Nine days and counting, but to what? All that hoo-hah about the Mayan calendar running out of days on December 21, 2012 and now the same people who one year ago were telling us to put our heads between our legs and kiss our asses goodbye are inviting us to post-apocalypse parties. Something is going to happen, they say, but it might be indiscernible. Subtle changes in the upper atmosphere. Migratory birds arriving at their winter homes a few hours late. Maybe. Sorry for the misunderstanding, they say. Carry on.

My theory is that we enjoy a good collective scare as much as we do one individually, which might be why we’re so committed to the idea that people “who hate our way of life” want to do us bodily harm.