The Last Thing I Worry About in 2012 is a Mayan Apocalypse


Over at the excellent h+ mag and site, Mark Dery scoffs at the faux hoopla surrounding the new flick 2012, which is about the world ending in supposed accordance with various misappropriated Mayan myths. Lots of dumping on American anthropological dilettantes and rotten moviemaking. Here's the nut graf:

The environmental crises and geopolitical pathologies of our times—"rising C02 levels and suicide bombers" and the sufferings of the wretched of the Earth, like the Guatemalan Maya—demand that we step up to our social responsibilities and engage passionately with the issues of our age. Placing our faith in wet-brained ravings about a "multidimensional realm of hyperspace triggered by mass activation of the pineal gland" or "a dispensation of consciousness that's more intuitive, mystical, and shamanic" is a luxury we can no longer afford. We're out of time.

And besides, if that happened, we'd all miss the Singularity!

More here.

Brian Doherty assessed the natterings of Daniel Pinchbeck, one of the main 2012ers, here.

I worry about 2012 for a less exotic reason: It's a presidential election year and even the most reality-challenged space-cadet would agree that these things haven't been working out so well for anyone lately.

NEXT: Friday Funnies

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  1. 2012 The Mayans warned us…that there would be another terrible Roland Emmerich shitfest masquerading as a movie.

  2. Is it just me or that ‘nut graf’ just replace one apocalyptic vision with another?

    To Mr Dery:
    It’s just a movie. You should really just relax.

    Or I am simply missing the classic Jacket Sacrasm (TM)

    1. Based on a skim of the whole article, I don’t think it’s meant as sarcasm. The guy really is saying that 2012 belief is bad because it distracts people from the “real” crises of climate change etc.

      1. It’s the crises we don’t see coming that are the ones to worry about.

    2. Awesome, Kolohe. You win the Troll-tastic Award for Lumpen LULZ. In every comment thread, there’s at least one sworn foe of overthinking (read: thinking) who mobilizes the done-to-death argument that It’s Just a [FILL IN THE BLANK]. The movie was the hook, bro. Short, snappy polemics (mine clocks in at 1500 words—not exactly room for a doctoral dissertation) need pegs. It’s a journalistic thing. You know: topicality? Goes all the way back to Addison & Steele. RTFA, my man. The movie is just the peg on which I hang my argument. Richard Hofstadter come home; all is forgiven.

  3. Shitty, stupid movie. WONDERFUL effects.

  4. He openly acknowledges that seeing oneself at the center of a great cosmic drama is normally written off as a sign of mental illness.

    I call bullshit!

  5. Nick pulling the old false sense of security trick on us, eh?

  6. The Mayan calender doesn’t predict anything, it just ends at 2012. Perhaps after completing the calender 1000+ years into the future they decided enough is enough and decided more calender writing could be put off for a few centuries.

    1. Lazy ass Mayans.

      1. +3….You can only put so much on fricking stone…….

    2. All calendar systems mathematically cycle because they are all ultimately based on motion of the planets which move in repeating elliptical orbits. The cycling of the Maya calendar is of no more import than the flip over of years, centuries or millennia in the Gregorian calendar.

      I can’t help but wonder is the Mayan prediction of a great change (the Mayans did not have the concept of an apocalypse) might have just started out as a little practical joke on the part of the priest astronomers who maintained the calendar. Someone must have asked what happens to the world when the mathematical cycle of the calendar ended. To the priest, this would be like someone asking what happens to the part of an object that extends beyond end of the ruler being used to measure it. The priest mischievously answered that since the calendar ended, then the world must end as well.

      From which we learn that people who work with cosmology shouldn’t make jokes.

