So an ancient civilization predicted the end of the world thousands of years ago? And they didn't even have an app for that! Pretty badass. I wonder if they saw the Jets quarterback debacle coming too (although predicting that would've been less impressive). Anyway, everyone's all in a tizzy over this pre-Columbian calendar coming to an end. The big day is December 21, 2012, a.k.a. today, which is kind of poetic -- the winter solstice, TGIF, etc. Of course, a lot of people think that it's a load of nonsense. After all, we've heard this song and dance before. Remember Harold Camping and the Rapture? Yeah. Still, isn't there a little part of you, no matter how skeptical you may be, that is curious to see what happens? How will you know if the world has ended? What should you look for? Here are five signs that the world has ended:
1. You're dead. Do you no longer have a heartbeat? Can you no longer breathe? Have you lost your sentience? Or, if you maintain it, is it incorporeal? These are all signs that you have shuffled off this mortal coil. While your demise is not conclusive evidence that the world is kaput (you could have been blindsided by a cement truck while crossing the street in England), it's a definite prerequisite.
2. Everyone else is dead. Look at the person to your left. Now look at the person to your right. Are those people dead? OK, there's a good chance that the world has ended. This isn't just about you, egomaniac.
3. Your breakfast joint is gone. If you woke up today to find that your deli, bagel shop, etc. was replaced by the ashy spoor of the human race, well, there's a chance the world as we know it has fallen victim to overactive solar flares or a global nuclear attack.
4. You're not hung-over. Admit it: You went out last night and got plastered just in case it would be your last chance to have a rollicking (yeah, rollicking) good time. If your sinus cavity doesn't feel like a little gremlin is pickaxing his way out of there, then the world is probably done for.
5. No fiscal cliff. There is only one thing that can deliver us from the precipice of economic ruin: the end of the world. Our national narrative is defined chiefly by the game of chicken and political grandstanding that Washington is playing with the American economy. If talks of a fiscal cliff have ended, you have to ask yourself what's more likely, that Republicans and Democrats have arrived at a compromise or that the world has ended. That's what I thought.