Apocalyptic Politics

After considering it for a bit, I decided to expand this site to include political observations — and where I can I will tie them to post-apocalyptic media.  For example, if I were to talk about Trump/Kim Jung Un summit, I might talk about the movie Defcon 4 (look it up on your tube, it’s from 1985 — in the mean time, here’s the trailer).

I remember that movie scaring the hell out of me as a kid — but as an adult it’s so bad it’s good — and does have a something to say about our cultural anxiety at the item — with Reagan’s finger on the button.

Back to politics, I have always had a big interest in politics and have, from an early age, an activist — or try to be — mostly through my words (essays, rants, poems, etc).

For example:


Trudging in a deepening swamp
it’s muddy surface like angry faces
all shouting — passionate and loud
raising a hot wind with crippling gusts
made of too many words, swirling
thick and moist, clouding thoughts
blurring vision, no shore in sight
must put up a fight, put up a fight


With that, I am going to start looking to expand my mission — even though that mission has only produced minimal output lately.  To be honest I am brushing up on my political education — reading the basics — like intro to political science text books.

I want to be informed and have a solid foundation of the processes of our government before I begin to make arguments about how it is working in practice.  I think if we can get back to the basics — not in the Tea Party “Founding Fathers” BS sense — but a clear understanding of how our Constitution is designed to create checks and balances (yeah right — that’s happening *snark*) and afforded or limited power to the various branches we can revitalize and strive for “a more perfect union”.

If we know how it’s supposed to work, which I am afraid most American’s don’t, we can education, protest, and petition our way to back to the balance this country truly needs.




How to Proceed

As I considered the scope of the blog, I decided to open the focus up to included other texts beyond film.  While I will still try to largely focus on films, I’d like to at least consider film and other media contemporary the films under examination.  For example, I can place The Day of Triffids along side Invasion of Body Snatchers in order to discuss the similarities in concepts of nature/plant based ‘enemy’ or threats in the 1950’s.

However, one of the first things I read in journal articles specifically about concepts of the apocalypse is an attempt to define, or limit the scope, of the term as it applies to the author’s project in that particular article.  This makes perfect sense — and I will need to do the same basic thing — however the idea of limiting or defining the concept of an (or THE) apocalypse is not an easy task.  It’s a task that deserves whole reams of academic and pop-culture writing, hours of documentaries/pod-casts, etc.

As such, I am going to go with the ‘simplest definition’ I can — and this is not drawn from a dictionary or some academic work anywhere — it’s just my own thoughts and it applies to, predominantly secular, Western cultural portrayals of the apocalypse.  The apocalypse is as follows:

  1. It is an end
    1. May be total — end of all life on Earth
    2. May be partial — with little life surviving
      1. If partial, results in a lasting regression which may result in a some sort of rebuilding, for example the book Earth Abides
  2. It is presumed to be global in nature
    1. Such that it doesn’t impact a single group, but impacts all (for example, in this definition The Holocaust was not an apocalypse, but rather a horrible genocide, whereas an asteroid hitting earth and wiping the dinosaurs would be considered an apocalypse — at least as far as the dinosaurs were concerned.

I am sure there could be a more succinct definition that doesn’t leave so many potential holes/areas of interpretation in my definition.  However, I wanted to keep idea more vague to allow for a larger set of possible depictions in different texts.

I hope to have an examination of two movies, both named “End of the World” posted in the week or two.





The End of All Things

Welcome to The End of All Things.

This blog will focus on concepts, depictions, and analysis of the apocalypse in film.  However, any analysis of the apocalypse in contemporary culture requires reference to other popular media such as documentary sources, fiction, non-fiction, static imagery, etc. Thus posts will not be exclusive to film even though that is primary mission of this project.

Posts will also be a mix of personal and academic reactions to the apocalypse in film.  I hope to brush off my literary criticism/film studies chops — which have collected dust since I completed my Master of Arts in English in 2009.  By doing so, posts will offer both academic and colloquial flavors.  In such a way, I hope, this site will be accessible to non-academic readers while offering academic analysis to support any claims or observations made.

My mission is to compile a list and watch as many movies about the apocalypse as possible — from the earliest example (Verden Undergang 1916) to contemporary examples — in doing so I hope to identify trends, concepts, meanings, and social functions these films may (have) play(ed) through out the decades.

I will try post at least once weekly as this blog progresses — and through my posts I hope to generate discussions in the comments on each post, even if those comments refute everything I write :).