Millennium, Schmillennium
A skeptic takes on the Apocalypse

The Way the Future Was
What did Knoxvillians at the last turn of the century predict for 2001?

Our Fearless Predictions
What does life hold for Knoxvillians in the next millennium?

Bug Out!
Take your pick of Y2K bug millennial disasters

Pop Apocalypse
Heed the words of the radio star prophets


Our intern's guide to Y2K web insanity

Editor's Note: For this issue, we gave our star intern, affectionately known around the office as Fuzzles, the assignment of finding out what information on the Year 2000 crisis is floating around on the Internet. Being the hardworking, eager-to-please guy that he is, Fuzzles jumped at the challenge. At first, everything went great: Fuzzles was his typical, happy-go-lucky self, bouncing into our offices several times a day to report, with a chuckle, about the paranoia and fanaticism he'd encountered. However, as the week wore on, and he logged more and more hours online, Fuzzles' mood changed drastically. He stopped shaving and no longer brought us coffee and donuts in the morning. He began mumbling to himself, and the reliable gleam in his eyes was replaced by a marked despondency. Foolishly, we chalked it up to a rigorous finals schedule. Until one rather dark afternoon during a staff meeting when he—apropos of nothing—began ranting about how all our endeavors were meaningless, and doesn't anyone realize the doom that awaits us all. Fuzzles was frothing at the mouth unlike anything we'd ever seen. We were stunned. Just before he ran out the door, he said something about a bargain on water purifying systems and cheap land in the mountains. That was the last we've seen of Fuzzles, despite numerous emails, phone calls, and even a few visits to his dorm room. Finally, earlier this week, he sent us an alarming email explaining the root of his stress. We apologize to Fuzzles' parents for any grief this assignment has caused their only son. We've decided to publish Fuzzles's email message—despite warnings from our attorneys, who fear we might create a mass panic. We hope it will demonstrate the brutal effects of spending too much time on the Internet reading about the Y2K crisis. (It seems fitting to us that panic over a computer catastrophe would be spread mainly by computers.) We haven't checked any of the below-mentioned websites. Frankly, we're afraid. Do so at your own risk. And, Fuzzles, if you're reading this, please come home. We could use some coffee.

Dearest Metro Pulse comrades,

I regret that I will no longer be able to work for your fine, albeit trite, little publication. I think about you all often, and about the certain disaster that awaits you. Here are some websites you may find enlightening, along with some comments about how they have helped me. Sorry, this is all I have time to write. There is so much preparation to do. I only hope it is not too late for you.


It is a simple timer, ticking away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the year 2000. What do you think happens when it hits zero? I log on often, and it is still ticking. So little time.


Some people criticize him for selling Y2K investment advice. But Mr. North, an historian, is the one who really opened my eyes. Step-by-step, he outlines how the apocalypse will unfold, explaining how the country's powergrid, national defense, banks, transportation and communication systems will be crippled. It was North who explained to me how many federal departments have reported their computers will not be compliant in time, how the Russian government has not spent any money or time on the crisis, leaving their nuclear warheads in jeopardy of firing, and how computer-induced economic collapse in one country could have a domino effect across the globe.


But how could society come unwound because of a silly computer glitch? What does it mean? This site has given me a lot to think about. It collects statistics on earthquakes, hurricanes, UFOs and other strange occurrences—and links them to Bible verses that may help explain them. There's a special section on the Year 2000.

Unfortunately, the Lord wrote nothing about computers. But always keep this in mind, the Harpazo Network reassures: "[N]o matter what troubles befall us, no matter how bleak things can sometimes appear GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE! And it is He who is ultimately in control! 'A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.' Proverbs 22:3."


Captain Dave has taught me so much. I must admit that when I first read, "Ever think about trapping your own food? Buckshot tells you how, and keeps you chuckling with his trapping tales," that no, I hadn't for one single minute ever considered trapping dinner. Can you believe it? But, it's so easy! Did you know that in other bleak periods in history big game is usually quickly thinned? But trackers never go hungry.

Like me, Dave was at first skeptical that this Y2K hoopla would amount to much. But he's become more and more alarmed, and plans to hole up at his secluded cabin until it blows over. Still, he's worried what might be left of America. "The government could declare Martial Law, stripping away the rights granted in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Curfews could be the least of our problems, as they could stop the use of personal vehicles, seize control of utilities and broadcast outlets, even 'relocate' civilians 'for their own safety.' There are executive orders on the books that will allow the government to take your generator and your fuel reserves. What will you do when they want your food supplies?" I will fight for every darn can of beans and powdered cheese packet, Captain.


Speaking of food supplies, you can get a great deal on bulk packages of powdered eggs, milk, and butter. Yum. You can find much of what you'll need for your Y2K shelter here: woodburning stoves, generators, 300-gallon water tanks (which, when stored flat on a roof, can't be seen by any darn looters). I got a great deal on an AK type assault rifle for only $450. Plus, Y2K Classifieds acclimates you to the old-fashioned barter and trade system that will be the standard form of commerce when the economy collapses. Also, you can link up with Y2K brethren and join or form a survivalist community. It does get lonely here with my laptop and ammo. I wish someone would answer my ad.


When I look at this site now, I can't believe that people would treat the end of civilization so glibly. But then I remember that I was once like them. The year 2000 seemed so exciting then. Now, it brings only sadness. These people probably won't get it until its too late. This website is a growing list of parties around the world to celebrate the new millennium. Smoke Out 2000 is "going to be a [expletive]-load of people getting all sorts of [expletive] up. It will also kick off our international plan to legalize marijuana." Heathens. But it's nice to know there are still decent folks like those at Haven Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Mich., who on Dec. 6 will be "Remembering God's Providence, Celebrating God's Presence, Anticipating God's Promise." I worry for them.


Boy, was I ever glad to find these sites. Living in such bleak times, it's easy to forget that life isn't entirely glum. These gags were written mostly by computer programmers and survivalists, so you know they're a hoot. Here's one of my favorites: George Burns is celebrating his 5th birthday. He says he will live to be 100. (Everyone laughs because 100 doesn't exist.)


I dread there may be even darker forces at work behind all this. In fact, the Y2K disaster may pale compared to what could follow in the 21st century. Year 2000 may not be much of a disaster at all, according to this site: "Countless billions of dollars are being spent to improve the world's computers. After the initial shock of the year 2000, the individual companies, agencies and institutions which are ready, will begin again in earnest to build a one-world economic system. It will be a better, faster, more effective system than it would ever have been without the Y2K problem. When Antichrist comes to power, he will have better control than ever over each person's ability to buy or sell!" Frightening. It's truly frightening.