When I was at Laughlin attending the International UFO Congress Convention a month ago I met at least a couple people who expressed to me their absolute certainty that events are building up to the destruction of the world in 2012. Bird flu, war in the Middle East, global warming, Iran with nukes, American Idol, etc. - you name it, and they saw it as a sign of the coming end times, although to them the "End of Days" had more to do with aliens than it did with God. However, some evangelical Christians are also focusing in on 2012 as the date for "the end" (or is it the "beginning of the end" - my Christian theology is a bit fuzzy on exactly how it is all supposed to play out).
Google "2012" and "Mayan calendar" and you'll run into a myriad of web sites detailing just how and why these people believe what they do. My favourite can be found here. It has a lot of links, and it also has a synthesized version of Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man playing as background music, which is both cheesy and cool at the same time (FFTCM being one of my favourite pieces of music, and Copland one of my favourite composers). REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It" would make an amusing pop music substitute. But I digress...
This is all hooey. The world is NOT going to end in 2012, and I confidently predict that, barring some sort of personal tragedy where I'm run over by a flying saucer, I'll happily be sipping margaritas with the missus in Bermuda or some other warm place when we're (hopefully) comfortably retired in the '30s (that's the 2030s, as opposed to our 30s, which are almost over - eep).
Making it worse is that it's hooey that unscrupulous con-men and women are going to no doubt use over the next six years, to bilk as much money as possible from the credulous. Others, well-meaning in an evangelical sense (whether as evangelical religious types, or evangelical UFO types, or whatever - it matters not) will use it to get the faithful in a tizzy, and probably to raise some money (FYI - if you think the world is going to end, why donate money to the people who are telling you it's going to end? Better to spend it on a giant party, or a trip around the world, or something). But, as it's a free planet (well, some of it is), there's nothing much I can do about that, other than to urge people to employ some common sense - and to google two words:
"William" and "Miller".
Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose.
Or, as George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
As for 2012, all I can say is - bring it on!
For the believers, it will be the "Great Disappointment" (you'll see what I mean once you've googled William Miller).
For the rest of us, living in the real world, 2012 is just the year that precedes 2013.