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Inspirational Reads

You Got Three Years, Bub

December 22, 2009

Do you know what today is? It's the twentieth anniversary of the day Communism fell in Romania. One of my good friends from high school, who is now a professor at Princeton, was in Bucharest when all the proverbial shit hit the fan.

You know what else today is? It's the three year pre-anniversary of the day the Aztecs say the world, she goes kaput. That's their official term for it.

I wouldn't normally mention either one of these grand and monumental events, except that they have something in common. Er, well, aside from one being the end of Nicolae Ceausescu's world and the other being the end of, well, all of our world. Worlds? Whatever.

Oh, and today is Scope's birthday. Which also means that it's my birthday, too. (And Chrissy Moran's. If you don't know who she is, don't look her up while you're at work, otherwise you might offend someone with her "body of work").

More importantly, you've got thirty-six months to get done pretty much everything you've ever wanted to get done.

The first I heard about the great cataclysmic end of all existence was in college while I was taking one of those cultural sensitivity courses foreign culture classes required to graduate. I opted for the Latin American course over the African course because I thought, given the ever-increasing Hispanic population in these United States, it would behoove me to learn a little something about their culture and lifestyle. Granted, now, given my line of work, maybe the African classes would have been better, but hindsight is 20/20, they say.

Plus, I wouldn't have gotten to read 100 Years of Solitude had I taken the African class. Jose Arcadio Buendia was well-equipped for life.

Anyway, I naturally perked up when I heard the date of December 22, 2012 being thrown around for the end of the world because I thought, "Hey, no better way to celebrate my 37th birthday than by burning this joint to the ground..." Naturally, someone looked at the date and thought that it was messy, so it has mysteriously morphed into December 21st, 2012 in the past 12 years or so. In case you can't see it, here's the new numerology: 12-21-12. Neat, huh? And, in case you don't believe me as to how this is all hooey and hoaxy, the end of the world is supposed to arrive at 11:11 am GMT. Convenient, huh?

I mean, it does make perfect sense that the Aztecs would predict the end of the world to fall at a specific hour based on a timeline centered around London, England--a place they had no idea even existed. But, who am I to judge the countless hours charlatans and con artists have poured into this?

The whole idea about the end of the world coming on December 22 21, 2012 is because the Aztec calendar (or is the Mayan calendar...hmmm...wait, those are interchangeable, right?) runs out on that date. The Aztec calendar was based on the 260-day calendar which coincides with human gestation. They also employ a solar calendar, which is 360 days long, consisting of 18 twenty day months, and each year is called a "tun". If you take twenty tuns and you get another day older and deepr in debt. Er, um, you take twenty tuns and you get a katun. Take twenty of these katuns and you have what is called a Baktun, and 13 Baktuns equal a Great Cycle. A Great Cycle translates into 1,872,000 days, or roughly 5125 years.

So, what does all this mean? Well, aside from the fact that the Aztecs missed the actual length of a year by five days--which is pretty goddamned spectacular, since they had no computers, telescopes or the ability to measure the length of the year from multiple latitudes--it doesn't mean much. What it does mean is that, based on some guess work which puts the beginning of the current Great Cycle at August 11, 3114 BC, this particular cycle of the calendar runs out in 2012.

And...what? Well, it depends on whom you believe. The aforementioned charlatans and con artists would have you believe that, when the Aztec calendar runs out, so does time itself. If you ask the Aztecs, it means that on December 22nd or 23rd, the new cycle starts anew.

And what does that mean? Well, it means that in 7137 AD, we get to go through this whole pile of bullshit once more.

So...you've got three years, my friends. And then you can join me on my 37th birthday, and we can party like there's no tomorrow (heh) and we'll celebrate the turning of a new Great Cycle. Hey, I'll drink to that!

32 comments:

Wynn said...

I am quite excited. Shouldn't the world have expired like.. yeah I don't know a couple of times.

Ohh!! Btw! Since WE know that it's going under the 22nd, and everyone else thinks it's going under the 21st, how can we use this? It's waaay to early for me to think right now (I mean it's not even dark outside), so I leave this question for you for now!

