When looking through history, we measure years with B.C. and A.D. but you have to imagine that in some time in the future we'll have a new abbreviation, right? Unless we just keep on going to the year five thousand or something. What would be the event that would most likely put our clock back to zero in terms of counting years? Jesus coming down and making a long awaited sequel? A nuclear war that blows half the world away? Aliens attacking us? Maybe if the Mayan prophecy worked out, that would have been a big one.
It would have to be some kind of apocalyptic event that essentially rendered modern calendars pointless. It was easy to change your calendar back in the time of Christ because A) Most people didn't possess calendars and B) Commerce was nowhere near as dependent on a proper calendar. You just set up your gourd stand when the sun came up and you were good to go.
Consider how entrenched the modern calendar is. Your cell phone relies on it. Your pay cycle and bill cycles rely on it. Your TV programming relies on it (though Netflix would like that to no longer be the case). You schedule flights and catch trains and arrange business meetings all based on that calendar. Computer servers and submarine data systems rely on it (which is why the world totally ended during Y2K, if you recall). Resetting the calendar would be a logistical nightmare that would cost billions of dollars and create millions of hours of pointless busywork.
So even if fucking ALIENS came down and we had first contact, that wouldn't be enough. You may be dazzled that the Quranians have arrived from Alpha Zyphoxx K, but not enough to reschedule your date with that OKCupid chick to March 25th, 0000. To reset the modern calendar, one of two things would have to happen:
1. The passage of time on Earth would have to be altered in some fundamental way. For example, if the rotation of the earth slowed to 25 hours a day (NOTE: Will actually happen 150 million years from now) or if our revolution around the Sun sped up to, I dunno, 360 days. Neither of those things are likely to happen anytime soon. And if they did happen right away, we would all die. Speaking of us all dying, the other scenario would be...
2. An apocalyptic event wipes out virtually all of humanity and its infrastructure, rendering your phone and your work schedule and your social life irrelevant. If you've ever read "The Passage," you know that the calendar resets after genetically altered super-vampires have taken over the Earth and mankind has been forced to moved into fortified bunkers that keep the vampires from feasting on their flesh at nightfall. So something like that, basically. You're talking about a scenario where the entire history of Earth is of little matter to you anymore, where you're simply trying to survive in some kind of bleak postmodern hellscape where the only time that matters is the time since your wife and children were cruelly taken from you by the risen Antichrist and sealed in a tomb of flames. Pretty sweet, if you ask me.
Or Kate Middleton's baby could turn out to be Kanye's. That would also do it.
One more thing: You people that use "Before Common Era" instead of "Before Christ"? You're fucking annoying. I'm not religious, but even I know that BC is what it ought to say. There's no point in hiding the reason WHY the calendar was reset 2,000 years ago. You don't have to worship Jesus to know that he kickstarted the whole thing. Quit giving rednecks a justifiable excuse to bitch about oversensitivity. WILL WE HAVE TO RENAME ALL THOSE JOHNNY HART COMIC STRIPS?!
Now, down into the comment section for the your live funbagginess. I'm sure the new comment system will have no impact on us whatso... OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also order Drew's new book, "Someone Could Get Hurt," through his homepage.