Opinion

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Merry Christmas

That’s the thing about these end of the world prophecies, like the weather forecasts, you can never count on them.

Now I have to get going on my Christmas shopping. Bah, humbug.

I know my kids will be disappointed, well not really but they seem to be into these conspiracy theories lately. Obviously they spend way too much time on the Internet, where you can always find ‘proof’ to prove pretty much whatever you set out to prove with like-minded people who obviously find reality terribly boring. Or at least not nearly as much fun.

That’s partly why I found last week’s golden eagle hoax so perfect. It was a video of an eagle in a Montreal park picking up a baby and flying away with it. It went viral, of course. Many believed it, including several news organizations that spend a considerable amount of air time on what’s creating interest on the Internet, and then got to cover it again the next day to proclaim it a hoax from some clever and industrious and obviously talented Quebec students who will be getting an ‘A’ in their class.

They wisely targeted the top two items on the Internet, babies and animals, and presto, chango, instant international audience.

Now the Mayans likely had no agenda when they made their calendars, and certainly didn’t anticipate an audience in 2012 long after their civilization had vanished, but, hey, what’s old is new again and in doomsday theories any kind of facts just clutter things up anyway.

But our modern fixation with rapid but unreliable communication devices aside, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with proclamations of the end of the world as we know it (everybody, and I feel fine). And you can’t blame the Net.

I distinctly remember in the late 60s or early 70s when some older kid at school, who may or may not have been a hippy, told me the world was going to end on Friday night. There was a lot of that kind of stuff going on then but it scared the hell out of me, cause you know he was older and everything and what do I know about anything? – which is pretty much what leads us to be scared about everything. When push comes to shove, what do we really know about anything?

Anyway, I recall already agreeing to spend that night at a buddy’s place, even though I felt like staying at home with my mom and dad comfortably near my side just in case anything went terribly wrong. But, I believe I was nine or 10 at the time, I couldn’t bring myself to explain this problem I had, and I didn’t want to look like a chicken either.

I know I didn’t sleep well that night but I must have drifted off because when I did eventually wake up it was one of the happiest moments of my young life. Phew.

The next bullet I dodged was Y2K.

Well, we all did, I guess, and this one can be blamed on computers or the geniuses that make them.

It was Dec. 31, 1999 and apparently no one knew how the computers, which we invented but now ruled our world, were going to take the news that a millennium was about to end. Even though you’d think they, er, the people that invented them, probably should have saw that one coming.

A lot of money was spent, a lot of anxiety was dispensed.....and the calendar, and the rest of the world, along with our lives, turned to Jan. 1, 2000 without much problem at all.

And it appears we’ve dodged another bullet. And just in time for Christmas.

And, ironically, that’s the good thing about end of the world scenarios that don’t turn out as predicted, you’re happy to wake up and get on with your life. So Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy and healthy new year.

 

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