The apocalyptic movie "2012" wasn't good enough for the Oscars to take seriously. But a small cast of celebrities are taking the hit film's premise seriously: that 2012 could be the end of the world as we know it.
Stars who have ruminated publicly about 2012 being The End include Woody Harrelson, Lil' Wayne, Joe Rogan, Montel Williams and the grande dame of New Age spirituality, Shirley MacLaine.
You can add Dan Aykroyd to that list.
Aykroyd and I were catching up the other day because he's in Vegas to autograph bottles of his Crystal Head Vodka at an Albertsons (4 p.m. Tuesday, 10250 W. Charleston Blvd.).
And he's giving Wednesday's keynote address at the Nightclub & Bar Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Because Aykroyd is a pop-renaissance man, I started by asking him about his many interests: The House of Blues (he and his partners sold it in 2006, but he's still spokesman-consultant); Crystal Head Vodka, which he co-created (no chemical additives); and "Ghostbusters III" (the script's closer to being done).
Then I asked Aykroyd, 57, about his interests in UFOs, which led to this:
He thinks "the UFO phenomenon is going to figure greatly" in a 2012 "revelation," when "the end of the world will come."
"It won't be the end of the world physically as we know it, as depicted in the movie. But it will be the end of consciousness and the end of perception as we know it."
Aykroyd is a "great admirer of George Knapp," who has chronicled UFO phenomena for decades in Nevada.
And Aykroyd, a lifetime benefactor of MUFON.com, has visited the town of Rachel on Extraterrestrial Highway and marveled at "real photographs" there of sightings.
"These aren't hoaxes or fakes," he said. "Dozens of Army officers, police, sheriffs, emergency workers -- people who are outside all day, all night, all the time -- are consistently coming forward to report events."
UFO phenomena could be elements in a 2012 realignment, perhaps as mass revelations or mass sightings, he said.
"Mass telepathic content has already occurred throughout North America on many occasions, the last notable one being in 1994 in (Quebec), where there was an incident that involved about 2,000 people being called to their back porches to look up into the sky and witness an event with a craft at the same time. That was a telepathic event where they were all contacted."
Clearly, some kind of end is near, he said.
"As Shirley MacLaine puts it: The light is going to go out in the next few years, 2012, and a new perception will come on.
"Whether that has to do with the dominance of dark matter in the universe -- or some triumph/domination of good and evil -- the light we know now, whether that's a good light or a bad light, is going to change.
"There's going to be a phase-wave shift in everything, and that's very exciting. I don't think it's destructive. I think it's going to be very constructive."
I asked him how we should prepare.
"I think we should open our minds and start being better human beings to each other, and accept that this may be the way of life. We've got to be more compassionate, more loving, more positive thinking."
A worst-case scenario is that "the good light" will go out and we will experience "the bad light." If that happens, people who practice on behalf of the good light will be even more pressed to "fight" against "whatever darkness is coming," he said.
I asked him, "Fight how?"
"Fight like hell!" he said. "Fight like hell on the side of the road."
I asked him how Nevada will fit into all this.
He answered by unfurling an incredibly deep knowledge of Vegas and Nevada. He reflected on the UFO culture of Rachel; the state's military; Nevada's "beautiful topography"; Mayor Oscar Goodman's adeptness at handling issues; the strength of "first families" and entrepreneurs in Nevada, such as the Maloofs; the positive ways Vegas embraces performance artists; our liberal attitudes toward leisure; UNLV's educational culture; and the big brains of math doctorates who work for multidynamic hotels.
Many of those strengths mean Vegas could take in refugees in 2012, he said.
"There's no city on Earth that handles more people more efficiently," he said.
"If you had to create an exodus of 100,000 people, where they had to flee from their native land, they could be put up in Las Vegas with no problem," he said.
He added, "We don't want to wish that" kind of refugee-causing catastrophe.
Floored by all this information, I thanked Aykroyd for sharing his thoughts, and I asked whether there's anything else he wants me to tell you.
"We're doing a signing at Albertsons next Tuesday," he said.
Doug Elfman's column appears on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 702-383-0391 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.