June 2009
Sumary: Church of God News, Left Behind ideation, new carved boulder near Izapa

1. 2012 and the Church of God

To see where the simplistic and misleading coverage of the May Newsweek piece ineluctably leads in the ever-degrading telephone game of the Googlesphere, check out the article called "2012: A Gringo Invention?", triggered by Miller's Newsweek piece, on The Church of God News website, which segues the topic into discussions of the Great Tribulation. This opens up the door to the Christian Rapture and Left Behind ideation, which easily appropriates the prime error of how 2012 is conceived. Again, back around to my original point, which I emphasized to Miller but which she neglected to report, that cycle endings in Maya cosmo-conception are about trasnformation and renewal, not apocalypse, Rapture, or doomsday. It should be obvious to anyone with a little bit of psychological sophistication that the "doomsday 2012" meme is a projection of our own culture's nihilistic obsession with violence (happily reified by the mainstream media) onto a tradition that didn't embrace such concepts.

2. The Left Behind series

The hugely popular Left Behind series picks up on Christian ideation about the impending Rapture. This has been a frequent and recurring theme in Christian millenarian thought since the early 1800s, when John Nelson Darby cobbled together Old and New Testament scriptures to revive the urgent call for reform. The movement's prophet proposed a specific day of Tribulation and Judgment, which of course did not come to pass. The tendency of Christian groups such as this, which could include the Jehovah's Witness sect, to adopt handy dates to espouse end of the world ideation, is prevalnt and growing today in relation to 2012.

3. Trip to Izapa, documenting a new carved boulder

In early June I traveled to Izapa with a production company working on a documentary called "2012: Surprising New Secrets." It is produced by the NBC sci-fi channel. This time around, having been burned in the past, I carefully vetted the production house as to their vision and intention. They were willing to go to Izapa, which was a huge plus, because as of this moment there has yet to be any coverage at all on Izapa, the origin of the Long Count system and quite possibly the 260-day tzolkin calendar. This oversight, as of late 2009, is shocking considering Izapa's foundational role in the 2012 discussion and my ongoing insistence since 1998, with all the documentaries I've been involved, that a trip to Izapa would be essential. So, we did it, and thanks to the advocacy of Rebecca Ratliff we ended up getting great footage at the site. I also took the opportunity to track down the location of a rumored carved boulder in the hills above Izapa. It was known to locals, and my friends in Tapachula helped me locate it. So, we arrived and cleared away the debris around its base. After some amount of squinting and cleaning, I could identify the figures, faces, and abstract elements around the boulder. I was astounded to find that the iconographic theme was sacrifice and birth. A sacrificed caiman in the scene suggested Creation Myth imagery also documented at Palenque --- events which are always located at cycle endings, so it also seemed possible to suggest that the supernarrative of the carved boulder related to teachings related to cycle endings. A few of the iconographic elements were simila to ones found at Izapa, and I speculated that someone in the hills above Izapa had visited the site in pre-Conquest times and wanted to emulate the imagery observed there. The overall theme of the carved boulder could be seen as a distilled and condensed portrayal of the key theme perceived at Izapa: sacrifice, transformation, and renewal. This is the theme I have decoded in the Izapan ballcourt. This topic crosses over the concerns of the Update2012.com website (popular media treatment sof 2012-related information) and The Center for 2012 Studies. I strongly encourage this carved boulder to be treated as newly documented thematic portrayal of pre-Conquest (possibly pre-Classic) ideology, and devote a section of The Center for 2012 Studies to it.