A dozen years have passed since the doomsday scenario of Y2K turned out to be, in Shakespeare's words, a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Not that it was idiotic to prepare for the change of calendar to a new millennium, but the predicted meltdown never happened. Billions of dollars were spent, much of it by people who stocked up on survival food, weapons, generators, etc. In other words, future garage sale fodder.
The latest doomsday scenario also offers opportunities for sales. It's the end of the world as supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar, to take place on Dec. 21. One travel agency is promoting a doomsday tour with the tagline of “party like it's the end of the world!”
If the prediction turns out wrong, the agency says, “hey, the worst thing that has happened is we have spent a delightfully decadent week in Mexico!” Naturally, the price is $1221.12, which covers round-trip flights from the agency's Wisconsin base, seven nights of lodging and most meals.
Any Winter Solstice, not just the one in 2012, is probably a good time for northerners to walk the sandy beaches of central America. But what do the descendants of the Mayans think? Felipe Gomez, leader of Maya alliance, said, “We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit.”
The Guatemalan Culture Ministry expects that as many as 90,000 people will visit in December. One package includes a 28-day bike tour in central America with tickets priced at $5,300.
The deceit Gomez mentions refers to New Age interpretations of the Mayan calendar, as opposed to what the Mayans themselves believed would happen this year. The Golden Age for Mayans ended before 1000 A.D. Apparently, though, some gold is still being mined from their ancient calendar.