It’s the end of the world. Again.
If 3,000 years of history tell us anything, it’s that December 21st, 2012 – a date associated by some with the Mayan apocalypse – will feel a lot like any other day of the year.
Human beings have never been very good at predicting the end of the world. Though one would never know given our current surge of enthusiasm for apocalyptic scenarios. Even firearms manufacturers today are marketing real-life (and deadly) weapons as “zombie apocalypse” guns. (We all know that zombies aren’t real. Right? Right?). And just consider the last dozen years: Public interest has lurched from Y2K to 2012 to solar flares. It’s easy to make light of these attachments. But recent events reveal a contradictory and troubling attitude at the back of our fascination with The End. TV viewership, radio banter, and online surfing reveal a perverse sense of wonder toward Armageddon. Yet at the same time, we as a society evince a peculiar denial toward predictable and increasingly frequent weather emergencies, such as Hurricane Sandy, which crippled power and left thousands homeless in parts of the northeast.
Why do we often balance between this odd fascination with fictitious apocalysm and a state of unpreparedness toward authentic urgencies? Read the rest
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