There are plenty of Jordanians who think the Mayans and their 21, 12 end of days prediction may be on to something. No manic preparations can be seen, no one blasting Prince’s “1999”, but I’ve heard more than a few folks say, “It may happen, insha’allah it won’t, but there’s nothing we can do.”
America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) uploaded a new video on their website debunking this week’s anticipated wrap-up of all earthly experience. A bit of scientific showing off? (I bet NASA already sent out all their Christmas cards and have finished their holiday shopping too.) Check out debunking video below.
There’s not much restraint on voicing personal opinions here in Jordan. I’m talking on a social level: at parties, on the job, among friends. In the past year, I’ve met three people who maintain the Holocaust is fiction. Two others believe there are no gays in this kingdom. I’ve been told Canadians are the only North Americans who hold passports. No Jews died in the World Trade Center collapse. Dogs are dirty devils. And no one landed on the moon. Of course, these beliefs are not the norm. These are exceptional opinions in every possible sense.
After years in Manhattan, where the buffet of cultures and religions and political viewpoints mandates that you watch your tongue (at a minimum, to win friends and influence people…at the other end, to avoid a punch in the kisser), I was initially stunned by these provocative statements, delivered uncensored and with absolute confidence. And it’s not only local Ammanians who make loose with the viewpoints: foreigners living here quickly shed inhibitions. Lately I just marvel at the limitless range of human beliefs.
The Tower of Babel is where God is said to have confounded language: but there’s no geographical constraint when it comes to confounding ideas.
So back to the world’s end. The NASA video may leave the Mayan crying. And it wouldn’t be the first time people were sucked into believing a doomsday scenario. In fact, you can gauge your maturity but the number of kill-the-world bluffs you’ve endured. This one is my daughter’s first bout with rumors of global annihilation: it’s about my twelfth.
List-making website Ranker has a fine, uh.., list of the “Top 12 Greatest End of The World Prophecy FAILS”. NASA takes a more proactive tack, with a web advisory telling exactly why you’ll wake to see December 22. So it seems we’ll live to see another day. An opportunity for us to share more of our wacky ideas with one another. Sir Winston Churchill once said, “A fanatic is a person who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. ”
Bring on December 22nd, and throw some light on the next nutty idea.
Warning: do not watch the clip on the eve of the predicted apocalypse. It’s narrated by a gentle-voiced guy who is so comforting that if NASA proves wrong, you may fall asleep and snooze through humanity’s grand finale.
Image of Mayan skull carvings by Shutterstock