I have been following this story of the Mayan Apocalypse for years. For so long, in fact, that I don't remember where I first heard about it or when. I know that I was well aware of it before the movie 2012 was released in 2009, so we're talking about at least four years of hearing people blather on about it.
We can FINALLY stop talking about the Mayan Apocalypse!
Although Michael Stipe made a killing off royalties.
It seems like we have always been prepping for the fake Mayan Apocalypse, which was never even a thing to begin with. The modern Mayans didn't believe in it; heck, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the ancient Mayans didn't believe it, either.
Of course, that didn't stop every idiot with an agenda from claiming that it was "a real thing and you should buy these supplies from me in order to prepare for it." That's something I noticed in the last six months: you only ever heard people taking the 2012 apocalypse seriously when they were trying to sell you something. How very American.
Most people brushed off the 2012 prediction the way they have every other kooky end of the world prediction that ever comes up. But a lot of people believed in the 2012 apocalypse fervently. I wonder where they are right now as I type this, at 1:09 PM Pacific time on 12/21/12, with the world still spinning the way it always has. Of course, some will argue that the event will happen at midnight tonight (but which time zone?) or that the apocalypse has actually started but we just don't realize it yet.
Belief in an impeding Armageddon says more about the believer than the belief. It's a potent fantasy that has more in common with a superhero origin story than with reality. (Apocalypse Man was just an everyday schmoe until he became the last man standing! Protecting his family against invading hordes of scavengers! Surviving on his wits and his clever foresight!) It combines elements of self-sufficiency, "death to all the infidels and my stupid boss down at the plant," and an end to the never-ending soul-crushing mundanity of life, from paying bills to grocery shopping. I can totally understand the appeal, don't get me wrong.
At any rate, it's a huge relief that it's finally over and we can go back to bickering about the HAARP antenna array, and whether the Sandy Hook massacre was a "Mind-Control television event" or not.