Buy Now (Because It's Never Too Late!)
Purchase your copy of the hilarious 2012 Doomsday Planner, the datebook that spoofs end-time predictions and the Mayans' mystical calendar.
Available at Amazon.com –– click on the links to the right –– or at Barnes & Noble.com:
Deluxe Full-Color Edition
Stinko de Maya
The significance of Cinco de Mayo to the Mayans would have been based on its numerological roots. Just as the number five has meaning to the modern mixocologist –– a fifth is a US measurement of alcohol equivalent to 25.6 shots –– so, too, did their tipsy forbears honor the fifth day of the month by measuring out the tallest cup of mezcal with their fingers. On the first day of the month, the liquor was poured to a pinky's depth, the second day the thumb was used, then the ring finger, then the index finger, and, finally the middle digit, stretched to its utmost length.
Even for the short-fingered Mayans, this fifth afforded a potent shot, and the liquid courage it imparted led directly to the wiggling of the middle digit defiantly at any and all perceived enemies. This practice was passed down from woozy generation to woozy generation and can still be seen today at many bars and cantinas after the consumption of sufficient quantities of the distilled essence of the agave plant.
To accompany your perfect margarita in celebration of Cinco de Mayo we offer the following lore from the 2012 Doomsday Planner:
The Guacamole Creation Myth
While bringing avocados to a feast, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god, bumps into G’wok, god of side dishes, who is bringing the salsa. They knock each other down, dropping everything.
G’wok: Hey! You got avocado on my minced red onion, serrano chiles, cilantro leaves, lemon or lime juice, salt, dash of black pepper and half-a- tomato!
Quetzalcoatl: Oh, yeah! You got minced red onion, serrano chiles, cilantro leaves, lemon or lime juice, salt, dash of black pepper and half-a-tomato on my smashed avocados!
G’wok: Hmmm, this tastes pretty good...
Better Read Than Dead
This past weekend we were at MoCCA Fest 2012, gathering further evidence of the coming apocalypse even as we tried to provide aid and comfort to the victims-to-be by selling them copies of our 2012 Doomsday Planner (along with INX Battle Lines: Three Decades of Political Art and Gertrude's Follies.) The Fest was held in New York City, which is sure to be one of the first targets of catastrophe whether it be by giant reptile on vacation from Japan, tsunami, nuclear attack, bee swarm, or a revolt of the panhandlers.
Based on what we saw at the bustling Lexington Avenue Armory (where many of these poor souls will be herded once the first fireball descends on Central Park), there seemed to already be an advance guard of alien life forms paving the way for our extinction. These young humanoid creatures, sported magenta and cerulean locks, were decorated with arcane markings on their skin which was pierced in various tender places, spouted indecipherable gibberish and displayed angst-ridden art that made one actually pine for the end of the world. Some sprouted faerie wings, others bizarre headgear and there were, of course, zombies.
We were lucky enough to be seated next the nicest of these shambling monsters, an extremely well-mannered and considerate representative from –– where else –– Canada. Mullet the Zombie Clown (visit memullet.com) was there to host a live late-night talk show at a local club, and to spread good cheer to the doomed. Kind of like us.
The second most jittery Mayan demi-god, after Ko'ka, "king of the land where the white winds blow", was Mo'ka, patron of baristas and overachievers. At the end of April, the city-state of Palenque (Bàak' in Modern Maya) held a festival celebrating Mo'ka and the magical beans that gave him his superhuman energy. The three-day fest featured 24-hour seminars on multi-tasking, jazzy ocarina music, demonstrations to free Wi'Fi, patron of misanthropes, and absolutely no sleep.
Coincedentally, on this Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th, the wired one's namesake, MoCCA, is holding it's Fest 2012 at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City (bet. 25th & 26th Streets.) Though many marvel that the initials of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art should be pronounced Mo'ka –– surely a snider Mocker or the Yiddish for big shot, Macher, would fit better –– this celebration of all things cartoonistic will draw the authors of 2012 Doomsday Planner to its halls.
L.K. Peterson and Martin Kozlowski will be signing copies of the book at the Now What Media Table B22, all the way in the back right corner, from 11am until 6pm both days. Please come by and say Ba’ax ka wa’alik.
That Sinking Sensation!
April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
The Mayans had nothing to say about this overworked metaphor for man's hubris/cautionary tale about the immutable power of nature/warnings about sailing directly into icebergs in the middle of the night — but Nostradamus did.
Recently discovered manuscripts are believed to contain the master prognosticator's visions of the luxury liner's tragic fate 400 years in advance. Persnickety scholars have dismissed the writing's authenticity based solely on the fact that, instead of Nostradamus' usual enigmatic quatrains, these shipwreck-themed ditties are in haiku, the terse, seventeen syllable-based Japanese poetry.
