Media Trend: Apocalypse

Back in April, Britain’s the New Statesman had an article titled: “Living in the end times: Why American writers are obsessed with apocalypse.”

It was interesting I saw this because I had 3 apocalypse links itching to be shared.

What would you pack for the end of days is about a basement packed for an apocalypse that didn’t come.

I try to make sense of the basement. I imagine that when the events of the End of Days began, John and Phyllis, among the saved, would have descended that narrow staircase to wait it out. They would have had ample reading material to keep them busy. They might have taken solace in the music of the great composers and in their menagerie of china animals. They would have feasted on caviar, chocolate, and wine. With all those bars of soap, they would have remained clean. Those meat hooks? Perhaps the resourceful John figured that once things settled down above ground, he could hunt the local deer and coyote and dry out their meat. And if they needed to wait to be taken up to Heaven, they would have been able to rebuild whatever part of their home was destroyed, using those saws and mallets and those thousands of nails. Who knows what world they would have reentered? But if the land was ravaged and landmarks were eradicated, they would have their maps to show them the way.

A piece in Religion Dispatches tracks down Harold Camping devotees a year after he said the world would end.

I was struck by how some believers edited the past in order to avoid acknowledging that they had been mistaken. The engineer in his mid-twenties, the one who told me this was a prophecy rather than a prediction, maintained that he had never claimed to be certain about May 21. When I read him the transcript of our previous interview, he seemed genuinely surprised that those words had come out of his mouth. It was as if we were discussing a dream he couldn’t quite remember.

Mike Deri Smith in The Morning News speaks to 5 natural disaster experts “to come to terms with the gravest threats to human existence.”

The worst-case scenario for an asteroid strike is seven billion deaths, as we all return to being star-stuff. The chance that would happen, and the preparation required to fend off any near-earth object, is less obvious. In the movies, fixing the problem was left to Bruce Willis’s character in Armageddon and Robert Duvall’s character in Deep Impact, who separately go up in spaceships and sacrifice their lives to destroy the respective asteroid and comet.

Media Trend: Apocalypse

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