As the Mayan End of the World approaches, Russians are hoarding matches and torches like they’re forming a D&D raiding party.
“People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming,” Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said in a Guardian article. “Does no one realize that once the end of the world comes, candles won’t help them?”
The Russians are not alone, of course.
According to a Reuters survey of 16,000 people in 21 countries, at least 10 percent of the population is genuinely concerned that we’ll all be annihilated on Dec. 21, the day one Mayan calendar ends. Other Mayan calendars say nothing unusual will occur in 2012.
“Preppers,” folks who hoard food, ammo and whatever else they think they will need during whatever apocalypse they have conjured, are located all over the world, including the U.S.
Heck, there’s even a TV show about them, Doomsday Preppers, on the National Geographic Channel.
The American Preppers Network stresses a “self-reliant” lifestyle to its members, which, according to the website, means having a year’s supply of food on hand. They even offer samples of freeze-dried food that can presumably survive Ragnarok or even zombies, who tend to eat only non-freeze-dried brains.
NASA scientists, using more modern technology than was available to Mesoamerican cultures, say the world will keep on spinning Dec. 22.
“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,” NASA writes on its sadly necessary “Why The World Won’t End” website.
A lot of people aren’t comforted by science. Instead, they use common sense.
Like the surviving 800,000 or so Mayans in Mexico, who apparently don’t look at ancient calendars.
South of the border, they’re keeping it real.
“We don’t know if the world is going to end,” said modern Mayan Yeh Kinil, 62. ”Remember 2006, and the ‘6-6-6′ (June 6, 2006): A lot of people thought something was going to happen, and nothing happened after all.”
“Why get panicky? If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen.”
Still, I’ll be hoarding wrapping paper and boxes. If the world doesn’t end, Santa has work to do.