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We should be worried about 2012

January 06, 2009

If you're nervous about our prospects going into 2009, don't be; we still have three years left.

It's in 2012 that all terror is going to break loose, according to some cryptic drawings by legendary seer Nostradamus that were interpreted, liberally, Sunday night on The History Channel.

Nostradamus was a French apothecary who lived in the 1500s and wrote "Les Propheties," a series of mysterious verses that are said to have foreseen many modern events.

Near as I can tell, Nostradamus is tonic for people who would normally be predisposed to UFO chasing, but do not like to go outside.

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His overriding message was that "bad things will happen in the future," and since bad things have indeed come to pass -- well, that makes his reputation pretty much airtight.

Of course the great prophets never see anything good coming, do they? No prophet ever predicted the Civil Rights Act, automatic transmissions or the Camp David Accords.

That's because there's no money in it; we only want to hear the bad stuff.

So why will 2012 be so bad? Because it marks a cosmic alignment where the sun appears to rise in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, which is an event that occurs once every 13,000 years. The last time it happened marked the beginning of an ice age. Or the end of an ice age, I forget.

Nostradamus sees this coming because in one of his drawings is a symbol vaguely resembling the letter "S." And, viewed from a certain angle, the Milky Way vaguely resembles the letter "S."

That's evidence enough for me. But I realize there are going to be skeptics out there who demand more proof, pointing out that this particular symbol resembles a plankton as much as a galaxy, and even if it is a stylized galaxy, there is nothing to tie it to the year 2012.

They are further likely to point out that none of the experts hauled in front of the camera to explain Nostradamus' prophesies look normal. They are usually aging guys with gray ponytails who begin each sentence with the word "Clearly," even when there is nothing clear about what they are about to explain: "Clearly this is a symbol for the Milky Way" or "Clearly what Nostradamus meant was ..."

Fair enough. But if you're still dubious, get this: The Egyptian pyramids are aligned with the stars somehow and on top of that, the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012. Dec. 21, to be exact. Around 4:35 p.m.

If that's not enough to make you cancel the long-term disability coverage on your insurance plan, I don't know what is. I could not be more convinced if the entire CNBC stock-market predicting crew were to forecast Earth's demise.

There is a caveat, however, but it's not what you might expect. Usually when you hear apocalyptic predictions, it comes with a caveat. For example, it's most likely he meant the world will end in 2012, but it could be some years later. It's the standard hedge against being wrong, which, to date, the "end days" predictions have always been.

But this year, the doomsayers are speeding things up: It might be 2012, but it might be sooner. The world might be starting to unravel now.

Uh-oh, that's not good.

The "The End Is Near" crowd is falling over itself to move the date up, not back. That's how you know things must really be in a bad way.

Well, no matter. They can always misinterpret Nostradamus again to make the predictions fit the current circumstance.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324 or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com.

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