Thursday, September 19, 2013

George Orwell and Aldous Huxley were right...which means we're all SOL.

This post may seem random, but it really does have a flow and make sense. Sort of.

Have you noticed how many movies are being remade or how many versions on the same theme are being written? Do you think to yourself where have all the original ideas gone?

Movies and novels which involve the annihilation of the planet or humanity and post-apocalyptic dystopian societies seem to be particularly popular. Many authors, filmmakers, and artists have come up with some very exciting and ingenious ways in which the world and humanity will meet their demise.

Are these meant to be cautionary tales? Manuals for living in a dystopian society? Can we escape our own humanity? And then I seriously got to thinking...have all the "good" ideas for humanity's demise and our ever-looming dystopian future been used up?

I mean, there's zombies (classic and cliche); Godzilla (timeless); a planet wide EMP; time-traveling Borg; asteroids; comets; mega-volcanoes; earthquakes; tsunamis; genetically engineered dinosaurs and wives; biological warfare (a personal favorite); 'The Master'; aliens (from outer space not other countries); and evil dictatorships which may or may not have WMDs. Just to name a few.

So, on a rainy Saturday, I challenged myself to come up with some original ideas. I don't know that my heart was really in it though, because I only came up with two...but then again I was already a little depressed so thinking up end of the world scenarios and dystopian living didn't seem like it might contribute to having a positive attitude. My ideas were, in no particular order:
a) blow up the moon, and
b) drill 12 holes into the earth's outer core in strategic locations, and then launch WMDs into the holes simultaneously.

Then I decided to do some research to determine whether they truly were original. They are not, as the link to will demonstrate. I couldn't actually find a site for drilling 12 holes into the earth and launching WMDs at the core, but there were plenty of websites that have calculated how many nukes it would take to destroy the planet from it's surface.

Here's a fun link I found that provides a basic tutorial on Earth geology; it's fun for the whole family... is really a great site, and not just because it explains what would happen if we blew up the moon (which the site points out would be really dumb). It has all kinds of interesting space stuff.

And by the way...there are many websites devoted to figuring all this stuff out (in a very scientific way), which frightens me just a bit; because psychologically, the person/people who would actually attempt something like this are most likely to be scientists, just to see whether they could do it. Science is kind of like that. It focuses on action and reaction; there's no moral judgment, which I won't judge, just state for the record. Although, purposefully destroying humanity or the planet does seem wrong, really wrong.

A former co-worker once told me that he thought I wouldn't survive very well, if at all, if there were a nuclear attack. When I asked why, he told me he thought that because I didn't like to camp. While it's true I don't enjoy camping, I'm not sure what that has to do with surviving a nuclear attack. I told him that if my choices were being at the point of impact or being within a 50 to 100 mile radius I would prefer to be at the point of impact (for obvious reasons). But I digress. Hell, this whole post is a digression, I'm not even sure why I wrote it other than to entertain myself and maybe a few friends.

As humans, we seem to be rather obsessed with death, destruction, and redemption. How would one survive in post-apocalytpic world, a dystopian society? Maybe these movies and novels really are cautionary tales and survival manuals.

As for George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, I find it eerie how close they came to predicting the direction society has taken. I would also add that the MaddAdam trilogy by Margaret Atwood is probably not far off from where we are headed either. If you have not read these books and are obsessed the demise or decline of society, I suggest you do so.

As for humanity's obsession with it's own decline and demise I can only posit that it's for one simple can only watch so many cute animal videos. But in the meantime, "Don't Worry, Be Happy".


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