It’s not the end of the world

I think all of these catastrophic, The-End-Is-Near predictions made by Nostradamian wannabes are a lot of fun, probably because they’re always way, way, way off.

I was reminded recently of two of the more spectacular forecasts of planetary calamity that floated around in the ‘90s. I was unfazed and un-amazed to see that neither of them came close to happening.

Case in point: the juicy scenarios put forth by one of the all-time great Art Bell “seers,” Gordon Michael Scallion. Scallion was a biggie on Art’s show in the mid ‘90s, a guy plagued by dream-state visions of such power and clarity that, well, they just had to mean bad news. I chumped out and bought a copy of his very cool map, which showed his estimate of a dramatically mangled United States after it had been through his dark age of relentless cataclysms.

The foundation of his rap and map was the seismic death of California—the old slides-back-into-the-Pacific story. I can’t remember all the specifics, but I do recall that no later than 2001, California was to have been fractured by a 10.0 earthquake, a geological event so enormous that it would cleave the state from Eureka through Bakersfield down to El Centro. Soon thereafter, monstrous aftershocks larger than any earthquake in history would create such ruptures in the Sierra Nevada range that not only would California be completely swamped by the inrushing ocean (except for the Sierra Islands), but Nevada would, too.

Fortunately for us, Scallion’s visions turned out to be as real as that recent dream of yours that involved a Jell-O fight at the DMV’s toga party.

Then, there was a popular book called Mary’s Message to the World, by Annie Kirkwood. Kirkwood was a nurse in Dallas who began to get visits from the mother of Jesus in the late ‘80s. Mary told Annie to write down her predictions, which were loaded with blockbuster gloom and doom not unlike Scallion’s. If Annie’s notes were accurate, we must conclude that, alas, Mary Mild is to prophesizing what Rosie O’Donnell is to pole vaulting.

Mary, like Scallion, was hot for ultra-geology, her premise being the Earth was going to have some violent tantrums, since it was sick and tired of being abused by us Homo sapiens. Mary had California going glub-glub, bye-bye a little earlier than Scallion, in ‘95. Also in that year, she saw polar icecap meltdowns causing huge problems in New York City, forcing many to evacuate. These events, though, would merely be warm-ups for the last five years of the ‘90s, where the action would really get wild—loads of UFOs, monster earthquakes and mega-storms incessantly racking the planet—until finally the Earth itself would flip over on its side, making for some seriously pissed off polar bears and penguins.

So what are we doing in 2003? Worrying like hell about how we keep the refs from making more catastrophically bad calls in playoff games.