Hippies, Beatniks, and Zombies.

I’m manning the typewriter of the end-times.  It’s about that time, or so it feels.  It’s not so bad.

I can't decide whether I think Fallout 3's landscape is beautiful or terrifying.

 

I spent last week feeling unproductive.  I sucked up the fruits of the entertainment industries labours.  I read The Road.  I played through Bioshock 2 (and returned to Fallout 3 and CoD).  I watched The Road, Zombieland, and The Hurt Locker.  And it’s all coming together.  Yes, I picked this morbid collection of post-Apocalyptic musing, but there was a lot to choose from and this was the tail-end of a long line of Apocalyptic movies.  Maybe more than Twilight, the adult society eats up The End.

Book of Eli, The Road, I Am Legend?

These themes are really starting to grab my attention.  We’re fascinated with the undead, the Apocalypse, cowboys.  Hideous strength. But why?  Every day we are getting a little more advanced.  There’s new products that are making our lives that much brighter and more efficient and we’re obsessed as a society with the end of the world.

India's caste system is difficult to ascend. North America is similar, you need a lot of money, and sometimes that's not even enough.

My theory is that the war on terror has actaully backfired.  We’re more nihilistic and more accepting that the world is coming to an end than ever.  Or perhaps not.  Part of me thinks nothing ever changes, could it be our class.  Are we just of a caste that locks us into feeling hopeless?  Why are we fascinated with hippies, beatniks, and zombies?

I was watching The Hurt Locker when I realized the bombed out backdrop that was Iraq lines up pretty neatly with my vision of post-apocalyptic America in The Road.  And it got me thinking.  Perhaps the war is instilling us with a sense of the end.  Did our past generations feel the same way in World War I and World War II?  We’ve never had to battle on our soil the way the rest of the world has.  We have iPads and laptops and Prius’ and all these great things to take care of the environment and feed our creative souls, but on the forefront we’re bombing the shit out of school-age children with AK-47s (check out Wired and Esquire for celebratory articles on the greatest gun ever made).  It’s depressing.  It’s so heavy, sometimes it’s weighing me down.

As a society, we love this gun. Killing people with it seems so glamourous.

I’m free.  If there was conscription I would dodge it, I’m not dying for oil or religion.  I’ll live and let live, thanks.  In no way do I see mowing down men just like me with differences of opinion as a way to improve this great country.  This country that we are so free and accepting, is armed and mobilized overseas.  Why?  What are they fighting for?  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just get along?

It’s not making us feel any better either.  We’re writing books where people have resorted to cannibalism.  Which is a fitting analogy.  We’re destroying each other to preserve a country that is about 10% full.  If we could stop the war for one day, we could have rebuilt Haiti.  If we could stop making bombs and bombed out areas perhaps we could make farms and feed those we don’t agree with.  Do we need to kill them?  Wouldn’t the best way to eliminate enemies to befriend them?

I think it was in All Quiet on The Western Front, at the end of the war, the men care for each other regardless of affiliation.  A wounded German was still a man fighting dying for his country, just like the other million men in the trenches.  We’re always going to fight, that’s the nihilist in me talking.  But wouldn’t it be nice if we could just agree to ignore each other?

This is where we’re flawed as a society.  I believe government should not be about gain or loss.  Each person is a representation of their country, of their planet.  We should live like we would like the world to live.  As kids, when we have a conflict in the schoolyard, I don’t remember the principal handing me a flamethrower and my fellow classmate a gun and letting rip each other apart to decide who was right.  The playground was large and there were other territories to play.  So why do we hand our adults rifles and send them to solve our differences in blood?

Should I start solving my problems with a knife?  Why is it okay to kill a man on foreign soil but not a countryman?  I can actually disagree with a countryman, but not a man I’ve never met or never spent time with.  As the man in The Road explains, we are the good guys, we’re carrying the fire.

We’ve got everything, technology, food, Jersey Shore, pets, love, relatively disease free.  Hell, we made the Double Down.  Enough calories for an entire day.  And our fellow earthmates are hoping for a cup of rice a day to survive.  Perhaps we’re pointing the rifles the wrong way.

"Don't worry, there will always be another season of 16 and Pregnant. As long as we still have the luxury of spoiling our dumbass kids."

Why are we fighting about anything?  I believe in individualism.  Every man for himself.  You don’t have to eat double downs or self-medicate or watch 16 and Pregnant.  You don’t, you could take advantage of all the great cuisine this great city has to offer, and drink to celebrate how great we have things, and watch a classic film (Casablanca was quite good).

We can’t help others until we help ourselves.  But we sure can kill them.

I’m sorry this was a rant, but I just needed to get it off my chest.  There’s a war going on, and we’re still getting fatter and lazier.  Does no one see this as kind of ridiculous.  In what ways has killing on foreign soil improved our life.

Sorry to get all preachy.  But seriously WTF is going on here?  We can’t just be happy with what we have and help out someone who doesn’t agree with our lifestyle even a little bit.

– Bryan

Also: stop trying to fix government and lead by example.  If we as people can’t keep ourselves in check, how do you think the government is going to keep themselves in check?!

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