Mayan malarkey, reasons to relax in 2012

So what’s new?

Whoop, whoop. The end is nigh, the end is nigh!  I’m told the ancient Mayans predicted that massive quantities of bad shit will hit the global fan this year.

Whatever, eh? It looks as though the Horsemen of the Apocalypse got a way early start on things, because it they’ve been galloping through our gardens for quite some time already.

I’ve experienced a wee taste of this myself. In fact it started around 7am on New Year’s Day last year, when one of the exercise machines downstairs tried to kill me (see “Life is terrifying”). That was pretty auspicious. In fact, given the 12 months’ of troubled times that ensued, the horrors this incident portended for yours truly may have leaked out into the world at large.

But once again, despite all historical evidence to the contrary, I turn a happy face towards the coming year, and wish you a good one. Hey, slower to learn than your average lab rat, I’ll even wish you a very happy morning after the New Year’s celebrations tonight.

Gossip takes awhile to mature

If you keep up with the news, of course, you can find plenty of likely reasons to head for the storm shelter. But I have a friend—a distinguished classics scholar, Egyptologist, linguist, coiner of neologisms extraordinaire, and roll and roll/blues/jazz musician—who once told me that he didn’t really follow the news. In fact, he said, he wasn’t all that interested in anything reported more recently than three centuries ago. What he meant, I believe, was that what we call “current affairs” is mostly gossip, written on the wind. This is probably even truer now that it was all those years ago, when he told me this. Even more than then, we are subjected to an overwhelming barrage of information, among other things “news” as spectacle, the latest foofaraw selected and shaped for its entertainment and hence commercial value. What’s really important, however, typically takes centuries of rumination and discussion before we recognize it as such and dare try to interpret it in the light of truly important themes and issues.

Given the way technological and social/cultural change is accelerating, mind you, we probably don’t have 300 years to let things steep before we see what we’ve really got. We probably don’t have 30 years.

No big deal, though.

Genesis 2.0

Have a look at this short article: “How a mental disorder opened up an invisible world of colour and pattern.” Could it simply be that Louis Wain and God were both doodlers? That would explain a lot about our universe, eh? Maybe the apparent fractal nature of our world is nothing but an especially elaborate doodle. (More than reflecting any essential character of reality, it could merely reflect something inherent in the structure of doodling itself, should you begin a given doodle in a particular way.)

Hey, and in the Beginning, our Lord was subjected to call-waiting on a truly cosmic scale, and in the course of time he was connected. Then he looked down at his (pretty advanced) scratchpad and he said, “Lo and behold. What hath I wrought here? Far out.”

Genesis 2.0: In the beginning, God created a doodle, and He saw that it was good. And forever afterwards humankind, which lived in this universe that was a doodle, took many essentially trivial things way too seriously. A happy thought for the new year.

And, yes, it may well be that the pounding in your head foretells the approach of those Horsemen of the Apocalypse. More likely, though, it’s only a hangover.