Living in an Apocalyptic Obsessed World


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 One thing that annoys me more than anything is a constant talk of some weird apocalypse happening that involves zombies or some weird disease everyone will somehow catch. With television shows and movies such as "Walking Dead" and World War Z, Hollywood and viewers are obsessed with zombies coming and eating us all ending the world as we know it. So why are we so obsessed with our own demise?

            Dr. Moynihan, Professor of Sociology at Skyline College, doesn't see this obsession as unusual. He says that societies have reached these moments of apocalypse before and use it in an attempt to reestablish order in people's lives and to cling to something that has meaning. Throughout history, mankind has been threatened with plagues and natural disasters. Mass hysteria is also nothing something that is uncommon in our history either. Religious groups are explaining events such as tsunamis as a divine retribution with a path to redemption through a ritual cleansing and leading to a new beginning. These movements always seem to collide with economic hardships. Moynihan believes that people feel a sense of "normlessness" during economic downfalls.

            Humans are the only species capable of recognizing their own mortality and when thinking of their own demise, a certain degree of anxiety is provoked. Creating culture ways such as "The Walking Dead" and The Hunger Games allows us to come to terms with such issues. Culture can somehow shelter people from death by creating an identity for death.

            With giving death an identity people are more comfortable with the idea. We see characters we love get killed in movies and gives face to such a large issue of human life.

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Also interesting to note is that in most of these apocalyptic scenarios, typical masculine abilities become the most important ones. In your typical, no trope inversion, zombie apocalypse, your worth as a human tends to come down to whether you can kill zombies or not. It all just so happens to be a male power fantasy. One where the most physically strong characters are given the most importance because they are the ones who can stay alive. This is not to say that the only reason we as a society enjoy this type of scenario is due to our subconscious cultural misogyny, as The Hunger Games is also a post-apocalyptic world where, although the main character lines up pretty well with your typical masculine traits, much importance is given to the feminine traits assigned to one of her romantic partners.

Also interesting to note is that in most of these apocalyptic scenarios, typical masculine abilities become the most important ones. In your typical, no trope inversion, zombie apocalypse, your worth as a human tends to come down to whether you can kill zombies or not. It all just so happens to be a male power fantasy. One where the most physically strong characters are given the most importance because they are the ones who can stay alive. This is not to say that the only reason we as a society enjoy this type of scenario is due to our subconscious cultural misogyny, as The Hunger Games is also a post-apocalyptic world where, although the main character lines up pretty well with your typical masculine traits, much importance is given to the feminine traits assigned to one of her romantic partners.

This post was really interesting to me because I realized how true it is. In some cases, it would be nice to be prepared which is why I guess scientists study certain things but I do agree that shows like the Walking Dead are put out purely for entertainment because they know it'll have an audience. As humans, I feel like we are just obsessed with how we are eventually going to die and we want to imagine an interesting way to go down.

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