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Idle Science

Apocalypse Tourism: Where To Celebrate Doomsday? 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "December 21, 2012 marks the end of the current cycle of the Mayan 'Long Count' calendar. And while this has had some fearful types preparing for the end of the world, others have been preparing to travel. The Mexican government is expecting 52 million tourists as part of their "Mundo Maya 2012," campaign to visit the five regions — Chiapas, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Campeche, over the next 12 months. So, if you're wondering where to spend the last tourist dollars you'll have as a breathing human being or just want to see the looks on those faces when December 21 comes and goes uneventfully, President Felipe Calderon hopes you'll choose Mexico."
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Apocalypse Tourism: Where To Celebrate Doomsday?

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  • by bonch (38532) * on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:49PM (#38520918)

    I'll spend it in the Y2K vault I built the last time the world ended.

    • by jhoegl (638955) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:01PM (#38521032)
      I was thinking, with all the "drug wars" going on in Mexico, visiting there may be the end of the world for some people.
      A Y2K bunker, Cuban Missile Crisis bunker, or hole in the ground would be safer.
      • by skids (119237)

        I was thinking the place of origin of a doomsday prophecy would be exactly where you would not want to be.

        • by mikael (484)

          It would be the luck of those 52 million tourists to visit the same mountain peak at the same time, only to have it suddenly explode as a volcano.

        • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:05PM (#38521572) Homepage Journal

          ... the place of origin of a doomsday prophecy would be exactly where you would not want to be.

          Do we know where this "doomsday prophecy" actually originated? I'd think it wasn't likely in Mexico, because there are lots of people there who understand the Mayan calendar). And they understand that all that'll happen next December 21 is that the first digit of the year will increase by 1 (and the rest of the digits will reset to 0). That is, it'll be about as big a doomsday as Y2K was.

          It seems more likely that this "doomsday" was generated by someone with no understanding at all of the Mayan calendar. Either that, or they were your typical charlatan trying to scare people for personal profit. (Actually, that sort of person is easy enough to find in Mexico. ;-)

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            Either that, or they were your typical charlatan trying to scare people for personal profit. (Actually, that sort of person is easy enough to find in Mexico. ;-)

            Yeah, I know. Mexico is a heavily Catholic country. You can't walk two blocks without bumping into a priest.

            • Yeah, I know. Mexico is a heavily Catholic country. You can't walk two blocks without bumping into a priest.

              They hang out at Starbucks?

        • by digitig (1056110)
          It isn't the place of origin of a doomsday prophesy. There was no Mayan doomsday prophesy, and the Mayan long count has rolled over before without the world ending. No, it's just a calendar rollover like new year and the millennium. Rarer than a new year, not as rare as a millennium, so it should be a decent-sized party but not huge.
      • by billstewart (78916) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @02:41AM (#38523388) Journal

        Yes, if you go up to Juarez or some other border town, start flashing around lots of cash, and tell people you're trying to get into the wholesale import/export business, there are many people who will consider you to be a target and others who will consider you to be DEA bait because nobody'd be that stupid otherwise.

        But the Maya region is the far other end of the country, there's very little gang activity, and the Zapatista rebellion has been quiet for years as well. Sure, there are pickpockets and corrupt cops*, so you'll have to think about which pocket to carry your cash in (:-), but basically you'll be fine. Chichen Itza is stunning, and you want to go there, as well as Tulum or some of the sites farther south. Merida and some of the other colonial towns are really cool, though I'd recommend not planning a trip for mid-summer (too hot) or hurricane season. Cancun has endless supplies of beaches, margaritas, and tourist traps if you want that kind of vacation, but there's also some Mexican or Mayan culture around there if you look for it.

        * ( A friend of mine went there back in the late 90s, and drove into Merida about 4am. The bad part of having cops pull him over to extort a bribe was having to pay them $40; the good part was having them give him a lights-blinking escort through town because it was easier than explaining the directions to his hotel.)

    • by fartrader (323244)

      With all those Twinkies - still Fresh!

      • by Whiteox (919863)

        lol I just found out a few days ago that they are banned in Australia due to their benzene content :)

        • lol I just found out a few days ago that they are banned in Australia due to their benzene content :)

          That's too bad. Otherwise Mad Max could squeeze them for fuel after the apocalypse.

    • When the sirens go, duck and cover!
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:53PM (#38520954)

    Sounds like a perfect one off opportunity for Mexico to take advantage and make some wonderful tourist dollars off an event they are not going to have again. I wouldn't have ever thought of using this event as a way to get tourists into a country, but hey, with all the TV shows about it constantly being shown, I guess it was only a matter of time before ads started screening during them saying "Hey, come to this place for when the nworld ends!".

    Smart marketing if you ask me.

    • by jd (1658)

      They will have it again, but as the Mayans added an extra digit every time the clock reset, it won't be for a very long time.

