Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

January 1, 2013

House of Burgess – The year the world doesn’t end

No, seriously, it really won’t

We are now officially two days into 2013, and the world has not, as of this writing, ended.

I felt the need to place this fact on front street because the prevailing wisdom up until this point has pointed in the opposite direction. According to several disparate sources, Jan. 2, 2013, should be securely nestled in the beginning chapters of the end of time.

Popular culture has been an unfortunate cheerleader for this end-of-the-line prophecy. A surprising number of post-apocalyptic films, including “Escape from L.A.,” “Book of Eli” and “The Postman,” are set in 2013.

Another movie which predicted 2012 would be the year of Armageddon was the 2009 John Cusack-starring disaster flick “2012.” Many people were caught up in this so-called “2012 Phenomenon” which pointed to Dec. 21, 2012, as the end of the line for civilization. I didn’t really understand this theory, and since we’re all still here nearly two weeks after the fact, I’ll never, ever have to either.

“There’s no greater sign of the failure of the American educational system than the extent to which Americans are distracted by the possibility that the Earth might end on Dec. 21, 2012,” said astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”.

Apparently, this line of thinking inspired some unexpected followers. Incarcerated Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs informed his followers from behind bars last month that the world would end before the new year began, according to CNN reporter Gary Tuchman.

“Though church members continue to work, Colorado City’s only grocery store — a gathering place for the town as well — has closed its doors,” reported KSL-TV’s Celeste Tholen Rosenlof. “Sam Brower, a private investigator who has represented more than 100 former FLDS Church members, told CNN that the closure of the store is a confirmation that Jeffs’ declaration is being taken seriously.”

Before 2012 was chosen as the last stand of humanity, 2011 was rapidly climbing the charts as the correct date. Then-president of the Family Radio Christian Network Harold Camping announced in 2010 that May 21, 2011, would be last call for alcohol for the people of Earth. Camping claimed to use numerology to decipher the Bible, but apparently skipped past the part in Matthew 24:26 which states “no one knows about that day or hour” the world will end. After May 21, 2011, came and went, he chalked it up to an accounting mistake and revised his prediction to Oct. 21, 2011. Conveniently, he also retreated from public life a few days before his followers could be disappointed a second time.

“Camping, who predicted Oct. 21 to be the day Christians would be caught up to heaven and that God would judge the world, said on Oct. 16 that he is no longer able to lead Family Radio Stations, Inc. or his ministry, and his wife has confirmed that the 90-year-old radio evangelist has retired,” reported Luiza Oleszczuk of The Christian Post.

Later this month, Barack Obama will once again take to the steps of the United States Capitol to be sworn in for the second time as president. While that may seem like the end of the world to some people, I can assure you this will not cause the magnetic poles to reverse themselves, nor will it cause a phantom planet to slam through our atmosphere.

Readers, take heed of my words. I have a prediction I guarantee will come true: 2013 will not be the year the world ends. What makes you think you’re so special? Since human beings could put such abstract thoughts together, our species has been dying to know exactly when it’s all going to come crashing down. If you don’t believe me, Google the words “failed end of the world predictions” and you’ll discover how unoriginal you are.

The world could end for you in 2013, though. Your life could come to a full and complete stop. And then it really would be curtains – for you anyway.

One person who took his final breath in 2012 was astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, who once said, “I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats and I don’t intend to waste any of mine.”

Don’t waste your heartbeats counting down to zero either.

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577 and via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller