Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Countdown to Catastrophe

Bizarro is brought to you today by The End Of The World.

A lot of people wrote to "high five" me about this cartoon. It seems there is no shortage of folks annoyed by the gullibility of their family and friends regarding this latest threat to our survival. We humans are always looking for secret clues to the ultimate catastrophic ending, as though the universe were controlled by Dan Brown.

But it is an irresistible part of our nature as apes with huge, mutant brains: we take our natural instincts to spot patterns and guard against injury, and extend them to ludicrous degrees. My apologies to those readers who don't like hearing this, but in my opinion it is the very reason humans have always invented gods to explain the things we don't understand or can't comprehend. We live in a world with natural rules and order and when the facts of our existence fall outside of our understanding, a make-believe answer is more comforting than no answer at all. Most of us need to know that there is a Purpose to our existence and a destination beyond death.

So get ready for 2012, only two years to go unless The Rapture happens first. I can guarantee that 2012 will be every bit as catastrophic as the years 2000 & 1000, both of which caused widespread panic (among cultures who happened to use that arbitrary calendar.)

Of course, it would be especially cool if the catastrophe started at the stroke of midnight on 12/31/11, but in which of the planet's 24 time zones would that occur? Maybe the Mayan's time zone! But even they spanned two or three. Hmmm.

NOTE: This cartoon is based on a fairly obvious idea and I have no doubt it has been done before and will be done again. This is a prime example of one of those ideas that lots of cartoonists will arrive at individually.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

hahaha, love it!

Anonymous said...

Excellent!

Dave said...

Those sorta look like Mayans, but that's an Aztec calendar that has a 365-day and 260-day cycle on it.

Victor 'Zebra Trousers' Rivera said...

And, I also wrote a paper on this.
Vic

Anonymous said...

Y2K was brought up by a friend of mine as proof of the unlikelihood of anything catastrophic happening. I pointed out the Harmonic Convergence (remember that?) and when that comet crashed into Jupiter. Also: why do people assume the ancient Aztecs didn't do like we do every year: go to a different calendar?

Rhonda said...

Great cartoon & great rant! It's a fabulously interesting universe out there once our childish fantasies are stripped away. Reposting!

Anonymous said...

2nd pragraph is a fact.

Dan said...

So why don't you do a little research. The Mayan calendar doesn't end on 12/31/11 it ends on 12/21 2012, at the winter solstice, which happens to be the exact same everywhere. It is significant because it is the end of the Mayan long count wheel of the calendar, and signified to ancient peoples a great shift in awareness and understanding.

doug nicodemus said...

heh are you going to apply at the new york review of books...i hear they need a new cartoon guy...dan levine passed away...god rest his soul

doug nicodemus said...

oh hahahaha

Anonymous said...

HAHA! FAIL, that is clearly the aztec calendar, not the mayan calendar, numbnuts.

Anonymous said...

A thought: How about a cartoon showing a bunch of rich "fat cats" gleefully counting their money with the world in ruins. " We did it, we have ALL the money"

Anonymous said...

its so true!! i doubt 2012 will be the end of the world...
love this comic :)

Lori said...

Internet High Five!!

this was kind of funny, with how seriously people (like the "history channel") have been taking the whole 2012 thing.

shipping troll said...

This one made me blow tea out my nose!! Fortunately it was tepid as I hate burning my tongue on hot beverages!!

Anonymous said...

I actually believe there's something to the shifting of the ages around 2012, but still find this hilarious. It's a wonderful reminder to laugh at oneself.

Amyranth said...

Dear Mister Piraro.

I love you.

Regards,

Amyranth

P.S - My fiance and I are considering December 21, 2012 as a wedding date, just to see how many people get the joke. The only issue is, who dresses up as Cthulhu?

ojeano said...

Thank you for drawing the joke that was in the back of my head. Yes, others will semi-formulate the joke but you drew and characterized it.

As for the end of the world, my response is we won't be that lucky; we're going to have to work our way out of the messes we make.

Andrea said...

Very well written, and I agree 100% with everything you said. And a fantastic cartoon. :D Cheers!

Erika Jean said...

except isn't it 12/21/2012... not just "2012" ?

The worlds ends on my Birthday! weeeee!

Love the cartoon

Anonymous said...

This prediction has less to do with a god(s) than it does w/ astronomy.

