Tuesday, 20 December 2011

THE SCARE THAT IS 2012, OR NOT

The Hippocratic Oath requires medics to recognize the frailty of human life; and as such act to save life, not pose as gods. Sometimes however, I ask my self whether human life is really that frail. I mean different people are caught up in similar situations all the time. While some - rather most - brace themselves and walk out of it; others insist on pegging their lives around the worst possible outcomes. The former lot takes life by the horns, while the latter are like na├»ve matadors in the ring, devoid of the red flag. The out come is rather obvious don’t you think? So what am I drawing at? The fact that the modern world is consistently bombarded with unnecessary and sometimes disturbing information about the world ending.

It all started with one Reverend Harold Camping's first prediction in 1994. Well, maybe there were earlier predictions by other characters prior. Since I wasn’t around yet as they were happening, I presume it safe to announce that the world never ended. Now, let's get back to Mr. Camping. This man announced the end of the world on September 6th that year, later postponing it to May 21st 2011. He then postponed it, again, to October 21st, same year. The reason for changing the dates according to him was a 'miscalculation'. The irony is that the fellow has a degree in engineering. Miscalculation should therefore not exactly be his specialty. Somehow, the old man still managed to pull a hat trick on the scare contest (applause). If the 'good' reverend still has a following, I wonder what his flock thinks of him.

Then there was Y2K at the turn of the century. It started as a potential logistical scare in the computing and business world. Computers back then were programmed to date up to 1999 and therefore the aforementioned stakeholders risked distorting huge amounts of data. This would rather be disadvantageous. Somehow, the media and some pessimistic isolates in the public extrapolated the scare into a full blown potential disaster. I clearly remember the 31st night of December 1999. I stayed up late that day. Picture a scared kid waiting for the trumpets and heavenly escalators to materialize in the skies at night. Midnight kicks in, and the crossover is just as usual; fireworks, disturbed barking dogs, then the night retires to a few cricket chirps here and there. Oh brother!

It is even more disappointing that some of the most famous civilizations had to join in this scaring game. Case in point: the Mayans and the Aztecs. I think whoever they decided to designate the role of 'chronologist' to suffered from a severe case of Pessimismosis - not a real disease, though I believe you get the idea. It is for that particular reason, in my opinion, that somehow the Aztec and the Mayan calendars' had to end at December 24th this year and December 23rd next year respectively. As I wait for Christmas this year, I am hardly surprised why these civilizations are almost non existent.

Lastly, there is this fellow Nostradamus. If there is one policy in life I live by, it is not to trust any information contained in someone's autobiography. To prove this, I will digress to Hitler and his book Mein Kampf (My struggle). I will not divulge into its contents, but just from the title, you are left wondering what sort of struggle this man was writing about. Whether it was liberating Germany from western influences, or 'cleansing' the Arian race off Jewish infiltration, this guy was pure evil; I give not a tad about his struggle.

Nostradamus had an autobiography and a book, Les Propheties (The prophecies). Last time I checked, prophecies emphasized on three things; time, manner, place. His book however makes no tangible sense in the named aspects. In fact, while some people try hard to interpret its contents according to modern day events, a segment of his critics describe his quatrain poetic writings as 'vague', 'inaccurate' and 'baseless'. A school of thought even argues that Nostradamus was expelled from University of Montpellier Medical School, after which he took to being a quack in the French countryside. In his own record, he took to studying astrology using cosmologic reflections from a bowl of water and interpreting them in a state of 'trance'. As with autobiographers, I have a deep seated mistrust for quacks. Then the mention of trance brings two things to mind, cannabis and methamphetamine (crystal meth). No further comments honorable readers.

In concluding, I tend to think that the outstanding feature about the human race is its consistent sense of optimism. A few characters are usually out to preach the worst about everything. Some of us believe it and react by selling all our property, buying gas masks, building bunkers, 'cleansing' ourselves with fire, worshiping guys who just landed in our locale using parachutes, to mention but a few. The rest of us however coolly trudge on into the future with special motives, faith in the Creator and a resilient sense of optimism. It is for the latter that I do not listen to propaganda, nor lend an ear to sad music. In fact, you can play all that after my funeral for all I care. For now, 2012 is another year for us to prove ourselves as human beings; the best and strongest species the universe has yet.

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