Apocalypse Maybe?
Justin Sullivan
jsull828@uwsp.edu
Next week on December 21 the much discussed prediction of a Mayan apocalypse will be put to the test.

The prophetic and somewhat mysterious nature of the prediction has captured the imaginations of many, including those in Hollywood. Movies such as the aptly titled “2012“ and “Melancholia” have played off the public’s interest and fear of an apocalypse. Both films incorporate popular theories as to what type of disasters may occur such as solar flares in “2012“ and the concept of a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth in “Melancholia.”

The 2012 phenomenon is said to be the end-date of the 13th “b’ak’tun,” or set of 5,125 years. The “Popol Vuh,” a compilation of Mayan creation sto­ries, outlines how gods created three failed worlds before the current and successful one in which humanity was placed, all of which ended in the same thirteen “b’ak’tun” cycle.

Cody Klimmer, a senior commu­nication major, said that he was stock­ing up on food and other supplies in case the Mayan prediction proves to be true.

“Of course I do believe some­thing will happen on December 21. We were told the rapture was going to happen, and it didn’t. We were told Y2K was going to hap­pen, and it didn’t. We were told the Russians were going to nuke us, and they didn’t. All of these things were wrong, and I just have a gut feeling this one is going to be true. Fourth time’s the charm, and you just got to trust your gut,” Klimmer said.

Senior international studies major Brittany Waite had a different take on the predictions and said that they could be accurate for the Mayans but that with Western thinking could come misunderstanding.

“I don’t think the world is going to end on the 21st. I don’t think anything will happen on the 21st besides people taking advantage of the Mayans’ prediction, such as doing things to scare the shit out of people. So it will probably be a scary day— not in the sense of the destruction of the world but rather April Fool’s style,” Waite said.

Sophomore business administra­tion major Michael Pagni had a simi­lar opinion. Pagni said that if some­thing catastrophic were to happen, there would already be clear signs of the impending event.

“I do not think the world is going to end next week. I don’t remember what it was called, but there was a comet or something along those lines that was supposed to crash into the Earth. And then the zombie apoca­lypse. It’s just never going to hap­pen,” Pagni said.

Although most of the specula­tion can be summed up as harm­less rumors and barroom banter, the United States government has recent­ly felt the need to assuage the fears of concerned citizens. According to a December 3 blog post on USA. gov, “The world will not end on Dec. 21, 2012, or any day in 2012.” The same post mentions that NASA has “received thousands of letters con­cerned about the end of the world.”

If we are able to ask the question come Dec. 22, what will be the next date humanity becomes afraid of?