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A Special Edition of The East Village
Mini-Jeremiad for the Year 2000 Forgive my non-Y2K compliance, so to speak, but what's all this worldwide Millennium nonsense: tonteria, folie, Dummheit, stoltezza, mishegas -- a sequence of a hundred starts with one not zero. Why are we so eager to rush things along, a year before it's necessary, to the possibility of Apocalypse? to see if it's actually going to happen? to find out if God is going to split open the sky and yell at us, extra loud? to see if Jesus is going to come down from the clouds and make us feel really, really bad about ourselves? The Greek monk who was given the job of figuring out Christ's birthday, so an Anno Domini date would have a semblance of accuracy, worked back from the hundreds of years of his own existence, and was, it is now determined, to have been short by a few, so the real Millennium probably came and went sometime in the '90s and nobody even noticed! And math is what this whole deal is about anyway: the magic of numbers. After awhile, 1 becomes 2. That's the way it goes. And the real bottom line is that it's a good deal -- a bargain: we get a whole century for a mere 99 years, an entire millennium for nine ninety-nine; we get two fins de siecle and two fins de millennaire instead of one, a two-fer, something for nothing, something thrown in, an extra party -- since we know we will get to do it all over again next year, the real first year of the 21st Century -- except that, a year from today, we can remark: How adolescent and impatient we all were a year ago, how so very 20th century we acted back then. "Look," someone shouts, "the sky's splitting open! Now this is a Millennium!"