Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"

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I suppose a quick introduction is in order. My name is Maynard James Keenan and I am currently a Verde Valley winemaker in beautiful Northern Arizona in my Small Domestic Farm Winery known as Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. I'm also co-owner and founder of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. My current and former life also includes the international recording acts and multimedia projects known as Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, and Tool.

For some reason I've been asked if I would take up space in the New Times with my Zippy the Pinhead-esque blitherings and meanderings. Not sure why they would ask me of all people, but my wife said I should do it. So as a good spouse does, I said yes dear, in that cadence, and without punctuation or quotations. So we begin.

The inherent problem with being a Chicken Little-type person is that if or when the sky ever falls, I'll be too flattened to snip "See? I told ya so!" And although I live near Sedona, I possess no crystal ball, and any Tarot cards I may have owned have certainly all been shredded in the spokes of my long retired banana seat Huffy.

And yet, these last few years, I'm seeing some truth to all these Earth Changes stories my hippie neighbors keep interpretive dancing about. It's only the first week of September and we've already harvested 80-85 percent of the 2012 vintage. That's 111 tons of a possible 130-140 tons. Historically, my first red to be picked was the Merkin West, Judith's Block Cabernet Sauvignon. Usually between the 8th and 12th of September, but last week I barreled down this finished wine. Done. Picked, processed, fermented, pressed, settled, barreled. That's pushing roughly 3.5 weeks ahead of schedule. Truth be told, we have several sites that appear to be only slightly ahead of schedule and much more aligned with previous vintages. But they're still a tiny bit ahead of schedule overall. So screaming, "I told you so!" might be a bit premature without a bit more due diligence. My copy of the Mayan Calendar appears to have expired, so it is currently of no use to me. I got on the Bunker bat phone to Tim White at Arizona Stronghold and Todd Bostock at Dos Cabezas Wineworks to see if they were witnessing a similar trend. Turns out they are. Todd is 84 tons in. Tim is 200 tons in. Confirmed. All ahead of schedule. All of that painstaking groundwork resulted in a significant drop in my overall energy level and pleasant demeanor. I did the only logical thing a high performance mental athlete such as myself would do. I reached in the freezer for a Buster Bar. None. Surely this is yet another sign.

There's an old saying I like to mumble under my breathe during psyche evaluations. "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean I'm not being followed." Conclusion: Based on my clearly tireless and thorough research stretched over tens of minutes, I have come to the following daunting conclusion and well thought out suggestion. These are in fact the "End Of Days" and people need to know about it As Soon As Possible! Obviously the only rational thing to do is to clear out all of your bank accounts and send me a cashier's check for the full amount. These funds will assist in further delivering this message to the rest of the world. There isn't enough time to sell all of your possessions. So along with that cashiers check, I'm gonna need to you to go ahead and send along a detailed list of all your assets, toys, deeds, to any real estate, patents pending, etc. Please include high resolution photos. I can't be bothered to Google image each and every one of them. Not enough time.

Chicken Little out.

Follow Maynard James Keenan on Twitter: @caduceuscellars, @mjkeenan, @puscifer. Read his column every second and fourth Monday of the month on Up on the Sun.

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