It is almost like we are tired of living, or perhaps we are guilt ridden. Has our society lost its zest for life?
The so-called news and nature programs are full of depressing programming, constantly airing topics like what will the world look like without people. A similar show discusses the fact that the Mayan calendar stops in 2012 and somehow tries to build an argument that the jig is up for the entire world. Another program couples the Mayan calendar with Nostradamus’ cryptic blathering and tries to strengthen the case for our disappearance in 2012.
In the popular culture, art imitates pseudoscience. In the movie "2012" (2009), we are attacked by the Earth’s crust and Woody Harrelson shows us his real side. Washington bureaucrats, Pentagon types, sycophantic kleptocrats and government-funded pseudoscientists are rescued by giant submarines, leaving the rest of us who know how to grow squash and carrots to fend for ourselves, without a government super sub or even social security.
A movie made a few years earlier shows us what climate change on steroids would be like as envisioned by Hollywood, and in a current release, great apes are taking over San Francisco – well, that could be an improvement at least.
Are we tired of being the dominant species? I expect not in Texas – too many meat eaters.
Does this rash of movies and speculative documentaries really indicate anything?
At the very least, it might indicate that we as a society might be a little tired. We bounce from crisis to crisis and stress to stress. It started with the millennium panic. America’s angst was ramped up by the 911 attacks, and now we have various economic concerns. Perhaps we are a trifle worn down. At least Hollywood thinks it can make a little money with our anxieties, anyway.
Not to be outdone, a minority of Christians have false prophesied that the world was going to end on various dates. Recently, one fellow set May 21, 2011, as "the date." There were even billboards. Ladybird would not have approved. The same man had proposed 1994 as "the date." I guess he is on a 17-year attention-seeking cycle. I can’t wait for 2028.
I am not ordained, but I might suggest that we Christians set about doing the work of the Church rather than worrying about the end, especially date setting. "No one knows the day or the hour," so Scripture says, and I think we are to be occupiers and not false prophesiers. Sermon ended.
There always have been movies and literature dealing with catastrophes, but in the end, in most of the past scenarios, people prevailed. Not so in much of the programming today; Hollywood, etc., celebrates mankind’s demise. Note to Hollywood: Quit inviting Al Gore to your parties. He eats too much, and he is making y’all way too depressed.
Maybe everyone needs to take a deep breath. I am just enough of an optimist to believe the sun will come up tomorrow and continue scorching Central Texas black dirt, and that the earth will still spin on its axis. If it doesn’t, I do not expect any government program, be it submarine or social security, will affect the situation.
According to one of the documentaries, it looks like raccoons and rodents might one day rule the world. I wonder what type of movies they like to watch?
... written by B. Pibal , August 21, 2011
Don't forget the cold war, duck and cover drills and the global cooling/impending ice age mantras of past decades. Maybe we just like excitement, and since so few are willing to take the real risks in life, Hollywood is filling in.