We would remind those who might fixate on the point that haiku was unknown in 16th century France — and therefore presumably unknown to Nostradamus — that this guy predicted everything from Napolean (or maybe Stalin or Hitler), the Y2K bug to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, so channeling a poetic form from a few thousand miles away is something he could do while making himself a sandwich (and, given his prophetic abilities, making a sandwich 200 years before the Earl of Sandwich invented them would also not have been any big deal).
However, even among those who allow that Nostradamus did pen these works and was just "mixing it up a bit," there is debate over whether they foretell the sinking of the actual RMS Titanic, James Cameron's movie Titanic, the 3D rerelease of James Cameron's movie Titanic, or Speed II: Cruise Control.
Judge for yourself from the examples below. If these don't bring a chill to your spine you must live someplace where it's already warm enough in mid-April to go out without a sweater.
Paupers and princes
Hubris saileth unto doom
Their hearts won't go on
Ark of empire's sweep
Frigid water knows not rank
Neptune has company
Tragedy plus time
Plus special effects equals
Maya Foolish Heart
The average Mayan liked a good practical joke as much as the next mesoamerican. As the temperatures grew milder in the Spring –– after the grueling 82 degree days of Winter –– frisky Mayans looked for ways to have fun at the expense of their neighbors.
In honor of a local king named L'No, a day that fell near our own April 1st was set aside for the making of mischief and the pulling of pranks. L'No, easily recognized by his Peacock Headdress and massive jaw, appointed himself "Lord of Laughter", but most of his subjects agreed that he was about as funny as a rubber war axe.
Typical gags included the Human Sacrifice Switcheroo, where the priestly cutup would "accidentally" miss the chest with his razor-sharp blade, instead removing a relatively harmless length of large intestine, allowing the sacrificee to walk away shaken, but with his heart still in the right place. Another favorite was the Exploding Quill Pen that Mayans handed to Spaniards when they were ready to sign orders for mass executions. Other pranksters would nail a gold coin to a tree stump outside the tent of conquistadors as they partied heavily into the night –– the efforts of the drunken soldiers trying to pick up the "loose change" were said to be side-splitting.
Mischeivous Mayans would often send a lowly messenger to the local cocoa merchant to inquire if he had Ek Chuah –– God of Cocoa and a popular brand name for the product –– in a pouch. When he replied "Yes," the messenger was to yell, "Then, let him out," and run away. Somewhat nastier youths would place a bag filled with especially poisonous scorpions on their teacher's doorstep, set it afire, and hide nearby to watch as the startled pedagogue's efforts to stamp out the flames led to excrutiating stings, paralysis and death.
Hail and Farewell to the Chief
On Presidents Day (or is it President's? Presidents'? Damned apostrophe!) we celebrate the single greatest quality shared by the most revered leaders in our history–– the abilty to sell foreign-made automobiles. Let us take this opportunity to reflect upon one of the most magnificent of the Mayan majesties with this excerpt from the 2012 Doomsday Planner:
Every sizable Mayan city-state had its own king.
These hereditary monarchs had reins that tended to be, like their lives and tempers, nasty, brutish and short.
Among the most notable or notorious:
A’b: This early Mayan king was renowned for his honesty and was so beloved by his subjects that his image adorns the glyph symbolizing the winter month of his birth.
He was assassinated during the traditional Our Mayan Cousin pageant –– which received decidedly mixed reviews –– by a disgruntled actor jealous of his enormous headgear.
Have a Heart
Here are some Romantic Notionsfor your final V-Day direct from the
2012 Doomsday Planner:
• Have your chakras aligned, your auras synchronized and your colons irrigated.
• Get intimate tattoos –– Ixchel, the Goddess of Fertility for her, Ixnay, the God of ED for him.
• Play “alien abduction” with a pair of vibrating probes.
• Exchange gifts –– a flame- retardant negligee for her, kevlar PJs for him.
• Stay up all night sipping pink champagne, and watch the sun rise languidly over your fallout shelter.
And give that special someone the perfect parting-is-such-sweet-sorrow gift--the heart-warming (see cartoon above) 2012 Doomsday Planner.
Rah, Rah, Sis Boom B'ol!
Mayans competed in, and were rabidly passionate about, a team sport called b’ol, about which little is known except that players could use only their hips and forearms to try putting a large rubber ball through a vertical loop set high on a courtside wall. Our best guess is that it was like a combination of basketball, football, jai alai, and extreme eating.
Amazingly, the grandest of the grand tournaments of this national pastime, the ultimate contest, its Super B'ol, began exactly 1,500 years ago on a day that corresponds with this coming Sunday, February 5th. Sadly, the Mexican government refuses to acknowledge this extraordinary happenstance, and will, instead, be celebrating their Constitution Day at that time (whoop-de-doo.)
