Okay, 2012, three things I’m sick to death of: the Mayan Prophecy, the Fiscal Cliff and Gangnam Style.
Let’s begin with Gangnam Style: Just stop it.
On to the Mayans.
True, their grasp of complex mathematics and time-keeping using only stars and moon cycles is phenomenal, and while their calendar is a thing of wonder and precision, it’s not a harbinger of the end of time. I guarandangtee you that December 22 will roll right around as usual, and not a single one of us will wake up dead. The most terrifying thing on our minds that sleepy-eyed Saturday morning will be that Christmas is three days away and we haven’t finished shopping. In fact, I’m so sure the world won’t end on Dec. 21, that I’ll pay each and every one of you a million dollars if I’m wrong.
To assuage your neurotic fears, consider this: What happens at the end of the year, when you get to the last day on your good old wall calendar? Does time end? No. You chuck it in the recycling bin and hang up a new one. The pattern of days and months just starts over. The Mayan calendar’s no different. They got to the last day of their calendar, and it’s merely time to start the cycle over. They just didn’t have a good recycling program.
That’s one theory about why their calendar stops. The other? Spaniards. Spaniards quite effectively destroyed the Mayan culture, and anything and everything connected to it. Go waste two hours of your life and rent the worst movie of all time: Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto.” It’s 138 minutes of non-stop blood, gore and terror, and one minute of the Mayan hero who survived this horrorfest gazing out at the Spanish tall ships pulling onto shore. End of story. For both the movie and the Mayans.
Yeah, me bad. No spoiler alert. That’s how it ends. Don’t be mad at me, be grateful. I just gave you two extra hours of life.
So, where’ that Mayan Calendar that begins on Dec. 22, 2012? Probably smashed to bits by a Conquistador and nestled at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
Still don’t believe me that nothing’s going to happen on December 21? Think back 13 years. Remember all the dread and panic over “Y2K”? People building bomb shelters, filling their bathtubs with water, stockpiling Twinkies (okay, that turned out to be wise, and by the way, they’re still fresh), and taking their money out of the bank, and what happened on New Year’s Eve, 1999? We had round-the-clock television coverage to capture the worldwide carnage, and all that transpired was a lovely millennium celebration, country by country, and the whole world (Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan notwithstanding) seemed as innocent and charming as a real-life cruise through the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland.
That’s it. Not a single horrible thing we’d imagined took place. Sadly, the horrible thing we never imagined happened about 21 months later. But we had about a year and a half of good times. That’s how life works — most of the crises you plan for never happen, and the ones you never imagined yank the rug right out from under you. And so it will be on December 21. It will roll into December 22, and that’ll be the end of it, and then one random Tuesday, the asteroid will hit while we’re sitting on the couch munching Doritos and watching “Big Bang Theory.”
Hey. Just because disaster is unpredictable doesn’t mean it can’t be ironic.
But this Friday? Nuthin’.
STILL don’t believe me? Well, you can soothe your fears by going online or turning on the cable news at midnight on Dec. 20, because whatever happens, the West Coast will go last, with Hawaii and little American Samoa bringing up the rear. We’ll get about 20 hours of preview. All you have to do is keep your eye on Russia, New Zealand and Fiji, which are at the beginning of the International Dateline. If everything’s copacetic in Christchurch, Suva and anything Sarah Palin can see from her house on Friday morning, relax. Go finish your Christmas shopping. The scariest thing that will happen that day will be your credit card bill.
Once that whole Mayan Calendar fuss is behind us, we can focus our obsessive worry on the Fiscal Cliff. Here’s my advice: Don’t.
The Fiscal Cliff is merely a carefully orchestrated manipulation of the masses. It’s a scare tactic. It’s a deadline that Congress concocted to give Republicans an excuse for raising taxes and for Democrats to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Self-serving cowards that they are, they’ll point to the Fiscal Cliff Monster rather than admit that increasing taxes combined with spending cuts is the right – and only — option. They need something to blame, lest their reelection campaigns be in jeopardy.
So, don’t you fret about the Fiscal Cliff. Congress created it, and Congress can reverse it. And they will. They won’t let anything truly bad happen, or they won’t get reelected. It’s that simple. Tough financial decisions needed to be made and none of them wants to be held accountable for them. There’s nothing more self-preserving on earth than a politician, and this Fiscal Cliff is so bogus, I’m waiting for Toto to trot over and pull the curtain back.
Everything will be okay. Really. Need a visual to calm yourself? Here you go: All of Congress prancing Gangnum Style right over the Fiscal Cliff and landing on the rubble of the Mayan Calendar. Just peer over the edge, dust your hands, walk away and say “Thank you.”