    • Well, I "could have predicted" this, it is indeed savvy to fix a few holes in the economy with a few tourist (Your Currency Here.)

      I am a quiet fan of New Age. These books were coming out in 2006. So here we are.
      Trouble is, it "jut might be" the end if all the bad trends explode!

      Far as I can tell, there's no subsequent compelling meme AFTER this when (not if!) we all survive with the same dullness as Y2K. Sux o be a new age writer then!!

  • and I had thought to take a cruise ship down to Mexico around then, but changed our minds after we realized how many people would be down there. We'll probably just stay home and watch end of the world movies for a week instead.
  • How? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cirby (2599) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:55PM (#38520970)

    How in the heck to you expect me to celebrate an apocalypse while I'm working so hard to arrange it?

    Working holidays can suck, but this one will be well worth it.

    • I've always wanted to get into the apocalypse-business and figured that if I'll miss this one, I might not get another chance. I've dabbled a bit and can present my mediocre Evil Genius [wikipedia.org] skills as a proof of my hobbyism. I've also caused the demise of many promising heroes, through activity known as "Dungeon Mastering".

      • I've always wanted to get into the apocalypse-business and figured that if I'll miss this one, I might not get another chance.

        Don't be silly; there will always be another apocalypse. I think we've had two from the same profit^w prophet this year.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:55PM (#38520978) Homepage
    The best dates will be the 22-24th, and the best places will be shopping malls all over the world. I mean, I figure these people aren't going to be doing Christmas shopping until the last minute!
  • after the cubs win the party may just last all of NOV.

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      after the cubs win the party may just last all of NOV.

      Although not as apocalyptic as a Cubs world series win, Van Halen announced they would be touring in 2012 with David Lee Roth.

  • by fullmetal55 (698310) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:03PM (#38521046)
    the end of the world is a week after it's release. It's only fair that I'll be watching it when the world ends.
    • by stms (1132653)

      the end of the world is a week after it's release. It's only fair that I'll be watching it when the world ends.

      I'll already have seen that I'll be watching Judd Atapows movie which comes out the night of the apocalypse.

  • The scary thing is (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:03PM (#38521060)

    I remember when 1999 turned the clock to 2000. At the time there was a bunch of Christian fundamentalists arrested in Israel, who were of the mindset that it was the time of the apocalypse, and if it didn't happen "naturally", then they were sure going to help it along.

    This is the sort of thinking that scares me.

    • by jd (1658)

      There have been such sects throughout history, but the extreme religious radicalization and right-wing shifts globally make this a particularly dangerous apocalyptic prediction. I don't think that any will succeed in causing global mayhem, but I don't recommend hanging out with any fundamentalists that particular day - regardless of religion. (Mind you, I don't recommend hanging out with fundamentalists at all, but if there's a day they're likely to be dangerous on then that will be it.)

      More realistically,

      • by Empiric (675968) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:58PM (#38521968) Homepage

        You are aware that Mayan religious belief and Fundamentalist Christian belief are two entirely unrelated worldviews, and neither would take the other's predictions as authoritative, right?

        I'm just wondering how you would arrive at the notion that Fundamentalists are going to think 2012 is the end because Mayan "paganism" says so.

        • by Nimey (114278)

          You're laboring under the misimpression that fundies are necessarily rational. Not all fundies (probably a large majority won't) will go crazy over this 2012 doomsday prediction, but I guarantee you there will be some more mentally disordered ones who /will/, and who will be citing their Bibles the whole way.

          It's not like we've never had some Christian fundies get into a mass hysteria and decide that the world would end at a certain date; it's happened many times in the USA since it was founded (at least 3

      • You seem to have a misapprehension of what a religious fundamentalist is. Since the first group of Fundamentalists was a Christian group, their self-definition is a a good starting place to the use of the term. Fundamentalism is at its root a belief in the "inerrancy" of the religion's scripture generally with an understanding that that scripture is literally true. Since the Mayan prophecies are not part of the scripture of any currently practiced religion with any significant number of adherents, it seems
    • This is the sort of thinking that scares me.

      Awww, your first "there are potentially-murderous nutjobs out there." That is so cute!

    • Their end of the world day, X-Day, was July 5, 1998. So what do they do since that came and went? Why do it again every year of course! X-Day XIV happened this year.

      No reason you can't have an end of the world celebration every year... At least if you are willing to have some fun with it :).

