Inconvenient Times

seattle-sunset-instagram-chalo16          I seem to get derailed from my original goal (completing these effing Subcategories before I do anything else!) a lot by current events these days, because I guess truth is stranger (and more frightening) than fiction, lately. Postapocalyptic fiction is seeming less and less cathartic and more and more an instruction manual.

Trump-Un

  • There is a LOT of yelling back and forth between Lord Dampnut and Kim Jong Un about flexing their giant, nuclear penises at each other. I am hoping it is just a lot of flexing. But it could also result in an actual, small-scale nuclear conflict. Which is not only bad for anyone who is in the strike/fallout zone, but also bad for

 

  • Climate change, which is happening. Like, NOW. I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel last week. Went to the movie theatre mid-afternoon to escape the blistAl Goreering heat and smoke…Seattle, last week, which normally has some of the best air quality in the country for a big city, had unhealthy air and was compared with Beijing, due to wildfires in British Columbia and eastern Washington, and the heat wave was making it worse. Al listed fires as a direct result of global warming. We had some epic, red, nuclear-looking sunsets, though (see above). Hope it’s not a preview of things to come. What does seem to be coming, though, is

 

  • Social Apocalypse & Dystopia. Most notably, in Charlottesville, VA, but also in Seattle, on Sunday. WHAT??? In SEATTLE? But I thought Seattle was…yeah. I am proud of Seattle for lots of things, but we still have lots of work to do. If I was not subverting through art all weekend, I’d have been marching with the counter protesters. Nazis,marching freely in the streets, with full cop protCharlottesville.Nazisection. Wow, must be nice to be white dudes, eh? Also, white dudes should probably start to realize despite the fact they are in power, they are also in the numeric minority, so they might want to start taking that into account. Yes, I know, #NOTALLWHITEDUDES. Because, most of the white dudes I know are pretty awesome and empathic and actually give a crap about the planet and other people not like them, but I am seeing many on television and social media right now who do NOT. For them, I say: Look out. There are more of us than there are of you.

So, these things have been on my mind a LOT during the past week. I’ve discovered where my closest fallout shelter is, and many useful tips on what to do if you are in the fallout zone, both of which I will likely post very soon as a PSA…I mean, they’re talking Guam, but I feel a little uneasy being in a big city on the west coast of the U.S.

I also learned about “rain bombs”, or the more scientific term, microburst – global warming causes water vapor from the ocean to evaporate into the atmosphere, the water pressure builds and builds as the clouds are travelling, and it dumps a giant water bomb onto land, looking just like an inverted mushroom cloud. See one here.

And I’ve seen a LOT of ugly uncles on other people’s Facebook feeds justifying the marching Nazis and their hate. I mean: I’m a Jewish Latina, (so, basically, I’m a non-person and walls should keep me out of the US) and more importantly, an artist, and I have friends of every color, creed, gender ID & sexual orientation, we are all in their crosshairs. Democracy and freedom are in their crosshairs. Because they believe that “Some animals are more equal than others.”

I’m also optimistic that this is the burning fever before the cooling; the raging fire before the lull. This is the last gasp of the patriarchy hanging on for dear life, and good GOD they are tenacious f*ckers! But their ignorance and hatred can be defeated. The dinosaurs will die out.

I just hope we have a world left when they finally do.

End of World Subcategories: Campocalypse Now! (The Wacky Apocalypse)

Grumpy cat     Armageddon isn’t supposed to be funny…or is it? The fact that there are enough films, tv and literature to create an actual funny end-of-days category says otherwise. I mean – the end of the world is a pretty big, scary topic, and we, as humans, actively seek catharsis, so it makes pretty good sense this would be a bonafide class of its own.

My earliest example of this was Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which basically begins with the end of the world…and starts out swinging: the Dolphins leave Earth, thanking us for the fish, because they are supreme beings who know the planet is about to be blown up because it’s in the way. And wacky hijinx ensue. Also in the 80’s, we were treated to Night of the Comet, teenagers survive the tail of the comet only to have to deal with all the humans who were turned into zombies because they were outside when the comet hit. There is, of course, a mandatory scene where the teenagers go to the deserted mall and play dress up.

More recently, we’ve gotten the Simon Pegg gems Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End, (and oh my god, I would LOVELOVELOVE to see Simon tackle a mash-up dystopia of Hunger Games, Handmaid’s Tale and Divergent) parodying self-absorbed UK hipsters during a zombie apocalypse and alien invasion respectively (and hilariously) and a rash of really recent television series, such as The Last Man on Earth, No Tomorrow and You, Me and the Apocalypse.

I have to confess: though I think most of these are funny and clever, with the exception of You, Me and the Apocalypse (and maybe because, in addition to its being comedic, it was also EXTREMELY DARK), I haven’t tended to enjoy them as much alpacalypseas their more serious older sisters. What can I say? I’m attracted to dark. I’m attracted to bleak. Mostly because it makes our current life seem less so. But considering the way things are headed in contemporary society, that may just be a matter of time, (nuclear war with North Korea? Coming soon to a west coast near you! Anthrax outbreak via ISIS? Coming soon to New York City! Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-present specter of climate change, likely coming soon, period!) and another thing I enjoy about the more serious shows is they are partly instructional. And of course, there’s the gallows-humor aspect, and always another opportunity to examine ourselves as human beings, and see those things that make humanity great…and not so great. What do you think?
Books: The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaday, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Movies: Zombieland, This is the End, Dr. Strangelove, Wall-E, Idiocracy
TV: Aftermath, iZombie, Z Nation, The Tribe