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Friday, August 20, 2010

Apocalypse Why?


As I look through my library, I notice that I have a lot of books that take place in some sort of apocalypse or dystopia. Why? Why do I read books like this? What attracts me to them? I don't write things that take place in post-apocalyptic scenarios.

For some reason I keep coming back to it. 23 books alone in my 200 on LibraryThing are tagged with "apocalypse" and 20 are tagged with "dystopia". A lot of them involve zombies. Movies too. Lots of stuff like The Road and Carriers.

I think it's because that's what I'm most scared of--a life-changing apocalyptic event. Something that devastates the world, turns everything to its base elements, so that the only skills that matter are survival skills. And I have no survival skills. I know if something like this happened, I'd be dead so damn fast. I don't have a good reaction time, I don't have big muscles or lots of endurance. I don't know how to fight and I've never shot a gun (and my accuracy is horrible). I'm a computer programmer, I sit at a desk all day and use my brain on a specific tool that will have no use once the EMP wipes out all electronics.  Unless the apocalypse happens in a video game, I'm screwed.  And I'm not even that good at video games.

I can't make a fire without a lighter.  All the poisonous berries look like the unpoisonous ones.  And if I get a wound, I have no idea how to dress it. I cannot take being hungry (maybe that's why I'm over-indulging in food and drink all the time). And since I'm already prone to depression and get bored easily with nature, I don't think I could take living in that scenario.

I wonder if it's the large amount of change that scares me or the unlikelihood of survival. Change is not my friend, although it's not like a cower in a corner when something new happens. Adjusting to living with my wife was fraught with problems, but now we know how to work as a team and be considerate of each other. Having a child needing constant attention was an adjustment, but now I don't dread coming home to my kids. It's fun to play with them. It's all about getting to the "new normal". After a big life-changing change, it takes about a year to adjust your mentality to where you accept that you can't play Kingdom Hearts all day... or possibly ever again.

Well, damn. I made myself sad.
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