So the world didn’t end December 21. Likely that 2012 will go down in history as yet another doomsday scenario nobody could stop because it never was there in the first place. It’s almost like we learned nothing from Y2K…
Whatever it is, Sarah Palin is scarier.
However, there are even more practical reasons why the Mayan Apocalypse was even stupider than Y2K in retrospect.
5. No governments took the Mayan Apocalypse seriously
One of the coolest things about the Y2K scare in hindsight is that you could actually find government officials talking about it without joking. In the US, each government agency had its own Y2K task force, and Bill Clinton even directly commented on the threat of the glitch. Can you imagine what a world of shit we’d be in if President Obama was holding press conferences on the Mayan Apocalypse, or if the US Navy had its own 2012 Task Force situated off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula?
Which, incidentally, is not exactly the safest place in the world.
Instead, even makeshift political figures like Donald Trump aren’t afraid of the world ending on 2012. Y2K played out like a disaster movie in real time. For 2012, we got nothing.
Interestingly, on that subject…
4. Y2K made for a better movie
2012 was not a great movie. At its best, it ties The Day After Tomorrow as the best film Roland Emmerich made since Independence Day.
10,000 BC, we can all agree, sucked.
With that said, what was the one film that best used the Y2K scare? No, it wasn’t some made-for-TV BS, it was Office Space. Yup, released in 1999, that film was able to turn the Millennium bug into perhaps the single greatest office comedy of all time. Pick your favorite scene, quote, or character. The Y2K scare made it all possible, and made for an infinitely better more than 2012.
For some reason, we could totally see this guy surviving any disaster you throw at him.
3. The 2012 scare made the world dumber
If there is one good thing that came out of the Y2K scare, it’s that it taught everyone and your mom a little bit about how computers worked. All of a sudden, everyone in the world knew that those last two digits in a year added up to a really, really big deal.
Two minutes later, this display exploded.
2012, on the other hand, seemed to go out of its way to misinform the public as much as humanly possible. For one, this “Mayan calendar” everyone likes to toss around…
…is actually Aztec. The real Mayan calendar is not only a whole different animal, but recent discoveries suggest that it’s supposed to be good until well past 3500 A.D. Other than that, just about every single other thing you’ve been told about the Mayan apocalypse is a stupid, crazy lie.
That, or a daytime special on the History Channel.
2. Y2K had a more interesting culprit
One of the great ironies of the Y2K bug is that it was this monumental corner the 20th century sort of painted itself into. As such, it’s impossible to reflect on Y2K without knowing that hubris played a major role in it. Besides, having the entire twentieth century collapse due to its own technology? The authors of the Bible could not have cooked up a more poetic scenario for the end of the world.
Trust us, they tried.
The 2012 phenomenon, on the other hand, just reeked of hackery. Rather than be the result of some super-weapon the Mayans buried in the event that White people took over, this doomsday was the product mainly because of a man named Terence McKenna experimenting with psychedelic drugs with his brother. You know. For science.
Here he is, trying to get as high as he can for this picture.
Y2K had serendipity, hubris, and a fantastic amount of paranoia going into it. The 2012 phenomenon… sorry, but not even Nostradamus couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his ass to make this apocalypse seem like something we should have seen coming.
Trust us, they tried as well.
1. Y2K gave humanity a better reason to party.
2000 was destined to be a huge party with or without the end of the world as a double-feature. Together, you could haven’t asked for more reason to celebrate New Years Day.
Unless, of course, you were a pizza delivery boy.
December 21, 2012, on the other hand, will not be so kind. Yes, any reason is a good reason to party, but the truth is that even on the best of conditions—in this case, the Friday before Christmas—December 21, 2012 is probably going to come and go just like any other weekend.
Complete with disappointment.
January 1, 2000 will always be remembered as one big party for the history books. 2012? It’s the apocalyptic equivalent of having your birthday on Christmas. However, since any day is a good day for tacos, we recommend spicing yours up with some Mexican food. At least it will give you plenty of time to think about what you’ll be doing with the rest of your life while you’re on the toilet for most of December 22.
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