A friend (yes, I have some. Not many, but some) gave me a DVD he'd bought in the bargain bins. His comments were along the lines of 'If you see this one on display, always pick it up. There might be something worth watching underneath'.
The film was 2012: Doomsday. One of many such doom-laden films, all very popular nowadays. This one is laced with Christian messages, which is no problem for me as long as it's a good story well told. I don't get upset at religious messages. I just ignore them.
What I could not ignore was the desperate stupidity of the film. It opens with a large gold cross in an ancient Mayan temple which 'proves that Christians arived in South America long before Columbus'. Which is utter tosh. If that were the case, and they were making two-foot crosses out of gold, Columbus would have arrived at a Christian civilisation.
They then take the cross to Chichen Itza, the stepped pyramid in Mexico. They carry this damn thing which is solid gold and must weigh around fifty pounds as if it's just gold-painted wood. They do this because the Earth is slowing down and it's December 12, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar's 'long count'. Which has, incidentally, ended twelve times before and just gone back to the start again each time. Calendars do that. Ours ends every year on December 31st and funnily enough, starts again with January 1st the very next day.
Several groups are converging on this pyramid. It's snowing on some characters but not on other characters in the same places. The snow is apparently personal. Some get called spontaneously to Heaven in the Rapture which is what's meant to happen when the world ends but...
(Spoiler coming. If you haven't seen the film but would like to endure it, miss out the text in blue)
... The world doesn't end. The sun goes down, a woman gives birth, the sun comes back up again at once. That's it. That. Is. It. No seven-headed monster, no horsemen of the apocalypse, no Whore of Babylon, no mark of the beast, nothing. Sunset, birth, sunrise, and that's the end. The Earth continues as normal and all those killed in the Rapture must be pretty pissed about it.
And yet people believe this. They really think the world will end when the Mayan calendar runs out. They actually believe that a Christian God pays attention to Quetzalcoatl, the flying serpent of the South American religions.
People are really wondering when they should kill their pets and children to spare them the horrors of the End. Seriously. It's a film! It's not real.
The Mayan calendar is a calendar. It gets to the end and it starts again. It has nothing at all to do with the Christian view of apocalypse. Only one thing will really happen after December 12th 2012.
December 13th 2012.
Nothing else will change.