If the world ends on December 21, 2012, what do you plan to do for Christmas?
October 7, 2012
Most folks have heard about the prophecy that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. Kindling the spark of this notion is the Mayan calendar that will finish the end of one of its great cycles that day at 11:11 (UTC).
I try to be optimistic about such things.
I don’t write dystopian books. I didn’t even know exactly what the word dystopian meant until I saw a lot of writers use it and realized it has spawned an entire literary genre.
Wikipedia to the rescue:
A dystopia is the idea of a society, generally of a speculative future, characterized by negative, anti-utopian elements, varying from environmental to political and social issues. Dystopian societies, usually hypothesized by writers of fiction, have culminated in a broad series of sub-genres and are often used to raise issues regarding society, environment, politics, religion, psychology, spirituality, or technology that may become present in the future. For this reason, Dystopias have taken the form of a multitude of speculations, such as Pollution; Poverty; Societal collapse orPolitical repression and Totalitarianism. Famous depictions of Dystopian societies include Nineteen Eighty-Four, a totalitarian invasive super state; Brave New World, where the human population is placed under a caste of psychological allocation and Fahrenheit 451 where the state burns books out of fear of what they may incite. The Iron Heel was described by Erich Fromm as “the earliest of the modern Dystopian.”
That’s a mouthful.
I figure that even if I wrote pretty fast, I couldn’t carve out a place in the dystopian bibliography between now and December, so this blog will just have to stand alone.
Here are some possible scenarios for the morning of December 22, 2012.
1. The Mayans appear in a spacecraft and deliver a new calendar that runs until the beginning of Wal-Mart Christmas specials for 2013, i.e., March 10, 2013.
2. The Mayans appear in a spacecraft and announce that their Super PAC plans to back Rand Paul for President in 2016.
3. Nobody hears anything from the Mayans.
4. The Earth’s magnetic poles reverse and Lady Gaga marries Sir Elton John. When this happens, iTunes refuses to sell the newly weds’ music.
5. The Earth’s magnetic poles reverse and people drive to work backwards on the LA freeway. CHIP goes on strike led by Arnold Swartzenegger who speaks fluent English for the first time.
6. The stars and the planets align so that Earth’s gravitational force is diminished to that of Earth’s moon. NASA launches a shuttle from the moon to the Earth, which lands in Washington, D.C., and reports no sign of intelligent life.
7. The stars and planets align, Earth’s gravitational pull is reduced to that of Mars. Richard Simmons debuts a new weight-loss program.
8. The day breaks without incident. Spouses yell at each other about holiday plans, kids slip into the living room at midnight to try to determine what is in the boxes under the tree, credit card debt reaches a new high and all is right with the world.
What was that definition of dystopia again?
(Stephen Woodfin is the author of the non-dystopian legal thriller LAST ONE CHOSEN.)