Wednesday, October 31, 2007

No, No, Nostradamus!

In the spirit of Halloween, today I will share with you one of the few things in this world that truly scares the crap out of me. No, it's not spiders (though I'm not a fan), snakes, flying, public speaking or any of the usual suspects. It's frickin' Nostradamus and his predictions from 500 years ago. I am bracing myself for an onslaught of ridicule...

The truth is, I have always been interested in conspiracy theories and prophecies and all of that sort of stuff. But when my aunt, uncle and I rented a movie called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow back in the early 90s, I became pretty obsessed with Nostradamus. The movie is narrated by Orson Welles and it frightened me so much that, I kid you not, I barely slept for two weeks after watching it--I was a nervous wreck. I ended up buying a translation of Nostradamus's "quatrains" in order to read his supposed predictions for myself. After that, I avoided anything and everything related to the famous seer for over fifteen years, because I just got too wound up (and made fun of).

Unfortunately I was lured into refreshing my memory of Nostradamus's predictions by an ad I saw recently for a History Channel special on the topic. When I went to Tivo it, there were actually two other shows on that same night about Nostradamus, so I taped those, too. I watched two of the three so far, and I am sufficiently freaked out again.

I'm not that bothered by the vague quatrains themselves, because I do realize that they could apply to a number of world events across several hundred years, and that it's simply human nature to interpret Nostradamus's predictions to corroborate current issues in the news. That's why I laugh at how every other week either the Sun or the Enquirer is proclaiming that another one of his prophecies has come to pass. What does unsettle me a bit, however, is when several different religious, astronomical, cultural and scientific sources all point to the same prediction about, say, the end of the world. Before watching the History Channel program last night, I had conveniently forgotten that December 21, 2012 has been alluded to by a ton of sources for a long time (I could not possibly list them all here, but one if the most referenced is the Mayan calendar), as the date at which point we will all cease to exist. That creeps me out. Even if you don't get worried about any of this kind of thing, you have to admit that no one really knows what in the hell is going to go down when there's a planetary line-up on that day that hasn't happened in tens of thousands of years (though that link did make me feel a bit better). Obviously there's nothing we can do about it if the sun blows up or magnetic poles reverse or a comet hits--all of which have been mentioned as possibilities for what will happen on 12/21/12 (in addition to, of course, humans destroying the world by nuclear war). But I just kind of wish that it was all predicted for a year that none of us would actually be alive, you know?

So, I'm going to try my best to forget about all of this (though you know when 2012 hits it's going to be Y2k-like mania all over again (and yes, I fell for that, too)). I think this short video has the right attitude. It's pretty hilarious so I encourage you to watch it, but be forewarned that: 1) It takes a long time to load, 2) You must play it with sound and 3) There is a lot of swearing in it, but in a good-natured way (but it's not safe for work for sure).

Finally, in honor of Nostradamus, I predict: "e will use Halloween as an excuse to eat a lot of candy, chocolate and other unhealthy things tonight!"

Happy Halloween! I'm gonna pig out like it's December 20, 2012!

- e


Anonymous said...

E- I hear you, I watched the shows and I am also freaked out and always have been by this! No fear of retribution here my friend, I will be huddled in with you come 12/21/12!! Nerdy P's friend, Cool-G

Ernie said...

Thanks a lot e. We had a VHS copy of "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" when I was little and it freaked me out too. Those shows always weird me out.

Good think Lost will be done by 2012.

Anonymous said...

12/21/12 kind of freaks me out too...I'm not usually a believer in "end of the world" stuff, but those Mayans were pretty smart, and their calendar ending then, on the same date that there are supposed to be massive solar flares...scarybad!

Chris Fenwick said...

So how will WE write it? How shall it read when we look back on December 21, 2012? We certainly have the elements in place to destroy ourselves. The planet has experienced cataclysmic events in its history - polar shifts, ice ages, etc. No one really knows. What the Mayan's meant with their End-Count calendar will always be up for speculation. It fires the imagination, for sure. Find "the 100th human." - there is hope.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading the Prophecy ina school book I had in high school and I had to interpt the quote he made of 9/11. I asked my mom what she thought and she thought I was wrong because planes in the ltae 90's early 80's were I guess not big enough to make that kind of damage. I interpted just the why it happened but, if you said anything then they probably would have put a straight jacket on you and throw the key away. Know it is another story. I would rather do as my mom said once, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.