12-12-12 MAYAN APOCALYPSE BEATDOWN

The blending of two different ideas into one new thing is a beneficial practice.  In the food world it gives us cherry Coke, bacon cheeseburgers, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  In politics it gives us the occasional pro-life democrat or environmentally conscience republican.  In church it gives us evangelistic Calvinists.

In keeping with that concept, today I am blending two different things.  One is the odd and meaningless fascination with the fact that today is 12-12-12.  So what!  I might be a little more impressed if it was 12-12-1212, as in 1000 years ago but come on guys and girls you know that the dating system is so flawed it is very inaccurate.

MAYANS SCHMAYANS
MAYANS SCHMAYANS

But, it matters to some people.  But what  I want to do is combine this with the equally meaningless and mind-numbing preoccupation of far too many folks with the Mayan doomsday clock that is supposed to chime on December 21.  Notice how December 21 is a complete anagram–12-21.  Then you put 12 on the end and it is an anagram of an anagram backwards upside down.  Okay, that might not be completely accurate.  But at 11:34 some digital clocks look like the word “hell” if you turn them upside down.  I know right!  But it makes  the same amount of sense as the Mayans.

I put these two ideas together into the blender called my mind and present to you:

12 Reasons Why The Mayan’s Were (and still are) Wrong

About the End of the World

12.  My birthday is December 29.  The world can’t end until I know what Mrs. Greenbean got me.

11.  Jesus’ birthday is celebrated on December 25, and if I feel the way I do about my birthday (#12), I know he must have some sympathy.

10.  The Mayans were defeated by a conquering force with superior power.  If they were so good at predicting the future, why didn’t they see that coming?

9.  Jesus doesn’t even know when the world will end, and I’m supposed to believe that the Mayans did?

8.  If you read the information correctly, the Mayans don’t predict the end of the world anyway.  They were marking the stars and their movements through periods of time.  This year is as far as they got before their civilization came to ruin (#10).

7.  With the exception of North Korea launching rockets, It seems like the world is pretty normal, with only 9 days left to go.

6.  It will be fun to watch the President and the Congress blame each other for what happens around the whole fiscal cliff thing.  If the world ends, then we will miss that drama.

5.  We have an awesome Christmas Eve service planned.

4.  The end of Twinkies does not qualify as the end of the world, no matter how heart-rending it might be.

3.  The world can’t end if I don’t have the entire James  Bond film collection and Skyfall has yet to be released to DVD/Bluray.  So there is that.

2.  December 21 is a Friday.  Everyone knows the world will end on a Monday.

1.  People who predict the end of the world–whether loons in California, Medieval mystics, or human sacrificing demon worshipers from the ancient Central American past–are, always, 100% of the time, wrong.

GREENBEAN, PASTOR GREENBEAN (A REVIEW OF SKYFALL)

Last night I saw the new James Bond movie Skyfall.  We arrived to see the 7PM show, but it was sold out.  We were the next in the line (no exaggeration) when they put the sign up that the 7:30PM  show was sold out.  So we bought our tickets for the 8PM show and waited at Ben and Jerry’s.

SPOILER-FREE SECTION

The film is very, very good.  I rank it with two of my other favorites, From Russia with Love and Goldeneye.  Yes, I found it better than Casino Royale (But then, I’m a fan of the book, and the storyline of the movie is not as good as the book’s).  Craig’s Bond has been hailed in the media as tougher but that is not my take.  Craig’s bond in this film is simply more mature, a little slower to act because he has learned he is not invulnerable.

Javier Bardem is a great bad guy.  I loved him in No Country for Old Men and was worried I would be disappointed but alas I was not.  he ranks up there with Blofeld and Dr. No in audacity but has far more believability factor, more akin to Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga.

The film explores Bond’s psyche as both an orphan and a virtual ward of the state under the care of his surrogate mother, Judi Dench’s M.  As a person who often finds himself trying to figure out what makes people tick, I appreciated that angle on the Bond persona.

WARNING–SPOILERS BELOW

From the beginning of the reboot it has been my understanding that the goal was to show how James Bond came to be.  It is his origins.  Casino Royale lacked many of the classic Bond concepts–Miss Moneypenny, Q, gadgets, cars with machine guns and such.  Quantum of Solace was really a sequel to Casino, so, it lacked some of that as well.  But the new film gives us Q and Moneypenny as completely modern characters yet with a tip of the hat to the tradition.  Plus we discover that Bond’s Astin Martin is tricked out and ready for duty.

The film was not perfect, though (That is why From Russia With Love is still #1).  For starters, some of the plot felt recycled.  At times it reminded me of the Man with the Golden Gun and at other times it felt like Goldeneye–especially the whole business of a former MI6 Agent turning bad.  M being in danger and MI6 Headquarters being targeted was almost a direct rip off of The World is Not Enough to such a degree I kept expecting Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) to show up.  I also find it strange that, three films into the reboot, they are already pulling out the “Bond is getting too old” routine.  Yes, I know that Fleming returned to that often in the books as the constant reminder that 00’s have short lifespans but it seems a little to soon for Craig when you consider Roger Moore played Bond at near 60 years old.

CREEPY, BUT RIVETING

However, none of that kept me from enjoying the film.  My personal high point was the interrogation of Bond by Bardem’s Silva.  Bardem is such a powerful presence and Craig goes toe to toe with him.  I also enjoyed the battle scene in the Komodo dragon pit in the Macau casino and of course, the ending.  Not the ending where M dies, but the reset ending where Bond walks in, puts his coat on the coat rack, talks to Moneypenny and then is ushered into Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort now runs MI6!) office as the new M and is handed a “Top Secret” envelope.  That is when Bond becomes Bond as we know him from film (which is very different from the Bond of print).   That particular scene felt very Sean Conneryish.  Just as it should be.