Or maybe not, depending on the Mayans, or the Aztecs, or someone else…
The knowledgeable types amongst us will know that the great Mayan Long Count Calendar comes to an abrupt end on the 21st of December 2012, which heralds the end of the world. In about five months from now as I write this. The winter equinox. Just before Christmas. Bugger. I like Christmas. Or should I say, used to like Christmas. T’was a cheery time of year, in my youth.
It is therefore, like it or not, that you will have to make the choice of preparing for our utter and total destruction or plan your Christmas shopping in the next few months. If you follow the chatter on the internet, the screaming eejits have the advantage and they are descending upon some otherwise unknown French village in the vain hope of avoiding the coming apocalypse by congregating there. I have no idea why a village in France is going to be exempt from global destruction, but there you are. Voila.
Admittedly, we have been warned of the end of the world by others at various times in the past, all to no avail, but someone has to be right at some point in time and the law of averages is against us. Not only that, we are talking ancient wisdom here, from the Mayans. And they were bloody clever. (Just raising my finger here! You have been warned!)
The Mayans started work on their calendar somewhere around AD 600. They worked hard at it, making astronomical observations, predicting the seasons, the rise and fall of the planets in the heavens and major events in their own history. All these things were carved in stone in strange hieroglyphic pictures and interpreted by the holy priests of that civilisation, much to the consternation or elation of the masses that were the Mayan folk. It would appear that no matter where you are, religion is power, be it biblical or pictorial. Sacrifices were made, the gods were appeased and all was well. Their calendar was extremely accurate and various astronomical events were predicted until well into our century, including solar eclipses. And then, it just stops. On the 21st of December this year. There was no need to continue, say the learned. It is The End. So there.
Of course, there may be another explanation. Here’s one.
It is the year 738, about five in the afternoon on Thursday in the third week of the month of the Lizard King Porcupine at the Mayan calendar workshop.
Fred Querxacotl and Joe Zaxtpitl are rounding off the day’s chiseling in stone and Joe is sweeping the floor for the fifth time that day. It’s an hour to knocking off time. Fred seems a little depressed.
What’s up? says Joe.
I dunno, says Fred, I just don’t see the point any more..
To what? says Joe.
All this chiseling every day. We’re up to winter equinox in 2012 now. What’s the bloody point? We’ll be long gone by then. Says Fred.
We’ll all be long gone before that, says Joe.
What? says Fred, and lays down his chisel. What do you mean?
Well, says Joe, according to the vicar in church last sunday, the bloody conquistadores will be here already in about 1520 and they’re gonna wipe us off the face of the earth.
What? says Fred, that’s only about 8oo years from now. I’m nearly 500 years past that already. Bugger me!
Yeah, says Joe, some bastard called Hernan Cortes is coming over here from Europe and he’s gonna sort us right out. Well not us really, but them that comes after us, the Aztecs.
This is news to me, says Fred. Who the hell are the Aztecs?
Well, says Joe, first the Aztecs will rise up within the next few hundred years and be a great civilisation much like we are today and we, the Mayans, get clobbered by them, then come these dego chaps from Spain and they clobber the Aztecs. A bit like what we did to the Olmecs.
Oh yeah. I remember the Olmecs. Bunch of wankers. Big heads. So what about us? says Fred.
Well, like I said, we’re doomed mate, says Joe. We’ll all be long dead by then.
Well bugger me, says Fred. That’s it then. I ain’t doin’ this any more. They can shove this job up their arses.
And with that, the last man able to chisel the words and likenesses of the gods quit his job and went off to live his life as peacefully as he could and never looked back. Joe started a gravel business and got a contract for the South American interstate highway, which failed as a financial project, and ended up in a place called Nazqa building short roads and designing vast rock gardens in the shapes of indigenous animals and birds. Joe’s work can still be seen today, as can Fred’s calendar.
Sure enough, the Aztecs came and finally wrested power from the Mayans forcing them to give up the recruitment drive for a new chisel operator. The calendar was never finished.
Or was it…?? As I said, you decide. Merry Christmas.