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The 2012 movie and Trinidad
Posted: Monday, November 30, 2009

By Derren Joseph
November 30, 2009

I went, recently, to see the movie called 2012. Given its performance at the US and UK box offices, the movie studio should be confident in its ability to recoup the US$200 to $300 million investment. For those who have not heard of it, it is a typical big-budget Hollywood disaster movie, but it is based on an "end-of-the-world" scenario expected in the year 2012. To be completely honest, I am a 2012 researcher myself. For some time now, I have been following the work of Terrence McKenna and Time Wave Zero, interpretations of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, Hopi Prophecies, galactic wave theories, such as Velikovsky's Planet X Nibiru theories, planetary ascension theories, and so on. Naturally, we should only expect fascination with 2012 to heighten as we approach that fateful year.

As is the nature of such things, there will be more movies which consider the various scenarios. In late 2008, we had 2012 Doomsday and earlier this year we had Knowing, staring Nicholas Cage. Documentary filmmakers have also been pumping out products. Personally, I put 2012 theorists into one of three categories. First, there are those who dismiss it as rubbish and hysteria, and point at the panic around Y2K to support their views. Once again, the little boy is crying wolf, they say. Second, there are those who expect a scenario similar to that depicted in the movies. That is, they expect an apocalypse of sorts, but there is no agreement on the extent of the disruption. On the one hand, it could be a complete disaster like in the movies Knowing or 2012.

On the other hand, it could just be extreme weather patterns that would lead to great loss of life. Third, there are those who see it being a period of far-reaching change, change that would not necessarily occur on a single date (such as December 21) in the year 2012, but change that is occurring all now. David Wilcock is among those theorists with a more optimistic outlook. This group points at things like rapid advances in scientific discoveries and technological advancements. They argue that never before in our history have we experienced such rapid rates of change, both ideological and technological. Our civilisation is going through a "phase" as we move from one stage of development to another.

Time will tell which among these three categories of people are correct, but as I reflected on the 2012 debate, I could not help but wonder whether the same categorisation could apply to Trinidad and Tobago? Let me explain further. I wonder if there are not three categories of social commentators. First, there are those who say that nothing is wrong with our country. It is business as usual. Same old, same old! No need to worry about a thing. Second, there are those who see complete disaster. The sky is falling around them; the end is near, and anyone who does not see it is in denial. Every opportunity must be taken to complain about just how bad things are getting and to attack those deemed responsible (usually someone in authority).

Like Woody Harrelson's character– Charlie Frost, in the 2012 movie—they believe in a government conspiracy to deny the inevitable disaster that is fast approaching. The truth is being covered up, or otherwise obscured. Third, there are those who see Trinidad and Tobago going through a period of far-reaching change, change that is a natural part of the developmental process, as can be seen in every other plural society in history. Once again, only time will tell which of these three categories would be correct in their analysis. As with the 2012 debate, I am certain that many in each of these categories are entrenched in their positions, and nothing would convince them otherwise. As a Naipaulian half-made society, we are going through certain inevitable growth pains as we refine and define who we truly are.

Trinidad and Tobago is still a society in its early stages of formation, as we seek to answer for ourselves questions of governance, to challenge notions of development, and to endeavour to become a more cohesive society, despite our differences. Undoubtedly, certain aspects of this developmental stage are, indeed, painful. About that there can be no doubt. As a person of faith, I join those who not just work hard, but pray that we emerge from this stage successfully.

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