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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 09:36 am

End of the world or end of the world ending?


Songwriter Greg Barnhill of Nashville, aka Mr. Christmas, plays 7:30-10 p.m. at Boondocks. Hipbone Sam follows from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., for an End of World Party and Ugly Sweater Contest with prizes.

With nothing else worth discussing this week other than the much purported and often promulgated “end of the world” coming on Dec. 21, 2012, here we go. I reasoned that spending, as Bob Dylan called “my precious time” on the subject, makes sense because, if the world does end on that date, then I missed my last opportunity to discuss it and if it doesn’t, well, I’m even more ready for the final beep.

I actually had someone, quite seriously, ask me a few weeks ago what I thought about the whole shebang of the Mayan calendar of centuries ago binding the entire world to pre-determined destruction. Flattered to be queried on such an interesting and encompassing subject, yet dejected that a person I believed to be of sound mind and body could truly think it a topic worthy of more than casual flippancy, I was in a pickle as to what to say. I still am situated in said pickle.

I think the idea of the “end of the world as we know it,” to reference those indelible pop prophets, the rock band REM, is a romantic and desirable thought, much as the notion of moving on and starting over a new life somewhere seems to be a continuing drive within the human consciousness, especially invoked by Americans since arriving upon this continent. Somewhere, I believe, buried beneath the fleeting thoughts of fleeing problems to correct them, lies the excitement and attraction of these end-times scenarios.

But don’t let me be a party pooper and say the world might not end. Let’s leave that to those scientifically advanced ne’er do wells at government organizations such as NASA or the academically devoted naysayers at the American Astronomical Society. These guys know how to debunk a myth with absolutely no sense of playfulness. The official NASA website categorically states, “The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.” So there you have it.

If you are a fan of facts, then rest easy on 12-21-12 knowing in your heart these tried and trusted government employees have satisfied your wonderings on life from here on out. If you’re looking for additional rational reasoning check out the AAS website and the enlightening article entitled “Resources for Responding to Doomsday 2012: An Annotated Guide” by Andrew Fraknoi. You’ll find all the information you need to convince friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and yourself that planning for Dec. 22 and beyond is a viable option.  

Now for those odd and interesting sorts considering that the “end of the world” is an undeniable, without a doubt, immutable fact. Other than a few websites like www.bible.ca that says, “Yes the end is coming, but all human predictions are wrong!” and www.december212012.com where you can get all the news on the upcoming apocalypse along with blatantly marketed links to purchase emergency foods, crank radios and U.S. Army survival manuals, plus more importantly, shirts, caps and mugs emblazoned with slogans for the doomsday date, the once prolific proclaimers of the inevitable end are rather quiet.

Now that you are properly armed with world-ending information and misinformation, sally forth into the IT Pub Crawl listings and search for your favorite bar and band hosting an “End of the World” party and partake in the final fun. Why not go out with a song and a drink? The happy news is, this way you will be in a fine position to have a good time regardless of the apocalyptic outcome.

See you next week…. Maybe.. 

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com

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