Anonymous said...

there is always 2 days in effect on the planet at once. If its Friday somewhere it is either Thursday or Saturday somewhere else. Did I just illustrate the obvious? I guess not or this genius philosopher writing this piece would have written it. You are not writing something profound.

patrick said...

Great comic!

By the way, have you ever been to Chichen Itza? Kind of a cool Mayan place in the Yucatan. When I was there in the '80's, I remember reading about an American college student who went swimming in one of the sacred cenote's (sinkholes) on a solstice and his body was found in another cenote 6 months later in another cenote. (Apparently the two were linked by an underground river.) The fact that these two events happened on solstices kind of freaked a lot of locals and tourists out. I don't know if the story was true or not, but people sure made a big deal out of it.

We humans just love to link events together into a narrative.

June said...

Recently, it often seems like the world is coming to an end. Perhaps the apocalypse is occuring right now only it is happening in geologic time, not earth year/hour time.

P.L. Frederick said...

Yay, the Boston Globe started carrying your column in the Sunday funnies!

Stopped by to wish you a wonderful 2010! A joyful new year to you and yours.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

Michael Tallon said...

excellent post, you articulated it just perfectly

Robin Cain said...

That first cartoon you linked to reminded me of an Archie comic and then made me laugh to imagine the archie characters being raptured. Groovy!

BTW, you are pretty awesomel

David R said...

There was a BC comic I just saw in Brian Walker's book on Comics. One of the cavemen was learning how to count up to 1,000,000 and then at the end put his initials :"B.C." The same joke was made - it was going to screw people up someday.

Just to prove your point. Every little variation is funny though.

Dean Grey said...

Oh my, that is hilarious!

-Dean

Lindita! said...

you are so right dave, except that it doesn't sorta look like mayans they are pretty damn different, for starters the mayan calendar has two circles or "wheels"

Jodie said...

Frankly, I'm looking forward to the rapture of the Christians. It will leave so much more Earth for the rest of us! Think about solving global warming, over population etc. all by sending all the world's Christians to another dimension to live with Jesus. Here's looking forward to the Winter Solstice of 2012. That's the kind of end of the world that I can get behind and promote... a pagan one.

enigmachilde said...

That's a nice guarantee to make, considering you'd never have to pay anything out if you were wrong. That's like saying God doesn't exist; just as irrational as saying that God does exist. Not saying I think anything's gonna happen on 2012, but I have no proof that it won't.

Cliff said...

Looks a little familiar.

http://www.thisisthis.org/2009/11/20/the-mayan-calenda-a-true-story/

As you said, though, a pretty obvious gag.

Adam7T said...

Great post. As well as enjoying the comparison to Y2k, I appreciate you pointing out that even if it were to occur at a specific time such as 11:11 in what time zone would this be?

Even the Maya had multiple time zones! Excellent.

Robyn74 said...

Phew. My mortgage adjusts in 2014 so I guess I won't have to worry about that anymore.

Larry Fowler said...

Well, for you astrologers out there, my progressed Sun conjuncts my North Node in early January, 2013. This is when I would finally find out what my destiny really is.

Looks like I won't get to see it if the world ends on 12/21/12. Bummer. Then again, if it's all bullshit, then I will know. Hmmm, what to wish for...

Trishia said...

I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Thank gawd that's behind me now, but .... the world has been about to end so many times that I've lost count. Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

This is truth in advertising

Michael said...

http://www.anthroblogs.org/nomadicthoughts/archives/maya_cartoon.JPG

Funnier the first time, eh?

Cap'n'Crunk said...

Yeah, the Mayans could totally predict the end of the world, but not the Spanish totally pwning their asses.

Anonymous said...

I read all the comments of this post and two or tree guys already say this but, I need to say it again, thats the Mexica (read as Meshica) calendar, also known as the Aztecs (in fact they were the descendants of the aztecs). Two diferent cultures in time and space. It’s like use the canadian flag instead of one of the United States. It’s not the same magnesium than gymnasium

As Pancho Villa said one time:

Pink Cheese Green Goes

Chris said...

Let's party like it's 2011!

Ricky said...

Imagine the magnet needed for that calender? and the refrigerator too... Yes, the results of what convergence theory explains, when the moment is right, many will have similar ideas. And now that we are all connected its hard to have a totally original idea. Example: my comment.

gypsychant said...

When we passed 1/1/2000 we had 2012 to look forward to. What are we going to look to when 2012 passes? what big end of the world is predicted after that, that is if we pass that mark ; )

Anonymous said...

Yes! You nailed it! Thank you!