Once the media cycle has stopped obsessing over and vomiting up words about November 6, it can resume freaking out about December 21, the so-called end of the Mayan calendar. (Remember that?)
Meanwhile, currently existing Mayans are calling bullshit on the authors, filmmakers, and gurus cashing in on the doomsday fetish:
"We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles," charged Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop.
But end-of-the-worlders will not be deterred! The hot action on the big day will be in two tiny towns, one in France and one in Turkey, that will supposedly survive the eschatological crisis because aliens (or something) are slumbering in nearby mountains and will wake up to save the chosen few. The hordes have already begun to descend:
A tourism manager in the village, Engin Vatan, said the village had not received foreign guests between Dec. 15 and 31 in past years but this year was different. “Reservations have been continuing since the beginning of the year. We have never had foreign guests during the Christmas holiday, but this year we have guests from all around the world. Almost all the rooms in the village have been sold,” he said.
The towns' mayors seem split between enjoying the tourist attention and worrying about crazies, chaos, and mass suicides. "I don't want to tell anyone how to live," the French mayor said to a German newspaper, "but when hundreds of people storm our village, we won't be able to guarantee public safety anymore."
Hopefully, some publication with means will send a kick-ass feature writer to one of those villages for a few weeks of anthropological journalism about what happens when a tiny town becomes a global magnet for doomsday zanies. I want to know what that looks, sounds, and smells like on the days before, the day of, and (most importantly) the day after.