Are You Y2K Ready?

Or did you think Y2K was another Calvin Klein perfume, the kind promoted by pouty models who look like all they want from life is more heroin? (Apocalyptic aside: Wouldn't it be great if Jesus came back in a plaid sports jacket and green tie and made those pretenders smell their own magazine ads? Ah, sweet justice.)

To update you, Y2K is geek speak for "Year 2000," which loosely translated from the original Latin means, "nothing will work." Or, as Confucius warned several hundred years ago, "Buy batteries."

What it really means—according to the few experts who haven't already fled to underground bunkers in Montana—is that at midnight on December 31, anything that has a computer chip could fail, since it won't recognize the double zero date (which, coincidentally, was my nickname on prom night).

Got a computer? Use it quick, it's gonna fail. Own a car made after 1980? Pull over. Did you get one of those Furby things last Christmas? Come January 1, it thinks it's Barbie. And that could get ugly.

Are you wearing a pacemaker? Ouch.

Yes, the year 2000 is scaring a lot of people, and not just because, according to religious experts on late night cable television, the Lord is coming back with His terrible swift sword and a few thousand avenging angels. No. It's worse than that, since most of us would rather deal with avenging angels than a hard drive failure. At least with angels you can swat at 'em with rolled up newspapers. But when your computer goes down you just sit there and whimper.

The biggest fear is that the nation's electrical grid will malfunction, leaving everyone without power (except for survivalist cults who have their own generators and huge smiles on their faces, since it turns out they were right all along).

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1999
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