What if the apocalypse wasn’t so popular?

Why is it that as a species, humans are so intrigued by the thought of the apocalypse? No matter the form, the end of everything as we know it is written about, talked about or debated on almost constantly. It’s not only the religious aspects of the apocalypse such as the four horsemen either, it’s every possible scenario we can find.

I’ve even been guilty of indulging in the end of times myself. Two of my favorite TV shows either revolve around or have themes that use the apocalypse as subject matter. The Walking Dead is one of the most popular television series out now or recently and it is nothing but constant death and pain during a Zombie Apocalypse. Supernatural has visited and re-visited almost every possible scenario of a biblical apocalypse, went past it and found new ways to create the possible end to civilization. The thing is, I enjoy almost every minute of these shows and their end it all stories.

On several occasions on my blogs I’ve been known to mention the forthcoming Robot Apocalypse. Machines are one day almost surely going to develop into an artificial intelligence that enslaves mankind. Why is it I feel this way? Maybe because I have seen or heard stories about this possibility almost my entire life. The ways may be different, but the result is almost always the same. Robots will enslave us!

Just in the last few years we have been bombarded by news of asteroids or meteors that could collide with earth, destroying everything almost instantly. We were told for years the end of the Mayan calendar meant the end of everything in the year 2012. Even a few years back we were told the new millennium would destroy everything when computers went bonkers. The threat of a global nuclear release that would destroy mankind is always a possibility, though not as popular an end as it was a few years ago.

Another popular scenario of the last few years that has been debated to within an inch of its life is the possibility of global warming. Whether it is really happening or not it has led to some great stories of the way the world may end. Earthquakes, floods and super storms will reek havoc until there is nothing left. If we are lucky, maybe a few humans will survive to start mankind with a clean slate, not making the mistakes of our past.

And that might be the whole purpose of all the apocalypse stories. The ability to survive through them and be a better civilization. The ability to overcome the worst of the worst situations and still maintain our humanity. Maybe we need to think we could always be better, even when the outcome is bleak at best. I would love to know your thoughts or to find out your favorite apocalypse stories or moments. My favorite ten are as follows.Independence Day (1996) White House

1) Independence Day – Aliens will destroy us until we band together as a world to stop them.

2) The Walking Dead – Zombies, zombies everywhere. Luckily they can’t get through fences.

3) Armageddon – A drill team will save us all. What madness ensues (space madness at that)

4) Supernatural – It’s always a plus when you have an angel and death himself as friends.

5) Terminator – Robots, time travel and the end of everything. Sure I get it. It’s not confusing at all.Terminator

6) Zombieland – Who would have thought Zombies could be funny, or Bill Murray would be a survivor?

7) Planet of the Apes – Admit it, we probably deserve everything the apes dish out

8) The Core – Restart the earth’s core. That sounds pretty simple.

9) Idiocracy – Might be more realistic than any of the other scenarios.

10) Simpsons – Dolphins take over and humanity is done for. Sounds fun.dolphin-simpsons

There are many more that could be added. Can you believe I left off The Matrix? Thanks for visiting and reading and please feel free to share your opinion.

23 thoughts on “What if the apocalypse wasn’t so popular?

  1. I read “drill team” for Armageddon and thought of the dance/step team at my son’s high school.

    I like apocalyptic fiction in reading, either via nuclear war in “On the Beach” and “Alas, Babylon” or disease like “The Stand”.

    • I realized after my post I just don’t read enough. All my favorites are movies or tv shows. The last few years finding the time to pick up a novel, keep myself interested and then finish it has been near impossible. It is something I need to look back into. Thanks for some good suggestions

    • Oh, yeah I definitely want to be among the survivors. I think I would look cool with a chain of bullets hanging over my shoulder and a bandana wrapped around my head. But it is as you say overused tremendously.

  2. People suffer from overstimulation. There is just to much to take in and think about. In an apocalyptic event, there is less distraction and really only the topic of survival left to consider. It’s like looking on a far too long to-do-list, a mountain of laundry, dirty dishes and a house that needs to be cleaned along with other things. Just for a second, in such situations I tend to think: “If I died right now, I wouldn’t have to do all this. If all of this burst into flames, and I’d have to live in the woods, I don’t think I’d be sad about it.” And that’s why the apocalypse is such a big topic. We want to get it over with already.

    • Some very good points. The thought of it all being over for a reason they have no control over could appeal to some. I still want to be among the survivors though. I want to help repopulate the earth if needed.

  3. I panic about every scenario. Recently there was a bird flu death in the US and I thought, right that’s it. The large hadron collider thing was a worry for a while. Kim from Korea is always a worry arrrgggh I’m scaring myself now haha

    • See, there’s a couple of end it scenarios I didn’t even think of. Bird flu or any infectious, uncontrollable disease is not a way I would want it to end. Give me zombies, robots or super storms any day. At least with them I have a slight chance.

      • I didn’t know dolphins were foes in Hitchhiker’s Guide. I just thought they were more intelligent, knew the earth was about to be destroyed and took off before it happened. Who’d a thunk it?

        • Super intelligent dolphins? They had to be foes, right? Actually you may be right and I may have misspoke about them being foes. Sorry about that

  4. We were told for years the end of the Mayan calendar meant the end of everything in the year 2012.

    That is a misunderstanding of that calendar, from what I have read. It is not meant to be looked at in so linear a fashion– it is cyclical. The end of the calendar marked the beginning of a new era, not destruction of all human life. Also, there was no one Mayan calendar per se; there were a number of calendars, that fit together like gears.

    Can you believe I left off The Matrix?

    The Wachowskis were influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell, so I tend to look at that series of movies more through that lens (and yes, I blog a LOT on the Hero’s Journey).

    • I know the Mayan calendar was interpreted wrong, but it didn’t stop the constant warnings of destruction and chaos. That’s my point itself, why do we as a species need to feel there is always an ultimate end to look forward to?

      • Hmmm… that’s a good question. I think maybe Carl Sagan mused on that on the old Cosmos series, and maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is hosting the revamp of the series, will comment on that as well.

        Why, then? I guess it has to do with the dichotomies we seem to cling to as a human species, especially the “us vs. them”. Many apocalyptic writings seem to refer to an exaltation and reward for the “us”, and casting out and punishment for the “them”. It seems to be how cultures may reinforce their norms and existence as a people.

  5. Idiocracy scares me silly… I keep telling the Queen that we need to have more children than just the Little Prince to ensure we are doing our part to stem the tide of stupid people reproducing at higher rates. Then again, perhaps the Queen and I are part of the problem…? Only time will tell, I guess.

    As a whole I haven’t felt overwhelmed by the apocalypse as a genre/theme. While I was part of the Fauxpocalypse project, I dont’ immerse myself in those kinds of stories generally. So, when I do find msyelf watching or reading them it seems new/different.

  6. Good choices, although I would argue against The Matrix as an end-of-the-world scenario as humankind is harnessed, rather than (more or less) wiped out and bred in colonies as a power source.

    I always suspected that apocalyptic popularity was due to the idea that if you can imagine it, them it’s not as big of a shock when it happens. I think nowadays those who would react quickly to avoid destruction will be better at it for this sort of preparation.

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