Don’t go clicking away this article, rolling your eyes in disbelief and irritation thinking this is another one of those “2012 Mayan end of the world” type bullshit stories too quickly now. This isn’t like that at all. Unlike any other article with a title like this one has this article is different. This one has one thing all those other ones don’t have. This one is no bullshit. This one is accurate and true, and it predicts the end of life as we know it!
And unlike the Mayan’s who were nice enough to give humanity centuries to ponder the coming end this article gives us precious little time to prepare. Less then a month. Just a little less than 30 days are left to us before the end will be upon us all, heralded by fire and explosions and chaos on a global scale. And as advanced as we might think our human race to have become over the course of our history there is nothing all of our combined science and technology can do to stop the end from happening. Life as we know it, will end in just a little over 24 days from now.
And with life as we know it i mean, ofcourse, life in 2014. Yes, i am not kidding you, i am talking about the end of the year, not the end of life on earth. I am not predicting the end of the human species, nor am i warning you all about the impending end of our planet’s existance. No armageddon, no extinction, no cataclysmic disasters or anything like that. I just didn’t want to have 99% of the people starting to read this article to become bored with it before the first centense was finished. At least now the majority of those who’ve clicked this page closed did so annoyed or even angry at having been mislead, and there is a chance that one or two persons are actually still reading this article all the way to this point.
Who knows, maybe one of them will go on reading the rest of what i’m going to put in this article just because “i’ve read too much to not finish reading it now” or something. At least i know that those reading to this point can take a joke, however lousy that joke may be.
Just like most of us in the modern world the end of another year is reason for looking back and for looking ahead. For asking ourselves what went right and, maybe more importantly, what went wrong the past 360 some days in our lives. Remembering the highs and the lows and for setting expectations for the year to come. Usually this is done either in the privacy of our own minds or, for those working in some form of media kind of thing, publicly on tv, internet, radio, newspaper or magazine. For the vast majority of the years i’ve lived i have been no different, keeping my thoughts to myself and forgetting most of those thoughts within little more than a day or two, three.
This year though i am going to put it all into this article and plaster it on the internet for everyone to read, or not read (whichever the case may be) and thereby make humanity a little wiser, richer and better. And for those who might now be wondering if i’m suffering from a mental disorder i can assure you that i am not. I am completely sain, serious and i have not a single sarcastic cell in my entire body.
So..... 2014.... what a year it’s been huh? There’s a lot you can say about it but one thing it was not and that was uneventfull. A lot has happened past year that one could drag from the dark reaches of our memory and call remarkable. It was the year of the 22nd (XXII) Winter olympics which were held in Sotchy, Russia. World champoinship football played out in Brasil with “Der Mannschaft” winning the title for Germany (and nobody seems to bother keeping track of how many times it has been since the first time it was held). In other sports one might mention the PDC world championship darts was won by Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.
In America people think that the Seattle Seahawks winning the Superbowl is the same as winning the world championship American football even if there are only American teams competing. Simular but completely different one can mention that in Ice Skating the European and World Titles were won by Dutch men and woman speedskaters in almost all disciplines which gives the Dutch people almost the same feeling about ice-skating as the Americans about American football (only the Dutch people do so with just cause).
But there was more than just Sports that was worthy of rememberance. 2014 was the year we lost many famous people worthy of remembering. People like Ariel Sharon, Shirley Temple, Micky Roony, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams have left us this year, among others ofcourse. For many that would be worth remembering about 2014.
Others would maybe bring up something completely different. Like Gangnam Style becoming the first video ever to be watched over two billion times on youtube, or the release of the game “Goat Simulator” or the extinction of the Acolotl in the wild or the discovery of Kepler-186f (first Earth sized exoplant within the goldy locks zone) or the discovery of Pelagornis Sandersi (gigantic pre-historic bird with 7,4 meter wingspan)... But there wouldn’t be that many people bringing those things up to remember 2014.
Because there were much much more memorable things that marked 2014 for the history books ofcourse. The Ebola virus outbreakin West Africa which is still not completely under control will be one of the more important things we’ll remember. Another thing will be the Ukranian crisis, leading to the annexation of Crimea by Russian President Putin and the insurgency in Donetsk and Luhansk area’s. Linked to that is the downing of the Maleisian Airliner Mh17 by a surface to air missile killing hundreds of civilians, most of which were vacationers from the Netherlands (and the embarrasingly cowardly way this was handled by the Dutch government). Also remembered across the world will be the landing of Philae on Comet 67p from the Rosetta spacraft as a remarkable achievement of human technology.
And sure enough, each of those things are things that were remarkable in 2014 anno domini, in the 3rd millennium.... or MMXIV of the Common Era on the Gregorian Calender. And to those each person will add their own personal special occurances and happenings from their lives to complete their “record of 2k14” which will remain in their minds for the rest of their lives.
But to me the year 2014 will be remembered for two things above all other things. Both have good and bad aspects, like almost everything has, but i am certain that a hundred years from now both will be mentioned in the history books as pivotal in the development of the human race. The first i’ll mention is the release on National Geographic and Fox Network of “Cosmos”, the science documentary series inspired by Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” documentary series back in the seventies. Hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson, co-directed by Brannon Braga (of Startrek fame) and co-produced/created by Seth McFarlane (yes, that dude that brought us Family Guy, American Dad, Dexters Laboratory, Cow and Chicken and all that kind of stuff) the series, fully named “Cosmos, a space time oddessy”, was a great success and brought science and knowledge to the masses like nothing else had ever been able to do before in the history of mankind. Ofcourse it was also cause for heated debate and many criticised it because it didn’t fit their beliefs completely or even went completely against everything they believe but that ‘controverse’ just seemed to add to the popularity of the series. I genuinely think that Cosmos will be remembered as a game changer for the increasing of the level of knowledge among the masses of humanity and will be mentioned in the books a century from now.
