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Friday night video for Doomsday 2012

16 October 2009

Doesn’t anyone remember that in Mayan and other Mesoamerican cultures, time has no “end”, but is cyclical?

Sean Goforth (Foreign Policy Association Blogs: Mexico) on our credulous neighbors to the north (and east):

The Maya in fact celebrated the end of cycles, so the transition from the 13th Baktun to the 14th should be greeted, if anything, with revelry. And the Maya noted dates beyond 2012. Guillermo Bernal of Mexico’s National Autonomous University points out inscriptions at various Mayan sites reference future dates as far away as 4772. Part of the misinterpretation emerges from the Mayan practice of pre-recording important dates.

Still, experts are getting rather frustrated with the hubbub surrounding the Mayan calendar. Apolinario Chile Pixtin, a Mayan elder, is annoyed: “I came back from England last year, and man, they had me fed up with this stuff.” Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, calls the doomsday scenario “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.” Academics and Maya elders instead believe Earth in 2012 will be hit by a “meteor shower of new age philosophy” and pop astronomy, no doubt teased by TV specials.

Ruminating on doomsday in three years may be engrossing, but it’s a luxury many Maya don’t have. A drought-stricken 2009 is proving quite harsh. According to one Yucatan archeologist, if you went to Maya Yucatan communities and said the world might end in 2012, “They wouldn’t believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain.”

Though, if you’re  gonna go, you might as well have a guided tour.

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