"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" Doom saying about the end of the world enters our consciousness early on with the introduction of Chicken Little. Then, as we get older, we encounter more and more angles on the apocalypse in pop culture. From "napalm in the morning" to zombies feasting, imagining the Post Apocalypse is rich material for television, silver screen, video games and more. Enjoy the views of the aftermath!
Let us introduce you to the Listicle Liege, the Article Aficionado, the one and only Nathan. Since creating his first photo collage at the age of five with images clipped from his mom’s Chatelaine magazines (all of them), it’s been nearly impossible to stem this one’s tide of visual learning. Be it the annals of history or the latest celeb gossip, Nathan has probably researched it, likely already has a folder of relevant photos on his desktop, and definitely learned a lot of interesting facts to go with those images. Whereas most well-read adults have bookshelves full of classic literature, Nathan’s stacks are composed of National Geographic and TIME special editions and a curated section of first-grade readers (for inspiration). If you prefer picture books to wordy novels, listicles by Nathan are right up your alley.
The idea is that the apocalypse will reveal a hidden reality or disclose knowledge that helps us make sense of earthly mistakes. In Jewish and Christian writings of 200 BC to AD, an apocalypse is an event that sees God destroying evil powers and raising the noble and good to live in a messianic kingdom. Today some faiths still warn of pending disastrous apocalyptic events and preach that only those who follow their religious tenets to the letter will be saved.
The religious belief that an apocalyptic event will reveal God’s will is usually paired with an expectation that the world will soon end. Even Y2K in the year 2000 was feared as a possible apocalypse. More recently still, there were concerns that December 21, 2012, was going to see a revelation due to a Mayan prediction that a rebirth would happen at the end of the Great Cycle.
Nevertheless, we continue to see dire scenarios in film, television, books, comics, music and more. Whether it's vampires, zombies, alien invaders, asteroids or threatening virus leaks, we are often presented with the scenario of a few survivors having to soldier on in a newly decimated world. Cultural critics have been known to explain this tendency to show post-apocalyptic heroes as a way to further encourage embrace of freedom and independence ideals. After all, no matter the nightmare situation, the lone hero is consistently seen fighting on, surviving the worst, and making something new and imaginative out of the detritus of the latest attempt at world destruction.
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