New Year: Resetting the Frodometer


“When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!…”  Hair 1967* 

“Hair” is set in 1968 in a park in Greenwich Village, New York. Claude is seated alone on centre stage. An altar and a flame are set before him. The Tribe slowly congregates on stage. Berger and Sheila join Claude, cut a lock of his hair, and put it in the fire as the Tribe opens the show with “Aquarius”…

Out in the unreal world in 1968 it wasn’t quite mind’s true liberation but students were revolting (in more ways than one, according to those in whom sympathy and trust was not abounding) and peace was not being given much of a chance in Vietnam.

Now it’s 2013 and we’ve survived the end of the world three weeks ago, not to mention Xmas and New Year, and we’re confronting the really big challenge of being back at work, the watery dawn chorused on stage by the nude musical  evangelists 45 years ago looks a little evanescent if not a tad false.

Two years after “Hair” premiered Stanley Kubrick’s 1969 movie “2001” opened the cinematic lens wider with his space odyssey. Four decades later the apocalyptic 2009 movie “2012” was a meteorological and geological disaster porn flick set closer to home with more than the regulation four horsemen riding hell for leather in different directions, inspired by a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar and the significance of the 2012 Winter Solstice, 21/12/12.

Those of a more numerical bent went for 12.12 pm on 12/12/12 as the perfect and portentous time and date to get married, with a guaranteed honeymoon of at least 9 days.

Hirsute-wise, the evanescent Age of Aquarius and effulgent hairiness has now been replaced by the Age of Bareness. Yul Brynner, sponsored by the successors of King Gillette, is in the posthumous ascendant and the bubble of shampoo shares has burst in the land of the follicularly free.

The Mayan Calendar
Does anyone know the Mayan for ‘Now will you shut the x#%& up’?” Ken Ellis

As we all now know Mayan culture-flourished in present day Mexico and Guatemala from 2000BC to 1000AD, using stone pyramids and observatories as pre digital Galactic computers.

The results of Mayan observations and calculations of astronomical phenomena, without the benefit of the telescope, are captured in the Dresden Codex, a band of paper 3.5 metres long set up into 39 sheets making up 78 pages 8.5 x 20.5 cm. The paper was obtained from the bark of wild-growing species of fig tree.  

The cylindrical calendrical data, written in the Mayan dating system, uses astronomical data and pre-Google algorithms that were to be used for calculations of planetary movements, next to the hieroglyphic texts and numerous depicturings of the Mayan gods.

Instead of using a decimal (base-10) scheme like Western numbering, the Long Count days were tallied in a modified base-20 scheme. One of the units of time, a baktun, numbered 144,000 days. This led to some gross mistakes.

According to some scholars, the Mayan Long Count’s “zero date” was set at a point in the past marking the end of the third world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to August 11, 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. This means that the fourth world  reached the end of its 13th baktun, or Mayan date, on December 21, 2012 AD.*

Some apoplectic apocalypticians suggested that this date marks the end of the world. Scenarios suggested included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, or Earth’s collision with a planet called “Nibiru. 

 The end of end times?
“..I have had kids saying they are considering suicide and mothers saying they are considering killing their children before the end times.”  David Morrison, NASA’s doomsday denier.

The impending end game triggered the usual aberrant and abhorent responses. Was the young Connecticut killer at Sandy Hook influenced by this millenarian madness?

In 1962, at the height of the Cuban Misssile Crisis, when American and Soviet fingers apparently hovered menacingly over their respective nuclear buttons, among my third year university student friends about to sit end of year exams there was some half hearted debate about whether it was really worth sitting the final exams. No one bought a gun or headed for the hills.

A New Age interpretation of Mayan prediction more in tune with “Hair” is that 1/12/12 merely marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation. (As a belated Xmas prezi see The Rational Person’s Guide to the Mayan Apocalypse*).

In other word, it was not the end of time but the end of a calendar cycle: a re-setting the Galactic odometer, or here in Middle-earth, the cinematic Frodometer which has been running since the turn of the new millenium. December 21, 2012 merely marks the beginning of a new era.

Most of us take a more bite size annual approach to new eras. As each year rolls over we re-make New Year’s resolutions to wind back our personal body clock by detox and botox. Free radicals have a different meaning than in 1968 but must be dealt to just as zealously.

I managed to acquire a third stent three weeks before Xmas after a coronary caused by a 90% arterial blockage so my resolutions are more heartfelt than usual. Nothing like a brush with the end of one’s personal world to refocus the mind for a while.

Healthy or not and with or without the assistance of mystic crystals, we’re still infused with golden living dreams of visions at this time of the year, at least until back to work realities dim the picture.

There is something magic about a new calendar and a fresh piece of paper on which the itching moving finger can write; or a blank screen on which it can tap if it’s digitally inclined.

A belated Happy New Year!

*Blinks “Aquarius.”  Vid  Prezi
See the full transcript  To augment your viewing of the excellent Mayan apocalypse prezi (above) you should simultaneously listen to this song  Skeeter Davis — The End Of The World 1965 If you are older than 65 try this.

#Lyall Lukey 15 January 2013  My other (bit more serious) blog


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