Saturday, April 19, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Old Gold, part 2 - and The End Of The World?

Now I remember where I originally saw the Aztec gold skull mask: it was in one of Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods? books from the 1970's. If you look carefully at the design on the "lapels" of the mask, there are two depictions of faces in profile, composed of a number of geometric lines and angles. Also, there are numerous doughnut-shaped circular forms in the same area that resemble the solder pads for electronic components on a printed circuit board.

I remember that Von Daniken suggested that the designs on the base of the mask were actually an ancient form of "printed circuit"! Quite a stretch, but hey, you never know. I wonder what ever happened to Erich. I think his material was eventually debunked or just lost popularity (notice how there aren't as many shows or popular culture references to UFO's as there were a few years ago?). Anyway, that's where my interest in things paranormal comes from. The early 70's. Surprise.

Remember a feature film that came out roughly around 1976 called The Late Great Planet Earth? I remember seeing it in the local $1 second-run strip mall theater as a kid, and being disappointed when I realized it wasn't really about aliens and the supernatural, but rather a film version of apocalyptic Bible verse set to all sorts of odd film film footage..."the end is near!"

Isn't it funny how we've (the Human Race, that is) been talking about the End of the World for thousands of years, convinced it will happen during our lifetimes? If you've followed the popularity of the Left Behind book and movie series (which deals with the Apocalypse and the Rapture, when "elect souls" will rise to Heaven, leaving just empty spots in their stead...and the rest of will be...ahem, "Left Behind")

Hey, everyone's entitled to their beliefs, but hey, I'm more worried about the price of gasoline, SARS, suitcase nukes (that would be great name for a rock band..."The Suitcase Nukes") and my rent going up than whether half the people around me will suddenly disappear, leaving me and the rest of us "sinners" to face Old Nick ourselves.

Maybe it is the End of the World, but what if it's on a geologic timescale of trillions of years? Maybe we have an innate species death wish, because every civilization has ended at one point or another, but we are starting to mature past the adolescent "immortality" phase, thinking our culture will be the one to survive for all time. Maybe we just know we're sucking the life out of our planet with unrestrained consumption that can't go on forever, and we'll have to start building solar energy generation systems (and we will one day become a Sun-worshipping society once again, the Giver of life and electricity?) or windmill farms, when all our wars to conquer oil lead to dry holes in the ground? Will that be our "End of the World"?

Maybe we all want to believe our generation is special, and the likes of us will never come again...and someday, some culture will look at the things we left behind, and wonder whether those boxes with cards that contained patterns with holes were really electronic circuits.

"Naah. A culture like that couldn't have been that advanced. After all, didn't they sacrifice one another? Weren't they too primitive of a race to have developed something that sophisticated?"

Just a thought on this Easter Weekend.