The Rant

The Mayan apocalypse is highly over-rated.

| December 20, 2012
- Stephen Sweet |

If you are reading this in the Flyer, I guess it's safe to say the Mayans were full of it. If they were such an intelligent civilization capable of accurately forecasting future events, where are they? They couldn't possibly have predicted the end of the world when their calendar stopped, because it only lasted 5,125 years. The Jews have already got them beat by 648 years, and still no one listens to us! But just let the ancient Mayan calendar come to an end, and the whole world goes crazy.

The Mayans are reputed to have created the world's most accurate calendar, but so what? I understand the Babylonians kept excellent time as well. I think what happened was that the Mayans were carving their great wheels with so many icons and glyphs, they finally ran out of room. What they needed was a congressman like Steve Cohen, and they could have gotten a new calender every year — autographed. There have been doomsday prophets since the dawn of man predicting the end of the world, but no one's nailed the date yet. So why is December 21, 2012, causing an international freak-out?

The History Channel fueled the fire by airing a two-hour documentary attempting to link the prophesies of Nostradamus to the Mayan apocalypse. The ancient seer may have talked about a certain Hister when discussing World War II, but his quatrains are so generic, they've been used to explain everything from dirigibles to donuts. A 2009 movie titled 2012 is in regular rotation on cable movie channels. It depicts, among tsunamis and firestorms, the destruction of Hollywood, which would have been considered biting the hand that feeds it had the film not made so much money.

The Left Behind flicks made a ton of cash too. According to one reputable poll, 22 percent of Americans believe the world will end in their lifetimes, and anytime you can get one out of five people to buy into pseudo-historical paranoid bullshit like that, it's worth a fortune. 

Among the more insane information disseminated online were the rumors that an alien spaceship, which had been camouflaged by a mountain in the French Pyrenees until this moment, is the sole means of escape from the destruction, and a previously unknown planet named Nibiru will suddenly appear from behind the sun and crash into the Earth. Consequently, according to news reports, the French government has blocked further traffic from entering certain mountain villages during the solstice, so that residents might "live in peace." 

Neo-hippies and New Age freaks have flocked to the ancient Mayan homeland in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula for the date. Hotels close to the ruins at Chichen Itza, near Cancun, have been booked for a year in advance, so spiritual tourists can gather near the pyramid for organized drum circles and ritual dancing.

A group called Birth 2012 is sponsoring 40 events around the world to launch a new global spiritual campaign. AP reporter Jack Chang quoted the movement's founder as saying, "We've activated this campaign for three days of love," making it sound vaguely like Woodstock. Either this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, or we've gone through all this hocum before. I once climbed the pyramid at Chichen Itza, and, though it was nice as pyramids go, with an ocean view, I felt no mystic crystal revelations. I have long grown tired of the phrase "been there, done that," but I think it just may apply here.

The hysteria spread as far as China, where at least two men built arks to survive the chaos. I would hate to be the guy who wakes up on December 22nd with the realization that he spent his life savings on a giant, homemade frigate that's sitting in the backyard.

Anthropologists have translated one Mayan carving to say that on the feared December 21st date, "Nine gods will descend from heaven to Earth." This would be a good trick, except that it might be the 1919 Chicago White Sox coming to play another game on the "field of dreams." The carving never said what the gods planned on doing once they arrived. But if they're going to launch a new era of kindness and they land in Mexico, they had better have papers if they plan to spread their message to this country.

The Mayan people made great contributions to the advancement of knowledge. They were peerless astronomers and among the first to use math in astronomical calculations. They discovered the concept of zero and created an advanced writing system. Mayan architecture and agriculture still influence today's world, as well as their discoveries in medicine. They did all this but failed to discover the wheel. And despite being advanced metallurgists, their weaponry was no match for the Spanish Conquistadors, who conquered them and sped the collapse of Mayan civilization in the 9th century. Only the ruins remain, but the Mayan calendar never mentioned that unfortunate occurrence.

Perhaps the cosmic purpose for the existence of the race was to give to mankind the gift of chocolate. In any case, we don't need the Mayans to forecast the destruction of civilization. We've created our own hell. The end of the world might be a step up. If you're still breathing, we're probably stuck with each other for a while, so we need to either discover a way to peacefully coexist or suffer the same fate as the Mayans. I'd never root for Armageddon, but we got it coming.

Randy Haspel writes the Born-Again Hippies blog, where a version of this column first appeared.


Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

I hope you're joking about the conquistadors defeating the Mayans. As we all know, it was when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor that the Mayan civilization collapsed.

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Posted by Jeff on 12/20/2012 at 7:53 AM

This article is full of misinformation...

The picture posted with this article is an Aztec sun stone; which has nothing at all to do with the Mayan civilization or their calendar...

As for the suggestion that the Mayans didn't have enough intelligence to utilize the wheel; that simply isn't true. What the Mayans lacked were animals capable of pulling wheel-based transport device, as there were (prior to European arrival with horses and cows) geographically no draft animals in that region of the continent.

And Europeans did kill off about a third of the Mayan population with their weaponry; but another third were actually killed by the introduction of small pox and yellow fever brought over from Europe; diseases which most of the Mayan population had little immunity to. Despite being numerically outnumbered and outgunned; the decimated Mayan population survived; and during the 1800s they successfully retook most of the Yucatan Peninsula from the Spanish during the Caste War; which they held until 1901...

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Posted by Count Dracula on 12/23/2012 at 12:26 PM

I didn't choose the picture. It's a fact that the Mayans failed to discover the wheel. They had llamas. Doesn't matter what method was used to kill them off, they ain't here anymore. Now, what was the misinformation?

Posted by Sputnik57 on 12/24/2012 at 5:08 PM


What an astute observation. You are ultra intelligient. You must be proud of yourself.

You must be a proud ultra, southern republican conservative. You see they don't care about actual facts, they just spew out misinformation and lies for the hell of it.

It doesn't matter how they died, they are just not here anymore. Well that is what is happening to the american white race here. They are dying off and being quickly overtaken by blacks and hispanics. I guess my grandkids will say the same thing you said in another 25 or 50 years. How does it feel knowing that you are on your way out. but, unlike the Mayans, yours will be a slow demise.

But, unlike the Mayans, you do have a choice, you can join the train because the train will leave the station anyway or you can see your race become intermingled and/or extenct. The choice is yours, and yours, and yours.

Have a good one.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 12/25/2012 at 3:23 AM

Hey OTP, the older you get the more bitter you sound. To make up for the callous disregard shown here for the demise of the Mayans, I'm holding a memorial service for the Neanderthals. I'll send you a plus-one invitation; you'll have to bring your own animal skins and clubs.

Merry Christmas, and hopefully enough white people will die in the next 12 months for you to have a really Happy New Year!

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Posted by GWCarver on 12/25/2012 at 10:09 AM


I don't want anyone to die in the next 12 months, regardless of color. I am not bitte either.

Yes, I was being callous, however, I was merely matching Sputnik57.

It just piss me off when posters disregard facts and just go with lies and misinformation like they know what they are talking about. I tried to hold back, but, I just couldn't help myself. It is the same with the post, the other day that Clarion did. Full of lies and misinformation and you, of all people, shocked me by agreeing with what Clarion said.

You should know better. You don't have to like something or the way things are going, however, just say I don't like it; don't use lies and misinformation to justify yourself.

Happy new year and I hope that you decide to get on board this train for it will leave the station anyway. lol

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 12/25/2012 at 10:36 AM

Ahem! I really don't give a crap about the nonsense regarding the Mayan calendar, however it simply must be pointed out that there are 6 million Maya living in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize today (… ).
It is also a little known fact that the end of the great ancient Mayan civilzation was brought about by invading aliens from the planet Kolob, who eventually migrated north to present-day Utah. This was, of course, predicted centuries earlier by the ancient Egyptians, who transferred that knowledge to us via hieroglyphics on papyrus scrolls...

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Posted by RemotePatroller on 12/25/2012 at 4:24 PM

In all seriousness, it wasn't the Mayans who were wiped out by the Spanish - it was the Aztecs - you know, Montezuma and Cortez (am I the only one who studied Neil Young lyrics?). The Mayan civilization was long gone by the time the Spanish arrived, thanks in large part to the Kolobians, as RP noted.

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Posted by Jeff on 12/26/2012 at 8:01 AM

Jeff: The Neil reference made my day. Thank you.

Posted by Phlo on 12/27/2012 at 4:43 PM
Showing 1-9 of 9

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