I went to the movie theatre this weekend. And let me tell you something: there are a lot of apocalypse movies coming out.
Whether it is the optimistic Zombieland, where the characters finally find their place in the world after it ends, or the glimpse at what the world could become in The Road, these end-of-the-world films and theories are making me crazy. Movies like Legion and 2012 represent an ever present fetish in our culture: the end of the world and when and how it will happen.
Back in the day, a.k.a. the 1950s and ’60s, the dramatized end of the world was usually brought about by nuclear war or alien invasion.
Nowadays we have the blessing of global warming to serve as yet another means by which this fear is manufactured for our entertainment: “Oh my God! We did this to ourselves?”
I remain unimpressed with Hollywood. And you know what is worse than an influx of motion pictures depicting our species’ demise? Well, making money off it for one. Also, scaring the living hell out of me; no, honestly! The living hell has escaped my body and now it is infecting the whole human race, consuming the planet!
I’m just kidding.
But there are a lot of end-of-the-world red flags that are popping up here and there that could explain this mass production of rapture-like storytelling (aside from all the rapture-like storytelling that is so prominent in religion.) These red flags include reality television, flame wars, abstinence-only education and Oprah Winfrey. Only in a world on the brink of apocalypse are these things allowed to continue existing.
The recent fascination with “The End” probably isn’t borne out of the fear of nuclear obliteration, like it was in our parents’ generation, but rather a fear of environmental degradation combined with that hokey Mayan calendar that ends around December 21, 2012, spawning countless apocalypse theories about a cataclysmic event.
There are countless websites and discussion boards dedicated to this theory. And although I realize it is pseudoscience bullshit, I still can’t help but feel like pooping my pants every time I think about it possibly being that soon.
These end-of-the-world films are trying to shock us into a very real state of fear.
If 2012 rolls around and we’re not all holding our breath waiting for something awful to happen, I will be surprised. Mind you, I imagine that anything catastrophic that does occur in that year will be attributed to the the end of the world fast approaching.
However, the prospect of another three years of apocalypse movies (or apocalypse articles) may make the fulfillment of the 2012 prophesy more appealing over time.
graphic Danni Siemens