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Apocalypse now? And miss out on the fiscal cliff?

Post by TNT Editorial Board / The News Tribune on Dec. 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
December 20, 2012 4:35 pm

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

So far, so good.

If you’re reading this on Friday, it means the Mayan Apocalypse has not come to pass – yet. But the day is young. There’s still time for the Earth’s magnetic field to flip, a supervolcano to erupt or the hitherto invisible planet Nibiru to collide with ours.

We’re going out on a limb and assume that if nothing’s happened by now, we’re likely home-free.

Most people undoubtedly will be glad that this isn’t their last day. But we suspect some are starting to get a little antsy about now, like the guy who figured he didn’t have to go Christmas shopping with the world ending and all, or the woman who maxxed out all her credit cards because she’d never have to pay them off, right? Welcome to your low, low credit rating, ma’am.

Folks like that are not isolated nut cases. In China, stories abound of people withdrawing their savings to fund their bucket list. At least one poor, deluded man is building an ark. A poll conducted this summer showed that 12 percent of Americans were worried to some extent about the possible end of days. Some have even contemplated suicide, but we suspect other issues are at work there as well as apocalyptophobia.

Enough people were concerned that NASA felt compelled to try to calm nerves with an FAQ titled, “Beyond 2012: Why the world won’t end.” It assures viewers that the doomsday prediction is based on a misreading of the Mayan calendar and that the only big event we should expect today is the winter solstice. Other than that, according to NASA: “There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.”

There are a lot of reasons to be glad the Mayan Apocalypse didn’t happen, beyond the most obvious one. Such as . . .

• Although we’ve apparently dodged global annihilation, we still can look forward to the possible thrill of going over the fiscal cliff – which will only destroy our life savings, jobs, 401(k), home equity, and all our hopes and dreams. So far, NASA has not discounted that possibility in its FAQ, which means the odds of it happening are probably better than of the mystery planet Nibiru striking the Earth.

• We’ll find out if the Seattle Seahawks are going to the playoffs.

• The verdict will be in whether the prognosticators at Benjamin Moore are correct and “luscious lemon sorbet” really is the hottest paint color of 2013. We’re holding our breath on that one. We sense an upset by “turquoise mist.”

• We can start looking forward to the next predicted apocalypse, which apparently involves either zombies or drug-resistant germs. Or drug-resistant zombies.

• And finally, we can be thankful that today is officially the last day you’re likely to read anything about the Mayan Apocalypse. Well, except for the follow-up interviews with the folks who are feeling a little silly for believing it in the first place.

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