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Latarski: End of the world as we know it
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If this were wrasslin', it would be hailed as the caged match of the century, two titans of mayhem squaring off in what will be carnage, destruction and doom.

It is The Fiscal Cliff vs. The Mayan Apocalypse.

If this were a Japanese movie, it would be better than "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster" and probably be required viewing at the Harvard Business School.

In both cases, the clock, or to be more technical the calendar, is rolling along.

The deadline on The Fiscal Cliff was put in place by the very people who are trying to avoid going over the edge. This is not cause for great confidence.

The Mayan calendar just ran out and it may mean the guy in charge of calendars just got tired and quit.

After all, making a calendar in rock by carving it with stone tools is a lot harder than grunting and belching about disaster like the folks in Washington.

The main difference between these two and wrasslin' is there is no good guy to root for and each side has its own set of difficulties.

One side is under the thumb of delusional people who seem to have lost touch with reality and don't understand what they are doing or how the world works.

The other side is trying to read Mayan.

If you support the notion of the Mayan Apocalypse you have to have a certain amount of faith in what you are hearing from others because, let's face it, there are not that many people around who read or speak Mayan.

If you look at The Fiscal Cliff, you have to have faith in the people who are supposedly working in the best interest of everyone to avoid disaster, but it appears there are fewer of these folks than there are those who read Mayan.

Each side also has its advantage.

If you happen to be on the side of the Mayan Apocalypse and you are probably sleeping easy because you don't have to worry about The Fiscal Cliff.

If we go over The Fiscal Cliff, things could get so bad we all have to go out and learn how to use stone tools. File this under learning new employment skills.

The biggest disappointment for the Mayan Apocalypse supporters is, if they turn out to be right, there will not be anyone around for them to gloat at and say, I told you so. What's the fun in winning if no one knows you won?

Those who fear The Fiscal Cliff come in two categories: those who believe it is the Sword of Damocles hanging above us and those who look at all the possible ramifications and say, Huh?

If the sword falls, there will be great unrest among the masses, but even greater unease among those who let it fall because they will be worried about keeping their jobs. If the "Huh?" folks prevail they will run for Congress.

A connection between the two no one has offered is, could the Mayans have gone over a fiscal cliff and having mangled their economy so badly simply went out of business as a civilization?

This is unlikely because I've looked at some Mayan maps and never found a place named Washington, D.C.
I once saw an interview with an end-of-the-world prognosticator and right after he finished predicting the world would end in three weeks, he started cutting his grass, which somehow did not seem reasonable and dulled his credibility as a soothsayer but made me feel better.

What I'm hearing from those nurturing The Fiscal Cliff is not as credible as the grass-cutting man.

The Mayan Apocalypse may be wonderful mythology with a twist of whimsy while The Fiscal Cliff is twisted management with a plethora of incompetence and self-aggrandizement by those in charge.

Come to think of it, "Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster" is a better movie.

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at