Friday, December 21, 2012

Has the World Ended Yet?

"New age" (whatever the hell that means) types around the world having been touting supposed predictions that the world would end today, based on utter misunderstandings of Mayan writings (see here). They found willing accomplices in the so-called "news" media, which has for a long time been regressing to the tabloid model of the National Enquirer, leaving self-labeled "fake" newsman John Stewart as the "most trusted" newsman in America (see here). The increasing mediocrity and venality of the "legitimate" news media could explain why politicians and even the news media itself increasingly mistake The Onion's fake news stories as real (see here).

Of course, no one in the press really believed the world was going to end today (I don't think they actually believe in anything aside from their shows' ratings and their personal celebrity), even as they expressed a faux journalistic neutrality on the issue. But we might reasonably expect our journalists to question: (a) the scientific basis of such predictions; (b) the predictive power of a people who failed to predict their own demise, many centuries before the suppose "end of the world" (which they did not in fact predict); and (c) the intelligence and reliability of  "New Age" and religious nuts who gathered at various self-determined "sacred" sites waiting for end to come. The New Agers must be terribly disappointed. And I feel a little bad for them that it did not end ... for them. (Just kidding.)

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