Photo: John Hill (Wikipedia Commons)
You know what happens when a translation job goes awry?
You may laugh at this, but I mean this in the most literal kind of way. Today is December 21st, by all means the day when the world is going to end, according to predictions made by “experts” who claim to have interpreted that from ancient Mayan scriptures.
Well, maybe they should recheck with their English-Ancient-Mayan dictionary… If only there was one.
Researchers and archaeologists (actual experts) have been saying over and over that it all has been one terrible misinterpretation; that it is not the end of the world, just the end of an era and a new beginning; that there is nothing to fear and no reason to seek protection from death coming from above.
But of course, the idea of an inescapable fate that will affect poor and rich, young and old, Africans and Americans alike, is just too sweet a deal to miss. Hollywood knows it, and it is actively harvesting its fruits. Some people have spent big money on machinery that will help them in a potential catastrophe situation. And many people have gone on holidays waving goodbye to their coworkers and promising to see them in 2013, “if the New Year ever comes”.
The eminent arrival of the end of the world is by no means something new. But as opposed to a slight suspicion that maybe Nostradamus, or Camille Flammarion, or Pat Robertson, or many others just wanted to have a kick from seeing the reaction in people after predicting the end of all life on planet Earth, this time all the paranoia comes from a choppy translation of scriptures that the Mayans wrote in consistence with their beliefs, without the slightest intention of warning or scaring anyone.
If only they knew…
Anyway, the clock is ticking, and at least here, in Europe, everybody is still walking on their two feet. No UFO has crashed in our backyard and started frying everyone with laser cannons. No heat wave has wiped out the streets of major cities. No earthquake has broken the Earth in two, and no meteorite has appeared out of the void and sunk humanity into extinction, much like the dinosaurs. Excuse me for not being surprised.
However, it is still a reason to be happy and welcome these Christmas holidays all the more. What better time to gather up cozily in a warm house, enjoy the company of your family and loved ones and celebrate being alive? Even though the Mayans never said today would be the actual end of the world, it does feel for some reason like the heavens have given us another chance to appreciate what we have and our capability to feel happiness and love.
And I, for one, am not going to waste it. Doomsday looming over me or not.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and a very happy and promising New Year!
And Carpe Diem, for who knows when will be the next time some enlightened soul will find out thatthe world is about to blow…