Humans have a certain preoccupation with destruction. We turn out films like 2012 and Armageddon. We write book after book about post apocalyptic landscapes. Even kid shows like Adventure Time have an end of the world flavor. And, of course, every few years some crackpot predicts the apocalypse. I’ve lived through more end times than Buffy the vampire slayer. If they’d all happened, I’d be the toughest girl around.
The interesting thing is that some people seem to look forward to the apocalypse. Dystopias are the new hot literary craze. There are television ‘reality’ shows about doomsday preppers. And amid the sarcastic Facebook and tumblr posts about 2012, I got the feeling that people were rooting for something to happen. Winter break can be pretty boring, after all.
So what leads to a fascination with the end times, particularly among young adults? I have a feeling it’s because our future doesn’t look too rosy, Armageddon or no. The job market is terrible. Our economy, questionable. The planet is ravaged by war and environmental disaster. Is this really a future we want to inherit? Maybe we’d rather go out with a bang. An identifiable catastrophe – be it an Armageddon style meteor, a zombie apocalypse, a tsunami, etc – would give us something to blame. It would give us a way out of acknowledging the mess we’ve created. Instead, we’re going to have to face that the world – while not optimal – is going to stick around. It’s our job to patch it up.
You’ve almost made it to the new year. We’ve survived Y2K, the Rapture, 2012, and probably several other ends of days no one bothered to inform us about. For better or for worse, we made it to 2013.
Let’s make this year worth living.