Monday, June 15, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Overland Park pt 111

I'm back with the Apocalypse this time. And it's a doozy.

Why are we, as human beings, so interested in endings? So interested in how things transpire and what comes next?

Is it our voyeuristic lifestyle? One dominated by reality TV, TMZ, gossip rags and Perez Hilton pointing their fingers at people and mocking them while placing them firmly in the limelight where they want to be?

Is it our religious background as a country, one in which an entire book was written about the end of days?

Or is it something far worse? Far more menacing?

We'll see.

Terminator Salvation comes out today. We've all seen the previews. We all know it's about the apocalypse and the war versus the machines. Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yadda.

It follows the tradition of so many post-apocalyptic movies that we're just going through the motions at this point (and I haven't even seen the damn thing).

Blade Runner
Escape from New York
Escape from L.A.
Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Land of the Dead, etc etc
The Day After
The Day After Tomorrow
Friday after Next
I am Legend
The Omega Man
I am Legend
I am Omega
The Aliens franchise
Mad Max and the sequels
The Matrix films

You get the picture. There are a lot and that's barely scratching the surface. BARELY.

What is so astoundingly interesting about apocalypse movies that we're always looking to tell the story of what happens at the end of the world or what happens after the end of the world?

It's us.

Look at the line-up of television programming that's coming up. One very disgusting show will start this summer and will be the bane of television watching forever. Hopefully it will get cancelled in record time, but I doubt it.

I'm a celebrity, get me out of here. Or whatever the hell it's called.

So called celebritards like the guy who looks and acts like a girl from American Idol, the idiots from the Hills, and countless other nonlebrities are in the show and we the viewers get to choose what happens to them on the show.

I highly doubt that we get to pick if they fight Fireball, Buzzsaw or Dynamo, just like I'm sure there won't be a great host like Richard Dawson's Killian.

That's Running Man folks. Another post-apocalyptic (kinda) future film where people bet on reality gameshows and the people on them die if they lose.

I would watch this show in a heartbeat.

Every time my wife watches America's Next Top Model and someone gets "eliminated," I cross my fingers.

But it never happens.

And I know why I love the post-apocalypse and the apocalypse.

I'm a cynic.

I'm a very cruel and unusual person.

I look at the film the Mist and love the ending.

I love movies with real world endings. That's why of the three Terminator films, the third one had the best ending. By far.

That's why during Armageddon I rooted for the asteroid.

I'm a cynic.

I won't watch reality TV because they don't get "eliminated." They don't get fired out of a cannon. They just move on and get the rest of their 15 minutes of fame doing asshole TV like Dancing with the Stars or any of those TV game shows that really have no reason to exist.

But here we are, another apocalypse movie coming out, and there's damn sure another on the horizon (The Road, which will be discussed in much more depth at a later date).

So why does civilization care about the apocalypse? Why do we need to see how things end and how they restart?

It's a point of interest for all of us. We want to know how things end.

My wife goes to the end of the book first and reads the ending before she goes back and reads through the entire book.

It's strange I know, but whatever.

Being a Catholic school kid (14 years woo!), revelations and the apocalypse and the fire and brimstone was more interesting than he begat her who begat him who begat her who begat them who begat these guys who begat us and you and them and those and so on and so forth.

Still with me?

The apocalypse is a way of pushing our beliefs of the after-life into the open. Even though we should be aware that once you're dead, that's it.

You're dead.

Worm food.


Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

You get the picture. And yeah, I'm just a ball of happiness today. Obviously.

So what is it? Is it fantasy? Creating a world where even after we have the end of the world there is still a world left (which makes no sense)?

Or is it something more internal?

An internal worry that boils down to humanity and our self-esteem. Our self-worth. A need to be loved.

To be cherished.

To be important.

We don't want to think that once the end happens, that's it. No more fight. No more life. No more anything.

It's just over.

No salvation.

No happiness.

No golden gates and fluffy clouds.

We just cease to be.

No one really wants to believe that's the case.

They want to believe that once it's over, there's more to the story. That the old saying that there is always more to the story means there really is. That the ending is never final.

Never a period, always an ellipsis.

Never the end.

The end is the beginning.

But here we sit, looking toward the year 2012 and the Mayan calendar stating doom approaches, and what do we do?

We release another film about what happens after something massive is destroyed and something explosive occurs.

We are at war with machines.

We are at war with each other.

The world is over. But we're still fighting to save what little we have left.

The apocalypse should mean doom, ending, final, absolute.

But to us it's all just getting started.


| Top ↑ |