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Monday, January 02, 2012

DENNIS STILLINGS: THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING — AGAIN! BE PREPARED!

Well folks, the notorious year 2012 A.D. has arrived—the year the world is supposed to end, according to several sources.  Unlike many end-of-the-world predictions—and there have been many—this “end” has somewhat more authority behind it than usual.

Some say that the fatal year of 2012 is predicted by the ancient Mayan calendar; others reference Hopi Indian predictions.  More seriously, the late Terence McKenna developed a mantic-mathematical time-wave theory of the arrival of the Eschaton (Judgment Day, the End of the World) on December 21 of this coming year—coincident with the Mayan prediction.

A yet more authoritative prediction of The End was made by C. G. Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist.  Basing his speculation on the dreams of patients and astrological projections, Jung came up with “around 2010.”

My own speculations, which began around 1986, are based on worldwide events and on the New Testament idea of apocatastasis, or the revelation and restoration of all things at the end of time.  (Until the mid-90s you couldn’t find the word apocatastasis even with an internet search engine.)  Being a more timid sort, I could only conclude that the End would come soon and I thought that 2009-2015 would be a fair guess.

To be accurate, none of these prophets and their prophesies go so far as to say that all human life will be obliterated from the planet—only about 2/3.  All of these prophesies are based on far more extended arguments than are indicated here.

But the purpose of this article is not to cast a pall upon the immediate future, but to offer the fun-loving reader a comprehensive guide to those often (and understandably) overlooked details that make the End-of-the-World experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for great fun and for meeting new and interesting people!

 

Philosophy

 

More than any other form of celebration, the End of the World Party requires a certain philosophical detachment, both for full freedom of indulgence, and for flexibility in accepting invitations ...

 

• You should not be bound to any of the doctrinal attitudes and beliefs of the group putting on an end-of-the-world party.  If you are already indoctrinated, this guide is not necessary: you are probably already making your own arrangements.

 

• You should not believe that the world is really about to come to an end.  This is important, since any suspicion that your hosts are correct in their expectations will tend to cast a shadow over the proceedings and evoke irrelevant notions about correct party behavior.  We want you, the apocalyptic party connoisseur, to enjoy yourself.  Leave your End-of-the-World cares at home.

 

[Note: Of course, these days we cannot completely rule out an actual thermonuclear apocalypse.  Under such conditions, adequate notice and—it goes without saying—full-scale partying are out of the question.  A new brochure, “Roasts and Toasts When the Missiles Cross the Coasts,” is in preparation.]

 

Choosing the Right Party to Attend

 

There are probably 8 to 10 million end-of-the-worlders in this country alone who will be putting on hundreds, if not thousands, of Big Farewell events.  It will be up to the smart partier to use his time wisely—but not too much of it—to pick and choose only those parties that are to his or her tastes and that present the best opportunities for that Final Fling.

Few of these End-of-the-World gatherings are likely to be organized by traditional religious groups.  Most will be sponsored by UFO buffs, occultists, and a motley assortment of sects and cults.  Many of these groups will be concerned about potential advantages to be gained by putting on airs of strict moral behavior—no drinking, drugs, illicit sex, or sin in general.  Avoiding these gatherings should be no problem, however.

The wise party-goer should seek:

 

• gatherings arranged by secular believers, whose belief in the End derives from—at most—mild hysteria bolstered by pseudoscientific “evidence”) or

• those gatherings of a peculiar sort where the belief is held that God saves sinners; therefore, sin like hell!

 

The Well-Dressed Apocalyptic Partier

 

Since End-of-the-World parties will be going on everywhere, from the most posh settings to remote wildernesses, the professional partier will have collected a suitable and fashionable wardrobe to meet all occasions.

 

Travel

 

If you take public transportation to the party, do not indicate to anyone that you bought a round-trip ticket. 

 

Party Behavior

 

At those parties that are worth going to, behavioral restrictions, in the ordinary sense, will be at a minimum.  This does not mean you can say or do just anything.  The party is not merely the host's responsibility; it is yours as well.  There are several things you can do or say, even at the End of the World, that can really put a damper on the proceedings.  Remember—the people present do not believe that they have much time.  They can't go home, and other suitable parties might be many miles away.  Your contribution to party spirit is vital as never before.  A few comments are now in order, which will provide you, the apocalyptic sybarite, with a sense of the Do’s and Don'ts to make this the best party ever!

 

Don't’s

 

• Do not wear a watch.

• Do not dwell on current economic, social, or political conditions.  They are irrelevant, and may very well leave your companions bored and listless.

• Any reference to the future, at least on this plane of existence, will mark you as a party-crasher and someone to be avoided, if not tossed out the door.

• Excessive baggage, including toiletries, may also betray you.  This rule may vary from party to party.  Some affairs—and this is a real plus!—may start days or even weeks before the End.  Be prepared, but not too prepared.

• Discussion of contraceptive concerns, chronic medical complaints, or your child's future is also off limits. Do not slip up and express concern over a possible hangover or if you will be able to get to work on time the next morning.

7

Do’s

 

• Nostalgia will be popular worldwide.  You might get up a game of Trivial Pursuit during breaks in the action.  Pick your best subjects and bone up in advance.  Poignant reminiscences of the good old days are definitely in order.

• Be generous.  Indicate that you have liquidated all your assets just so that you can “do it right.”

• Stay alert.  If you hear anyone voice a doubt about the imminent End, do your best to quell that doubt.  You will be amply repaid with grateful attention for the effort, and the party will retain its sparkle.  Remember: you have the supreme advantage—you know that the world will not end.

 

[Note—if the world does not end on schedule for any particular group, chances are a new date will be set, and the party will be repeated. This may happen three or four times before they give up.]

 

We now bid you bonne apocalypse.  A smorgasbord of irresponsible delights will await you.  Time is short, but adequate. The preparations you make now will give you untold returns in partying pleasure.  Remember: PARTY AS IF THERE WERE NO TOMORROW!

 

“The sky was all purple, there

were people runnin’ everywhere.

Tryin’ to run from the

destruction and you know

I didn't even care. …

2012 one, two, … party over

oops out of time

So tonight I'm gonna party

like it’s 2003 + 9”

—Apologies to Prince

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