Sunday, August 03, 2008
Let's combine a serious prediction with some fun, OK?
It should be pretty clear by now that modern civilization as we know it is near the end. Mankind's excess of success as a species -- and Man's adamant refusal to rationally manage his environment in such a way as not to suffer the otherwise inevitable consequences of that success, i.e., destruction of his environment (via annihilation of the earth's client and the extinction of its natural resource, petroleum, which fueled his existence binge in the first place, 150 years ago or less) -- is about to lead to the end of the Industrial Age. There are many possible means of that end, which can either lead to the extinction of Man as a species, or simply his reversion to a primordial, uncivilized state. All of them can and probably will occur to some degree, and we are already seeing them, much more so that than when I first started throwing this in your face. Nuclear war is still a threat, and war in some form is inevitable. Starvation is there already, it just waits to become universal.
You know, the Powers that Be have to be aware of all this. Dick Cheney, as we've pointed out before, has been talking about Peak Oil for fifteen years. These are evil men, but not ignorant. More and more, it strikes me that they have a solution in mind for overpopulation, and for the preservation of earth's scant remaining resources for the chosen few alone, and the most efficient means to reduce the population drastically would be the controlled release of a pandemic.
Surely today's extensive research in bio-warfare has by now given them a virus that could do the job. Then all you have to do is make sure you have enough antivirus to inoculate a small segment of selected survivors, and bingo! A few more generations of livability on Planet Earth for the chosen few and their progeny. The viral weapon could be waiting, cocked and loaded at CDC in Atlanta, or in any of a thousand places.
Of course, this theme is not new; I have merely made a Robert Frost choice in this case, although mine is guided less by poetry than by rationality. And the whole idea does lead to a certain Poe-ish scenario, does it not? But it's also been done and overdone in recent fiction, as if it's become an unconscious artifact of popular consciousness, while the bodies associated with the minds in denial continue to spit out little genomes as if this were the Dawn of Eternity. Look at the whole Resident Evil series, and probably hundreds of others.
But if you're gonna dance til you drop, you should at least have fun doing it, and Doomsday, a movie released on DVD last Tuesday, set in a world where a natural(?) plague starts in Scotland, of all places (guaranteeing great dialect in the dialogue), is much more fun than most. When I started watching this movie at the theater, I was afraid I was walking into another underfunded British sci-fi knockoff, but once the protagonist, played by Rhona Mitra, is captured by punks weilding chainsaws (25 years of isolation and they have gasoline?), and then it is revealed that the punks are in contention with a medieval heraldry headed by Malcolm McDowell for control of Glasgow -- well, this one is so far over the top that you don't even look for the logical howlers any more and are free to enjoy this delightful hodgepodge of free-flowing Dystopian fantasy. Watch the preview below, then go rent it or buy it now! Then continue on with your spewing out babies and guzzling up petrol, or whatever it was you were doing.