This fellow is planning an "End of the World" Party for December 21, 2012, to coincide with the supposed Mayan calculation of the date on which the world will end. More power to him — even if he's wrong, a well-planned party is never a disappointment. Just stay off this guy's "Ban List."
What about those Mayans, though? If they were so smart, where are they now — huh? Well, I've been doing a lot of research, and I think I do understand what happened to the Mayans. According to author David Webster, the Mayan elite culture may not have survived, but descendants of the Mayans actually still live in the tropical rain forests surrounding the ruins of Mayan civilization. Put less delicately by Lawrence H. Freeman in the July 2000 issue of Guadalajara-Lakeside:
If you want to know what happened to the Maya, the answer is – nothing. Go to the Yucatan, or Chiapas, or Guatemala, or Belize, or even Honduras. All those little short, big-nosed people wandering around are all Maya. You can easily recognize their faces on the ancient Maya sculptures. The truth is that there are likely as many Maya today as there ever were. Pretty amazing, considering that it is estimated that the diseases brought by Cortes killed some 95% of the population at the time. The fact is that, other than the depredations caused by Cortes' coming, nothing happened to the Maya people. They never went away, rather it was their leadership that failed.
There's probably a bigger axe there that Mr. Freeman is trying to grind, but we'll leave that there for the moment.
In my view, the answer to this mystery of the Mayans can be found simply by taking a walk around downtown Detroit today. Apart from the ruins of a great automobile-based civilization, what's there? Nothing. What happened to all the people who used to live there? They all moved to the suburbs — to Troy and Warren and Grosse Pointe, among other places. That's what happened to the Mayans — they moved to the suburbs, thereby condemning their "elite culture" to a slow and tragic demise.
Now, seeing what moving to the suburbs has done to all those Detroiters, can you blame the Mayans for losing command of their math and calendar-making skills? Those Detroiters are probably worse off than the Mayans in terms of intellectual drain, if you want to get serious about this, considering the 24-hour availability of cable TV.