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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Desire for an apocalypse: a psychological analysis Part I

Part I

That's right, I said desire.  There are many, many people (mostly male) who have an innate desire for some world altering event that will ravage the population and leave them, in most cases, alone to battle the remnants of whatever caused this apocalypse or find other survivors and begin again.

The apocalypse,  the end of the world, the rapture -whatever you call it, the words bear the same meaning. Some event that violently and tragically alters the existence of humanity.

With December, 2012 right around the corner, what better time to delve into a topic that has captured the imaginations of readers, writers, filmmakers and fans for centuries.

There are loads of websites dedicated to the nonsensical notion that the world will end on December 21st of this year.  I've decided to delve into this subject from a more entertainment providing perspective so fear not, fun will be had by all!

Before the analysis of the mind that wishes for the end, lets take a look at some popular scenarios.

1. Meteor

2. Nuclear holocaust

3. The Rapture

4. A super-virus
5. Zombies

6. I'll throw in a geological disaster for S&G's

7. World War III

 THIS ARTICLE in Psychology Today by he speaks of an

'inquiry into the allure and even romanticizing of apocalyptic scenarios.'

 While it isn't a very in-depth look at the psychology behind the allure, it does pay homage to the fact that scores of people are drawn to films marketed toward just that.

 The big question is why?  What in our brains has us wishing for a complete and total destruction of life as we know it?  I intend to find out.

As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my website.

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  1. It is human nature to not only fantasize about the 'end times', but to be among the only group that knows how to survive/stop it. Christians have the rapture you mention, Muslims have an Iman in a well, and the late-model liberals have "global warming" that will cause 'billions to die' according to some scientists.
    In my not-so-humble opinion, it isn't so much about being the tough guy after, it's more about controlling the masses so as to avoid Armageddon. Those aforementioned religious folk say that if you believe, you won't be killed. The super-virus's will never get us if we just stop messing with them (including vaccines), no nuclear winter with NO NUKES!!! and if we just stop driving our gas guzzling trucks, stop heating our houses, and stop eating animals, global warming will reverse to that perfect point of 1979 when the hysteria about global cooling 'died'.
    Control, it is all about control. I will explain that, and the 50 reasons why, as a comment to part two.

  2. oh boy...a political rant. This should be interesting.

  3. Less political than human nature, really. We need to feel in control, or, to be controlled,one or the other. In this manner, the species is continued. Look to the 'lesser' animals, many of them join packs, herds, flocks, or even a murder (as in crows). These groupings share many of the attributes human groupings share: leaders, followers, dissenters and apathetic hangers-on. Not every male tries to become the leader, only some do. Not every female gives birth every season.
    The difference is that animals understand the nature of nature and allow the weak to be eaten. Perhaps that is our desire for apocalyptic insanity, those of us who are strong (or think we are) will survive while the normal order of things will return and the weak will perish.
    And I guess that could be political as well, but if so, it is only because politics mimics nature.

  4. I think it is the violent nature of humans, and we all need to learn to live together. If there is a virus or a bomb or a war we will need to band together to survive, we should learn to do that now. We can start by helping the poor more, making sure they are strong enough to survive, make sure they have health care so the virus doesn't get them first.
    We need to stop polluting the planet and we need to get rid of the bombs.

  5. So, David, do you believe the inherent nature of humans will ever go away or will we always be destroying ourselves?