It’s the End of the World as We Know it

According to the Mayan prophecy – and a few of my students – the world is going to end on Friday.  This is the date the Mayan calendar runs out, which has caused some people to claim it is also the date of the end of the world.

Obviously I don’t ever take things like this seriously – any more than I take David Icke seriously (though I do love the lizards) – but it does tap into our general love of the doomy stuff.

I also liked the theory that was going round today that the world would end the day Gagnam style got a billion hits on YouTube

This particularly insane article was pointed out to me by a student today.

I particularly liked the mention of how dogs could give you cancer because they MIGHT have been bitten by foxes.

The land of make-believe.

Anyway, whether or not you believe that the world will end on Friday, I guess I’m thinking a lot about endings. It’s also the end of term on Friday and soon afterwards it will be the end of the year, when we face the choice of an overpriced club/bar/restaurant or some drivel on telly.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, but I’m glad to say that I no longer suffer from the anxiety I used to feel about NYE as a young person, desperately charging round London looking for somewhere ‘cool’ to go and often as not ending up tired and emotional long before the clock ever struck 12. At least I never ended up in Trafalgar Square

Do people still do that?

Then obviously there was the whole kerfuffle surrounding the Year 2000 – the year that all our computers were supposed to crash and IT consultants were paid thousands for doing very little indeed.

And the Millenium Dome of course.

Was that really only 12 (actually 13 years ago) that loads of dreary celebs (and the Queen and Tony) got stuck in a queue waiting to go into what must have been the naffest party of all time?


But rather than get morbid about what’s gone, I’d rather see the coming year as bringing with it unexpected treats and surprises. Yes, I’m sure lots of things will go horribly wrong, and yes, David Cameron will probably still be Prime Minster.

Oh well.

2012 has been a pretty intense year – it’s obviously dull to list my personal highlights (go back and look through my blog posts if you want to know what I was doing or thinking about this year).

I started Reesesrants back in February and I know writing a blog is a bit 2003, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I shall definitely keep doing it next year. That’s a resolution I won’t be breaking. Sorry.

I hope to keep up my interest in politics over the next year – some of you may have caught me on Newsnight defending Camden’s schools last week. It all happened very suddenly and my appearance even got a mention on the Tory politics blog Guido Fawkes

I enjoyed the experience immensely, although I didn’t quite recognise myself after the hair and make-up lady had turned me into a slightly less monstrous version of Natasha Kaplinsky.

Some of the Guido comments are pretty ripe – but I guess I’d be more worried if they liked me!

Anyway, I guess what the whole episode illustrated, is that you literally do not know what is around the corner.

When I got up last Thursday morning, I had no idea that I might end up on TV. Likewise, I have no idea what lies in store for 2013. I’m sure good things will happen – even if bad things happen too.

My optimism may make me sound simple minded – or irritating – or both. It is totally out of step with the fashion for doom and gloom that engulfs us. Of permanent recession. Of terminal decline. Of ecological catastrophe. Of peak oil. Global warming. Of the end of civilisation as we know it.

I’m not advocating that we all stuff ourselves with Prozac

and pretend everything is great. That is patently untrue. But by denying ourselves optimism, we are denying ourselves agency and belief in the possibility of our ability to bring about change.

Look at the amazing work that UK Uncut

has done in highlighting tax avoidance – this is now totally mainstream. But when the campaign first began, how many of us thought it would have an effect?

So I guess my final thought is: embrace the New Year. Be pleased with what you have done in 2012 and make sure you keep up the good work in 2013. Don’t get sucked into the doom – it’s boring and it holds us all back.

This entry was published on December 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “It’s the End of the World as We Know it

  1. If “door knocker” in a non euphemistic sense is the worst insult they can sling at you, then they really are scraping the barrel

    Sod presents; I’m going on iplayer to spot you!

    Happy Christmas

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