End of the World? Nah!

I was leaning on the handrail of the rear deck this afternoon, drinking a glass of filtered water and thinking ‘Is this what the last day of the world feels like?’.  Nature felt very calm. The butterflies were still fluttering about, birds were doing normal bird stuff.  The sky was blue with patchy white clouds.  The air was pleasantly warm, not in any way oppressive.  I had earlier stood quietly in my garden, observing.  Plants and trees were continuing to grow.  I had picked and eaten a few ripe strawberries and noticed that my tomato plants were well into flowering and some fruits were even already forming.

Everything appeared normal.  I had no premonitions of impending doom, and neither it seemed did the natural life going on around me.

This, of course, is to be expected.  The world is not going to end tomorrow, 21/12/2012.  Nothing important is going to end tomorrow, well, nothing globally important.  People, animals, plants, invertebrates, bacteria, even whole species, are of course going to pass away as they do every day.  Nothing new there.  No apocalyptic event.

Apocalypses are by and large a product of lineal christio-western thought.  Not many other cultures are concerned with such events.  Most other human cultures think in terms of cycles rather than of lineal time, and of course – assuming that those who deal with these things have calculated correctly – what is ending tomorrow is just an ancient central american calendar cycle.  Nothing more.  Similar to an automotive odometer scale, having reached its limit of all ‘9’s, the cylinders roll over to start a new cycle at all ‘0’s.  So, as I understand it, tomorrow’s date in the Mayan calendar will roll over to and next day and so on.  The ’13’ on the left cycles between 0 and 19 over a very long period (can’t be bothered looking up exactly how long, doesn’t matter to us anyway) and then they add another counter to the left of that so that the thing never runs out.  Ingenious.

Isn’t that great?  Well, it is probably quite insignificant really, since we have our own calendar and we wouldn’t even have noticed if those silly people who are governed by christio-western thought and are therefore always looking for second comings, end of worlds, raptures, etc., hadn’t cottoned on to the fact that this may be something else to hang a hat on.  Just like so many other failed prophesies, this one will be added to the long list.

A favourite author of mine, John Michael Greer, has a book detailing many of these events, “Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus and the Rapture Is Wrong” and he details one such “End of the World of the Week” event at the end of each of his weekly posts at The Archdruid Report blog.  I chuckle whenever I read his comment ‘Yet again, Jesus did another no-show’.

There is a sinister side to all of this hogwash.  It is blinding the western world to the facts about a real world’s end, and that’s a damned shame.  No, not the end of the Earth, the planet we call home.  Though such an event is always a remote possibility, I don’t think that is something we can plan on happening any time soon or need to worry unduly about.

What we do need to urgently occupy ourselves with is the very real prospect that our home planet is going to change –  likely within a period that encompasses the lifetime of many people who are alive now, at this current point in time –  and change to the point where it becomes very difficult if not impossible for humans (and other living things) to live on the planet’s surface, either at all or only in very specific and limited places.  That is serious stuff.

I will write again about this at another time but in the meantime I can today find no better reading on the situation than this current article on resilience.org: end-of-the-world-nah-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-yah

And maybe, as the world gradually becomes more and more aware at this point in time that this is actually happening …today …now,  that this is what 2012 will be remembered for  –  the year that earth people woke up, rose up and actually did something.


A Story of Our Times

Here is a 14 minute masterpiece from one of the greatest rock bands ever.

Dire Straits  –  Telegraph Road (The Complete Studio Version).

You don’t see too many intelligent comments on Youtube but here is one about this song that is worth including here:

Who else ever thought to write a song about the history of a road, tracing it from the time that it was a dirt track through the wilderness, to the time when it was a six lane freeway through an industrial, commercial urban sprawl, and on to the time when it became the scene of urban decay, of unemployment and despair. What this song is really about is the illusions of the American Dream.


A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness

He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back

Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines – then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river. . .

And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow. . .

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed

And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care

But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names

‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again. . .
From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road

— Telegraph Road, Dire Straits


I  was very happy to become re-aquainted with this song through a post on the Permaculture Research Institute website:  Letters from Ladakh – Culture Demolition in Fast Forward   –  an article also well worth reading.