John Major Jenkins, one of the main figures involved in the 2012 phenomenon, has recently posted his review of David Stuart’s book The Order of Days. I have not read the book yet but here I will comment on Jenkins’s review. I recognize that there are differences between various 2012ers and Jenkins is without a doubt the one who knows the Maya stuff best. He is not as easy to reject as people like Calleman. I have, honestly, no major problems with archaeoastronomy as such but I see it as widely exaggerated in importance. Jenkins’s review shows how personal it can get.
Jenkins does not like Stuart’s book at all since it does not discuss astronomy to any greater extent and particularly Jenkins own galactic alignment version. The review is primarily written as a defense of Jenkins own ideas, how misunderstood he is, how hard his life has been, how he has devoted his life to the task of exposing this major phenomenon, how horrible and elitist academics are that sit in their ivory tower, etc. He blames Stuart for prejudice but the review is so full of prejudice against Maya academica that just one quote will show the “essence” of the review: “This unfortunately reveals a rather ugly underbelly of elitism in the Ivory Tower of Maya academia, which I suspect is populated by a preponderance (or at least a loud minority) of atheists who have personal problems with spirituality. This reflex is the same irrational and judgmental tendency that warps the mind of the racist, who harbors unconscious hate for selected demographics of humanity.” This is the usual prejudice against atheism that attempts to indirectly associate it with racism. Most racism that prevails today comes from religious people (or perhaps they are not “spiritual” since I suspect Jenkins dislike organized religions as well). Jenkins desperately wants the attention and respect from the Mayanists and that they treat his ideas (good luck after this review). In another blog post about an article written by Jenkins I noted that he calls the Classic period Maya corrupted and decadent (ethnocentric prejudice anyone?). Maybe more prejudice in his Black Boxed theory will be revealed if we open it? I can give you another example from his review. He associates Stuart with a materialist outlook. I suspect that Jenkins has a limited understanding of the various forms of materialism that exist. Materialism is simply an idealism with a realist alibi.
Jenkins states that Stuart neglects important data. Well, Jenkins does that himself. Maybe he should not refer too much to Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod’s article. That article in no way supports Jenkins’s idea that the Long Count ends on December 21, 2012. They write that the Long Count would continue into 14 Baktun. They do, however, state that the 13 Baktun date was important at Tortuguero (but that was far more of local importance). I do not know why Stuart did not include the results from their article in his book but in one of my posts on the article, Stanley Guenter gives us some hints of why this may be so. Many epigraphers simply disagree with Gronemeyer and MacLeod’s readings of eroded glyphs. Of course, such “materialist” concerns as the state of preservation of glyphs in stone is of little issue when you focus on transcendent Maya metaphysics.
Nowhere in his review does Jenkins refer to Aldana’s recent critique of the GMT correlation. Jenkins argue that many contemporary Maya epigraphers dislike astronomy or that they do not know it too well (I prefer epigraphers who actually can read and decipher the glyphs rather than those people who make connections between recorded dates from the currently prevailing correlation constant in order to find links to celestial bodies). However, Aldana knows both glyphs and astronomy and perhaps that is why Jenkins chose not to mention him here. One of Jenkins’s main arguments is that it cannot be pure coincidence that the 13 Baktun date ends on a solstice. If the correlation constant is at least 60 days off, as Aldana said already in 2001, than this is indeed a coincidence.
I see Jenkins’s review as the result of how you react when you have devoted decades to a single idea and exaggerated its importance (and in that process also exaggerated your own personal importance). No, Stuart or other Mayanists are not “threatened” by the 2012 phenomenon. We are just tired of it. Jenkins is the one who is threatened and his review is a splendid testimony of this.