Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
On 31st December 2011,as clocks ticked closer to 12 o clock, different people in different time-zones all over the world, began their final countdown….10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2 annnd 1…HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!
While this countdown ended, a second countdown began, a countdown which would see itself end on the 21st of December 2012, but the question is, will the world really end with this countdown? A question, which will probably remain unanswered even if Chuck Norris and Rajnikanth decide to brainstorm together!
When Mayans predicted, as some say, “the end of the world”, while the others say, “end of an era”, they certainly did not predict a thriving social media scenario. So, as the world welcomed 2012 as the “last year” of their lives, along with the regular ‘Happy New Year” tweets, status updates and the good old text messages, there was an array of people bringing out the “Chandler Bing” inside them, by sending humorous one-liners, making people stop for a second and give the idea of doomsday a thought. Everyone is talking about it, a simple Google search for “2012” and “the end of the world” brings up nearly 300,000 hits. YouTube hosts more than 65,000 clips informing and warning viewers about their fate in 2012.
As, the world is divided over this debate, the believers, have set their clocks ticking, coming up with their Bucket lists, doing things which they otherwise wouldn’t do, while some, like the Dutch are preparing for the worst.This does not sound far-fetched when one thinks of all the natural calamities we have seen, from Haiti to Japan to China. The nature’s fury makes the idea of the Doomsday more believable. Its like nature has finally decided to use its Weapons of Mass Destruction, which America was oblivious to as it was busy finding them in Iraq and Afghanistan. And all we humans can ask is,Why this Kolaveri (killer rage) Di?
On the other hand the Mexican Tourism officials were planning to cash on peoples beliefs as Regional Director of Tourism in Chiapas state Manolo, Alfonso Pinot, said “A lot of people know they can fill their body with energy if they come to these exceptional sites. If people are interested, we have to take advantage of this.” Also in the Mexican city of Tapachula they have set up a digital clock to count down to the end of the world on December 21, 2012.
On the other hand for the non-believers, it’s more like a joke, grounding the ideas on the fact that most “end of the world” predictions have been false and so is this one. Every hassle, deviation, and problem is #EndOfTheWorld and so is Internet Censorship. During the endangered time of the SOPA and PIPA ,the social networking sites were full of people lamenting how censorship will be the end of the world and not any random Mayan prophecy. The debate has not even left the online fandoms, as the Harry Potter fandom claims comparing Harry Potter to Twilight and comparing “Queen” J.k Rowling to Stephenie Meyer is the end and there are countless memes and photo-ops claiming the same on Facebook. Even the Twilight fandom is not far behind with their claims, however,all the mockery is in the spirit of fun.
While the world stands divided over the issue, the coming months will certainly see this debate rising gradually to national importance and India TV making sure you have one doomsday nightmare every night. Personally, I cannot wait to see how people all over the world turn to Facebook and Twitter to share their fears, ideas, beliefs and show the world their witty side. The amount of chaos is practically impossible to predict but we can rely on the Tantric Babas and Midnight Teleshopping ads with protective amulets, bracelets, lockets, “scientifically” designed protective suits, a lot of “news” from undisclosed sources and passing of rumors- for all the ingredients for a total bedlam. As of now, all we can do is wait and watch and meanwhile, let’s hope Chuck Norris and Rajnikanth can solve the mystery for us.