Posted by: Johan Normark | September 18, 2009

2012: Playboy and the apocalypse as seen from the viewpoint of the porn industry

In early June I created a post concerning the website Apocalypse porn. Little did I know back then that the porn industry itself would be attracted to the 2012 circus (maybe I was prophetic in my own way). One of the most reputable porn magazines in the world is Playboy (note the sense of irony here). They have an online article called Apocalypse 2012.

The article begins (as expected) with false information: “According to ancient Mayan prophecies, the world will end three short years from now. Earthquakes, pestilence and revolution will bring humanity to its knees.” There are no ancient Maya prophecies that tell of such events. However, there are plenty of hoaxers and fear mongers claiming this to be the case. Playboy buys into this and says “Never mind that reputable scholars insist the Mayans attached no particular apocalyptic meaning to 2012. It was merely the end of their calendar. And never mind the absurdity of the idea that some mysterious Mayan priest could accurately predict what would happen 2,000 years in the future.” Here again, it is argued that the calendar ends (which of course is not true). The last line is also revealing. When pressed on the issue, most hoaxers will agree that no ancient “Mayan priest” could predict events millennia into the future. Instead, they put forward an avalanche of supposedly scientific facts that anyhow all relates to the December 21, 2012 date. Instead we find the common alternative explanation that goes something like this, as told by Playboy: “The 2012 movement would be easy to dismiss as pseudo-mystical mumbo jumbo if it weren’t for the disturbing real-world trends that inform the less fanciful predictions of bad times ahead: catastrophic climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, financial collapse, swine flu, peak oil, peak food. This is the everyday fodder of CNN and Newsweek, not science fiction or religious fantasy. Home prices have declined almost 33 percent since their peak in 2006, and the unemployment rate in America is the worst it has been since 1983. When you add the specter of nuclear-armed religious fanatics, who wouldn’t be a bit anxious about what’s coming down the cosmic sewer pipe?” Indeed, these are events occurring now. We have experienced severe flues, financial collapses, terrorism, war, climate change, and food shortages before. Often these come together on a global scale. The world did not end before and it will not end this time either.

Playboy is right that “In the past few years a growing number of citizens across the globe—survivalists, conspiracy theorists, alternative religion seekers, former military officers, UFO buffs, hard-core Bible-thumpers, ordinary housewives who,post-Katrina, don’t trust the government to save their loved ones if a disaster occurs—have become fixated on December 21, 2012 as EOTWAWKI (“end of the world as we know it”).” However, few of these apparently have any education in either Maya studies or in basic science. Neither has the author of the Playboy article. We are told that “The Mayan civilization, a sophisticated culture of temples and cities that flourished in what is now Mexico, mysteriously collapsed around the ninth century.” It was not all about temples and it did not mysteriously collapse (in my view we have never had a Maya “culture”, but that is beyond the scope of this post). The causes are known, but there is no consensus among researchers as to if there were prime movers (climate, war, deforestation, etc) or if there were just different scenarios in different parts of the Maya area.  

Anyhow, the article shows that there are plenty of people trying to cash in on the 2012 circus. Apart from a multitude of books on the topic, Emmerich’s movie, there is also “A cottage industry of small companies that supply products to 2012ers […] offering everything from bullets to backup generators to full-size bunkers (such as a $36,000 six-person bargain-basement underground bomb shelter, complete with a nuclear, biological and chemical filtering system, which a Virginia Beach company called Hardened Structures offers to deliver and install anywhere in the U.S.). In May the Associated Press reported that suppliers of survivalist gear and military surplus stores nationwide had seen as much as a 50 percent rise in business in recent months. One survivalist told the AP that the website of his consulting business—which teaches newcomers emergency preparedness—had seen a threefold increase in traffic in the past 14 months.”

Robert Bast, who runs the popular 2012 forum (where I on occasion try to inform people about the inconsistencies’ in the 2012 phenomenon), is interviewed in the article. I have long suspected that the 2012 phenomenon primarily is American centered. He confirms this in the interview: “Most of our members are Americans, and most of them seem to be Christians of one degree or another,” says Bast. “We get people on our site from all over the world, but in terms of the area most represented, that would be the Bible Belt, USA, easily.” Ooouch.  I have been debating with one of them (David Jay Jordan). Unashamedly they tend to reveal their ignorant and ethnocentric views of the world. Further, the article says that “The death of millions of people and the total destruction of civilization as we know it is welcomed as the fulfillment of ancient biblical prophecy, just as it is for 2012ers. (Interestingly, some Mormons believe the Mayan snake god Quetzalcoatl is Jesus Christ visiting the New World after his resurrection.)”

