Friday, August 13, 1999

Event: Eclipse - 1999's Damp Squib #2

Now this, may sound a bit harsh, because, yes, in certain places it did deliver all it was promised to be, but in London it was a damp squib. I had been told, by the media, by the half-baked scientists the media always wheels out when it doesn't understand what's going on, and by knowledgeable friends (who had read, seen and heard the media), that London was going to get a 95% eclipse. So I was expecting, near total darkness, people walking into man-holes, cars careering off the road, aeroplanes crashing into tall buildings. But it was not to be. In London, it went a tad darker for a bit - like it was late afternoon - and the sun changed shape. No calamities. No, end of the world because it's happening at 11:11 on the 11th day of the 8th month of 99th year of the second Millennium since 4 years before the boy who would put an end to Judaism's monopoly on monotheism was born. In short it was just another hugely hyped event that failed to deliver.

This follows only a few short weeks since, Nostradamus' prediction for the end of the world. Which, was quite well hyped, and again failed to deliver. There wasn't even a spate of plane crashes to mark the day. Not even an epidemic of measles. I mean, just an outbreak of sporadic falling over would have made the hype seem a little bit warranted. But, no. Nostradamus failed to deliver, as in London, the Eclipse failed in its attempt to be a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime, visual extravaganza. Quite frankly, it was the Phantom Menace of Solar Phenomenon.

What next? Well, we all know that damp squibs come in threes. And the next big, over-hyped event is going to be the changing over from the second to the third Millennium since 4 years before the boy who would put an end to Judaism's monopoly on monotheism was born. Now this is the biggy. This isn't just some French twat's cryptic suggestion that the world will be destroyed. This isn't some old chunk of Earth floating in front of our sun. This is an undisputed calendarial event. Many people believe the world will end. Many other people believe the boy who put an end to Judaism's monopoly on monotheism will return to finish the job he started. Many, many fear that much of the technology will rely upon will fail us, leaving us at the very least unable to record January 1st's edition of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and at worst with global nuclear destruction. Lots and lots of people, many of whom are included in the above, believe that whatever will happen, this is still the best excuse to party for 1000 years. Night-clubs, domes and fields are preparing themselves for huge organised parties.

And yet, what is going to happen? Very few people I have spoken to are venturing out that evening. It's a night, for celebrating with family or friends, not at some organised thing. It's a night for staying within easy reach of candles and solid tables under which to hide from nuclear fall-out. It's a night for staying in with the TV because it could well be the last chance for some time. It's a night for being somewhere where the playing of 1999 by Prince and Millennium by Robbie Williams are not compulsory.

Only time will tell if it is a damp squib or not. Or whether the 2nd Millennium ends with a bang of one sort or another.

But is it all bad? There was one good thing about the Eclipse, and that was watching London's rooftops and bridges fill with its people. it was kind of like the Dunkirk spirit, when hundreds of ordinary British folk sailed over to France to see the eclipse of our expeditionary force. And people in Devon and Cornwall did seem very enthralled that it went dark during the day. And in time we will remember this as the last eclipse ever seen from Earth thanks to an event mentioned later.

And Nostradamus' damp end of the world squib, did put the final nail in the coffin of the old French fraud.

So it is possible that on and after the 31st December 1999, the failure of the Earth to explode, the ability of electronic equipment to still function, the lack of arrival of divisive saviours, the fact we stayed in to party and not go to the Hippodrome... all of these could not be bad things at all.


Actually there is one event scheduled this year that will absolutely, without fail occur. This is the blowing away of the Moon from the Earth on September 9th 1999. This event will occur, because it has not been predicted by French nutters or religions groups. Because it has not been mercilessly hyped during its build-up. And because it has been foretold by someone of great supernatural (and indeed supermarionational) power. Jerry Anderson. As Prince once prophetically put it, "Tonight, I'm gonna party like it's Space 1999." And party I will.

At home, under the table, with a good supply of candles.


Eclipse Quote of the Year. (Supplied by Mr Norm McBride)

Two students in a University library: "Are you coming to see the eclipse?" "Where is it?"


(c) August (Space) 1999 (Party Like It's) Peter More.