2012, Pseudoscience, and Conspiracy Theories
With no real explanation—although the world powers have been building arks in the Himalayas for years—the Earth’s core turns to goo and the crust destabilizes. Amidst the chaos, John Cusack must get his family from LA to China (by way of Yellow Stone National Park) post haste to get on one of those arks. The erupting, crumbling landscape nips at his heals all the way there as the poles shift and land is engulfed by tsunamis. More monuments and landmarks bite the dust than in Independence Day or War of the Worlds combined.
The movie was engrossing—highly improbable, laughable at times, but still engrossing—but it was purely the special effects that propelled the movie along. Literally. The plot was all about staying ahead of the next cataclysm. And it was rather obvious who was going to die along the way – mostly because they were sucky human beings.
And this Apocalypse didn’t even happen on 12/21/12. What’s the point of a movie called 2012 if you’re not going have it happen on that date? (There was mention in the movie that things started happening earlier than the powers that be anticipated. Still.)
For those of you not familiar with this particular Armageddon, according to Mayan prophecy (allegedly), a great cataclysm or some kind of transformation will happen on December 21, 2012. This is the last date in the 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar.
I would venture to say most actual Mayan scholars say this is pure crap. There are no such prophecies, and the end of the calendar doesn’t mean the end of everything. (The ancient Mayan’s had to stop somewhere with their calendar.)
For more on the pseudoscience and general quackery behind the 2012 apocalypse, check out Penn &Teller's take on it: (may contain some offensive language):
Pseudoscience and conspiracy theories can make for good stories. (Notice the can part.) Dan Brown has made a mint on the Da Vinci Code. Can you guys think of any other good examples?
The League of Extraordinary Writers is a group of debut YA authors who write science fiction and dystopian works. The ten of us have works that run the gamut of near-future mind control to far-future space travel, but they do have one thing in common: a future where the Earth we know now is twisted, gone.