Let’s start off by alerting you to the fact that this is not a scientific paper. I know as much about the Mayans as anyone else who has compulsively watched all the Discovery Channel’s doomsday docutainment shows over the past year. Deal.
Why the hell is everybody freaking out? BFD (not Bedford Fire Dept.), so the Mayan long-count calendar–I think it’s called an Achtung–is rolling to an end. So what? Our calendar ends every freaking year, and we throw parties.
Oh. Now I get it. The Mayans lived back when life was nowhere near as sweet as it is today… I’m not being sarcastic. If you live in a First World country, you (most likely) wake up with the expectation of food in your cupboards, running water from your sink, electricity to operate your coffee maker, and nobody trying to eat your heart.
The Mayans, on the other hand, lived in an untamed jungle… wait a minute. The Mayans gathered in large cities containing tens of thousands of people, all competing for the limited resources available to them in a centralized society, and were governed by an elite class of rulers and priests… hmmm…. The thing is, though, while we celebrate every single trip around the sun by getting stupid and dancing on tables, the Mayans only got to blow off steam every 5,000 years! Can you even imagine what kind of party those heart-eating motherfuckers would throw after holding it together that long?
That’s scary. So, sure, they’d be getting ready for a cataclysm of biblical proportions, come the end of their Achtung! But we have birthdays, Independence Day, and a slew of paid holidays, so on December 21, 2012, let’s keep it to a heart-felt (not eaten)
Happy New Pentamilennium!