"We didn't predict this but we guarantee the world will end Dec. 21. Save money by not booking any holiday plans," opined Al Jean, an executive producer of The Simpsons sometime back.
The Simpsons episode called "Treehouse of Horror XXIII" caused lots of Facebook and Twitter furor after Marge and Homer did their segment on the apocalypse as a satirical outing from the Fox cartoon series. Reporter Dave Itzkoff in the Times reported that only Clint Eastwood talking with an empty chair made a comparative big noise on the Internet.
According to Gail Collins of the Times, NASA addressed the rumors that the world would end. They say no asteroids are coming our way. They even posted answers to many who were asking questions. They say, "A reversal in the rotation of the earth is impossible." Russia's prime minister rang in saying he didn't believe the world was ending, "at least, not this year."
So, I haven't looked yet but I'll bet there is plenty of hoopla today. A Mayan-style archway was built just east of Moscow and that started speculation in Russia. Some people even said that rumormongers who spread the word that the 5125-year cycle would come true, should be prosecuted. The Mayan calendar says the calendar simply just ends this year, the same as your 2012 calendar is ending. France, too, got into the Mayan act of predicting doom. There was some hoarding in France and Russia, which was silly.
But I hear that in the Yucatan of Mexico, nobody is paying much mind to the idea. The Mayans are more concerned with immigration and new standards of recognizing their own as a heretofore-understated Hispanic-Native American political force to be reckoned with.
Nevertheless, the National Geographic channel is making hay with the idea that Earth is done for. They have devoted an entire schedule to the world ending. Their "Evacuate Earth" is all about how we earthlings will try to escape a collapsed star as it passes through our solar system.
Others say such programming is "cheap and sleazy." I think it's mainly that these terrorizing doom and gloom scenarios just appeal to people who like to see the rich running to their private spaceships and exploding on the launching pad. (Republicans in Congress seem to already be trying to get into outer space.)
I always found the National Geographic magazine and its organization to be scientifically valuable but who can blame them for doing TV disaster programming when viewers love it so.
However, you are free to watch It's a Wonderful Life, all about an angel in a bankrupt town, or Natalie Wood in The Miracle on 34th Street and The Christmas Heart, or even Holiday E.R. There are lots of good-hearted Santas on TV and in real life.
But to the crazies who are grafting zombies and vampires onto Christmas, I say phooey, fake, outrageous and as old Major Hoople would say, "Fap to you!"
- Have you put what happened in Newtown, Connecticut out of your head yet?
Here's just one factoid to chew on, considering that nothing explains Adam Lanza's murderous behavior except a guess at mental illness.
The Times December 18th:
After the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, Congress did manage to pass a modest measure that was designed to provide money to states to improve the federal background check system. But the NRA secured a broad concession in the legislation, which pushed states to allow people with histories of mental illness to petition to have their gun rights restored.