5 Apocalypses I’ve Survived In My Lifetime
It may not seem like it but in your lifetime you’ll encounter many occasions that will be touted as “the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)”. They can vary wildly ranging from religious endings to mutually assured destruction of nuclear proportions but for what it’s worth you and I are still here today. While reflecting on ideas for articles to write for the newly relaunched GatorAIDS site one of the things that popped into my mind and hung there was the completely ridiculous Mayan “apocalypse” of 2012 and how I could possibly rag on it without beating a dead horse. At that moment I had the “brilliant” idea to poke fun at the Mayans by proxy by giving previous non-apocalypses a good ribbing instead. I looked back at the years I’ve been on this planet to see just how many times people have wrongly predicted the end of the world and in just a short frame of time I’ve survived four of these bastards and I’m quite confident with the scoreboard of “Apocalypse: 0, Earth: 4,128” I’ll be able to wake up on December 22nd, 2012 and ask Mayan followers “u mad?”
Here are four apocalypses (plus the Mayan one) I’ve survived in my lifetime and a “probability score” given to each one to determine the actual threat they posed to mankind as a whole. Each world-ending event’s score will be issued in the form of REM albums with their highest selling album being an earth crumbling 10/10 and their worst being nothing more than a thunder clap and a shart.
Satan really gets around and he’s got a bad rap to boot. For the ill-informed, Satan is a fallen angel and he keeps it real in Hell (The Underworld, not the town in Michigan). If you do bad things then supposedly you’re doomed to an eternity of torture including, but not limited to, Satan personally inserting objects of varying size and sharpness into your rectum. Remember the “Lust” murder from Se7en? That’ll be the rest of your eternal life: every day. Satan’s calling card is “666”, a number long enough to be a telephone area code but sadly unassigned leaving me with the setup to a mediocre observational joke but no punchline. Anywhere you see “666” you can expect to see representations of Satan, teenagers with white makeup on their faces, or you’re in Missouri and you’re looking at a phone number upside down.
Yeah, that area code joke just got revived. Like Jesus.
So what’s with the random-looking date given to the “Day of the Beast”? It’s not that random if you break it down into the date’s numeric form: 6/6/06 (don’t mind the extra zero, I guess). Yep, that’s the sole shred of evidence given to the date when Satan himself was supposed to rise up from Hell and annex the surface world as his vacation home. Little does Satan know, however, is the actual waking world has already been annexed into Hell, he just wasn’t paying attention. In all seriousness, June 6, 2006 is the best that people could come up with? Did anybody realize just how many 6/6/06’s we’ve been through without any surprise visit from the devil? What happened on June 6, 1906? What about June 6, 1006? The only 6/6/6 date that people would have had any reason to shit their pants over would be just that: June 6, 6.
We’ve had hundreds of occurrences of 6/6/06, so what makes the 2006 edition of it so special? Absolutely nothing; it’s like saying July 7, 2007 is the prime date to hit up Vegas or that September 11th is a great day to have a terrori- holy shit.
The Day of the Beast is an apocalypse nestled firmly in the “Jesus” side of the spectrum of doom; sitting at the other end of the gauge are apocalypses of a more technologically-oriented variety. Enter The Y2K Bug.
Strangely enough I’ve been told by my traffic reports that most of GatorAIDS’ readers weren’t of fully sentient mind at the turn of the millennium and if they were then they were very very young and likely don’t remember it. By and large the world was convinced that two things would happen on that fateful New Year’s: Dick Clark would play with balls in Times Square and every single computer in the world would revolt against their human oppressors and send us “back to the Stone Age” since apparently a potential calendar programming oversight would nullify every invention from the past zillion years and turn it into dust. Volcanoes would erupt in the middle of neighborhoods, satellites in orbit would fire space lasers and carve giant dongs into the surface of the Earth, dinosaurs would come back to life, and in the case of that last event I’d cease being single.
But seriously, there was quite a scare that at the turn of the clock the world would go to Hell all because of how computers read dates: in two digits. Nerds were worried that when the 99 (for 1999, obviously) rolled over to the double zeroes that computers everywhere would think it was suddenly the year 1900 again and that we’d be doomed to relive two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Reagan administration until the end of time.
And that’s way too much goddamn Reaganomics. (But the decade of 00’s DID suck, though.)
Grocery stores started creating “Y2K survival kits” that were essentially identical to what you’d have in a nuclear fallout shelter in the 1950’s and people who grew up in the 1950’s suddenly had Vietnam flashbacks of watching Duck & Cover in history class and reflexively moved back in with their decrepit parents and took up shack in their unused fallout shelter. The phrase “Y2K Compliant” became a huge marketing buzzword and was plastered on everything from computers to refrigerators as assurance that the product wouldn’t come to life on New Years and download your brain or whatever. For what it’s worth the Y2K Bug was actually a possibility; perhaps banks wouldn’t self destruct and the world wouldn’t end per se, but the notion of computers messing up on keeping dates was a well thought out hypothesis that at worst would have resulted in the overhauling of thousands of lines of code.
“Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!”
Seriously, this guy’s followers are like miniature Paul Revere’s. Jesus is always “coming”, his return is always right around the corner, and you better damn well behave or else you won’t get into the VIP party taking place in Heaven right now. The Rapture is similar to that of the aforementioned Day of the Beast in that it’s been predicted countless times and was a failure each and every one of those instances. This particular Rapture, however, is the one specifically predicted by Harold Camping of Family Radio (a Christian waste of airspace). Say what you will about religious nutjobs like Camping but this time his prediction of the Rapture has some serious quasi-mathematical grounding behind it. Whereas most people would say that Jesus spoke to them through their tortillas and grilled cheese Camping looked to specific verses and wording from the Bible to pinpoint his prediction to a specific date.
But he was still wrong, haha.
Camping, who previously predicted the very same Rapture in the early 1990’s, stated that the missed deadline was a day of “spiritual judgment” and that the Good Lord would return on October 21 to come take his followers to Heaven, because when you make a foolish ass out of yourself clearly the only solution is to dig yourself a deeper grave. Camping gets more points than believers in the Day of the Beast apocalypse for the sole purpose of using math and actual Bible terminology to come up with a defined date… but still, we’re talking about using “facts” out of a book of fairy tales here. You could get a similar prediction if you looked for dating terminology in a Harry Potter book.
A surefire way to piss off our international friends is to tell them the US “won” the Cold War. There was no “winner” of the Cold War; if anything both the US and Russia won the war because if either country “lost” the war then somebody would have fired nuclear missiles. We both avoided mutually assured destruction: we both won. Let’s just be thankful of that and be done with it. Of all things in this list that could spell the end of the world nothing comes closer to reality than the notion that if just one nuclear ICBM was fired, even accidentally, that our retaliation (which would probably be more than one missile) would warrant even more Russian missile launches, each one completely destroying everything for dozens of miles around its strike zone. The loss of life would be in the millions, the loss of property would be in the trillions, and international borders and government would have been altered forever not to mention the amount of fallout making entire portions of countries all over the world uninhabitable.
That’s “apocalypse”. And we were at the cusp of it for four decades. (Also, Threads was a shitty movie.)
Many rumored apocalypses are of religious background but the ones that were (and are) the most dangerous are the kinds that can come from mankind’s follies. Although the Y2K bug did not come to fruition the idea of a programming error causing massive problems in a world run largely by computers is a very scary thought but at best one that wouldn’t really spell the end of the world; but the thought of man harnessing the power of the atom via nuclear missiles and leveling the planet? God has nothing on that. You can grow a lot of plants on soil that was watered by a flood but you can’t do much of anything with irradiated soil. I’m no peacenik but seriously, a weapon with the ability to cause that much destruction? That’s fucking excessive. (And leave it to the United States of Assholes to be the first and only country to use it on someone else.)
This “apocalypse” hasn’t happened yet but holy hell has it been talked about over and over again. There have been hundreds of books published about it (which pisses me off considering I know I can at least do better than the 2012 Apocalypse and yet I’m still unpublished), countless TV “specials” on the History Network for some reason, and even a movie starring a past-his-prime John Cusack. The best that the Rapture has on 2012 is Left Behind and even with about forty installments into that series it’s still no match for Hollywood’s mighty greenscreen of terror.
The Mayan apocalypse is a big deal mostly because the Mayan civilization was way too smart for the time period in which they existed so the legacy of what they left behind is a little more peculiar than sharpened sticks and rocks. When most tribes were busy stabbing their dicks for religious reasons and grunting and throwing crap at animals the Mayans were looking up at the night sky and asking “seriously what the fuck is out there?” They were so fixated on space that there are people out there who think that the Mayans were visited by aliens because seriously they pulled some insanely complex astrological stuff of their asses that we wouldn’t discover on our own until way later (and with computers).
This “apocalypse” that is predicated is less of an apocalypse and more of just an ending of their massive calendar. Usually when a calendar ends you throw it away but not when it comes to this giant stone slab. You see, the Mayans’ calendar did more than just tell you the date, it was a giant astrological prediction device that depicted lunar and planetary cycles along with an assload of other readings that only the most hardcore science nerds could appreciate.
And they did this without any computers. Not even an Atari 2600.
The end of their calendar predicts what amounts to a planetary alignment. It’s a major cosmic event but it’s not like we’re going to get sucked into the 5th dimension because of it. It’ll just be something really, really cool that won’t happen again for thousands of years. After that? Their calendar starts over again until the next time the planets align, and that’s it. Due to the incredible amount of real math, not Jesus-Math (TM pending) that went into the Rapture, the Mayans come out ahead of Harold Camping for their work, but still their calendar is just that: a calendar.
(Scoring Key: Day of the Beast 1/10, Y2K Bug 7/10, The Rapture 4/10, The Cold War 10/10, Mayan Apocalypse 5/10)