According to the Mayan calendar, the 21 of December is the end of the non-time and the beginning of time. It is the end of hatred and the beginning of love, the end of lies and beginning of truth.~~Bolivian President Evo Morales
When I woke up Friday morning, there was no snow on the ground, and the world hadn’t come to an end. As December 21, 2012 rolled on, still nothing. The snow was easily explained by over enthusiastic weather teams at Chicago’s news stations. As for the end of the world–not, I decided to do a little investigation of what this Mayan Calendar was all about.
As it turns out, it’s unlikely the ancient Mayan’s thought December 21, 2012 was going to be the last day of life on the planet Earth. Mayans thought about time in terms of suns. This past Friday, to them, marked the shift from the fifth sun to the sixth sun. It’s supposed to mean change, not death. The good news, if you believe it, is that the sixth sun is an age of clarity and justice.
Ok, a lot of you might be thinking, Ellen’s lost it– she’s got the kittens writing her blog posts now. But, no–I don’t think we need to worship ancient Mayan gods, or sit around with a bunch of crystals waiting for a new age to happens. I do think we can create a new age, however, and I see signs of hope.
The first sign for me was the Supreme Court’s upholding the Affordable Care Act. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they did it for any good reason. I think that the insurance companies told their friends in the Supreme Court wing of the Republican Party that they sort of liked that mandate that forces people to purchase their high priced product. However, they also showed signs of not wanting to take the limited benefits of the ACA away. Perhaps Republicans are afraid of violating their two Santa Clause theory. The corporate Republicans beat out the Tea Party. Not much, but it’s a start.
The second sign was the decline of the Tea Party and the results of the 2012 election. We had a rare national moment of clarity when Mitt Romney and a slew of other Republicans went down in flames. Tea Party candidates, including Bob Dold, lost, and the Republican Tea Party Senate candidates saved the Democratic Senate for 2013. The results indicate that people are starting to distrust the whole trickle down/fake freedom thing. Other election signs of the new age included expanding rights in many states for the LGBT community and relaxed pot laws.
The third sign unfortunately came out of tragedy, and is a very mixed signal, but there is some hope. The horrible Sandy Hook shooting has revived the national call for gun control. It even caused the right-wing-nut Governor of Michigan to veto a guns in the schools bill. I imagine that for all his bluster, he doesn’t want to be that guy who created the situation for another tragedy. Yes, a lot of these people know pushing guns on everyone is wrong, even as they support it.
The takeaway is that gun control discussion had become taboo, but now everyone is talking about it. Even some Republicans see the need to talk and many NRA members want to see some laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Sadly, the elementary shooting also also sparked record sales of guns. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA got a large amount of news coverage calling for a gun solution to the gun problem. He was criticized and protested, but got his beware of the boogeyman point across. However, his solution is untenable and unsustainable, and everyone knows it. There aren’t enough of those gun-laden good guys around for every school door and window, not the mention the malls and movie theaters. Not everyone can shoot well, even with training, and no one wants to give up the freedom of going out and about. The NRA, and their bought and paid for politicians, might win the first few rounds on gun control, but they won’t win in the end. They might even join the Tea Party in bringing the Republican Party back to reality, or bringing it down completely.
A holiday sign of a dawning new age–yes there is one. The annual war on Christmas isn’t going so well this year. The primary warriors have lost their allure, Fox and Friends fake Santa interview was stupid, they used a dubious Santa-for hire, and many are realizing that the real Scrooges are not atheists homosexuals or liberals, but giant corporations sucking every hour they can out of beleaguer employees.
My final sign of a new dawn is about scientific discovery. Many in this country have rejected science for religion. There are currently existing religious-based school books that tell children that no one knows where electricity comes from. But, not everyone has rejected science. The realities of global climate change makes it a lot harder for people to argue that it doesn’t exist. We landed a rover on Mars, and continue to learn about the galaxy. There have also been further discoveries in genetics. The Higgs Boson discovery helps explain things about the universe, and ourselves, that were previously only explained by religion.
I don’t think there’s anything magical about December 21, 2012, and I don’t think a new age just sprouts up from nothing, but I do think we can make an age of clarity and justice happen. We have to keep working at it, spreading logical argument and truth. We cannot allow false equivalencies to go unchallenged, and we cannot be intimidated into silence. We can create a new age, or we can go with that Oreo Cookie meme.