Sadly all that was overshadowed by Islam. Both on a national level as on an international level the Media were dominated by Islam related news almost daily in one way or another. And sadly almost all of the things that happened related to Islam was bad.... Very bad....
Bombings, Kidnappings, civil wars, riots, scandals and so on and on and on going from bad to worse ensured on a daily basis that the most discussed topic in the world is and was Islam in 2014. Boko Haram in Nigeria gained notoriaty in 2014 by their masacres and ofcourse the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls. Other islamic groups in African countries like Shabab Abu sayaff regularly comitted horrible acts that made it into the mass media ofcourse but mainly under the category “Al qaida related”.
The civil upheaval in Egypt, Libia, and other “Arabian-Spring” countries were daily news items for a while ofcourse, all adding fuel to the debate about islam going on since before 9/11. That debate was beginning to change in the beginning of 2014 though, in a way which might turn out to be significant in ways many may not even realise to be important but which i believe will prove to be pivotal.
Up till then the debate was always about “Islamic Extremists” or “Islam Extremistic Terrorists” in which the peacefull and loving nature of “moderate Islam” or “normal Islam” was above discussion to the extent that stating anything to the contrary was equal to Racism, fascism and labels of that kind. The western world seemed to go out of its way to above all else emphasize that Islam as a religion was a religion of peace and of love and that the vast majority of the Muslims were nothing like those who supported and comitted acts of violence like them terrorists that took down the twin towers.
Early 2014 i began to notice that the discussion, at least as far as it went deeper than outrage at yet another killing kidnapping or bombing, began to change focus. Slowly there were more and more questions being raised in which that peacefull and loving nature of Islam as a religion, phylosophy and culture was no longer as unquestionable as it had been before.
Ofcourse when the civil war in Syria changed from being between the government of Assad and the Syrian people into being between secular groups, Assad’s forces and secular groups the debate’s change became more pronounced and even more people began to wonder if “Extreme Islam” or “Jihadist Islam” really formed such an insignificantly small portion of the Muslim community as everybody was being told up until then. But the real game changer in the general debates regarding islam came when ISIS began to make name in the news headlines for being “Unusually cruel and violent” at first but later “Gaining support” and “Quickly growing” eventually becoming known for the size of the territory it conquered and the speed with which it acomplished that expantion of it’s controlled area in both Syria and Iraq.
This alone was enough of a shock to many western people seeding doubts about their preconceptions about how moderate their moderate islam was and the relationships among those moderate muslims. Western and muslim society quickly relabeled extremist or fundamentalist and moderate, normal or mainstream to be jihadist, sunni, shia, alewite and other (to most people) more obscure names and now tries to defuse the forming discussion and doubt among the western world about who’s who and what’s what in the Muslim people and Islamic world but succeeded only in raising the general question “What is Islam, Is a Muslim the same as a Muslim and is there such a thing as “THE Muslim community”.
Now that ISIS has declared itsself a Caliphate called Islamic State and thousands of young men and woman, born in our western democratic and free societies are leaving to join the Islamic State and fight in its Jihad against the rest of the world it becomes harder and harder for more and more staunch Islam defenders to maintain their unquestionable conviction in the minuteness the number of supporters of the less than moderate Islam, the unity of the overwhelming majority of the muslim community and even the inherent peacefull and loving nature of Islam as a religion. And while a shrinking portion of the western, mostly leftwing, society is struggling with that a growing number of the people are beginning to wonder if Islam, any Islam, can ever be compatible enough with our way of life to truely become part of our society, culture and truely integrate into a multicultural society like the one which was dreamed of since the end of the second world war.
The answer ofcourse is that it Islam is not, was not and never will be even close to that. It is, at its very core, intolerant of anything that does not submit and subjegate itsself to it completely and does not allow for adapting or evolving either. The Qur’an is the literal word of god and can never change, not even a letter. Even translation is frowned upon and the Hadith, even though it differs between sunni and shia islam, leaves little room for evolving or adapting Islam to the changing times or circumstances (however vehemently Muslims might deny this).
By now you must have guessed that the prominence of Islam in world and local events and the change in the western society (civilization even?) perception of Islam and Muslims is what stands out as the most important and defining thing about 2014 in my opinion. What that means for 2015 and indeed the rest of the future in the western world, and perhaps the whole world, i have no idea. I do know that change is happening. Both in the middle east, asia and Africa on one side and the western world on the other side. I fear that things will get much worse and will impact our lives over here in the west far far more deeply than we’d ever thaught possible but in the end we’re just going to have to wait and see. Whatever happens will happen. I am just glad eyes and minds are opened to the possible threats and dangers Islam might pose and that the discussion keeps going.
All we can do is try to make 2015 the best year in human history for everybody and enjoy what we can while we’re on this planet. I know i will, and wish everyone on this planet a good end to 2014, a good beginning to 2015 followed by an ever better, awesome future for everyone.