Like us, the Mayans gathered with their friends to chomp on salty snacks, quaff fermented beverages, and stare at their favorite athletes on boxes in their homes. Of course, the athletes were carved into those boxes, and did not move, but the Mayans were spared commercial interruptions. Tens of thousands of other luckier fans crowded into the massive L'oo'Ka X'oil Stadium for the game itself, a contest between the J'ints led by the homely, but nice E'Li and the dreaded B'Ella'Chex spearheaded by the godlike B'Raa'D.
Unlike our football games, which are rigidly structured to fit into a proscribed television slot –– and conveniently run over into prime time –– the b'ol game was allowed to run on for as long as it took one team to best the other, whether it be hours, days or weeks. This storied contest was interrupted in week three by a a fairly lurid halftime show, starring, coincedentally, Madonna. It was finally called when a solar eclipse produced darkness and mass hysteria causing the fans –– many already suffering from bench sores and chronic ennui –– to run home, with the score knotted at 0. There were efforts to reconvene the game the following year, but both captains and most of their teammates had already been slain by irate bettors.
In this year of fear it's only fitting that there be three Friday the 13ths to fill us with foreboding. Many of us still subscribe to the traditional superstitions –– don't walk under a black cat, rub a Rabbi's foot for good luck, spit twice after you say the name Kardashian –– so perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that the ancient Mayan culture was lousy with old wives' tales. And it's interesting to note that the average Mayan old wife was 28.
Of course these people wouldn't know the number 13 from a serpent glyph scrawled into the skull of a beheaded human sacrifice, but they did evolve a numerical system capable of recording a number that today would be expressed as 142 followed by 36 zeros –– which is a lot of cocoa beans. And certain proscribed feast days counted off their lunar calendar did give rise to what we might classify as "superstitious" beliefs –– as opposed to their other beliefs which we simply classify as "baffling".
Some of the more startling included:
1) Always cross the fingers of the hand that you've chopped off
2) Walk backwards in a circle 1033 times after you consume killer magic mushrooms
3) Throw salt into the wound of the left shoulder of an enemy
4) Never walk beneath the vines hanging from the Sacred Tree, particularly if it's filled with howler monkeys shortly after mealtime
5) Spit twice after you say the name K'ada'Shin
Included above is an image from the 2012 Doomsday Planner from October's Day of the Dead section which depicts a progenitor of our own patron saint of Friday the 13th.
Getting Technical About It
Might you be looking for the Next Big Thing in high-tech? Fast Company offers this panini pressed sandwich of prognostications for the digital marketplace in 2012 and –– if you think there will be one –– beyond.
We here at the 2012 Doomsday Planner: The Official Unauthorized Makeover of the Mayan Calendar (on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online) are shocked, SHOCKED! to find out in a NY Daily News article that there are people out there trying to cash in on the end of the Mayan calendar and the prophecies therein (or not) that signal the end of time, the world and pretty much everything.
How low can you go? Click here to find out...
Clinical Psychic Analysis
The epic showdown between The Sun's psychics and our Magic 8-Ball may have been stuffed with predictions that you found hard to swallow. Cleanse your palate with L.K. Peterson's probing 15-page post-mortem on this Delphic duel wherein he scores the respective sybils against a spherical plastic pool ball and reality.
Chock-full of incisive illustrations and bemused commentary, this definitive analysis will let you know which doomsayers you can really trust.
Read Psychics v. the Magic 8-Ball: The Final Reckoning!
Maya Old Acquaintance Be Forgot
The Mayans celebrated the arrival of the New Year lustily with elaborate nocturnal ceremonies on its eve. They involved the wearing of goofy headdresses, the beating of drums, the tooting of flutes, and the ingestion of vast quantities of psychotropic mushrooms. The bacchanal was traditionally overseen by the demi-god D'Iq C'Larq, whose name can be interpreted to mean "He who does not age" or "He who thinks he does not age".
The celebrations were centered in a square situated between four great pyramids –– a place best known for the over-priced staging of religious rites and street vendors hawking "I Heart Uxmal"-inscribed battle cudgels and dung-cart stickers.
As D'Iq C'Larq grew old, ironically, the hosting duties for the festivities were assumed by the diminutive Mesoamerican idol See'Krst, or "The Oily One." Aside from the wild partying, the other goal of the ceremony was to assure the blessings of the gods for a plentiful coca crop in the year ahead to be achieved, not surprisingly, by human sacrifice.
Atop each of the four pyramids, a shaman and four hardy attendants holding a massive stone ball stood above a lucky virgin tethered to a stone altar. Popular Mayan singers whipped the throng below into a frenzy as they counted down to the end of the year.
