For Y2K Fears, An Antidote: Maryland 2000

Planes are smashing.

Stocks are crashing.

Hooray, hooray.


Those lyrics from a satirical song by a group called Jim's Big Ego sum up the way a lot of people look at the millennium: Worrying what might go wrong.

News stories in recent days sound like a stroll through the horror section at the video store: Predictions that terrorists will run amok at midnight; doomsday cults getting kicked out of countries; worries about food-hoarding; warnings of phone failures when everybody makes the call to test the system.

There are stories about preparation for the return of both Christ and the anti-Christ. Still more reports warn us that expensive French champagne is getting scarce, as are hotel rooms for Big Blowouts.

We're entering a period of hysteria that will mount in weeks ahead as we approach a benchmark in history. In two months, we'll look back with amusement and, possibly, pity for people who jumped off the deep end. Many of us will look back, too, at our credit card bills from New Year's flings and wonder what got into us.

Are we missing the point? Could we be allowing a moment for inspiration to be drowned out by fear and commercial forces? Are we failing to seize this special moment in history to look at where we've been and where we're headed?

Are we in the midst of a giant failure in imagination that we could regret, bypassing an opportunity for great reckoning and grand dreams?

In Maryland, we're more fortunate than most to have Maryland 2000 helping us look forward to a year-long observance of the new millennium.

In this week's New Bay Times interview, Louise Hayman, executive director of Maryland 2000, talks about some of the opportunities for Marylanders to look beyond the moment to ways that we can preserve our heritage, physically and culturally, for the next 1000 years.

Few if any other states have a state-funded entity like Maryland 2000, which is helping us to plan. And it is much more than government at work: Dozens of companies and individuals are donating their assistance to make the transition between centuries smooth and meaningful.

Long after the champagne corks pop, Maryland will have lush, Marylandscapes gardens to commemorate the millennium thanks to Maryland 2000. Because of planning, we'll have saved historic buildings from strip-mall madness. With the help of seminars and speakers, we can gain tips on living better in the new century.

So skip all the fretting and fingernail chewing, and join us in the part of the song that goes: Hooray, hooray - Y2K.

| Issue 45 |

Volume VII Number 45
November 11-17, 1999
New Bay Times

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