Apocalyptic fantasies are this life’s hellish nightmares

Consider saying something more meaningful when finals wrap up next week than “see you next year.”

The standard holiday au revoir might be the last thing you say to your Gannon professors and close friends.

Dec. 21 lies between now and the January start of the spring semester.

Let me preface this column by saying that I think the world and its people will endure through that ominous December date.

After all, the Knight still has 12 more issues to print, and for me that’s 12 more columns to write. And we were just starting to get to know each other.

I don’t fear the world ending, but I worry about the majority of people on this Earth who are so captivated by the end of days.

Face it; our culture is addicted to the apocalypse. Just look at our entertainment.

“The Walking Dead” has to be the most popular TV show among college-age viewers.

Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” was a bestseller before it graced cinemas in 2009.

Will Smith played the last man on Earth in “I Am Legend” (2007), a remake of “The Omega Man” (1971), starring Charlton Heston.

There is even a mass end war in the pre-plot of “The Hunger Games,” no? And you’ll find that series in the young adult section of bookstores.

Religion plays its part, too. The horrors of the beast, the Antichrist and the mystery of the seven seals make Revelation the most discussed book of the Bible.

Where does this innate obsession come from, that as humans we always have a vigilant eye cast toward the end of days?

Is it the fear of death? Does life mean so much these days that families have dropped thousands of dollars from their life savings to spend this Christmas in a fallout shelter?

Perhaps it’s not death we fear, but rather, life. Boring and meaningless lives. Owning a house in a sterile suburbia, working a dead-end office job and watching your sports teams bite it year after year.

An extraordinary climax to humanity’s existence would end its centuries of monotony.

We read books about fantasy worlds to escape from our real one. It seems normal that our imaginations would conjure the what-ifs of an uncertain future.

But are TV shows or movies an accurate portrayal of these cataclysmic fantasies?

Would it really be that great if the zombie outbreak hit, a meteor struck the planet or if a nuclear war obliterated almost all life?

Imagine how difficult it would be to fit your family tree into your dystopian dreams.

Call me a hypocrite if you like. I watch “The Walking Dead” every Sunday. I’ve played the “Fallout” videogames. “The Road” is on my reading wish list.

But don’t ignore the hard truth. When you’re eagerly anticipating the apocalypse, you disown all of the little things in this life that we all take for granted.



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