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Saturday, April 19, 2014

2012

Jaime R. Vergara

One of my daughters was married on 02.02.02, so why should I be surprised that many chose to walk the aisle on 12.12.12? We are not just being casual with these figures as it seems many with a numerology bent take them seriously.

Unless one has been adrift at sea or stranded in a remote island, or been wandering in the desert, the world has been informed that the Mayan calendar promotes an end of the world as we know it on Dec. 21, 2012.

We deliberately did not watch the 2012 premiere of the 2009 science fiction disaster movie. Directed by award-winning Richard Emmerich of the UniSol, Patriot, Indie Day, and the Day After Tomorrow fame (also, of Godzila, to cultic followers), we enjoyed previous productions because the director knows how to trigger the flow of adrenaline until the end credits are flashed on the screen. Imaginations’ titillation was welcomed.

That was before Georgie Bush took Armageddon and Apocalypse metaphors to the NSC Room, made it a context to defense and foreign policy that seeped into the strategic thinking of ground troops who cocked and pointed their M-16s instantly, where before, one was trained not to point the darn thing unless one intended to kill. Though made and released on Obama’s watch (Danny Glover plays an African-American President), the 2012 disaster movie was all we needed in a political climate already polarized.

When we went to watch Li Ang’s The Life of Pi in Shenyang (currently playing on Saipan), we noticed that the movie theatre was again showing 2012. So we dug deep into our ¥ reserves once more and saw the show. I should have brought my high blood pressure pills along. The movie is happily not in 3D, though the adrenaline rush from spectacular scenes for two hours were still of tsunamic force!

Emmerich’s crew got us real close and personal, and on the edge of our seats. Familiar places and architectural icons came tumbling down through the gimmickry of computer animation. I tried being just a participant observer but the movie just would not let us keep our distance.

Being an ardent partisan in the climate change debate, egging for realistic assessment of the excessive carbon in our atmosphere (particularly in coal-rich Dong Bei), we urge folks not to despair over the irreversible trend of more carbon emissions into our future, but pay attention to the biological evolution that takes place as the specie adopts to its changed environment. After all, as disaster movies seem to depict again and again, it is at the precipice of crisis that the human specie finally finds the will to change.

The movie 2012’s premise is that the effect of solar flares overheats the earth’s core. It then alludes to ancient calendar cycles formalized in ritualized patterns and expectations, like those of Mesoamerican civilizations, which gives the viewing a volatile concoction for a wild ride in the imagination.

The question is not whether the story is literally true as it is a query on why we keep telling a variation of the same theme. The Persian Zoroaster clashed forces of good and evil in a pattern of perpetual combat, aligning forces battling each other amongst Aryan-Semitic societies that flourished in the European peninsula and its spheres of influence. Saipan and Aomen, Hagatña and Manila are heirs to the conflicts of heaven and hell. A glance at the local Metaplex theatre will attest to this fascination.

Science demythologized the metaphors so that the contradiction is along the lines of humanity’s hopes and dreams against the fragility of a biosphere that appears to cough like an organism when infected with a cold virus and subjected to numerous medication. The accelerated and intense incidences of tornadoes, droughts, storms, and earthquakes do give the impression that climate change has become Gaia personal!

We are two days away from the Mayan prediction, and unlike the movie, we do not have heads of governments secretly plotting with those in the private sector who can afford a billion euros per head to join the privileged few in berths at the arks of survival. Earlier, Aussie PM Julia Gillard, with wit uncommon to head of states, did a viral video declaring the Mayans are right: the end of the world was coming!

What we do have is humanity’s consciousness at the brink of mental crisis. The Sandy Hook is a dramatic trigger, not surprisingly, followed by a reported Alabama hospital shooting, and an Oklahoma unearthed plot to shoot up another school. The deranged Chinaman we cited earlier who hacked schoolchildren to their hospital beds did so to "save" them from the horrors of the reported 2012 end-of-the-world projections. He’s been subjected to too many end-of-the-world scenarios.

While it is people that kill people, guns make the effort faster. We see a deep malaise in the culture of guns (not to mention sophisticated drones and our arsenal of weapons of mass destructions) along with our excessive dependence on medication at the slight onset of pain.

It is time to act. We go through all kinds of security hoops to get on an airplane. Why not do the same with owning a gun and getting a prescription to pop a pill? Time to move on the NRA-beholden Congress, and pharma-patted MDs quick with the prescription pen. The year 2013 will need to see our feet do the talking!

Citizen Vergara reporting for duty, ma’am!

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