By Francisco Alvarado
By Trevor Bach
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
"But their calendar is cyclical, like every calendar," says Traci Ardren, an archaeologist and University of Miami professor who specializes in the Maya. "Just because our calendar ends December 31 doesn't mean that January 1 won't happen."
In fact, Mayan mythology doesn't say much about the end of the world. "The only source [for apocalypse theories] is the imagination of the public," she says. "There is no actual data that people are working from. Once people start telling stories, anything gets added to the story."
It's really no surprise that South Floridians feel like the world is about to fall around them, Ardren explains. After all, just this year, a giant eyeball mysteriously washed ashore, a man was caught keeping human brains in a storage shed, a puppeteer planned to kidnap and cook children, kids began drinking hand sanitizer, and a man in Deerfield Beach choked to death on giant cockroaches in an attempt to win a pet python.
"Everything is possible in Miami," Ardren says with a sigh.
Bath salts, voodoo hexes, or zombie viruses notwithstanding, Rudy Eugene really did eat Ronald Poppo's face. Connie Mack really did punch Ron Gant in the pecker. David Rivera really was the most corrupt congressman in the country. LeBron James was alone among our leaders in that he actually gave us something, titty-twisting the Oklahoma Thunder into submission and earning us our second NBA championship parade in six years, while the Marlins and Dolphins continued to embarrass South Florida.
Women really did masturbate in public, hide drugs in their hoo-hahs, and burn down ancient trees while smoking meth. Men actually did molest disabled dogs and miniature donkeys just for the fun of it. And yes, you can totally go kill a Burmese python in the Everglades, no questions asked.
In other words, it might not be the apocalypse, but South Florida is still pretty damn apocalyptic. Living here is like the final scene of Fight Club: Everything is falling down and going to shit, but everything is also all right.
Ardren has her own analysis of how this city, like so many others around the globe, could be waiting years for something that will never happen.
"There are a lot of people who are waiting for Fidel to die," she says. "It's a similar kind of thing: waiting for this cataclysmic event that is suddenly going to change everything, when in fact it's going to be complicated and messy."
She pauses and then adds, "Maybe it's human nature, but they are waiting and it's just not happening."