Towards the end Playboy says that “The good news is that eschatological predictions always turn out to be bunk. Thus far, at least. Remember the hordes of yuppies who bought up half of Whole Foods in preparation for Y2K, another mass panic sparked by nothing more dangerous than a date in time, a turn of the calendar? Every decade has its own vision of the end of the world. And that’s the beauty of the doomsday business.” The author of the article probably does not buy into the 2012 stuff but he leaves the door open.

I guess we have to wait and see what Hustler has to say about this before we can make up our plans for 2012. Now that the Bible belt is sucked up in the [pagan] 2012 circus we can understand why Playboy and the porn industry are being attracted to this nonevent. Their unifying purpose is to spread the disease and here I quote Queensryche’s dystopic song Spreading the disease:

“Religion and sex are powerplays, Manipulate the people for the money they pay, Selling skin, selling god, The numbers look the same on their credit cards.”

Advertisements

Responses

  1. “I guess we have to wait and see what Hustler has to say about this before we can make up our plans for 2012.”

    Ha!

    That’s my favorite line of the post!

    It’s only going to get better you know. Maybe we should ditch anthropology & archaeology and get into the selling-doomsday-products biz instead? Maybe we can find some old Y2K shit for cheap on Ebay and put 2012 stickers on it and sell it at a huge profit…

    Just an idea.

  2. Yes, I will sell my old guns, ammunition and cans (the expiration date is way beyond both doomsdays). But then I will have no supplies or arms of my own. Damn, that is a tricky situation.

  3. Hmmm…. Of all magazines…playboy? haha that in itself makes me laugh. I am a Christian and I do believe in Revelations. However, 2012….no I don’t think that is “the end of the world”.
    It’s crazy some of the stuff people are saying. The fact that playboy is on the bandwagon is just hilarious. I don’t think the Mayan Calendar has much to do with anything. People are just trying to cash in on this crazy rumor others have come up with. Honestly, yes the world is bad in some ways , but it is not NEARLY as bad as some make it out to be. People are crazy. 2012 should be an entertaining year…. XD

    thewheverblog.blogspot.com

  4. I guess Playboy just want to sell issues, but so do most of the people involved in the 2012 circus. I must confess that my blog also benefits from the circus since these posts attract most readers…

    No, the world will not become a better place if we are to follow the suggestions of the fear mongers. I look forward to 2012 in many ways, but the end of the year will be quite interesting.

  5. It’s interesting that even the porn industry would buy into this. I think nowadays , mass paranoia is not surprising., It happens everywhere. There are so many desperate people trying to make ends meet. I would not be surprise if the end of the world is brought about not by supernatural or cosmic stuff but people themselves.

    • Probably, but I guess it will not occur in 2012.

  6. johan!

    you can’t sell ALL of your guns. you need to leave yourself at least an AK-47 and an M-16. Plus, duct tape and some books for reading in your bomb shelter.

    Top Ramen is the best food to have on hand as well.

    Sell all the rest.

    • Thanks man. I got a good deal for my bazooka. I can now buy more books from Amazon.com (I tried to buy some ammunition as well but I could not find it on the website).

      Postapocalyptic archaeology here I come!

  7. I absolutely love this post. So how are you receive when you try to debunk and educate the “omg! 2012 will end the world” crowd on that forum?

  8. Some are quite hostile and others can admit that they may have overinterpreted parts of the pseudoscientific material. It is a spectrum of opinions.

  9. Hey Johan,

    I know this is an old post, but I couldn’t help enjoy reading it.

    I also went to the 2012 site you linked. http://2012forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20376

    People are still so stuck on the ice age as being the last pole shift….and that this True Polar Wander happened in less then a day. I’d love to see you reply to those pseudoscientist!

  10. I have decided to limit my comments on that forum to issues concerning the Maya and archaeology. I have also had debates with some of these people before and I will not waste my time on them in other parts of the forum Wirelessguru1, for example, pretty much believe that world described in Matrix is how it really is. You cannot really have a meaningful discussion with such people.

  11. Yea,

    Talking scientifically with some of those folks is like jumping out of a plane without parachute….it just leads to a lot of pain and heartache.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: