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Why I Refuse to Let the World End on December 21st

December 17, 2012

Not to get too The Ring on you, but you’re going to die in seven days.

Well, at least, that’s the rumor anyway. I’m sure you’ve heard it. It’s been on the news a lot. It was the basis of entire skits on SNL and the status of probably every other person in you Facebook feed for the last month.

And only like 90% of them have been the same exact joke ripped from tumblr over and over again.

And only like 90% of them have been the same exact joke ripped from tumblr over and over again.

That’s right, the world is ending.

Err, maybe.

It’s that whole Mayan calendar thing you’ve probably heard a million times. If you managed to avoid the world-ending gossip and the two differently terrible movies about it, here’s a quick recap of the basis behind everyone’s end of days jitters: thousands of years ago the Mayans stopped marking their calendar on December 21st.

That’s it. That’s the story.

Because, apparently, when a group of people in an ancient civilization stop making engravings on a piece of stone it means they’ve predicted the end of days. Instead of just, you know, decided to stop making engravings on a piece of stone.

It doesn’t really make sense if you think about it. I mean, I stopped marking my calendar after March of this year too but doesn’t mean I thought that April’s showers were going to be ones of death…

march

It just means that after March I realized it was all pretty much downhill from there.

But apparently enough people truly believed that December 21st 2012 would be the end of the world that NASA felt the need to come out and release a statement promising us all that we’d still be here come December 22nd.

The video titled “Why The World Didn’t End Yesterday” was, like the title suggests, originally scheduled for release next week. But, fearing what people might do if they truly believed the world was ending, the scientists at NASA decided to leak their ‘we told ya so’ video a little early.

On their website NASA also has the following statements: “The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012….Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.” It’s like NASA is Pam Beesly telling the world, “No, Michael. You’re not going to die.”

This is my favorite comparison that I have ever made.

This is my favorite comparison that I have ever made.

So, yeah alright, let’s face it. This whole end of world’s thing? Not happening. December 21st is going to come and go and everyone who put off something they didn’t want to do until the 22nd is going to have to begrudgedly wake themselves up that morning and get shit done.

And, yeah, if I kinda sorta just knocked on wood right now that’s just something we’re not going to talk about.

Shut up.

Anyway, like I said, the world isn’t ending anytime soon. And, sure, I could go into the logistics and science of how and why, but that would involve using a lot of scientific words that I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce and, honestly, none of us are here for that.

What we are here for is pop culture. And, let’s face it guys, there are a lot of great things coming out in 2013 and I simply refuse to die before seeing a single one of them.

I was curious to see if I was the only one who felt this way so, like any teenager curious about the opinions of her peers, I did the only logical thing I could think of: I took my inquiry to social media.

On my facebook and tumblr pages I posted the following question.

question

Though certain answers yielded overlap, with interest in new Marvel and Star Trek movies being quite common, the rest of the responses to my questions brought in a variety of very unique responses.

“Psy’s follow-up single.” – Lloyd Burman, former high school classmate

“[Finding out] Ted’s wife [on How I Met Your Mother.]”  – tumblr user neuroticform

“The only thing I care about is the royal baby, of course!” – my sister Debra, who, it should be noted, is getting married a week before Kate’s expected due date

“More cats.” – tumblr user pepperroxd in what I can only assume was an attempt to answer my question on behalf of the entire internet

With three of my responders I decided to delve a little bit deeper. Each of the three following conversations took place on Facebook chat and have been edited, with consent, for grammar, punctuation, and to eliminate the chat speak that I frequently and obnoxiously use.

First up, we have Frank Talamo, a former classmate and current coworker of mine, who responded to my initial question with this:

frank response

Me: Frank, can I follow up interview you for my assignment and ask you why you’re excited for those albums? [long pause] Also could you please tell me who those second two bands were? Because they both sound like the kind of things they talk ominously about at the beginning of Clorox commercials to scare you…

Frank: Hahahaha yeah just hold on a sec.

Awesome! Thanks!

Alrighty here I am. So… I’m excited for the VW album because I’ve been waiting almost three years for this album now. They haven’t announced a release date or anything for it yet, but I can’t wait because they’re one of the most interesting bands out there, especially after the creative shift that was Contra.

What about Airborne Toxic Event?

Airborne Toxic Event is another alternative band. They’re based out of L.A. and they announced last week that they’re releasing their third LP in the spring. I’m excited for that album because Mikel Jollett is one of my favorite songwriters; he always puts out some fantastic stuff lyrically.

And the Horrible Crowes?

The Horrible Crowes are the side project of the Gaslight Anthem’s frontman Brian Fallon and the band’s guitar tech guy Ian Perkins. It’s basically a Tom Waits-inspired, slowed-down version of Gaslight. I’m excited for this album for pretty much a combination of the reasons I’m excited for the other two albums: Brian Fallon keeps evolving and putting out consistently interesting tunes despite the seemingly repetitive nature of his genre(s), and he also is possibly the best songwriter of our generation so far. He’s also local, so I get all the Jersey references and such.

Haha, wow, I’m really glad I’m interviewing you over Facebook so you didn’t have to see me nod along  and pretend like 50% of this wasn’t going completely over my head in person.

I should probably look into music writing as a career because I love it a lot. Sidenote.

Yeah you really should. It’s clear that it’s something you’re insanely passionate about. Also! Follow up to the follow up: do you think that passion and the fact that you’re in bands yourself are the reason that the things you’re most looking forward to next year are all albums?

Probably. I’m not sure if there actually are an unusual number of potentially great albums coming out this year or if I’m just kind of new to new music. But it does seem like a whole bunch of great artists are getting ready to release albums… I also left out the Postelles and Butch Walker in my list, by the way. And I’m also extremely psyched for the new Fratellis album.

You know, I was so proud of myself when I actually knew who Vampire Weekend were…And now 1 for 6. My fellow hipster art students would be disappointed in me.

Hahaha you know the Fratellis! [He sends me a link to a youtube video of one of their songs. I do not know the Fratellis.]

You vastly overestimate my knowledge of actually cool music. Thanks for helping me out though!

You’re very welcome…like I said, I love it anyway, not a problem at all.

Next up we have Katie Cruz, one of my best friends.

Hey, Katie, can I please interview you for my pop culture class?

Sure, what about?

I’m about to post a question on Facebook for people to answer. If you could respond to it in your usual cute/funny way that would be the best.

Haha sure, will do. [she reads the question] Hahah, that’s actually a tough question. I think I’m too nerdy for it.

No, that’s good! Nerdy is good!

Does that count as pop culture-y though?

Yeah! You know me, 90% of my pop culture obsessions are extraordinarily lame and not at all cool.

Okay, I’ll try… 

She posts this in response:

katie response

Katie, can you elaborate on your responses a little bit?

Sure, in what way?

Why specifically are you excited for each one? And what you think the things that have you excited may say about your personality?

Well….

1. I’m excited for the superhero films because I’m a huge supporter of the genre and they each promise to take their subject matter seriously. Superheroes in general interest me due to their exploration of the modern day hero myth, which you probably don’t want me to go into. BUT, I’m most excited about Thor out of the three, because it’s always been the one that’s the most out there due to its use of mythology and also has the most to prove.  Also, RDJ is charming, so his film will obviously be adorable.

2. Obviously, me being excited for these new Alexander books is because I’m a nerdy classics major hoping to write a thesis on the subject next year. I only found out about them because my professor was adorable and e-mailed me about it all excited, but still. It’s exciting though because it’s one of the parts of Alexander studies that is newly being explored.

3. The Daily Show is actually where I get my news, which I know is very bad and irresponsible. Jon Stewart is the only “news” person I trust though, not only because he’s funny but because he’s honest and reliable. So, I always look forward to that because it’s nice to know one person is honest in America.

These are really great responses Katie, thank you!

[We then proceeded to talk about Christmas and, at one point I think, Robert Downey Junior being dreamy…you don’t want to see that.]

And last up we have another one of my best friends, Andrea Massaro. Who, unlike Katie and Frank, required a bit more finagling to get an interview.

Just so you know, Andrea, Frank is in my top ten favorite people right now. So is Katie. [She doesn’t pick up on my slight attempt to guilt trip her into an interview ] Answer my question!! [I’ve never been the subtle one in this friendship… ]

Fine, I’ll do it!  

She posts this:

andrea response

Hahahahahah, the rest of these comments are great!

I know. RAY. [I’ll talk about this later] But, anyway, could you elaborate on your choices a bit more please?

What do you mean?

Why are you so excited about those things? And what you think that says about you as, you know, a fangirl?

I’m obsessed with film and tv. That’s my fangirlishness.

Yeah, but like, explain it out more.

I thought I did!

Bro, Frank and Katie wrote me paragraphs.

FRANK DID NOT! LIES!

Truths! [I show her Frank’s response.]

 Haha, fine. Give me 10 minutes. [She takes 20, but I am charitable.] OKAY, so Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are really just perfect together.

1000% agree.

You can see it if you watch any of their interviews together. And, in Catching Fire, their characters become even closer than they were in The Hunger Games. And, since the movie is coming out next year, it would make a lot of sense for those two to finally date.

A+ answer. What about Community?
Community is the best show on television. It’s smart, hilarious, fun and witty. I can watch the episodes for hours on end no matter how many times I’ve already seen them. They just keep getting better and better. I’ve fallen in love with every character so much so that I actually miss them all when they’re gone.

What about Dexter? Why are you so excited about the new season if it “sucks now?”

The last season of Dexter is coming up. And, even though the past two seasons have sucked a lot, I’m still excited because this is the last season. The show is fantastically written (for the most part), the acting is great and the cinematography is beautiful, as well. It was really great in the past and I hope the next season is too.

Thank you!

You’re welcome! Hope that helps!

You know, out of the incredible wide variety of responses I received, the only thing that was noticeably missing was, my personal choice, the new season of Arrested Development. Which might just make this moment the most disappointed I have ever been in any of my friends.

Like, honestly, why do I even talk to any of you.

Like, honestly, why do I even talk to any of you?

Though, I guess in the end, regardless of the fact that they snubbed the return of one of the best shows ever on television, their opinions are still just as valid as mine. And, yours too, for that matter. So, dear readers, I pose to you the same question I posed to all of my friends and followers. What’s coming up in 2013 that’s so good that you refuse to die before it happens?  I promise that I’ll value your answers just as much as I value my own. Though, perhaps not as much as I value my high school prom king’s….

ray

I think Ray wins.

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