  7. Why is Jessica Biel wearing a head scarf?

    1. To show solidarity and avoid backlash.

  8. That article lacked any substance. I prefer my attack pieces to have at least a small section devoted to a refutation of claims. Then there is the stuff about the exploitation of their cultural rights. What does that even mean? Is the fact that some white guy in another country is making a movie that loosely references ancient culture from that region making them poor? Do viking death metal bands that aren’t from Norway shit on the cultural rights of those people. Finally, the conclusion is that we shouldn’t worry about silly movies about half baked theories of the apocalypse based on misinterpreted ancient religions because global warmng and terrorism are giving us all the end times we need. Cry me a river.

  9. Yeah, we all get lulled into a false sense of security and “BOOM”! The Mayans come pouring out of the secret underground bunker they’ve been hiding in….

    1. Yea, that’s what I’m talking about! Just where are they right now anyway? Do you really think they just evaporated into thin air? No, they are waiting to strike!

      1. The Maya are still living in Central American and are awaiting the casting call for “Apocalypto 2: the Revenge.”

        1. Come to think of it, maybe 2012 is the revenge.

    2. The worst part is they have to be zombies by now.

      Or is that the best part?

      1. Zombies are always the best part.

  10. There still are Mayans in Central America. And they don’t seem to concerned about 2012. Perhaps they are just lulling us into a false sense of security. Either that or laughing at the retarded white people.

    1. When I was in Maya land about a year ago, they were laughing at the dumb gringos while positioning themselves to harvest as many tourist dollars as possible from the dumb gringos. They seemed to be doing a pretty good job of it too.

      1. For a little extra money, I am sure they could have let you in on the secrets of 2012.

  11. “”multidimensional realm of hyperspace triggered by mass activation of the pineal gland””

    Ah, a reference to one of my favorite gross out movies, From Beyond.

  12. It sounds like the same crap “science” behind “The Day After Tommorrow.” Good effects, awful film.

  13. It just seems like typical new age bullshit. Going on about all this made up spirituality whilst the people that they base it on are to a large extent living in poverty in countries with huge problems with corruption and crime.
    Maybe the “Mayan” people can make money out of it though?

  14. I would have made this movie much better. Imagine my great acting skills, fighting the end of the earth, but with Hollywood faux street attitude.

    1. I hope you drown in fresh ambergris.

      1. Now, see, that was a clever insult. Unlike most of your attempts, this one relies on indirection and requires that the reader think a bit.

        You should put the same level of thought into all your vulgar retorts.

        1. Unlike most of your attempts, this one relies on indirection and requires that the reader think a bit.

          And consult a dictionary.

          1. Do you really need Rosanne to explain it to you again?

            1. Nice try at fooling me. I looked it up. Ambergris isn’t explosives, it is liquid fiery stuff.

        2. Yes, I really knocked myself out on that one.

          Whereas being a condescending prick was a breeze for you.

      2. Ok.. got the insult after consulting wikipedia.

        But why in the world would you defend that actor? I just have to know.

        1. But I thought you were the real Will Smith. Are you really using the anonymity of the Internet to misrepresent your identity? How ignoble.

  15. The only thing I’m worried about is the overdue magnetic pole shift and it’s affect on HSN.

  16. I bet Obama takes credit for the Earth not being destroyed in 2012. Thanks to his special skills as a negotiator, he’ll claim to have talked the Mayans out of it.

    1. OTOH, the way the first year of the Obamacy has gone, I’m beginning to think the Mayans might be onto something.

    2. The Nobel committee should create a new category, the Global Savior Prize, to award Obama in early 2013. Then they should retire the prize immediately, since no one else will ever Be Like Barack.

    3. At least one planet saved or created.

  17. A bit interesting is the chatter about the social system moving into a certain area of the galaxy. See Milky Way Great Rift:…..83192.html

    The universe is a crazy place and regardless we should keep that in mind.

    1. Well, I am immersed in a fairly diverse social system myself, but even I can’t detect its movement within the galaxy.

      1. Social system moving to a different part of the galaxy? Space Mormons?

        1. doh! Solar system.

  18. nuke thos Maya terrists!

  19. What’s really strange about the whole 2012 Mayan Apocalypse is the surprisingly large population of people of who will tell you that Christians who believe in Biblical prophesy are idiots and loons but then turn around and say that the Mayan’s might have been on to something.

    The same people will mock those who believe in the curative power of “the laying on of hands” but then extol the virtues acupuncture, healing crystals , etc. Clearly, these people decide whether to believe in something based on the culture or subculture that originates it.

    1. Accupuncture works on animals. Yes, many companion animals try to hard to earn their owners’ favor, but you aren’t going to talk a horse into “just believing” that needles in his back are going to work on his gastrointestinal disorder.

      Now pharmaceuticals, that shit is whack.

    2. I have noticed that to. The same people who lay awake at night worrying that someone is learning intelligent design in school, will have no problem with the most rediculous new age crap imaginable.

      1. Which is perfectly consistent as long as they don’t want new age crap taught in schools.

        If you believe in some prophecy about the end of the world, it makes a lot of sense to think that other people who believe in different prophecies are loony. Consider many Christians and their disdain for other forms of superstition.

  20. Over at the excellent h+ mag and site, Mark Dery scoffs at the faux hoopla…

    great, more astrohoop.

  21. all your vulgar retorts.

    Ooh- good band name!

  22. Skeptical Inquirer has links to an update and the original article a NASA astrobiologist wrote about the 2012 apocalypse hoax and the increasing hysteria it’s causing.

  23. shakin in boots : “The only thing I’m worried about is the overdue magnetic pole shift and it’s affect on HSN. ”

    There is also the Yelowstone caldera which every 642,000 years or so explodes sending ash 1 foot deep for thousands of miles. It last erupted 643,000 years ago.

    1. Great, now I’ll never get to sleep!

  24. The Maya didn’t really predict the end of the world in 2012. It’s just a coincidence that’s when it will happen.

  25. The sun could flare. It is a variable star, after all.

    1. Couldn’t we just replace its rheostat with a standard 2 pole switch?

    2. That is the only scientifically conceivable event that could bring our haunting 2012 apocalypse. The portion of the sun with the greatest ratio of sunspots will be pointing directly at the earth in 2012 (rotates at an 11 year cycle, its quite conceivable that our declining atmospheric temperatures over the past decade have been because it was turning away from us, calling into question the entire CO2 thesis concerning climate change). If the sun were to unleash a particularly furious solar flare from one of these sunspots, our atmosphere might be insufficiently adequate to protect life on Earth and our resulting armageddon would arrive. That or that blasted LHC could be scheduled for 12/21/2012 (although even if it creates a mini-black hole, scientists think such would quickly fizzle away).

      1. Fizzle or not, black holes just don’t work the way people think. Micro black holes would be so un-massive that they wouldn’t even pull bulk matter towards them.

        Might make for some interesting bubble chamber shots though: “Ummm, we saw the protons go in there, but nothing hit the detector, WTF!”

  26. I think that the world is going to end on December 31 of this year. That is when my calendar ends. I just checked.

  27. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson makes this hilarious point about the 2012 stuff in this video here.

    He brings up the point about December 23rd 2012 earth/sun/center of the galaxy “perfect alignment” theory the doomsayers have been using to show how cosmic this date is. What the doomsayers neglect to mention is that this happens on or around December 23rd EVERY YEAR.

    1. And I always attributed that feeling of impending doom to the proximity of my family’s annual Christmas gatherings.

  28. The world has already ended if John Cusack is paid to make movies. The world will live again once he is dead.

  29. No worries! My Outlook calendar goes way past 2012.

  30. And besides, if that happened, we’d all miss the Singularity!

    We will not notice the emergence of hard AI until a few years afterward…and even then it will only create cool things like cars that drive themselves and house keeping devices.

    There will probably be a hard AI stock bubble that will burst in 2020 or so.


  32. My only problem with the movie is, aren’t they jumping the gun a little bit? Like, maybe wait till 2011, or summer 2010 at the least?

    The timing seems suspect to me.

    1. They want a couple of years to enjoy the profits before the end of things.




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