When the moon reached it's apogee in the night sky, or was determined to have by a council of really high astronomers, the four balls were dropped simultaneously onto the heads of the four virgins. If they were really lucky they would die instantly and have their hearts cut out and offered to the gods. Otherwise they would wake up on New Year's Day with a really bad headache like the rest of the crowd.
Synchronize Your Death Watches
Today is the first day of the rest of the last year of your life. The doomsday countdown begins in earnest as we enter the final 365 days that precede the Mayan Calendar's running out on December 21, 2012.
So shop for appropriate seasonal gifts –– it's smart to plan ahead. And heed these sensible steps in a to-do checklist from the 2012 Doomsday Planner:
√ Replace flashlight batteries.
√ Install extra-thick lead-lined hurricane shutters.
√ Lay in 50-year supply of canned goods.
√ Try to bribe way onto International Space Station.
√ Burn bucket list.
√ Consume case of Cristal.
And, of course, it would be prudent to purchase our Doomsday Planner so you'll know exactly where you'll be each and every precious day.
Days and Confused
Invariably, the first question we're asked when the subject turns to the 2012 Doomsday Planner, after "How many p's are there in apocalypse?", is "How did you come to reinterpret the Mayan Calendar so brilliantly?" Though we'd like to say it was purely based upon our years of deep research –– we never concluded a Google search without getting to page three –– we must acknowledge, contractually, the contributions we received from Dr. El Bondigas.
A former celebrated luchador –– he appeared as an extra in the lucha libre epic Santo vs. the Martian Invasion –– and a licensed aroma therapist, Dr. El Bondigas contacted us in 2008 with some startling news. How he came to contact us is a fascinating yarn in itself, turning as it does on the fact that the area codes for Los Angeles and New York are separated by a single digit. But suffice it to say, we were genuinely shocked to learn of his discovery of a twenty-five-ton stone calendar amidst the jungles surrounding the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza, Mexico.
Though the good doctor had apparently encountered numerous skeptics in the academic community before misdialing us, we were captivated by his almost childlike enthusiasm –– he gurgled audibly on the phone -- and we instantly agreed to share his incredible find with the world.
The rest is the stuff of a future post on this website. We include here an ad for Dr. El Bondigas that we felt compelled, contractually, to include in the book.
So We're Stuck With the Kardashians Through 2013?
Renowned twenytwelvologist* Sven Gronemeyer, a German archaeology professor teaching in Australia, insists that the Mayan Long Count calendar's sudden stop at December 21, 2012 does not, repeat does not, predict the end of the world or even necessarily of civilization as we know it. He does suggest, however that something occurs, but won't say exactly what, hinting only that, according to his interpretations of the stone's hieroglyphics, it may signal the return of the ancient deity Bolon Yokte K'uh, one of the nine Mayan Lords of the Night which is no small thing, to say nothing of its also being a very cool name for a rock band or motorcycle gang.
Undermining Gronemeyer's credibility somewhat is the fact that a chunk is missing from the very end of the stone tablet he was studying, leaving some wiggle room about what might or might not have been written on it. Speculation on what the absent text says runs from "Continued on next stone tablet"** to "And they all lived happily ever after".
Of course, if Gronemeyer is proved wrong and the world does end on 12/21/12, his theory will be shot pretty much to hell and he can kiss any hope of tenure goodbye.
*We swear we didn't make up this word.
Buy, Buy Mesoamerican Pie
Black Friday slowly, but surely consumes Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday morphs inexorably into Cyber Monthly. The 12 Days of Christmas lead inevitably to the 12 Months of Debt. Hallelujah, the Holiday Season is here again!
The Mayans knew a thing or two about shopping –– they erected great temples of retail atop a rudimentary economic foundation, as described in our 2012 Doomsday Planner:
"Trades were conducted on the barter system or “rock, paper, scissors” until cocoa beans became standard currency throughout the empire in the late pre-classical era. Ceramic bowls engraved “Take a Bean, Leave a Bean” litter the site of Chichen Itza’s enormous “Mall of Mesoamerica.”
Which allowed them to celebrate feast days like crazy until their beans ran out:
"Most popular of these was the winter festival of No’l, a month-long gift-giving holiday dedicated to the jolly-but-judgmental demi-god X’anta. Mayan parents gave presents to their offspring designed to prepare them for adulthood; toy bows and arrows or slabs of granite on which to make sacrifices to X’bx, god of games (ages 5 and up). For toddlers there were handcarved Tickle-Me-Inca dolls and fetishes of Fr’b, avatar of adorableness."
So shake your little e-tails, and buy your loved ones the gift of partially-researched knowledge of a fascinating, if fictionalized, ancient civilization with our 2012 Doomsday Planner.