Comet ISON vaulted dramatically into the headlines yesterday as it suddenly brightened by a full order of magnitude. By “vaulted dramatically into the headlines,” I mean a small percentage of science geeks noticed, and several paranoids uploaded new YouTube videos about how the world was about to come to an end any day now. The comet in question will be brightening our skies shortly, as it makes its way towards a rendezvous with Earth. And by “rendezvous,” I mean “it won’t come anywhere near us, so quit panicking already.”
In 1997 Comet Hale-Bopp lit up our skies and convinced 38 members of a suicide cult to take their own lives, in an attempt to upload themselves to the alien spaceship that was coming to take them away to a better, less apocalypse-prone world than ours. This of course did not happen. Nor did the world particularly end when the following year Comet Hyukatake passed by. Also noteworthy was the non-End Of The World that accompanied Halley’s Comet, or Comet McNaught, or Comet Elenin… which was so depresed by the doomsday predictions surrounding it that it broke up in despair before even reaching Earth. Comet Ikeya-Seki, which passed Earth in 1965, proved to be less of a disaster than the 1965 Mercury Comet, which had to be upgraded to a mid-sized Ford Fairlane frame in order to boost sales.
Personally: I blame Nibiru.
For those of you old enough to recall the year 2012 AD, you might remember that we were facing an Apocalype that December as the Mayan Calendar ran out. Many people predicted Ultimate Doom for Humanity. Others predicted a tremendous upsurge in Human Consciousness as we all lifted up to the next level of Spiritual Enlightenment.
To the non-surprise of most observers of Homo Sapiens, neither occurred.
At that time many people claimed that Nibiru, a giant planet that remains to this day undiscovered and invisible (thanks, no doubt, to a CIA cover-up… curse you, CIA!) would swoop by and tilt the Earth on its side, scramble our magnetic fields, and generally make life miserable if not impossible for everyone. Nibiru of coure never showed up, but its diehard fans remain, and the Invisible Impossible Planet gets dusted off every time a new comet or asteroid passes by.
There is simply no reaching these people. Many of them can’t even be bothered to cover their tracks enough to even remove their old failed YouTube video predictions before they post the next one, and the next one, or the latest one… which of course features Comet ISON as the Death Star du jour.
So: for those remaining dozen or so Apocalypse Addicts, I present my Apocalyptic Comet ISON End Of The World Forecast.
ARIES: The world will not be coming to an end, which is a shame because having to keep waiting for it is such a drag.
TAURUS: The world will not be coming to an end. Here, try some pastry.
GEMINI: The world will not be coming to an end. On the other hand… no, wait, there IS no other hand. The world will not be coming to an end.
CANCER: The world will not be coming to an end, even though some of you feel you deserve it.
LEO: The world will not be coming to an end. You’ll just have to make your own drama.
VIRGO: The world will not be coming to an end. Good thing too, because the clean-up afterwords would be HORRIBLE.
LIBRA: My world will not be coming to an end, and neither will yours. That’s fair, isn’t it?
SCORPIO: The world will not be coming to an end. No, really. Why are you looking at me suspiciously like that?
SAGITTARIUS: Hey, dude! The world will not be coming to an end.
CAPRICORN: The world will not be coming to an end. Get back to work!
AQUARIUS: The world will not be coming to an end. Or: the world begins and ends with every breath. I dunno, I can’t think of anything Zen to say about this.
PISCES: The world will not be coming to an end, so you’ll need to find something else to feel guilty about.
In the meantime: keep coming back here and I’ll keep bringing the blog entries. I’ll survive the Comet ISON Apocalypse just fine: I made myself a new hat out of fresh tinfoil!