2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

Gary Lachman, author of Turn Off Your Mind writes:

Much has been written about 2012, pointing out both the value and the flaws in Argüelles’s and McKenna’s interpretations. I don’t intend to repeat those here. The strangeness of the ideas did not repel me. At the time that I came across them, I was reading Rudolf Steiner, who had his own prophecies concerning the third millennium, which, to be honest, were rather vague. I had also already spent some years in the Gurdjieff “work,” so odd ideas were not a threat. What troubled me then and today is what I call the “apocalyptic gesture,” a point I raised recently on the Reality Sandwich website, much of which is dedicated to the 2012 scenario. The desire for some once-and-for-all break with the given conditions of life seems, to me at least, to be embedded in our psyche and is a form of historical or evolutionary impatience. Social, political, or cultural conditions may trigger it, but in essence it’s the same reaction as losing patience with some annoying, mundane business and, in frustration, knocking it aside with the intent to make a “clean start.” While in our personal lives this may result in nothing more than a string of false beginnings and a lack of staying power, on the broader social and political scale it can mean something far more serious. […]

The “Summer of Love” in 1967—which by many accounts wasn’t as groovy as believed—quickly became the year of “Street Fighting Man” in 1968, when the “generation gap” promised to turn into something like revolution, and dangerous slogans like “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” promoted a simplistic us-or-them scenario. Yet by 1969 the hopes of an Aquarian Age had been severely battered by the gruesome Charles Manson murders and the Rolling Stones’ disastrous concert at Altamont, when Hell’s Angels murdered one man and terrorized hundreds of others, including the Stones themselves. (I tell the story in Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius.) Exorbitantly high hopes can often lead to very deep depressions, and in a microcosmic popular sense, within a few years the peace and love unreservedly embraced by the flower generation became the “no future” of the punks. Cynicism, jadedness, and pessimism often constitute the hangover from the intoxication of excessively high expectations. No one rejects ideals more vigorously than a bruised romantic.

Disinfo: 2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

It’s not what Lachman is writing about here, but a detailed account of the origins of the 2012 myth can be found in Sacha Defesche’s excellent paper The 2012 Phenomenon.

War Nerd: Apocalypse Never

But being tough, being armed to the teeth and ready to kick ass, that wouldn’t save you either if it all came down. It’d come down to dull stuff that nobody wants to think about, like organization. That’s what really hits me about these survival fantasies: it’s always about holing up in your house with guns and ammo and years of video-game wet dreams bouncing around in your head.

One question: where you gonna get your water? You can go weeks without food (in my case more like a year; in fact I’d probably be better off after starving for a year or so) but you need water every day. Let’s take California. Last I heard there were 24 million people in So Cal. You know where they get their water? From a tap, yeah; but when the taps stop flowing? Flick that ball socket faucet in your townhouse and a spider drops out? That’s what’d scare me, not armies of zombies or gangbangers.

Full Story: Exiled Online

To be fair, most survivalists do tend to account for water. I think they just tend to over estimate the value of having a bunker full of guns and beans, and DRASTICALLY over estimate their ability to be “self-sufficient.”

Surprise Asteroid Buzzed Earth Monday

Sky-watchers in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific islands welcomed a surprise guest Monday: an asteroid that passed just 41,010 miles (66,000 kilometers) above Earth.

Discovered only days ago, asteroid 2009 DD45 zipped between our planet and the moon at 13:44 universal time (8:44 a.m. ET). The asteroid was moving at about 12 miles (20 kilometers) a second when it was closest to Earth.

“We get objects passing fairly close, or closer than this, every few months,” Timothy Spahr, director of the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts, said in an email.

“Also, though, note these are only the ones that are discovered. Many more pass this close undetected”—as asteroid 2009 DD45 nearly did.

Full Story: National Geographic

(via Xtal)

Apocalypse Jukebox: The End is Near, There and Everywhere

“It has long been well established that gospel music was one of the main ingredients in the original rock ‘n’ roll stew. Yet it must be emphasized that the particular gospel style that most influenced the founders and forefathers of rock was as much on the fringes of the musical mainstream as the religious views of groups like the Millerites were from the norms of biblical interpretation. Everyone knows, for instance, that Elvis was in large part formed by gospel and that gospel music is a significant part of the Elvis canon. There is a vast difference, however, between the style of gospel upon which Elvis drew to help create the rock blueprint and the gospel records, based within a more mainstream tradition, he made later in his career.“How Great Thou Art” is not a rock ‘n’ roll urtext; the premillennial musical expressions of sects such as the Holy Rollers is.

In his definitive biography of Elvis, Peter Guralnick tells the story of how Elvis and his girlfriend Dixie would sneak out of their all-white “home” church during Sunday service in order to experience the ecstatic service of the black church down the street. There, Elvis would have heard Reverend Brewster, whose sermons were also broadcast on the radio, deliver the apocalyptic “theme that a better day was coming, one in which all men could walk as brothers.” Yet even if Elvis did not pick up on that message, which is doubtful, it is obvious that he was directly influenced by the “exotic” and ecstatic music of such soul stirrers as Queen C.Anderson and the Brewsteraires, the church soloists. His first audiences did not fail to make this connection.”

