Monday, January 02, 2012

The End of the World as We Know It

It has already happened, guys. No need to count down the days until December 21, 2012--when some say the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world as we know it. The Mayans were right, but they were off by about 20 years. The Internet made primitives not only of older generations, but of all time before, say, 1993. That's when instantaneous mass communication lit up the earth like a light bulb and ended the world as we knew it. Those of us older than say, 30, have been adjusting to the consequences ever since. The younger ones don't know what all the fuss is about.

For those in doubt, here is just one example: In the oh-so-hip series of Whole Earth Catalogs (published from 1968 to 1972), each entry was accompanied, quaintly, by the mailing address of the manufacturer. Like something you see in the catalog? Write a letter and mail a check.

The end of the world has not been pretty. It has not been easy. And it is not over.

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