Archive - Nov 13, 2009

Masters Of Disaster

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Memo to everyone: FOLLOW MY LEAD.

There are some tragedies you simply cannot do anything about. For example, Roland Emmerich's "2012" comes out today. And despite the fact that Roland Emmerich has made an entire career out of making shitty-ass disaster movies, from "Independence Day" through "Godzilla" and "The Day After Tomorrow", a sizable fraction of the American population will disregard the lessons of history, spend their hard-earned recession money, and come to the horrifying realization that they just spent nine bucks on a longer version of the trailer, padded out with tedious drama between generic characters.

I cannot do anything to stop this. Oh, it would be great if I could, but I simply don't have the power to overcome self-destructive, stupid, human nature. So I won't try. I may comment on the unfairness of it all, sure. I may weep for the death of the spirit and the soul, as it were. But I won't try to stop you from going. You will learn the hard way, or you will not learn at all.

We should take a page from my admittedly nihilistic and cynical book. Because the actual 2012 comes out in a couple of years. And despite the fact that any number of prophets, from Nostradamus to televangelists and cult leaders, have predicted the shitty-ass end of the world and been completely wrong, a sizable fraction of the American population will treat 2012 doomsday prophecies as if they were real. They will disregard the lessons of history, do stupid things with their money, go crazy, or even kill themselves in a fit of tedious, apocalyptic drama.

NASA thinks they should try to stop this, but they can't. Oh, it would be great if they could, but they simply don't have the power to overcome self-destructive, stupid, human nature. So I suggest that NASA deal with 2012 doomsayers the same way I intend to deal with 2012 moviegoers. LET THEM.

The 2012 doomsday scenario is particularly ridiculous, because it's based on the predictions of the Mayans. Riddle me this, nutjobs. If the Mayans were such hot shit at predicting, why aren't our school boards sitting around in big stone pyramids debating whether we should be teaching our children evolution, or that Plumed Serpent and Heart of Sky molded us out of mud? I say this not to discredit the advances of the Mayan culture per se. I just think it's a bad idea to make major life decisions based on the prognostication skills of a people who couldn't see they were gonna get wiped out three hundred years ago.

People are people. And more importantly, stupid people are stupid people. And stupid people always get worked up about shit that's not going to happen. They stockpile ammunition because Obama's going to take away all our guns. One year later, everyone's still got all their guns. Gay marriage is going to lead to incest and bestiality, even though Massachusetts has had gay marriage for half a decade and the national epicenters of sister-kissing and horse-fucking remain hundreds of miles to the south.

So a bunch of the terminally clueless are going to read a website, see a "science" special on cable, read a book, or more likely, read the back cover of a book in Wal-Mart, and become convinced that we only have two years left. Some of them will do ridiculous things. Some of them will do drastic things. All of them will be told, at one point or another, that they're being crazy, and that the world will be fine, or at least as good as it ever is, in 2013. But they won't listen, because they know the real truth, and anyway, bunker exhaust fans are on sale at Home Depot this week.

If a friend or co-worker starts openly warning you about the Mayan apocalypse, follow this three-step procedure. Step one, patiently explain to them that no, the Mayans didn't know shit about the future. Two, under no circumstances loan them any money. And three, if they invite you over for punch any time after, oh, July 2012, tell them you have other plans. Even if they offer you a free pair of purple sneakers.

And when the magic date passes, and we all wake up on the morning of December 22, 2012, and Roland Emmerich's shitty movie is in Blu-Ray clearance bins and airing three times in a row on TNT, and he's busy filming his next magnum opus in which nuclear whales fling the TransAmerica building at the Crazy Horse statue, we will laugh at the doomsayers, and the doomsayers will turn to the next false prophet to occupy their time. It's who we are and what we do.

You know, unless we're dumb enough to attempt a landing on Europa next year. Then we're fucked.