December 8 is a very important day, as I’m sure you all know. (There’s a chance you didn’t know at one point, but once you learned, you manipulated time in order to return to a point in the past that would effectively mean you always knew.) In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I’d post to let you all know that I have arrived here from December 8, 2012, where the world population waits terrified in anticipation of the end of everything, as predicted by the Mayans. (You can learn more about it here.) I have traveled through time carrying a desperate warning, and a plea for help. Please, read on.
I talked about some end-of-the-world scenarios on Skepchick before, and we talked about the specific absurdity of the 2012 end-of-days theory on The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe back in February of 2008 (“this year,” to you non-time travelers), but to recap: the Mayans were pretty brainy people, but nothing they ever did would suggest they had the power to predict the end of all life as we know it. See, they kept track of time using different calendars, one of which is known today as the Long Count Calendar. Like our calendar year, everything was referenced in terms of cycles, and the end of a cycle also meant it was the beginning of the next cycle. That changeover was a really great excuse to party, kind of like how we party at the end of our annual cycle by paying a ridiculous cover charge to get into an otherwise cruddy bar where we’re given a thimble of cheap sparkling wine, which we drink and then make-out awkwardly with some guy we just met because god damn it it’s New Year’s and we’ll be damned if we’re going to spend it alone like last year, crying into a tub of ice cream and passing out in front of Dick Clark at 10:30pm. I mean, I guess some people might celebrate like that. In your time. Ahem.
The point being that in all likelihood, not even the Mayans thought the world would end on December 21, 2012. It’s yet another apocalyptic fantasy made up by New Age crackpots with so much time on their hands that they need to pretend that time is running out faster than it is.
With all that in mind, you are probably wondering why I, as an accomplished time traveler, have fled from December of 2012 in order to take up residence back here in 2008. After all, if the Mayans didn’t actually predict the world would end that month, why would I want to leave a time known for peace, prosperity, and ten to twenty more cupcakes a day than what humans averaged in 2008? Well, it’s simple . . .
. . . the New Age crackpots are driving me nuts.
So, I’ve come to 2008 with a plea for your help. I need you â€“ all of you â€“ to help prevent a future of crackpots crying nonstop about the end of the world, with a hundred times more shrillness than any of those panicking over Y2K. Tell your friends! Your family! The world! Tell them to please stop getting all their information on the time-keeping habits of ancient civilizations from poorly designed web pages and emails with subject lines that read “Fwd: FW: FW: FW: FW: Fwd: END OF WORLD PERDICTED BY MYANS!!!!” Please. The future depends upon it. My sanity depends upon it.
Bonus: it’s been a long time since I’ve shared an email chain from my workplace. Here’s a mass email I sent this morning. I love my coworkers, who are funny and put up with me five days a week.
On 12/8/08 10:27 AM, “Rebecca” wrote:
Just as a heads up, I arrived here in 2008 from the distant future (2012). In my time, most things are made out of a biodegradable plastic-like material called Flastic, and Americans have embraced Marxism but still donâ€™t know what it means.
On 12/8/08 10:30 AM, “Laurie” wrote:
Youâ€™re a little nutty.
On 12/8/08 10:31 AM, “Rebecca” wrote:
In my time, naysayers like yourself are tried and convicted in federal court on charges of 1st Degree Buzz-Killing.
On 12/8/08 10:34 AM, “John” wrote:
You know, a simple stock tip at this point would go a long way…
On 12/8/08 10:34 AM, “Rebecca” wrote:
My people are prevented from giving stock tips, thanks to Congress passing the â€œBiff Tannen Act of 2011.â€