Hollywood milks Mayan Armageddon
Global warming, Mid-East nukes and economic distress? No worries! It’s only the end of the world as we know it, in Roland Emmerich’s third disaster movie. This time, it gets spiritual
BY SOUL’S CODE — When Spanish adventurers, centuries after the Conquest, stumbled upon Mayan ruins in the jungles of present-day Mexico, they surmised that the monuments were created by Mediterranean transplants — survivors of Noah’s flood, or perhaps trans-Atlantic commuters who sailed between ancient Egypt or Rome and meso-America.
When archeologists completed the decryption of Mayan hieroglyphs after World War II, they proved beyond a doubt that the lost civilization was indigenous, and that the region’s Indian tribes were its descendants.
The Mayan mystique was born: their biggest pyramids are essentially giant sundials and calendars. The inscriptions accurately forecast solar eclipses to this day, and document the orbits of Mercury, Mars and Venus.
Where Mayan cosmology parts ways with the West: their date of creation is 3114 B.C. And they calculated that the world will end on December 23, 2012.
But this point of departure with modern science is precisely where Hollywood, in the name of director Roland Emmerich and romantic-comedy star, John Cusack, pick up the thread. And so does the New Age community.
As for Emmerich’s formula Christmas-release flick, it was ridiculed in the mainstream press as over-the-top-apocalyptico weeks before its Friday, November 13, 2009 release.
In contrast to the mainstream media, New Age sites are generally laudatory toward the special-effects blockbuster, partly because of the attention it’s refracting to an otherwise neglected issue.
The occult, UFO’s, Erich von Däniken and the ruminations of Edgar Cayce have always rushed to fill a void in the American psyche, borne of a spiritual ferment in our post-nuclear time.
What else would explain this Wired, Twittering, Blackberry moment of ours buying into such ancient and unscientific prophecies as horoscopes and 2012? Let alone Hollywood jumping onto the bandwagon with a deca-million-dollar marketing machine?