Enabling the Mayans

Did you see the lunar eclipse Nov. 28?

I did, the beginning at least. My wife pulled me outside and pointed it out to me. Clouds crept across the silver-white glow as the temporary fade began; a mustache – or eyebrow, I suppose, depending on your position – that came and went.

Those free Nature’s IMAX features are fun to watch for a little bit, but I’m learning to hate them, too. In the newsroom, whenever there is a slew of over-caffeinated mayhem in the area, we tend to “blame” it on the moon, usually on a full one or an eclipse. This week’s been no different.

A deluge of rain damaged U.S. Forest Service roads and made the risk for landslides and fast-moving debris flows skyrocket. There’ve been three major structure fires in the course of a week. On Monday and Tuesday, two Ashland men were reported to have died of heroin overdoses.

Etc.

Point is, we’ve been plenty busy. Do I think, absolutely, that the eclipse is to blame? No. Do I wonder about the connection from time to time? I’m imaginative and speculative enough to say yes. Not that that’s not completely insane.

But give me a break. We are 15 days out from the Apocalypse, after all. At least that’s the story folks who don’t take two minutes to look at Wikipedia are stuck with. The Mayans, ancient peoples who probably knew about the aforementioned lunar eclipse in great detail – they were the NASA of ancient civilizations; true story – said the world isn’t actually ending. Whatever deity they believed in is essentially hitting the F5 key. Or something.

Still, the idea that the undead will rise up and swarm over the planet like fleas, or that an asteroid will shred the atmosphere and do a cannonball into the Pacific Ocean that yields a miles-high tidal wave is much more exciting. Eclipses suddenly become something more than temporary, lovely reminders of how vast and amazing our universe is, mutating into harbingers of tragedy instead. If we choose to look at it that way. Or maybe we just can’t help thinking this is all just going to fade out someday soon, despite assurances from the U.S. government that Dec. 21, 2012 is not that day.

Still, despite the logic, these over-the-top non-possibilities are embedded deep in my brain box, latched on tight with quality ice axes and hooks.

“There’s too much nifty stuff coming up,” these parasitic thoughts whisper at times. “The ‘Deathstroke’ comic just got a new writer/artist team. ‘The Hobbit’ is coming out in theaters. You and your wife are heading out to Colorado Dec. 22! Dwell on this nightmarish fantasy that you’ll never get to experience any of it! Enable this Mayan Apocalypse garbage!”

So I do, albeit occasionally. I’ll glance at the sky and wonder what it would look like if the whole thing was burning while swarms of red-eyed undead overran city streets below; because my imaginative side is just that hyperactive. My rational side typically mumbles in these moments and gets shouted down.

But then my imaginative side’s espresso/Four Loko buzz wears off, and it takes a nap.

Like any parent, I relish those moments.

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  • Blog Author

    Ryan Pfeil

    This is a blog for southern Oregonians to check in on all things geek. Sci-fi, history, comics, movies, video/photo and anything else that would have gotten you shut in a locker in high school. Have fun. Read Full
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