The Appeal of the Apocalypse.

There’s not enough time for us to do the things that we want. At some point in our lives, we’re all going to wish we did something different or we were brave enough to do something stupid. The reason why we don’t have time is because we all die. Our lives are cut short and then there’ll be nothing left.

Still, we go on. We go through our daily routine, saying hi to the friendly neighbor, grumbling about the commute to work and probably inserting a little bit of exercise here and there. We go home and resign ourselves to the fact that tomorrow is another day of the same thing, unaware that right now, the world is ending.

I’m not just talking about global warming (yes, Republicans, it exists!) or extreme consumption of our natural resources or any other worldly issue like that. I’m talking about us, too tangled up in our own worlds to notice the end of the one we’re actually living in.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a cynic nor am I some angry 80-year-old woman complaining about the young whippersnappers of today (I am, in fact, 21 years old and part of those young whippersnappers). I just recently watched Tomorrowland and I’m currently inspired by it.

[SPOILERS, kind of]

In the movie, Hugh Laurie’s villain character goes into a monologue about how the human race embraces the end of the world yet disregards the possibility of a better future. Here’s a few quotes to make you understand what I’m talking about:

“The only facts people will face are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars coming in.”

“We saw the iceberg and we warned the Titanic.  But you sailed anyway because you want to sink.”

“They didn’t fear their demise.  They embraced it.”

“People don’t care about a better future because it doesn’t cost them anything today.”

That last one stuck to my mind even after the movie ended. I couldn’t stop thinking about how completely right he was. I mean, he wasn’t really your quintessential bad guy. He just said “oh well” and went along with whatever us humans were doing about our impending doom (flash floods, inescapable earthquakes, and other joys the apocalypse brings).

Of course, that makes Hugh Laurie’s character a dick, but whether you like it or not, he’s right. We’re so focused on the “now” that we don’t see the long-term effects of what we’re doing. And if we do, we just shrug our shoulders, say “I’ll be dead by that time, anyway”, and continue with our routines. We make movies showing us the power of the apocalypse and sell video games that allow us to save the world through a game console but we don’t bother with it in the real world.

I don’t want to believe that we don’t care or that we’re just really, really selfish beings. But I also don’t want to believe in dedicating our lives to the Earth and only the Earth. There has to be something more, a somewhat acceptable reason for all of this. Why do we romanticize the idea of the apocalypse? Why do we eat it all up and continue to be fascinated by it? Is it the same thrill as watching a horror film, scary yet exhilarating at the same time?

Are we creatures of such despair that somewhere along the way, we’ve lost hope and accepted our fate? It’s all terribly frustrating and I don’t understand what it is about our own worlds that we are blind to the real one we’re in. We complain so much and do so little to change things. We see the end goal for ourselves and nothing else.

Now I’m starting to sound like a self-righteous, holier-than-thou person so I’ll stop. But I don’t think any of us can deny the fact that the world is ending. In time, we might not even have any trees to sleep under or parks to write in. If the world we live in ends, that goes for the worlds in our minds, too.


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