It seems like only yesterday I was wandering around Copley Square wearing my 2012 glasses, taking in a spontaneous Hare Krishna First Night celebration and eating strange little packaged treats handed out by devotees. At that time, the long-anticipated, mysterious Mayan Prophesy was this curious notion still comfortably off in the distance. I decided on that heady evening that I would spend 2012 as if the prophesy were in fact true—that everything would end on December 21. We’re often told that we should always live our lives as if each day were to be our last. So, facing what may have been the final year of my life, or at least the last stretch before some sort of cataclysmic event, did I spend each waking moment in the most meaningful way possible? Did I push myself to the outer limits? Did I reach for the stars in terms of productivity and my search for enlightenment? No, not exactly.

As always, I wasted inordinate amounts of time worrying about one thing or another—getting old, job instability, quality of life for aging parents, my shocking lack of human contact, global hostilities, political stalemates, planetary changes and whether or not I would again have mice in my house. To what end did I engage in this constant mental prattle? I have no idea.

In all likelihood, December 21, 2012 will come and go much like 1984, Y2K and the May 21st rapture. After which, we’ll need to find a new date to anticipate, dread and send pointless tweets about. Which is not to say that we don’t live in interesting times. With the Arab Spring, Occupy Everything and escalating uprisings and disturbances in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, there does seem to be more restlessness and general disgust than usual. As the sea waters rise, the topic of global warming has moved from trendy tree hugger cocktail conversation to mainstream news story. And my steadfast belief that time has been speeding up (which I’ve been arguing for years now) is far more likely to elicit affirmative nods than exasperated eye rolls.

Whatever your take on the Mayan Long Count calendar and our entry into the 14th baktun, it feels right to pay tribute to the end of this particular cycle—and the end of the discussion (at least for another 5,126 years). I have a few suggestions for a particularly memorable evening (or two)… just in case.

Thursday, December 20th

Org: Last Day On Earth
Café Oberon (Harvard Square)
9pm – midnight

with Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola, Johnny Blazes, Jaggery, Janaka Stucky, The Wondertwins and many more
Facebook Event | buy tickets

If ever there was an ensemble for the apocalypse, it’s these guys…


(video by bdjsb7)

Singer Mali (of Jaggery), always being on top of these sorts of things and a trusted source for all important planetary events, has planned her latest Org for the evening leading up to 12/21, with the event (and possibly everything else as well) promptly ending at midnight. The evening’s theme is, what else, the apocalypse, with a wide variety of musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and spoken word artists performing as if it were their final show. Dress accordingly.

Friday, December 21, 2012
(in the event we’re all still here and are looking for something to do)

Solstice Circus
The Plough and Stars, Cambridge
Doors at 8pm; 9pm show

Technically, this is a Winter Solstice celebration, but if anything says ‘last gasp before the end of the world,’ it’s circus performers (clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, dancers and musicians) crammed onto the tiny stage inside the venerable Plough and Stars. The Solstice Circus is “dedicated to celebrating the seasons in style and bringing circus arts to non-traditional venues.”

Last Chance To Dance (End Of The World Party)
featuring Federator No1, Endangered Speeches, Kina Zore
Church of Boston
Doors at 8pm; 21+
Facebook Event | buy tickets

If you prefer wildly dancing your last night away, rather than being in the company of clowns, this might be more to your liking.

MySecretBoston’s End of World Party
With Coyote Kolb, Toy Soldiers and Castle
Precinct Bar, Union Square, Somerville

That’s what they’re billing it as, though I think it’s just a market-savvy attempt to promote some great music.

Further reading:
The Mayan Prophesy—a long discussion about the calendar and interpretations, which includes comments from Mayan elders and other spiritual disciplines.