Tag Archives: Movies

The Post-Apocalypse Fantasy

Why do we enjoy imagining such a horrific event as the demise of most of humankind? We never seem to tire of books, movies, TV shows and music about the post-apocalypse. While not many of us would like actually experiencing the apocalypse, imagining it is a cathartic fantasy.

Who hasn’t fantasized about starting all over again from a completely clean slate? Walking away from your family, friends and stuff, moving to a new place, perhaps even changing your identity. Just starting from zero. The post-apocalypse is that fantasy writ large. It’s not just you starting over, it’s the whole human race.

Also, the apocalypse provides a neat solution to the overwhelming problems that face us today. Such issues as climate change, overpopulation, scarce resources, poverty, epidemics and never-ending violence are overwhelming to us as individuals, when we feel we can’t do much about these global problems. The apocalypse — usually caused in some way by these problems — is also the universal solution to them. In one fell swoop, the number of people is reduced to a manageable number. No more climate change because no more pollution. And unless they were destroyed in the event, resources become plentiful. Depending on who is killed off, such pervasive problems as violence and even disease might be ended. Humanity gets the chance to start over and not make the same mistakes this time.

Finally, the post-apocalypse is an individual fantasy of the ultimate challenge. What would I do if the world ended and I survived? How would I react? How would I deal with the new problems I would have? Would raising my own food be a better deal than having to go to a soul-sucking job at an office every day? (Perhaps.) It’s the greatest “what if” situation, one we may never get tired of contemplating.

As is the norm, I’m sure that if the apocalypse actually did occur, it would be both nothing like and very similar to what we’ve already imagined it to be.

The Boston Globe also has an article wondering why we are so fascinated with the apocalypse in books and movies. It gives a bit of a retrospective of the apocalypse envisioned in film over the years.


A Poem for 2012 (the Movie)

2012 (film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sorry it’s been so quiet around this blog lately. It feels downright post-apocalyptic around here (ha ha). I don’t get a lot of time in the day for researching and writing, and I’ve been spending that time on other projects lately. But I haven’t forgotten this lonely little blog, and I plan to put some more pieces up here soon. I hope I won’t be talking into the void.

To tide you over, I was flipping channels the other night and got stuck watching the end of 2012. I can only compare it to the urge to slow down when passing a wreck on the road — the biggest wreck EVER! Whatever you want to say about 2012, no movie destroys the earth with as much maniacal glee. In fact, the first time I saw it, I wrote a poem about it, which I will share with you now.

Oh world
How many ways can I destroy you?

1. Drop LA into a bottomless chasm.
2. Explode Yellowstone with a volcanic spasm.
3. Coat Vegas in a layer of ash.
4. Wipe out Washington with a big splash.
5. Decimate Europe so everyone must leave it.
6. Drown the Himalayas (though no one will believe it).

It’s my world and I’ll do what I want to,
And all I want to do is destroy you.

Stay tuned for more on 2012 (the year, not the movie) and other interesting topics of the post-apocalypse.