Opinion: The 2012 apocalypse is a marketing gimmick

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta is a senior English major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

In most cases, we’ve only heard tongue-in-cheek references to an impending catastrophe that will exterminate the human race.

No one seriously believes the world is set to end this year, right? Actually, 2012 has become a million-dollar hoax that exploits the gullible and superstitious.

Books including “The Ticking of the End Time Clock”, “2012: The Awakening” and “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl,” which have been doing quite well in sales for several years, don’t even make up a tiny part of this slew of apocalyptic hysteria.

Web sites forecasting the end of the world and how it will occur are innumerable.

I’m sure the History Channel has aired a few shows addressing the Mayan calendar promptly ending Dec. 21.

Keep in mind this is the network that provides viewers high quality UFO and Bigfoot programs.

All this 2012 hype is propagated by brilliant money grubbers who succeed in targeting the rationally impaired and pseudo-scientific, and apparently there is no shortage of this in the marketplace.

Ad revenue goes great with Internet hits like Exit Mundi, a site that offers multiple possibilities for catastrophe, such as cosmic collisions, worldwide earthquakes and nuclear holocaust.

Some sites offer exclusive inside info on 2012 if you make a «donation.» Webmasters and authors who know about mankind’s imminent doom seem oddly fixated on money, but I guess some last minute shopping sprees never hurt anyone.

An interesting question proceeds from the easy refutation of 2012, which can be done by combining «2012,» «science» and «facts» into Google: How the hell do people fall for this stuff?

Several of us know people who take 2012 seriously.

There’s always the crazy uncle who had a «totally awesome time» in the ‘60s and rants at the dinner table about the Illuminati implementing the New World Order, how Stanley Kubrick filmed the moon landing in a Hollywood studio and how 9/11 was a controlled demolition.

Ideally, we sympathize with those types; however, some otherwise ordinary, sane folks seem to believe in the craziest junk.

The 2012 phenomenon isn’t so different from other recent sensations — notably when an evangelist named Harold Camping predicted the Rapture not once, but twice.

On both dates, nothing happened. People still take this guy seriously.

And don’t get me started on the GOP line-up’s claims of divine inspiration. I don’t think God communicated with each of them when only one victor is possible.

I can’t say I know many people who dabble in astrology and fortune telling, yet I’ve come to accept that these are popular as well.

I always thought it was funny how different newspapers in different areas are never consistent in their astrology.

Psychics seem keener on seeing your wallet than your future. In the end, it seems people will fall for whatever they please.

Either way, most people realize the world ended when filmmaker Roland Emmerich released 2012 in 2009.

I think anyone who saw that atrocity realizes we’re all in limbo, unless, of course, you fell for Harold Camping or take astrology seriously, in which case you probably liked that movie.