Saturday, July 18, 2009

2012: The Hype and the Truth

By Wallace G. Smith
Saturday, July 18, 2009

As my wife and I walked into the local cinema, before us stood one of the largest movie advertisement displays I’ve ever seen. It depicted a coastal city being completely ripped apart by unprecedented seismic activity—tossing vast swaths of the city into the sky and dumping entire neighborhoods into a hungry ocean. It was a scene of utter devastation that clearly would have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. And it was a fitting advertisement for the movie 2012, the new End-Of-The-World epic written and directed by Roland Emmerich, coming out this November.

No stranger to such movies, with 2012 Mr. Emmerich is capitalizing on a growing public fascination: the idea that the world will end on December 21, 2012...

Why 2012?

It seems the Mayans—the well-known and much-studied ancient Mesoamerican empire—kept many calendars, including one known as the “Long Count Calendar.” This calendar will reach the end of a 5,100-year-long epoch on—you guessed it—December 21, 2012.

Is there anything to the hype? Should we expect doomsday to come on 12/21/2012—or, perhaps, a New Age paradise?

Read more: 2012: The Hype and the Truth

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