Paul - who brings friendly nonsense (blur_kiwi) wrote,
Paul - who brings friendly nonsense

The merchants of doom

Well, according to the doom-mongers and the people who delight in putting the proverbial up everyone else, the world is going to end in just over a week. Which, of course, it isn't. Apparently, and I know this has been lurking around trying to scare people for a while, the Mayans have run out of dates in their long calendar and some strange people believe that because of that the world will end. They seem to forget that the concept of a calendar, or indeed any way of measuring the passage of time, or indeed of predicting future events, is a human invention. It's not a concept that exists in anything other than the human mind.

Cats don't measure time, they're only really interested in food, warmth and sleep. Cows don't measure time, they just want to chew and emit methane. Pukekos don't measure time, they just wonder about where those outrageously unfashionable legs came from.

And the Mayans don't measure time because their ticking calendar has outlived their civilisation, and that same calendar didn't predict that.

Of course it's not going to happen, it never does. Predictions of doom and gloom come along as regularly as political scandals, and go away just as regularly too. Every cult and religion has a built-in doomsday (the difference between a cult and a religion is purely down to the number of people who sign-up to it) and every now and then someone comes along and says that judgement, doomsday, the end of the world, the rapture or whatever other invention they feel they need to control other people, is about to happen. And it never does. I can only assume that their followers are a really forgiving bunch because they never seem to drift away in droves to find someone else who will scare the crap out of them. They just carry on to the next predicted doomsday, subdued, obedient and exploited. Like sheep, who don't measure time because they're only really interested in pretty much the same things as cows.

If, by some astonishing chance, I'm wrong, and I'm open to that in the way that no member of a cult of any size seems to be, I hope you all enjoy the next few days - make the most of them, live each one to the fullest. Actually, that's not a bad philosophy at any time, doom or no doom.

Tags: columns

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