Don’t give up your day job just yet.
The Maya peoples never disappeared, neither at the time of the Classic period decline nor with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and the subsequent Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideas and cultures. Millions of people speak Mayan languages today; the Rabinal Achí, a play written in the Achi language, was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.
Originally posted on MikesFilmTalk:
So according to certain “scholars” the world is going to end tomorrow. Or, I guess more accurately, in about 6 ½ hours (give or take a few micro-seconds). But the six some odd hour’s thing is just a guess since the Mayans did not actually say when on the 21st the world was actually going to end.
Now don’t get wrong here, I am not thumbing my nose at the Mayans or the scholars who “deciphered” the calendar that suddenly stops on the 21st of the 12th 2012. I will have to admit that I don’t care enough to spend too much time searching the net for additional references to the day the world ends. I probably should though just to be on the safe side.
I don’t want to wake tomorrow morning and waste my time being superior and doing the “See! I told you…
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My husband was a newsman for his whole career, more than forty years. Through him I learned that a busy news day is generally a good thing if news is your business, though the news is rarely good for anything but higher ratings.
Now I find myself in a sort of newsy business and I realize the true meaning of a “slow news day.” I’m beginning to recognize that there is such a thing as a slow news week, maybe month. Not that nothing is going on. It’s just that nothing is going on that anyone is going to find particularly interesting or entertaining.
I don’t cover, as Garry did, breaking news stories, but I like writing about current issues and events. Big events that impact everyone include me. The presidential election — such a vicious, contentious, nasty election — with so much at stake during my first few months of blogging let me grab a piece of the momentum of events. I had the opportunity to weigh in on “hot topics” that put me on the blogging map faster than I really deserved. It was interesting and there was so much to write about. Controversy and big news improves readership.
And then … one day …
The election was over. It took a few weeks for the winners to stop gloating and the losers to stop pouting, but most of them seem to have gotten the message and have gone off to lick their wounds or celebrate in private. So newswise, it got really quiet in a big hurry. The weather is back to being the biggest part of the news … and of course, football. A bit of snow … ooh …. pictures to take, something to talk about. Trades in the baseball off-season … can the Sox pull themselves out of the septic tank into which they fell by the end of last season?
We had barely finished counting the votes before Thanksgiving was upon us. Now the rest of the holiday season is bearing down on us like a freight train with failing brakes. instead of solving the problems of the world, we are back to dealing with family politics, wrapping paper and sticky tape, celebrations and money, guest lists and travel plans. Instead of frothing at the mouth over national politics, we are banging our heads against our empty bank accounts.
The national economic calamity we were told to expect, that dreaded “fiscal cliff” vanished as a paralyzing wave of commonsense swept over congress. Our democratic process did it again: the people spoke, the defeated far right GOP agenda having been soundly rejected by the electorate created a wondrous atmosphere of coöperation and compromise. Barely a week ago our nation was about to fall off the mountaintop. Not only the U.S. economy, but the economy of the entire world was going to be swept away and we would be reduced to a stone age barter economy, trading beads for chickens. Yet now, oddly enough, the cliff is not a cliff; disaster is not looming.
Go home Chicken Little. The sky is not, after all, falling.
So there’s no news. No fresh disasters or huge controversies. A few sleazy scandals, but nothing anyone will remember a week from now. The donut hole in my Medicare prescription coverage is much the same as last year; I still don’t know how I’m going to both eat and get my meds, but I’m not surprised. I’ve still got a mortgage that exceeds the value of the house and as I have done for years past and I guess will do forever, wonder how we are can survive on a fixed income while prices keep rising.
Ho hum. Same old, same old. I have no idea how we are going to manage but we will, somehow. Or not. Besides, 2012 has a month remaining. Maybe the Mayans were right and I don’t have anything to worry about because we aren’t going to be around to greet the New Year. Is the end of days New Year’s Eve?
No news. Just the everyday struggles of a tired population hoping things will get better and wondering what will become of us.
In a strange way it made my entry into blogging easier because we were in the middle of a violent acrimonious political upheaval, massive destructive storms, and all that distracting, fascinating stuff. It was such momentous, monstrous news that everyone got to forget for a while that for most of us, nothing changed.
We have the same problems we had before. We were unemployed before, we are still unemployed. Our health was poor and hasn’t improved. Our bills are bigger than our budgets and no one is giving us any money to pay them. And it’s Christmas, time to figure out how to make it festive but somehow cost-free.
A new year is going to start, Mayans aside. And we are back to the very unthrilling business of, to quote Tom Lehrer, “sliding down that razor blade of life.”
- The Stupidity and Folly of the Crowd: Your Guide to the Fiscal Cliff (zerohedge.com)
- We shall live to see 2013 (naveenavijayan.wordpress.com)
- When Believing In Multiple Religions Go Wrong: Chinese Man Builds Ark to Escape the Mayan Apocalypse (themadmanchronicles.com)
- Mayan Doomsday Forecast: Really ?! (forbes.com)
Men and women have been prophesying about the end since the beginning. Each “prophecy” claims a new era will be ushered in through massive change and, usually, massive loss of human life.
The first of these theories started to appear with the emergence of organized religion. It seems that every major religion as an end of the world theory. Even science as had its own end of the world theories, such as millennium bug, giant asteroids, and global warming.
The newest theory is the 2012 theory. This theory states that the world will end or, at the very least, drastically change on December 21, 2012. The end of the world in 2012 theory is based on the 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar.
The calendar, widely used on Mayan and other Mesoamerican monuments, uses a modified base-20 count to identify a single day by counting the total number of days that has passed since the creation. This creation is given in detail in the Mayan book Popol Vuh.
However, this end-of-the-world in 2012 theory is not detailed anywhere on the Mayan Long Count or in the Popol Vuh. The “end” referred to in these Mayan writings simply mark the end of one count and the beginning of another.
The end of the world theory derived from these is actually a modern interpretation. However, this modern interpretation has split into to factions. One faction interprets the “end” as new era where the world and the beings living in it will experience a change equivalent to a new enlightenment. The other faction is not so optimistic. It is this faction that receives all the media hype with its tales of global destruction and mass human extinction.
Who’s right? Well, mainstream science and most Mayan scholars agree: neither. Mainstream science actually views the theories that the Mayan Long Count will usher in a world ending cataclysm are contradicted by simple scientific observations.
Mainstream Mayan Historians view theories as a gross misunderstanding of Mayan history and culture. Mayan writing and documents are very hard to come by and the ones that are available do not shed much light on the subject.
Neither science nor Mayan history seems to view December 21, 2012 any more significant than December 20 or December 23.
The only significance that December 21, 2012 holds is that it marks the date of the winter solstice. On this day, the shortest day, longest night, and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is at its lowest can be observed. It could be possible that this was a day of celebration for the ancient Mayans. The winter solstice is a day of celebration for many cultures (ancient and modern) around the world. However, there is no such celebration in present day Mayan culture, and modern-day Mayans do not view the day as significant in any way.
Modern day scientists and scholars say that the end-of-the-world in 2012 theory is nothing more than a sensationalized rumor created to sell books, newspapers, and television ads. Believers of the 2012 theory argue that science has been wrong before and December 21, 2012 will throw the Earth and its inhabitants in a period of change and destruction.
Who should we believe? Should we go on about our daily lives? Should prepare for the end? With all of the contradictions and hype, what is the average human being to do?
My advice: remember Y2K.
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