World ends today! Or maybe next week, the numerologists say

December 11, 2012

Obviously, you are not reading this story, because obviously you don’t have an Internet connection in your subterranean bunker, which you are camping in because obviously the world has ended because — MAYANS.

It’s 12/12/12, Earthlings! We had a good run — inventing motor cars and flying machines and Dorito tacos and whatnot — but now it’s time to go gently. Or don’t. Go zanily, like Tom Cruise in that 2009 movie about 2012. Make a frantic dash with Amanda Peet to the south of China, to the giant arks built to repopulate the world after the apocalypse. Save yourselves. Bring your leftover battery packs from Hurricane Sandy. We’ll wake up months later, in Africa.

Update: IMDB says that movie starred John Cusack, not Tom Cruise.

Last year, when it was only 11/11/11, we thought the world might end right at the beginning of 2012, right when the clock struck midnight.

Midnight where? Greenwich Mean Time? Central Standard? There was no time to worry about those details. We had to stock canned goods. We had to buy the box sets of “Downton Abbey” so there would be something to watch underground.

The world didn’t end, though, which was awkward for everyone, especially the people who did things like quit jobs or leave marriages or binge on trans fats in honor of the approaching Revelations. So the date was revised: 12/12/12. Or maybe 12/21/12. (If you’re optimistic, you still have nine days left.) On one or another of these new dates, the world would be extra, super, double-plus ending.

And now it’s here! We made it, or we might have, or some of us did, and the rest of us will have to make peace with the fact that at least we saw Teddy win a presidents race at a Nats game before we died. At least we did see that.

America, and journalists, and American journalists have been weirdly obsessed with numerology, with dates. It’s generally accepted that astrology is cray-cray, but numerology has numbers, and therefore — MATH! Science! This is why there were stories about historic 01/01/01 and lucky 07/07/07 and on and on. But now we’re done. Free. Cataclysmic 12/12/12 is almost over, and we’re all off the hook for a hundred years.

Or until 2013, which some triskaidekaphobic will attest is going to be a crud year.

Related

Petri: 12 things to do before the Mayan Apocalypse

Ready for the 12/12/12 asteroid?

Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.
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