southtownstar
FLAWLESS 
Weather Updates

Our view: Whew! Latest doomsday is averted

Updated: January 28, 2013 3:37PM



Glad to be reading this? We’re glad we could write it. The Mayans were wrong, sort of, though technically they never prophesied the end of the world on Dec. 21. The fearful didn’t get that quite right.

But, hey, we’re still here. The Cosmic Doom Machine threw a rod.

What possesses normally lucid people — we’re giving many of them the benefit of the doubt — to believe such things? The world was in the grip of similar psychic horror in 2000 over the supposed Y2K collapse. How do we get hornswoggled by these ideas?

First, we are buyers of things and ideas, like the “end of the world.” We’re fascinated by such concepts, even though the sellers shouldn’t be trusted. We buy lots of snake oil. Let’s face it. We’re suckers.

The apocalyptic movie “2012” made $700 million and not only entertained but inspired mimics and believers. Within the last two years, about 300 books were published about the end of the world.

Crackpottery has become the world’s new arts and crafts activity — the business of Armageddon angst from a billion-dollar hoax.

If you believed, or weren’t sure if you could fully ignore it, then you were among the suckers. You were like people who buy clothes with horizontal stripes because they think it makes them look slimmer. We’d like to make you feel better by saying you might’ve had some reason to be afraid of The End. But you didn’t.

Such believers must defy facts. Evolution? A plot by egghead atheists. Global warming? It’s a trick to make us give up our SUVs and oil derricks. Cigarettes cause cancer? What a load of baloney.

Convenient anti-intellectual crutches have become the prevailing pursuit of the era.

Eventually, the world will end. Maybe a giant asteroid will take us out, as one apparently did the dinosaurs. That seems a winnable bet. But not anytime soon, baby. If cosmic forces have granted us a reprieve, what do we do with the second chance? Now that’s a question really worth answering. 



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.