But I wouldn't put my money on that.
As I have been writing periodically since 2008, there is a tremendous amount of energy being exerted to attempt to convince the world at large that there is nothing wrong here, all is well, and if it isn't, it soon will be, so please everyone, go back to sleep while we finish the job of
I can confidently predict that "Occupy" will not fizzle out, though it might be driven underground for a time. What form it takes next is impossible to determine...but the paranoiac in me is convinced the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012is a pre-emptive strike. This bill allows for the indefinite detainment of American citizens, without trial, in military prisons: all that is necessary is that they be called terrorists. The definition of 'terrorist' these days is increasingly slippery. (Is that paranoia? or heightened awareness?)
2011 was a year of ironies on a global scale. As the U.S., that bastion of freedom, slipped ever closer to the precipice of tyranny, several tyrannies in the Middle East took some tentative steps towards freedom. The so-called 'Arab Spring' may be fleeting...but I doubt it. Once people get a taste of freedom, they usually find they like it enough to cook up some more for themselves.
Those of you convinced the Internet is mostly for porn, consider the role that Twitter played in the emancipation of Egypt. Of course, the Internet is merely a tool, but what a powerful tool it can be.
Famous people I've never met die every year. This was the first year that I felt grief over it--and twice. Jack Layton, the leader of the federal NDP, died on August 22, two days after composing a letter that reduced me to a gibbering idiot for a couple of days. The final paragraph of that letter resonates still:
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."
Steve Jobs died a little over a month later, depriving the world of one of its bigger brains. His final utterance is, in its cryptic way, just as inspirational as Layton's carefully considered last instructions. One wonders what he was seeing--I can only I have a similar reaction on my way out the door.
I don't plan on going out that door in 2012, least of all in some Mayan mishap. The idea that next winter solstice will be doomsday has been debunked almost as many times as it has been put forward, most notably, to my mind, by NASA and John Michael Greer, the Archdruid you can find in my sidebar.
No, the world will not end in 2012, but the world as we know it might be sliding towards an ending. Neale Donald Walsch, another of my founts of inspiration, terms it "The Storm Before The Calm". We'll determine what form that storm takes. And we'll determine what the calm looks like afterwards, too. It could be the calm of utter desolation or the calm of idyllic bliss; what's key to understand is that this is not something that is happening to us, it's something we are choosing. There are consequences to every action--Newton knew that nearly three hundred years ago. Science today is inching ever closer to confirming the interconnectedness of all things, which only means that consequences can spread out like ripples in a pond. It behooves us all to remember this, and to live accordingly.
Closer to home, I'm going to be an uncle this year! Alex Hopf is on her way. We were never able to have children of our own--which still pains us on occasion, and even joyous impending births do bring that pain to the fore--and so our way of dealing with that pain is to give baby Alex some of the love we've been holding in reserve all these years. To put it in simpler terms: we're not completely sure what Alex stands for yet, but we know we'll be standing for her every step of the way.
I continue to grow in my new job, and life around here is looking up. It's the only way to look, folks. 2012 is just another step along the way. I look forward to taking it with all of you.