Millennium Madness

Have you ever wondered about the doom and gloom prophets? About all the people running around yapping about the end of the world? Or the great disasters at the end of the millennium?

Well, I have too. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it and I’m worried. Now I am not saying that I believe in Edgar Casey or Nostradomas or even in the televangelests. I figured something out that I think anyone could if they just gave it some thought.

Do you know anything about stock market crashes? Something that most people do not understand about the market is that it is not real. Now before you bring out the stakes and stoke the fire, listen a minute. What is the one thing that you have to have for the market to crash? FEAR. It doesn’t take war and it doesn’t take disaster. All it takes is enough people afraid that if they do not sell now, they will loose their shirts. It does not take a lot of people to start it, but once it catches on it can make fire look slow. A few people start it and a few people follow, then a few more. Before long you can have 1929 all over again. If enough people believe that the market will crash, they will make it happen.

I think the same thing is a problem with millennium madness. Look around you and listen to people. I don’t have a week go by without hearing some one mention the year 2000 computer problem or the prophecies of Nostradomas, or Edgar Casey or Sun Bear or the End Times and the beast from the Book of Revelation, or some planetary alignment that will tilt the earth’s axis of rotation. Have I left anything out?

There are a lot of people out there who, if they are not afraid, are at least worried. And some of them are down right maniacs. And some of them are well armed maniacs. And some of them are charismatic maniacs with large followings and lots of money.

Are you beginning to see the root of my concern?

I work in emergency management. I will be the first to admit that this can make you think a bit pessimistically. But do you remember the LA riots? How much harm was done because some people thought that minorities were being persecuted? I know that a lot of the damage was done by opportunistic idiots who thought that they could get away with whatever they wanted in the confusion. A lot of them were right, they did. And most of them are still out there.

Now picture this. It’s New Years Eve 1999. All over the world people are going nuts celebrating the new millennium. Then you have the nut cases who think that Armageddon is about to start and are ready to join in on the side of their god. Remember that fellow in Waco? Or the cult in Japan with the nerve gas? Now don’t forget all the bright boys who are sure that all the governments computers (and most of their power) will stop working at midnight.

It wouldn’t take a lot. Just a few people in New York and LA and Tokyo and London and a few other places around the world. And once news starts to spread, and it will (how many people are glued to their TV’s on New Years Eve?), others will join in.

Now I don’t know about you, but by my reckoning, that could shape up to a disaster that would beat the hell out of Mt. St. Helen’s. And all with out any divine judgment or huge natural disaster or anything rational to set it off.

For my part, I plan on spending December 31st, 1999 having a nice, quiet, small party with a few of my close friends in a remote rural area, and keeping my head down until the idiots have had their fun and it’s time to clean up.

Where will you be?

Copyright 1997 By Brian Lee Gnad. bgnad@bgnad.org This article may be freely reproduced only in it’s entirety with this copyright notice intact.

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