please empty your brain below

I used to walk around various Japanese cities, tutting at the haphazard English sentences that cropped up on the fronts of buildings, on T-shirts, on coffee cups. Surely, I thought, for a modest fee they'd like someone who spoke English as a native to correct all the egregious errors and exhortations to "let's enjoy a memorable coffee time. It's so nice"?

But eventually I realised (or it was explained to me - I am rather dim) that the sentences were not meant to be read as perfect by us types. They were there to look good, and the tortured grammar was actually just Japanese grammar changed into English words - so someone with a smattering of vocab would understand the sentence without needing to learn silly English rules about word order.

And that's what I think 2012 is all about. Emotional nonsense affcets people far more readily than measured logic.

Love your blog, by the way. I'm one of your new readers (last four months or so) and you fuel me with ideas for my occasional trips from London-on-Sea, East Sussex.

Plus apparently this is the third Mayan calendar anyway, there was one about 5000 years ago and one about 10000 years ago.

Which was nice.

The world ending on 20th December 2012 would have had a logical ring....

Does this mean I can stop worrying about global warming and climate change?

Plot-holes - ah, yes - I remember many moons ago spending all but the first 5 minutes of Alien muttering under my breath "spacesuits and then open the hatches" ad infinitum having definitely failed to suspend my disbelief. But, as you say, the film would have been considerably shorter.

My mad friend believes the world will end in December 2012 and uses this as a validation for the fact that credit card companies will not issue cards with dates beyond 2011.


I don't do credit cards so I can't comment if there are credit cards with expiry dates beyond December 2012-but if the world is going to end may I please see the Jam Jar?

Ps- wasn't the world supposed to end in 2000?

Amused.- The world was supposed to end in the year 1000 too. I agree with you about the Jam Jar.

I'm afraid I can't watch action films now for all the reasons you've mentioned. To me all such films are basically Americans running around waving guns.
It also irks me that only Americans are able to do anything while the rest of us just sit around and wait for them to arrive and save the world in the nick of time. Usually leaving a trail of destruction in their wake which the previously helpless natives are supposed to deal with after they have 'saved' us!

My credit card only goes up to July 2012. Ooer!

Big plot hole: if credit cards only go up to 2011 because the world will end in 2012, aren't the credit card companies a bit dim in lending out money right up to the bitter end that they will never be paid back . . . .

ah, wisconsin

The world almost ended on New Years Eve 1989 when Vigo The Carpathian tried to be reborn, but thankfully he was scuppered. I'm sure we'll find a way around this one.

My newest credit card goes up to November 2012. Double ooer!

I understand that a knowledgeable boffin (anthropologist? mathematician?) took a closer look at the Mayan-end-of-world calculations and saw that the amateurs had misinterpreted / miscalculated something basic. The real Mayan-EOW is 200 years hence. (Yes, I'm a bit vague on the details. I saw this a couple of months ago, I think on the BBC.)

The good news is that gives Hollywood screenwriters enough time to get their asinine mistakes sorted out. Given how they work, that's about how long it would take them.

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