(via Pop Matters)

How apocalypse makes us dumb, and the futility of survivalism

children of men

Via this post at WorldChanging I found two excellent older posts:

The Apocalypse Makes Us Dumb:

A subset of the rule that the Elect will survive is that survivalists survive, that bunkered individuals or remote farming communities or whatever have an edge, and that when the crazy starts, it’ll be the people holed up in the hinterlands who will survive and that the rule we can observe all through history — which is that these people are simply prey to larger, better-organized groups — suspends itself for the duration (unless a savior is needed to fight off the Humungous and his mohawked thugs or something — see #2 above).

And The futility of survivalism:

But real apocalypses are sordid, banal, insane. If things do come unraveled, they present not a golden opportunity for lone wolves and well-armed geeks, but a reality of babies with diarrhea, of bugs and weird weather and dust everywhere, of never enough to eat, of famine and starving, hollow-eyed people, of drunken soldiers full of boredom and self-hate, of random murder and rape and wars which accomplish nothing, of many fine things lost for no reason and nothing of any value gained. And survivalists, if they actually manage to avoid becoming the prey of larger groups, sitting bitter and cold and hungry and paranoid, watching their supplies run low and wishing they had a clean bed and some friends. Of all the lies we tell ourselves, this is the biggest: that there is any world worth living in that involves the breakdown of society.

A related older post: The Outquisition

I mostly look to the periphery for an idea of what dystopias will look like, so my favorite dystopian movies are movies like Salvador, Hotel Rhwanda, and City of God. One sci-fi dystopia that I like is Children of Men, because it seems to be based very much on the reality of the periphery.

Best Site I Found in 2008: AfriGadget, the Low-Tech Goldmine

So far I’ve been blown away by pretty much every single bit of content on AfriGadget. It’s a guided tour of low-tech (and no-tech) solutions to basic life necessities in a total poverty environment.? It’s a serious education, from converting dumpsites into farms, to greywater recycling gardens, electronics projects like DIY stage lights and fundamental skills like handmaking tools when you’re 20,000 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. There’s even coverage of digital media entrepreneurs in Bamako, Mali (which is home to some of the world’s greatest musicians, by the way). I was also keenly interested in the DIY car security system…using a mobile phone.

SMS Phone Based Car Alarm

It’s an amazing window into another way of life full of vibrant photography, but knowing how to build an evaporation-powered cooler is a skill that transcends the pretty pictures, right?? I know that Technoccult reaches a global audience of empowered future mutants, so if anyone in or near the Mother Continent wants to get involved, here’s how to get started.

Large Hadron Collider Down Until 2009

On Sept. 18, the news from CERN, the organization that runs the LHC, was that an electrical problem involved with a cooling system caused a helium leak that would keep the mammoth particle accelerator out of commission for a day or so. A couple of days later, the estimate had stretched into two months: The machine would need to be warmed back up, which will take three to four weeks, before a full investigation could be done.
Now the outlook is even more bleak for eager physicists, who have already waited decades for the giant collider to come to fruition, after only a week of tantilizingly successful beam operations.

Full Story: Wired

Tracing the Origins of the 2012 Phenomenon

In his master’s thesis Sacha Defesche traces the origins of the 2012 phenomenon, from the Brothers McKenna to Jose Arguelles to David Icke and beyond.

here has the notion of the year 2012 as holding a special apocalyptic or millennial significance originated? What are the most important historical sources for the 2012 phenomenon? Are there indeed several ‘pure’ (as in independent) sources of prophecy that separately mention the importance of the 2012 date as is often thought in New Age circles?

Skepsis: The 2012 Phenomenon

Large Hadron Collider “Actually Worked”

The world’s largest atom smasher’s first experiment went off today without a hitch, paving the way toward the recreation of post-big bang conditions.

The Large Hadron Collider fired a beam of protons inside a circular, 17-mile (27-kilometer) long tunnel underneath villages and cow pastures at the French-Swiss border.

Inside the control room, physicists and engineers cautiously shot the beam down part of the tunnel, stopping it before it went all the way around.

“Oh, we made it through!” one person cried as the beam made it through a further section of the tunnel.

One hour after starting up, on the first attempt to send the beam circling all the way around the tunnel, it completed the trip successfully-bringing raucous applause.

“First of all, I didn’t believe it,” said Verena Kain, a European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) engineer.

“I had to see it a second time, and I thought, Oh, wow, it actually worked!”

“Things can go wrong at any time, but luckily this morning everything went smoothly,” said Lyn Evans of CERN, who oversaw the building of the accelerator.

Full Story: National Geographic

Large Hadron Collider comes online, world fails to end

The fact that I’m sitting here writing this and you’re sitting there reading it means that fears regarding the Large Hadron Colider (LHC) and the end of the world were a bit overblown. At 10:33 AM CET this morning, the first proton beam successfully completed a circuit of the entire LHC.

The LHC is the latest example of ‘Big Science,’ a multinational collaboration involving thousands of scientists from over 60 different nations. The largest particle accelerator ever built, scientists hope that data gathered from the LHC will nail down the existence of the elusive Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that is theorized to be responsible the existence of mass.

Full Story: Ars Technica

If you’re still worried, you can keep tabs on the LHC with the Large Hadron Collider webcams at CERN.

Or, if that’s too much trouble, just keep checking hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com

(Thanks to Bill Whitcomb for that last one)

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