I’m finding myself disappointed today that New Year’s Eve 2010 isn’t another apocalypse hysteria year. That might seem a bit strange, but it’s true. Sure, in another couple years we’ll have the whole supposed Mayan 2012 thing to get worked up about, but 2010 just isn’t something we’re getting that worked up about.
Frankly, I’m not sure why apocalypse hysteria years are so enjoyable. We have them every couple of years (seems to be part of human nature to focus our entire lives on the ends of things), so we won’t have to wait long for another. The screaming back and forth between the skeptics and the adherents can actually get pretty annoying. Still, it can be entertaining to watch people get so worked up and sometimes the excitement is contagious.
I kind of miss the whole Y2K thing. That one was a little less mystical as far as apocalypse hysteria goes, but still a lot of fun. Everybody was just so worried about that. I wasn’t quite so much. I figured most essential systems would probably be updated in time and if there were any problems they wouldn’t be world ending. So many people thought it was such a big deal though. It was hard not to fuck with them once in a while.
I actually had a New Year’s party that year. Well, okay, it wasn’t my party. It was actually a friend’s party, but it was at my house. He was a good friend who lives across the hall in the apartment building I was living at and he had planned a big New Year’s party. Unfortunately, his grandmother took sick and needed some pretty major heart surgery. He still wanted to have the party to go to after he got done visiting her up at the hospital, but he wasn’t going to be there early enough for the party to start. Thus, he asked if he could just shift the location across the hall to my apartment. Same party, different place. That way the party could get going and he could show up when he was able. I was game. I was going to the party anyway. This way I had even less of a commute.
Anyway, we were all sitting around getting hammered and everyone decided they wanted to watch the ball drop in New York. Since it would be 2000 there first (we were on Central time), if anything big was going to happen it would happen there first. I was game. I didn’t think anything was going to happen, but it was fun to have everyone so riveted on the TV.
So there we were. The ball was descending. Everyone (all drunk) were on the edges of their seats, waiting to see what would happen. Rapt. Counting down. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Oddly, at that moment, I noticed that I was holding the remote in my hand. Everyone was glued to the TV and wasn’t even vaguely paying attention to me. At the very moment the ball touched down, I knew what I had to do. I hit the power button and everyone screamed.
It was a pretty simple trick. Due to their expectations and rapt focus, the first thing they assumed was that all tech had gone to shit in NY at the exact moment of midnight. Within a couple of seconds they realized what had happened (they were drunk, not stupid), but for just those few seconds (like me and grandpa) they believed.
Anyway, looking back on that on this last day of 2010, it just seems a shame I won’t be having that kind of fun tonight. People live for those monumental kind of things in their lives and it just seems kind of a let down not to have something like that happening. Oh well, we’ll get it again in 2012. I best start getting my Mayan high priest costume ready. Anyone have any feathers I can borrow?