs all about debunking that load of garbage.
*click on any of the following to find out more about loony ideas such as Y2K, crazy cults, or even how to actually end the world!