It’s funny, because it’s true
It’s been one of those days, where I had a list of things to do and I didn’t tick off one item. That’s not to say I haven’t done anything. I wrote an article about the cosmos throwing a Molotov cocktail at us, wrote another article about something a lot more scary (creationism) and then watched some TV at lunch. To my delight, a childhood classic was on daytime TV while I was nursing a headache: Ghostbusters II, from 1989. Oh yes! I love this “work from home” thing.
Anyhow, I had all but forgotten about the film, so there were a lot of surprises and a lot of laughs. They sure made good comedies in the late 80’s (at a time when I was of single-digit age). As I’m sure you remember, we pick up five years after the Ghostbusters crossed-the-streams in the first film (back in the “old days” of 1984), destroying the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in a fireball of gloopy sugary joy, ridding New York of the Sumerian God: Gozer the Gozerian. Now, reality has set in and all the Ghostbuster crew have settled into regular jobs. However, I cracked up when watching Pete Venkman (played by the excellent Bill Murray) present his not-so-prime-time “World of the Psychic” TV show.
This served as a reminder that although we are facing the mother of all doomsday pseudo-science/profit-making/nonsensical prophecies (this time in the guise of the year 2012), we’ve heard it all before. And Ghostbusters 2 had this wonderful sketch I had to share…
Peter Venkman introduces his “World of the Psychic” TV show with his two guests:
Venkman: Milt, your new book is called “The End of the World.” Now, can you tell me when it’s going to be or do we have to buy the book?
Milt: Well I predict that the world will end on the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve.
Venkman: This year?
Milt: Uh huh.
Venkman: Well that’s… cutting it a little bit close isn’t it? I mean, just from a sales point of view. I mean, your book’s just coming out, you’re not going to see any paperback sales for at least a year. It will be at least another year before you know whether you get the mini-series or movie of the week kinda possibilities. I mean, just devils advocate Milty, I mean, shoudn’t you have said, “Hey! The world’s gonna end in 1992, better yet, 1994!”
Milt: This is not just some money-making scheme! Alright? I have a strong, psychic belief that the world will end on New Years Eve.
Venkman: Well for your sake, I hope you’re right.
[Turns to his other guest]
Venkman: I think my other guest might disagree with ya. Elaine, now you have another date in mind.
Elaine: According to my source, the end of the world will be on February 14th, in the year 2016.
Venkman: Valentines Day. Bummer. Where did you get your date Elaine?
Elaine: I received this information from an alien. As I told my husband, it was in the Piranhas Holiday Inn, I was having a drink at the bar, alone, and this alien approached me. He started talking to me. He brought me a drink. And then I think he must have used some kind of a ray or a mind-control device, because he forced me to follow him into his room, and that’s where he told me about the end of the world.
Venkman: So your alien had a room at the Holiday Inn?
The funny thing is, both of the guests on Peter’s show epitomises some of the 2012 advocates I have had the dubious pleasure of interacting with these last few months. They either have a book to sell (in the case of Milt), or they are woefully dim (in the case of Elaine). Of course there are many shades of grey in between, but the doomsday stories will keep on coming, year after year, decade after decade (and indeed, century after century). Nothing is going to change, doomsday prophecy and pseudo-science will be used to over-hype the end of the world so long as there is humans on the planet.
Although Ghostbusters 2 did culminate on the brink of doomsday, it is a comedy where fun is poked at the slimy paranormal and the end of days. This just helps to emphasis the insanity surrounding the 2012 hype in my opinion. Which reminds me, I really should complete my “No Doomsday in 2012” series…