    • I read you post further down thread and followed the link and looked up information on other sites about this group. No evidence was ever presented that the group had any intention of "helping" the start of Armageddon along. The accusation was made and the group was deported, but the Israeli government presented no evidence to support the allegation, such as weapons seized from the group (neither did any other governments). Spokespeople for the group deny that they had any intention of initiating any violen
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:19PM (#38521170) Homepage Journal
    I mean if the world is going to end, it makes sense to spend the last moments on earth enjoying earthly delights, i.e. hookers and blow, both of which can be found in spades in Mexico. And hey, if the world doesn't end, you can celebrate your new lease on life with what else, hookers and blow. Perfect!
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      But how will you know when the last few moments are, when the calendar ends on a day, not an hour, a minute or a second, and also we don't know if it ends at sunrise, sunset, or what. Also, what to do about the fact that no matter what time it ends, somebody is either going to be cheated because it is not yet the 21st, or somebody else is going to get extra because it is already the 22nd.
      Clearly, the Mayans didn't think this through. Of course, the fact that their civilization cratered is good evidence tha
      • Hookers and blow from dawn till dusk, that way you won't have to worry about when exactly the world ends, as your heart will burst before it comes anyway.
  • I'm planning to go to the US. But my trip is scheduled to after the world ends, so if I don't go, have a nice ending you all.

  • You are pretty much guaranteed an earthquake there.

  • How's that indigenous post-modern anti neo-liberal revolution by the Zapatistas in Chiapas coming along?

    Haven't heard much in the news lately and the site(s?) seems to be completely in Spanish.

    http://www.ezln.org.mx/ [ezln.org.mx]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:36PM (#38521302)

    The whole 2012 thing all started as a joke. Michael Coe (one of the world's top Mayanists) noticed that the calander ran out in 2012. In one of his papers, he put s footnote to the effect of: "Perhaps it is the end of the world." That is where this whole thing started from.

    I get to work with a number of Mayan groups for my chocolate factory (Amano Artisan Chocolate) who grow some of our cocoa beans. Every group that I have had the opportunity to work with has told me that they see life and the calander as cycles. Given that, they don't see it as the end of the world so much as the beginning of a new cycle. They don't see it as the end of the world at all. It is really humorous to see folks in the "modern" world taking this end of the world thing far more seriously than the Mayan groups I work with.

    Just a point of note, these native Mayan groups are composed of some really wonderful people. If you ever get a chance to go down to Mayan territory and are able to get away from the tourist haunts and into the more remote areas, I highly recommend it.
     

    • by cusco (717999)
      Did some research years ago on the Mayan calendar, and one thing that struck me was the LACK of endings. Everything involved the meshings of cycles within cycles, the emphasis on the beginning and end of something is much more a European construct. (made-up example) If the day Seven Hawk of one calendar happened to coincide with the day Seven Fish of another calendar or Seven Hawk were to coincide with Three Hawk it would have far more significance than the end of one of the cycles.
    • by geekmux (1040042)

      The whole 2012 thing all started as a joke. Michael Coe (one of the world's top Mayanists) noticed that the calander ran out in 2012. In one of his papers, he put s footnote to the effect of: "Perhaps it is the end of the world." That is where this whole thing started from...

      Yeah, and oddly enough, Scientology started out as a science fiction novel...ain't it amazing what people will believe when you wrap organized religion around damn near anything?

      • That is not correct. While Scientology was founded by a science fiction author, there is significant evidence that he was a complete nutjob who actually believed the stuff he preached (although that is open to debate). What is clear is that he carried the manuscript that became the founding documents of Scientology around in the trunk of his car and acted like a classic paranoid about it.
  • Well, duh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:15PM (#38521678)

    I'm going to spend it the same way I spent the last eight apocalypses - standing near the eastern edge of my time zone to see what happens on the other side. Then I'll have 59 minutes to decide whether to head for a church or a whorehouse.

  • thats when Quetzalcoatl eats planet earth as if it was a BonBon

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatl [wikipedia.org]
  • by wisebabo (638845) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:39PM (#38522298) Journal

    Well, I WISH I could be there for the end. Seriously, they've gotta have the best seats in the house for a global (but not universe wide) apocalypse. I wonder if NASA (or the Ruskies) have arranged for at least one of the astronauts to be a young fertile female. That way, the earth can be repopulated!

    Anyway, since I'm going to be earthbound the bar "Apocalypse" in Saigon is good place to meet some (very!) bad girls for my last night on earth. Or perhaps even more dangerous would be the "Heart of Darkness" (the Joseph Conrad book which Apocalypse Now was based on) bar in Phnom Penh. Its close proximity to the "Killing Fields" (4 million dead Cambodians) would mean you'd be very quickly overrun if the apocalypse included the undead coming back.

  • I've always wondered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by glwtta (532858) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:47PM (#38522348) Homepage
    Do these people also believe that our calendars are predicting the world will end in 9999?
  • Is there any evidence that anyone really thinks the world will end? As near as I can tell, most people find it somewhat entertaining. A few people are trying to exploit it without really believing in it (the government of Mexico, the people behind the recent movie, some New Age authors). So... does anyone actually believe this crap?

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