Now that it's actually 2012, the year in which those fictional events supposedly were to have taken place, you may be wondering: Is the Mayan calendar a real thing? Were we warned? Is 2012 the end of the world?
The idea of the apocalypse offers the promise that our chaotic times will eventually prove to have some kind of redemptive meaning -- or that, according to ancient cultures, it was all somehow inevitable, anyhow.
Eeven with its carnivalesque reversal of values, heavy metal is a conservative art form. The stress on dark elements in biblical apocalyptic language here contributes to a forceful and emotively charged call for peace.
This week I have a special message for Harold Camping. We're establishing a new rule: you can come up with all the proclamation ideas you like, but we're putting a shotgun to your head that's going off within 15 minutes if you're wrong.