December 21: Mayan's End Of World Calendar Linked To Gangnam Style's PsyIt was a slightly unnerving moment, given that back on the 28th of November - 'Gangnam Style: the beginning of the end?' - I was pondering the baffling global success of this musical homage to Korea's version of the Sloane Ranger and idly speculating about its significance:
And now it's become the most watched YouTube video ever. While eschatology isn't my specialist area, something about this ubiquity is uncannily reminiscent of the kind of inexplicable global phenomena that are supposed by major religions to herald the end of the world.
Maybe the Mayans were onto something after all....Now, it seems, that old apocaholic Nostradamus is getting in on the act. According to an interpretation permeating the blogosphere, 'Gangnam Style' uncannily matches a typically cryptic prophecy from among the thousand he published in 1555:
”Du matin calme la fin viendra
Une fois le nombre de cercles alignés à 9 sera,
Du cheval qui dansera”.
"From the calm morning, the end will come, once the number of aligned circles from the dancing horse reaches 9."'Calm Morning' is, it appears, an approximate translation of the performer's name, the 'dancing horse' refers to his signature galloping moves and (a bit tenuous, this one) the number of YouTube visits is getting interestingly close to 1,000,000,000 - nine zeros, see?
Michel de Notre Dame - aka Nostradamus; any self-respecting astrologer needs a catchy handle - had what must be the ultimate lucky break for a would-be prophet during his lifetime when one of his verses seemed to have predicted the death of Henri II in a jousting accident - at least once he had helped his readers sort out all the allegorical references to lions and cages.
Largely on the basis of this, and the endorsement of his No. 1 fan, the Dowager Queen Catherine de' Medici, he built a reputation as a seer which has lasted over five centuries, leading devotees into fantastical intellectual contortions in their hindsight-fuelled attempts to make his verses correspond to real-life events.
That being so, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone tried to link him to the Mayan calendar, but the way it seems to have surfaced at about the same time as my facetious post seems just a little odd.
I can't say that I am personally expecting the end of the world at 11.30am on the 21st - among other things, it would be particularly galling for the Urchin, who would then have spent his last few minutes in the dentist's chair - but you have to admit the coincidence is a striking one.
And if the world does end on Friday, how frustrating it will be to have belated proof of a previously undiscovered gift of prophecy!