The Obligatory End of World Post

So the world is supposed to end tomorrow. Theoretically.

In 1992, when I was nine years old I made the mistake of watching a special about Nostradamus, on some cable channel. (Discovery? TLC? History Channel? I don’t remember.) I remember this because this particular special all but convinced me that the world was going to end in 1998. I cried myself to sleep because the world was going to end before I was even old enough to date. All the things I had been planning for my life (marriage, kids, driving a car, not sharing a room with my sister) were never going to happen. That stupid special had my stomach in knots for weeks. I don’t remember exactly what let me get over it, but I suspect it was just the simple passage of time.

When 1998 rolled around, I remembered my fears and was able to shake my head about how silly I was. However it seems like it was just a few months later that the y2k mess was started to enter public consciousness. That came and went, and now we’re on 2012, or tomorrow. I suspect when those pass it will be some new date. It seems like my whole life has been one highly publicized panic about the end of the world after another.

So is this normal behavior for humans? Can I expect this to settle down sometime in the next couple decades? Or is this just how people are and always will be?

Starfoxy

Starfoxy is a fulltime caretaker for her two children.

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9 Responses

  1. Corktree says:

    I’m still holding out for December 21 of this year 😉

    I don’t know what it is about this need to have a cosmic deadline, but it’s a part of me that I have to fight. I do better with goal dates on calendars for just about everything else, as I’m sure many others do, so this is probably just an extreme extrapolation of that.

    As far as taking television shows too seriously, I still can’t bring myself to consider living permanently on the western coastline, as much as I would really love to, because of a Discovery channel show I saw about a predicted giant tsunami that will eventually wipe everyone out in the coastal states. Crazy? Yes, but it still haunts me when we talk about where we want to settle permanently.

  2. CG says:

    Uh… yeah. I suspect it is normal. We are all susceptible to doom and gloom scenarios because it is natural to fear death and potential situations of our own demise. I refuse to ever live in Florida due to the horrific hurricanes (who wants to rebuild their house every year), when the swine flu broke out I started to panic (nevermind that I had never received a flu shot in my life and am pretty healthy in my mid-twenties and have never been really sick), and with each commercial that comes on TV about getting mammograms/colonoscopies my anxiety builds. I also refuse to watch natural disaster movies due to the fact that, well, natural disasters really do occur and that, my friend, hits just a little too close to home.
    I think it is normal.
    PS- Here’s a weird one: I have to examine each toilet I use- yes, I know we all do it, and sometimes flush it before I use it because I saw a bit on the news once when I was a kid that a woman lifted her toilet lid and sat down on a 24ft python that had slithered through her pipes. Shyeah– scary.

  3. Caroline says:

    Ha! These are funny stories.

    I suspect that most of the people who have end of the world ideas are the super conservative Christian types who take the idea of the second coming seriously. Of course, Mormonism is founded on that premise (Latter-Day Saints), and early LDS believed the second coming was immanent. These ideas in LDS culture and teachings seem to have died down quite a bit, but they are still there. I remember being a young teen and being scared about the idea of the second coming. I didn’t want it to happen — I wanted to go to college, get married, have a normal life. Nowadays, I don’t worry about Jesus coming in my lifetime. 🙂

  4. spunky says:

    I really want the second coming to happen as soon as possible, but I am pretty sure it isn’t going to be May 21st.

    DH and I were talking about this today– we heard there was an atheists’ group that for a fee- would look after your pet in case you are translated. So Christians can pay a fee, and the Atheist calls your house on the 21st or 22nd, and if you don’t answer, they assume you have been translated, so they pop by and look after your pet for you. I so wish I has thought of this…. maybe at the next end of the world party I can advertise to look after more righteous people’s pets after they are translated.

  5. Steve says:

    Spunky —

    That is absolutely hilarious . . .

  6. larryco_ says:

    For a non-fictional understanding of how long the end of times predictions have been going on, check out Paul Boyer’s “When Time Shall Be No More”.
    For a fictional account of how intense it was in the 14th century, read Umberto Eco’s “Name Of The Rose.”

  7. CG says:

    Well, either the world didn’t end, or I got left behind… Sad.

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