End of the World

The Gilded Age of Austerity and the breakdown of civil society

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Is this the week that civil society in the US finally collapses? It’s starting to feel that way. Most of the federal government is already shut down, and on Thursday, it could start defaulting on its debts, possibly dragging down the global economy. And here in the Bay Area, our transportation system will descend into gridlock if strikes shut down BART tomorrow and AC Transit on Thursday, as their unions are threatening. Read more »

Bungle in the jungle

A vaunted New Age event creates ugly recriminations

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steve@sfbg.com

Talk about karma.

The Synthesis 2012 Festival, which marked the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, was supposed to be an opportunity to bring spiritually minded people together around the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico to help usher in a new age of cooperation and goodwill. That was the vision espoused by Executive Producer Michael DiMartino, a Californian who said he had been leading tours in the area for decades and setting up this event for years.Read more »

Time's a wastin', but Craigslist Casual Encounters can help you go out with a bang

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Think you've outfoxed the apocalypse because it's almost noon on 12.21.12? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Mayan armadoomsdaypaclypse may still be on.

The land of the ancient Mayans, which lies in present-day southeastern Mexico, is subject to the -6 UTC time zone (same time as Chicago and Houston.) Which means for us in the Pacific realm – probably the most dangerous place to be considering the fault lines and tsunami vulnerability – 10:00pm will be the moment of truth. So spend your last moments with loved ones, reading what could possible be the Guardian’s last cover story ever, or getting some of that sweet dirty Craiglist sex that you’ve heard so much about but were too afraid to try. Read more »

Waiting for the end of the world (2)

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TULUM -- So rather than taking the 2:45pm bus today from Tulum to Chichen Itza for the Synthesis 2012 Festival and tomorrow's end of the Mayan Long Count calendar as planned, my sweetie's bout with some bad ceviche has delayed us by a day.
And frankly, I can't say that I'm disappointed as I hear the stories flowing back from the festival. The universe does indeed seem to give us what we need.Read more »

The end of the world as we know it

Pondering the alarmist, the mystical, the way-out-there ... and the surprisingly hopeful sides of Dec. 21, 2012

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steve@sfbg.com

It's easy to dismiss all the hype surrounding the auspicious date of December 21, 2012. There's the far-out talk of Mayan prophecy and the galactic alignment. There's the pop-culture lens that envisions the apocalypse. There are the extraterrestrials, about to return.

But even the true believers in Mayan folklore and its New Age interpretations say there's no end of the world in sight. Time doesn't end when the Mayan cycle concludes; it's actually a new beginning.Read more »