I’ll admit I’m not the best at spotting trends and certainly am not, in the words of Frank Zappa, a trend monger. But it strikes me the apocalypse is in and hot, at least what based on what my RSS reader showed me today.
First, I saw that BuzzFeed updated its December compilation of posts and articles about the apocalypse. Then, I saw an interesting column by Scott Esposito on apocalyptic fiction. Shortly after (via Remaindered Links), I discovered the Reel Pop guide to the Top 10 Dystopia Films. Now granted, a dystopia may have nothing to do with an apocalypse but many involve post-apocalyptic societies. (As an aside, I don’t agree with the rankings, particularly the selection of the top film). Finally, while the end need not come from outer space, I see The Guardian has a short article saying the reason aliens haven’t found us yet is they haven’t had the time. (Also via Remaindered Links.)
I have long been a fan of apocalyptic fiction (see, for example, here and here) and related film. Yet this seeming conjunction raised a question in my mind, particularly as it comes years after the end of the Cold War and mutually assured destruction and after “surviving” Y2K and making it into the new millennium. Does this interest reflect people thinking the current state of affairs in Iraq and the Middle East is insoluble, the growth of rapture believers in places of political power or is it simply generated by the “Doomsday Clock” moving two minutes closer to midnight this week? Quite the thought process to start a weekend, eh?
To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law — a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security.
Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz