"So, anyway, here we are at the end of the Twentieth Century, and what, exactly, is going on? Wait, wait, first things first. The twentieth century (I'm not sure it deserves capitalization) does not end until December 31, 2000!!! We must not allow this travesty to continue! Simple math, folks. There was no year 0AD (or BC or LMNOPC!)! Did Arthur C. Clarke pick a number at random when he wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey? No, he didn't. Personally, I think he foresaw, as he has other things in our time, the mass confusion and error of the Gregorian Calendar worshipping world, (it's not the end of the century in China, people) and was partially hoping to educate people about the Truth of the situation.
Now, we are facing a possible breakdown of civilization at midnight on December 31. One reason is the Y2K computer problem. You do know who is responsible for "two digit year", don't you? The United States Government, in its eternally shortsighted manner of doing things cheaply, decreed to all computer programmers "that thou shalt use only two digits for each year, whereby ye shall save us quibrillillions of monies, with which ye shall then line the pockets of our most high Senators, Congressmen, and other elected and appointed officials." Obviously, those in charge at the time hoped that a nuclear holocaust would occur before their error became public knowledge. Sorry that didn't happen, guys.
A much more likely possibility, in my opinion, is that the giant herd of cattle and sheep we call Civilization will be scared by all this talk of technology breakdowns and will lose its collective shit. You think I'm loopy? That's how the Great Depression started. A couple a guys on Wall Street got nervous and sold off some stock to cover their margins, the people buying those shares did the same and a landslide resulted that threw the entire world into a depression. All it will take is for the herd to lose faith in the dollar and everything will collapse. Life in America will not be like "The Waltons", it will be more like The Grapes of Wrath mated with Red Dawn.
Do something for me. Pick up that dollar you are going to leave as a tip and look at it for a moment. How much is it worth? Why? The answers are, 1) "A dollar" and 2) "Because it says so right on it and we all believe it". Is that gallon of milk at the grocery store, that you will pay $2.69 to purchase, any different from the gallon of milk for which John Boy Walton would have paid 20 cents at Ike Godsey's store? Not really. I know, I know, inflation is inevitable, blah, blah, blah.
Do yourselves a favor, folks. Start working on a barter network (there are lots around already if you look) and plan an escape route. The Self-Perpetuating End-Of-The-World Government-Promoted _ Thing could hit hard and fast.
Okay, I know that my final paragraph never came to pass, but I still stand by the rest.