Tag Archives: Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

Armageddon? Must be something we want

My family and I went to the theatres to see “The Hobbit” today. (Decent movie…not faithful to the book, but still good. Thought the 3D was worth it.) If you have gone to the movies recently, you know you first have to be assaulted by 10-15 movie trailers for forthcoming movies.

And what is coming soon to a theatre near you? The apocalypse. Armageddon. Zombies. Alien destruction of the world. Post-apocalypse. I kept waiting for a love story. The only one that would qualify was a “zombie falls in love with a girl” flick…and then they try to stop the mass destruction of zombies before said zombies kill remaining humans. Even the kids’ cartoon movie is about alien destruction.

What is the big deal with the “end of the world as we know it” motif? Does it have anything to do with our political mess of the “fiscal cliff” or “debt ceiling”? Or the recent fascination with “end of the world” predictions (whether by Mayan prediction or by stories about close-calls with asteroids)?

As I see it, there are a couple of possibilities for the increase in disaster/Armageddon fascination:

  1. We are trying to work out our sense that the world doesn’t work well anymore (or we just have more evidence available to us absent from previous eras)
  2. We (humanity) recognize there will be an end and this is our way to trivialize our fears (much like we do with a movie like Jaws)
  3. Someone has figured out there is a lot of money to be made with this genre and so we are flooded…next year it might be riches to rags movies.

What reasons can you think of for this fascination with the end of the world?


Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Movies