You made your predictions quite categorical,
Date and year were virtually undeniable.
Except your pontifications were completely unreliable,
And your followers were left bewildered, high and dryable.
Background and commentary: Harold Camping was an American evangelist who predicted the imminent destruction of the world following the return of Jesus Christ in May 2011. He was wrong. He attracted much money and folk who are liable to follow this sort of thing.
Apocalypse, not now
Harold is not the only ‘predictor of doom.’ According to the usual bunch of tofu eating, crystal healing, greeny, liberal, pseudo- scientific tosspots the Maya had a few dark predictions of their own. For those ignorant bastards who can’t be arsed to google them, here is the only thing you need to know about the Maya- they invented colour tele.
Not only did they extend our televisual pleasure they also had a rather elaborate and cyclical calendar. And because they couldn’t be bothered to extend said calendar beyond December 2012 ‘da loonies’ have taken it as a sign that the world was about end. You have got to ask why anyone would want to extend their calendar so far into the future, anyway. Perhaps they would have better employed their time fighting the Conquistadors. How much credence do we give to a civilisation which couldn't foresee their own demise in the 16th century and yet produce a calendar that petered out five centuries later? It seems a pity that they didn't harness this all seeing facility and focus their penetrating gaze on their own fate.
Of course, end of the world predictions are nothing new. A Jew two thousand years ago predicted that the world was about to end. But then he got nailed to a piece of wood. Thirty years later, Paul of Tarsus was echoing his master’s strident views. But the world continued to turn.
Jehovah’s witnesses are also fond of the odd prediction. When not receiving blood transfusions they are making some uncannily untrue prophecies. Indeed, as I write, they are collectively and fervently demanding an end to the present system of things. Unlike Harold, there is no set date, but the smug bastards believe it to be soon. They haven’t always been so coy and imprecise. The years 1914 and 1975 were previous portends of our doom. Of course, the JW’s are a particularly strange bunch and like a lot of other fundamental Christian sects deny the theory of evolution and consider the earth to be a little over 6000 years old. In the face of overwhelming evidence they take comfort and counsel in their stultifying religious dogma.
Even Nostradamus, the 16th century seer, had something to say on the subject. His quatrains have always appeared dense, obscure and downright unintelligible. Read into them what you will. Anyhow, for those who take note of this blather, here is the relevant passage: “When the earth is gripped by corrupt politicians and a white haired man defiles no more, there will come a tribulation culminating in the world’s end on the 21st February, 2014.” What can all this mean? I think the reference to the ‘white haired man’ can only be the Mandela. I will leave the Nostradamus experts to ponder this murky passage and await further enlightenment.
As the 20th century came to a close many foresaw that the computers inability to cope with an extra digit would result in Armageddon. Planes would fall from the sky and our digital watches would stop. At least this augur had a faint whiff of plausibility. A lot of IT consultancies made obscene amounts of money and therefore the world did not end after all.
I am no seer, but I do have a prediction for the end of the year. I am confident that I will still be around to summon in 2015, at midnight December 31 2014. Probably I will be dead drunk, but still very much alive. The world will not have stopped spinning in fact it will be spinning much faster, at least to my eyes.