Unless the History Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel are wrong, the world will end sometime tomorrow. And really, when have these impeccable sources of infotainment ever been wrong? For example, consider the sum of their excellent journalism on the transnational biker menace.
The possibility that tomorrow might be doomsday has briefly displaced the “fiscal cliff,” the tragedy in Newtown and the empty posturing of our Professor President on gun control as the world’s top story. Any hack in any newsroom can get drunk and grind out a couple of pieces about this news possibility. It’s like Christmas came early for reporters. Consider:
Members of a philosophical discussion group called The Spirit of Rtanj Association have created an economic boom for businesses near Mount Rtanj, a pyramid-shaped rock in southeastern Serbia about 150 miles east of Belgrade. Members of the Association believe several ancient calendars including those of the Aztecs, Anazazi and ancient Egyptians predict a new era will begin at 11:11 a.m. On December 21. The Aging Rebel was unable to reach representatives of the Aztecs, Anazazi and ancient Egyptians to find out what time zone.
(Like, as these words are being written at noon on December 20 in Los Angeles, it is already 7 a.m. tomorrow in Sydney. And I just tried to call Sydney and I couldn’t get through!)
Nebojsa Gajic, a spokesman for the Hotel Rtanj, said “We have some 30 percent tourists more this year, compared to previous ones, maybe due to doomsday rumors.”
Sandra Vlatkovic, a spokeswoman for the Serbian Tourist Office, summarized what most news outlets are thinking today when she said, “Our official stance is not to support such mythology, but if it is good for business, so much the better.”
Dateline New Yawk
The New York Post is reporting a spike in meaningless, recreational sex. Swimsuit model Niki Ghazian told New York’s sleazy tabloid of record “If I die, I don’t want to die on a dry spell! Everybody should go out feeling satisfied. If the world’s gonna end, why hold back?”
The Post reported that “more than a dozen bars and clubs in New York City are throwing end-of-days bashes, including a comedy show at the Bell House in Gowanus and an ‘End of the Funking World Party’ at B.B. King Blues Club in Midtown.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal ran a feature story about the companies that offer the best deals on prefabricated underground shelters and freeze dried food. The New York Times reported that, “Alarmed by spreading fears in China that December 21 will bring global apocalypse, security officials across the country have been rounding up members of a renegade Christian group whose members have been aggressively promoting the notion that devastating earthquakes and tsunamis will coincide with the end of the 5,125-year Mayan Long Count calendar.”
Many eschatological believers say the world will end tomorrow because the traditional Mayan calendar will end either tomorrow or on December 23, depending on the translation. Archaeologists believe the calendar is 3,114 years old although it does describe a cycle of 5,125 years.
CNN quotes a “wood carver” in a Mayan village near Merida called Yaxuna as saying, “Lots of people say it’s the end of the world, but we don’t believe that.” The wood carver, Santos Esteban, told the Atlanta based news network that he is “looking forward” to tomorrow.
Other reasons cited for the imminent end of everything include a the collision of a planet called Nibiru with Earth; the annual alignment of the Earth, Sun and the center of the Milky Way Galaxy; the explosion of our Sun; a killer asteroid like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs; or a polar shift.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Stay tuned to the History Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel for updates.