Wynn said...

Oh, and happy birthday!

Cora said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I stole a video from youtube for you and Scope and slapped it up on my blog today. You're welcome.

:-)

Bev said...

I think I just ovulated. What? We're talking about cycles today, right?

Anywho, ad multos annos!

(Yes, I Googled that.)

Scope said...

Happy birthday. I have a little award, created just for you, over at my blog.

mo.stoneskin said...

I can't believe you and Scope synchronised birthdays and didn't include me. What kind of friend are you?

In some ways I wish I was back in school and you were my teacher. I would have learned a great deal more.

Joe said...

Happy Birthday BFF!

Some Guy said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jenks! Sorry I haven't been commenting as of late. I've been in a bit of a commenting funk. Nothing like a birthday to snap me out of it.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I hope my facebook comment made sense. I wrote "your mom's vagina" because it's the anniversary of the day you came out of it.

carissajaded said...

Happy Birthday fine sir!! I hope the world survives so that we can make it to the 27th. I, for one- am all for the apocalypse in 2012, as long as there are zombies and you are there to blow them up. But seeing as you are a skeptic it seems I'll have to learn all on my own.

Judearoo said...

Happy Birthday Sir!

BeckEye said...

Happy Birthday. You missed greatness by one day...tommorrow is Sir Vedder's b-day.

red said...

What if I just wanna dance like there's no tomorrow?

Happy Birthday!

Moooooog35 said...

Communism fell?

Did anyone help him up?

Just curious. Would seem kind of mean if no one did.

Happy Birthday!

Gwen said...

Did you know that you shared a birthday with Maurice and Robin Gibb? Well, you do. And all I can say about that is that at least you're not as gay as them.

Seriously though, Mister Man, you are one of my favorite people. Have the most awesome of awesome days. XOXO

Chemgeek said...

I'll be there. Should we make a reservation at TGIFridays or something?

Joshua said...

Here's to another run around the sun. Damn accidental rhyming.

-Joshua

Dr Zibbs said...

..Wink meaning of course don't tell anyone.

Dr Zibbs said...

Princeton huh? Maybe he can shuffle some papers around and help my son get in there.

Wink.

LYDIA said...

Happy Birthday! I hope all is well :)

Raine said...

Happy Bday!

JenJen said...

Happy Birthday!

Travis said...

If it's the end of the world, think of the looting that will take place.

You're gonna get one hell of a good gift.

I mean, iffen we're all still alive.

Pearl said...

mjenks, I would've taken the whole end of the world thing more seriously 30 years ago, when I took that sort of thing more seriously. Human beings are silly, silly creatures and we're not happy unless we're scaring ourselves.

And on that note, Happy Birthday!

Pearl

Soda and Candy said...

It's a shame 2012 was such a dire movie, because I would be interested to see a good movie on this!

Happy B-day!

Mala said...

Well, so let's see your birthday suit!

I'm sorry, I couldn't follow whatever else you wrote. You know, I've got a one track mind.

So.... about that birthday suit....

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Happy Birthday! Mine's tomorrow, fellow Capricorn, if you follow that stuff, which I don't, and which I'm guessing you don't either.

Thanks for the 2012 scoop. I was gonna look it up, then I figured what's the point, we're all gonna die in three years anyhow.

Pfangirl said...

A very happy birthday to a cusp Capricorn from a fellow sea-goat.

I wonder if I'm only the only person oddly soothed by the idea of an impending Apocalypse? And less than 1 month before my 31st birthday as well.

Ed Adams said...

Happy Birthday.....yesterday.

Also, don't look up Chrissy Moran while wife standing behind you, would have been a very helpful tip.

Fuck the Mayans.

That Baldy Fella said...

Happy birthday!

adrienzgirl said...

Happy Belated Birthday, since I am a day late. Apparently a dollar short as well, what with that holiday everyone keeps talking about and all.

Hope you had a good one!

Nej said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

OK, OK...so I'm a little late. I haven't had much time to read my normal blogs...and am trying to get caught up today. :-)