PeaceJam's founders hope to dispel myths about the Mayans
If the world doesn't end on December 21, maybe something else will disappear: all the rumors and speculation regarding the Mayan calendar. As they worked with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum on Mayan Renaissance, Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff started collecting the worst myths about the Mayan predictions. Here are their top ten:
1) The Maya were aliens from outer space...they came, built things and gave wisdom, and then returned to their alien homeland.
2) The Maya were survivors from the lost city of Atlantis...they came, built things and gave wisdom, and then mysteriously disappeared.
3) The smart Mayans who accomplished so much mysteriously disappeared 900 years ago...and there are no true Mayans alive today. The ones who say they are Mayans are just plain Indians, not Mayan at all. "So racist and so insulting!" say Engle and Suvanjieff.
4) There is a large crack in Earth's magnetic shield, and a massive burst of solar flares is going to come from the sun in 2012, and then the world is going to end.
5) A black hole in the center of the universe is going to suck Earth into oblivion in 2012, and then the world is going to end.
6) Huge gamma-ray bursts are heading toward Earth from the center of the universe; they will hit hard in 2012, and then the world is going to end.
7) A comet is going to hit Earth in 2012, ending all human life — just as a comet ended the lives of the dinosaurs.
8) A massive polar shift is about to happen, which will cause Earth to shift off its axis (the North Pole and South Pole switch places), causing earthquakes, floods and super volcanoes. (This theory was the basis for the Hollywood movie 2012.)
9) Earth's evil twin planet, called Planet X or Planet Niurbu, is finishing a super-long orbit and is going to collide with Earth in 2012, killing us all. (This theory was the basis for the Hollywood movie Melancholia.)
10) And, of course, a nuclear war will start in the Middle East in 2012, which will mark the beginning of Armageddon, with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, etc., riding in and everything happening just as it does in the Bible's Book of Revelation. "Harold Camping was big on this one," Engle and Suvanjieff point out, "but he just can never get the date right! That's why we made Jesus vs. Bono, to make fun of Harold Camping.... People were quitting their jobs, selling all of their life possessions, giving all their wealth to Harold Camping's 'church,' And then when the end of the world did not come, he just kept their money!"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.