Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Like It's 1999

There was a reason Prince admonished everyone to "party like it's 1999." When I was growing up, there seemed to be a general "feeling" (warning: FEELINGS!) that the end of the world would take place in the year 2000. Here we are about to jump headfirst into 2010, and the idea that the world was supposed to end 10 years ago seems crazy now, right?

Not so much in 1999. I'm not kidding. I was a reporter for a now defunct and very small daily newspaper called The Orem Daily Journal from 1998 to 1999. At one of the business press junkets I was attending, the head I.T. guy from NuSkin predicted that the Y2K scare would be "real and worse than any of us could imagine."

Those were his exact words; I am not making this up. Consequently, all the NuSkin founders and heads would be spending their Christmas and New Year's in Jamaica that year. Jaimaca? Somehow that's safer than Utah?

For our New Year's edition of the paper in 1999, I was given the assignment to interview the Parowan Prophet. He'd been predicting the end of the world since the 1980s (not unlike my mother-in-law, bless her heart. However, Alzheimer's has unfortunately taken away much of her end-of-the-world prophecies.)

Today I was curious to see if the Parowan Prophet is still predicting the end of the world. He sure is. You can read all about his prophecies on his Web site at

He's a bit of a nut job, but I feel sorry for the guy. He was in a terrible plane wreck in the 70s that capsized his father's head, who was sitting next to him. He miraculously lived and spoke of being with Christ while he was in a coma. He came back from the brink of death a self-proclaimed prophet.

From his Web site, his stuff seems no different from any other White Supremecist, Communist hating, super-right-wing conservative nut job.

Back then, he predicted that the end of the world would take place before Y2K because of tracing and blocking devices implanted by the Communists that would render all computers inoperable. I actually talked with the guy on the phone, and he was pretty passionate. I don't know why he'd be so specific about times and dates of the end of the world, but he would.

I think it was "fun" for newspapers to interview this guy for years, but I haven't seen his prophecies in the news for a long time. His rantings got old with each passing year his predictions never came true.

The changing of the year from 1999 to 2000 actually came without hiccups. At my then new job as a technical writer for a banking software company, we were given a bonus just for sticking around close to Provo that year for New Year's, just in case Y2K would turn out as bad as some suggested. I was never called in for "emergency documentation."

Sidebar thought: Great idea for a television series, don't you think? "Kent Chauncey: PhD."
Programmer: Mr. Chauncey, we need you to document the latest release of the software bug we just found.
Chauncey: Mister? I'll have you know I have my doctorate and post-doctorate degrees on the misspellings and errors of the Holy Bible NIV version, as well as why the complete works of Shakespeare are really not so complete. It's Doctor Chauncey.
Programmer: Dr. Chauncey, can you do it?
Chauncey: Did Dante rise from the inferno only to reach mediocrity? Of course I can, you knave! Send it to me in an e-mail stat!

Of late I've listened to the most recent doomsayer, Glenn Beck. His rantings I've heard before in my junior history class in high school. Our teacher, Mr. Cazier, taught from the same books Beck has been pounding. I like some of the ideas, but listening too much causes me grief and consternation. For the following hours and days I'm in a state of paranoia. I generally try to avoid being paranoid, especially when in a state of pregnancy. (Pregnant women worry enough as it is: Will my baby be deformed, fully function? I haven't felt the baby kick! I didn't take my prenatal vitamins today; this baby is doomed! With the amount of evil in this world, why in the heck are we bringing another child into it?!)

As the predictions come and go, I don't get as rialed up over the end of the world. And it's not like it's just the conservative side crying "the sky is falling." The liberal side has their bent too, or haven't you heard about a little movie made by a one Al Gore called An Inconvenient Truth?

Still, every time I hear an end-of-the-world theory, a small part of me flinches and wonders. Like Lisa Simpson in the episode where the town people think the end-of-the-world would come at a certain time and hour, and it turns out that it was all just a hoax by promoters for the opening of the new mall. She held tightly to her mother's hand when the supposed hour arrived. And so do I. Every New Year: I hold tightly to Kulani's hand. If this is the end, I'm glad I'm with him. (Plus, the dude has a huge stash of guns and ammunition, so we'll be ready for those God-hating Commies.)


Pat said...

I've heard that the only thing you need to survive any kind of disaster (i.e. end of the world) in Utah are:

1. Guns (& ammo)
2. Land
3. Gold
4. Chocolate
5. Diet Coke

I think bacon, butter and beef belong on the list as well, but with number 5 as the ultimate bargaining chip (think crazed escalade driving women) you could get pretty much whatever you needed.

Pat said...

Also, besides the whole gun thing, he could throw down some serious grub with whatever he kills.

Morkthefied said...

Women drinking Diet Coke and driving around in their Escalade: I've never heard a more perfect definition of my neighborhood. Good one there, Pat.

go mom go said...

Pregnancy? Did I miss something? Have I been away from he blogging world that long? Now I'm going to go back and read through all of your posts just to see what else I've missed.

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