Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The End is Nigh

Not in any apocalyptic sense.

We are, however, approaching that magical but arbitrary point at which we add one to the “year” meter and spin the “months” counter back to the start.

This time around we’re even adding 1 to the “decades” meter, but this doesn’t seem to mean much more than a bunch of navel-gazing “best of the decade” articles popping up in the old dead-tree media. (Kid A was the best album? Really?)

While that’s all very well, the math nerds among us prefer the Mayan calendar, based as it is on the highest common multiple of various astronomical cycles. That bad boy ticks over every 394 years or so, with the 13th cycle ending on … December 21, 2012. (#insert creepy organ hit, preferably a minor chord.)

Of course this rollover of the Mayan calendar is no more likely to herald the end of the world than our equally-arbitrary “event” of 12am on January 1, regardless of what Roland Emmerich may tell you.

But the end of the world notwithstanding, the start of a fresh calendar is a cause for celebration. We’re starting a fresh page. Turning over a new leaf.

All the celebration is probably a throwback to ancient times when it wasn’t clear that the world wasn’t ending, but of course we’ve moved beyond that (haven’t we Roland?).

As a culture we’ve replaced begging for a divine hand to once again raise the sun, with drinking too much and making resolutions we’ll invariably fail to keep. That’s progress, I guess.

Which brings us to my new years’ resolution. It is to never again leave more than a month between blogs.

Happy New Year.