Sunday, December 23, 2012

Idea Garage Sale: Calendar's End

Now that I think of it, I'm surprised nobody (to my knowledge; please point me in that direction if you know better) has written anything connecting the supposed Mayan prophecy of doom (which was no such thing)with the winter holidays.

The fundamental connection between any given winter holiday tradition and the Mayan calendar is the winter solstice. The days have been getting shorter, the nights longer; if this trend continues, we're all up a creek without a paddle, so it behooves us to huddle together in our warm personal units, keep lights burning, sing a few songs, and remember we love each other. All the great Christmas stories are about this, after all; probably all the great Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Midwinter Night stories, too, though being embedded in the culture I am, I'm not familiar with them. If, someday, the sun doesn't come back after all, we will at least all be with the people who matter most.

But wait, people are celebrating Christmas as a summer solstice in the southern hemisphere. If the sun deserts the northern hemisphere, will it be because it takes up permanent residence in Australia? Hmmmm...That would mean that the earth stopped wobbling on its axis.

What would be the knock-on effects of that?

Yeah, suddenly I know why this story wasn't written. I was envisioning a short story; for which I now see you'd have to do an awful lot of scientific research, and then distill that research down to its essentials, and develop the single character, situation, and incident that would convey the idea to its maximum potential - a lot of work to create a single gem-like story that could only become a Christmas classic if it found a publisher in today's straitened short-story market.

A parody would have been nice, too; could have skipped some of the research; and gotten bonus points (at least for American audiences) by encompassing the notion of the looming "Fiscal Cliff."

Oh, well, I didn't think of it in time, either.

Happy Solstice Celebrations, y'all.

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