If you are interested in guest hosting this blog please see the prior entry. Thanks everyone for all the support, enjoy this post about why we write/love post-apocalyptic fiction.
A Post-Apocalyptic Sign of the Times by Furious Deep
“Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha’s polishing the brass on the Titanic. It’s all going down, man." - Tyler Durden
Why is it that when I heard this line in the movie theater I wanted to stand up and cheer? We are seeing more and more stories about the end of civilization as we know it, and I believe there is a good reason for it. Reality shows about doomsday preppers, survivalists, and underground bunkers are all over primetime TV. Websites about alternative housing and permaculture are drawing in members by the thousands. Books and movies about surviving the end of times have been growing in popularity for years, and just like Tyler Durden's philosophizing, they have captured the imagination of people everywhere. But why the appeal? Why does this one subject seem to strike a chord with so many? Well, the short answer, in my opinion, is that life kinda sucks.
People are fed up with business as usual. We have been raised with the false idols of economic stability and the American dream, and now that we are here we have the sickening feeling that there must have been some mistake. Surely this is not how things were meant to be? We rushed to grow up to the promise of freedom that adulthood would bring, and now that we are here, we realize we've been duped. We were told we had to go to school to get good jobs and be successful, that somehow we were going to have it easier than our parents did when they were working too hard to actually spend time with us. Now here we are saddled with thousands upon thousands of dollars in student loans that can never be discharged, hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage debt, car payments, cell phone bills, and a ridiculously high cable bill so that we can sit down for a few hours each night and try to forget how miserable we are.
It is no wonder that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. No fewer than one in every ten Americans suffer from depression as well, and that number is growing by 20% each year. Prescription drugs to treat these diseases are the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S... I believe that these diseases are a direct result of the way we live our lives; in the same way that obesity and heart disease are a consequence of our diets. More and more American's are seeking treatment for these problems each year, because deep down inside we all know that eventually we are going to die and we are wasting what little time we have. It seems hopeless...
And then someone comes along with a story. It is story where it all just goes away. The slate is wiped clean. The bills are gone. The job you hate is gone. All the bullshit... gone. It evokes in us a unique combination of fear and delight. A terrible yearning for the loss of all the noise and static and the beginning of a new life filled with purposeful action. It is a story where instead of just getting by, going through the motions of the daily auto-pilot routine until you can finally retire and die; you get to live with purpose. Every action is a means of survival. A new world where you can't ignore your kids with your nose buried in a smart phone. A world where the only things that mater are the people you love, food and shelter. A post-apocalyptic world where we finally get it right.