Get ready: The world is supposed to end on December 21, 2012 (12/21/12). "According to their calendar, the Maya believed that their world would end on Dec 21, 2012. Of all the dates put forth by prophets and cultures for a doomsday, this is one with an authentic almost eerie feel to it" . Why does this one have an 'authentic eerie feel' as opposed to all the other ones throughout history?
I remember back in 1988 a popular tract was circulating among the christian fundamentalists supposing that Christ was to return in September 1988. I, and an intrepid band of fellow malcontents, were busted at a Bible College during an attempt to make light of this assertion. Obviously, this prediction was erroneous and the same author revised his calculations and came out with a sequel for 1989. Of course this also was fallacious and 'Grunge' music, Starbucks, and Desert Storm (Part 1) were all allowed to transpire.
Why do these 'Dooms Day' movements exist and thrive in our culture? Certainly these movements are not unique and they have existed throughout most of recorded history. Why do we as a species seem to revel in the possibility of our destruction? I have no idea but I suspect that 'Grunge' may be a manifestation of a nihilist bent that is blunted by a good 'Frappaccino' and appeased by a good war.
Hmm.. coincidence? I think not!
In any event, some segment of humanity seems to need to have a telos and that end must be loud and explosive. I wonder if this self-destructive fantasy is indicative of the need for narrative that seems to pervade the human condition; a desire to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and ending. Frankly, I have no idea but I am sure that this fear of the end will sell lots of books.