Doomsday just around the corner?

I can barely wait to see the end of the world. How about you? If you’ve seen any of the movie trailers for 2012 — depicting the latest Armageddon — it looks rather exciting.

I can barely wait to see the end of the world. How about you?

If you’ve seen any of the movie trailers for 2012 — depicting the latest Armageddon — it looks rather exciting.

I’m already stocking up on batteries (for when the power grid crashes to the ground) because the end of the world is sure to offer some great video opps — if the movie is anywhere close to the real thing.

Before the last day of the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar arrives in 2012, the very idea itself will provide apocalyptic fodder to anyone with a keyboard.

Fringe groups that dwell on the end-of-days prophesies have been popping up lately. This includes Hollywood, which is busily releasing several end of the world movies. 2012 is apparently the disaster movie of all disaster movies. It makes War of the Worlds look like a Sunday picnic at Bower Ponds.

There are ominous signs the Mayans were on to something.

Some prophets are suggesting that Oprah’s decision to end her show in 2011 is somehow tied to the world coming to an end. She’s smart to take a year off to spend her billions.

Closer to home, the City of Red Deer has suddenly decided to hold the line on its long-term very expensive capital budget planning. Project after project has been deferred to well beyond 2012. Coincidence?

What’s the sense of spending a whole bunch of money planning for things that are never going to happen?

When the world nearly ended the last time — that’s twice in my lifetime now — it wasn’t quite as exciting as what’s expected in 2012, based on the movie.

It was only nine years ago that we were obsessive compulsing about the coming of 2000, when Y2K raised the possibility the world could come to a standstill because millions of computers were allegedly unable to make the numerical leap from 1999 to 2000.

But as the big clock rolled over, computer nerds around the world pulled together and simply changed some software.

The lights stayed on. Phones didn’t die. Toilets flushed. The world was saved.

2012 is a little trickier than 2000. But there’s reason to be hopeful 2012 could be uneventful.

For one thing, the height of Mayan civilization was some time ago. Other civilizations have continued to march on.

The Mayan Long Count calendar begins Aug. 11, 3114, BC, runs 1,872,000 days, and ends Dec. 21, 2012. It’s possible, that as they were calculating this calendar way back when, they made a mistake.

Smart as they were in language, mathematics and astronomy, the Mayas didn’t have the advantage of calculators or computers. So, they could have made a mistake when they counted.

But they could be off either way. End of days could be next week — or never.

One of my newsroom cohorts had this to say to me on Monday: “At your age, the end of the world is not that far away anyway.”

Come on now, end of world stuff is not funny.

Now I don’t know whether to wait for the DVD release or head to the theatre ASAP.

Mary-Ann Barr is Advocate assistant city editor. She can be reached by email at barr@bprda.wpengine.com or by phone at 403-314-4332.

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