Of course I already know from Darwood & Smitty that we make it way beyond 2012, so we don't implode or anything this year. That means the Mayans were either wrong, or this is (as many people have said) the end of the world as we know it (the most hopeful option), or we just don't know how to read the Mayan calendar (most likely option).
Still, I'm an eternal optimist and like to think that things are progressing, and that every year is the end of the world as we know it to some degree. Sure, the world seems less safe in a lot of ways compared to when I was a kid; but on the other hand, so much more is now available to us in terms of global connections and information. And wouldn't it be nice if information could finally break the back of certain "controlling factors" in our world? If information could put more power into the hands of the people and less into the hands of banks and politicians?
Of course in the days of Darwood & Smitty, government has gone global and we're still left with many of today's political problems; but nations are no longer warring against nations in the same way, and this at least is an aspect of the future I could support. Even if politicians are just as corrupt and people are just as willing to let them be.
Maybe, however, 2012 is a year that will shock us all. Maybe that's what this is all about, and people will finally be fed up with corruption in Washington and look to those very few candidates who would truly work to throw out the special interests and restore fairness and real opportunity. Maybe. I won't hold my breath, but I'll hold some hope.