comic updated November 7, 2008
I certainly didn't engineer it this way, but somehow,
a whole lot of post-apocalypse-themed art and literature converged on my
entertainment schedule, recently -- Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," Max Brooks'
"World War Z," "Children of Men," "The Omega Man," an, of course, "Fallout
"The Road" is, I suppose, the only real exception
to the bunch; there's a fairly consistent undercurrent in most post-apocalypse
literature that says (and with our current level of technology to engineer
the world thus, I think it's somewhat more-realistic to assume) that the
end of the world, as it were, is not going to be the, you know, End of the
World. You'll have your mutants and your raiders and your giant crabs, of
course, but you'll also have your settlements of dusty people who start work
and rebuild civilization, bit by bit.
"The Road," on the other hand, is relentlessly
bleak, and what few dusty people there are in the world are usually
COMPOSED of dust, since they were charred to a crisp ages ago. Survival
is presented as a very temporary condition; everybody's starving, and most
of the remaining few have turned to cannibalism. Only not fun, horror-movie
cannibalism. Bleak, bleak, bleak, bleak, bleak. You'll want to finish this
book fast, so you'll have time afterwards to sit alone in a dark room
and shoot yourself in the head.
"Fallout 3," on the other hand -- that's right
back into Mad Max territory. Post-apocalyptic escapism, right there. I'll
have to save most of that for another post, however, as there's a heck
of a lot of work to be done this weekend, starting... now-ish.
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