I have been binge watching a new series that I discovered recently called The 100. It tells the story of a post-nuclear apocalypse and how humankind have survived by living on a huge space station called the Ark but as oxygen begins to run out, they decide to test whether Earth is safe to live on again. To do this, they send a 100 of their prisoners to the ground who all happen to be teenagers since any adult who commits a crime is immediately executed. In the Ark, the ‘waste of space’ phrase is taken very literally.
What I have been thinking about is why are we so fascinated with the apocalypse story? When the cold war was being fought, it became a hugely popular genre but why does it still continue till today? Stories of the population being wiped out, Earth being obliterated, humankind battling for survival; all these plots capture the imagination of the people. There seems to be something strangely appealing about the idea of starting afresh. A second chance for humankind. Perhaps it is because there is a sense that we have gone too far to change for the better and we crave an alternative world. We are sick of the constant violence and destruction that occurs around the globe, unchecked.
The ironic thing of course is that every post-apocalyptic novel, movie or TV show has to contain violence. The battle for survival is never peaceful as well as the fact it wouldn’t make any money. However, I can tell you who would love to really start afresh. The promoters of different political ideologies.
I can remember my first politics class in college where we learnt about the different beliefs people have towards human nature. We had different scenarios and were asked to suggest what would humans do and what their core nature really is. Of course, this hypothetical thinking is not much use as nowhere in this world can we get a true picture of human nature that would convince everyone. The argument that external factors affect human nature will always exist. There may be utterly pure and kind people but then there are completely cruel ones as well. I guess that is why these post-apocalypse stories are so popular. Throw humans into a situation where they can start afresh and see what happens. Of course this is all a certain person’s perspective, whether it is the playwright, the author, the scriptwriter or the director.
To get a true picture, we would need a real apocalypse and I am pretty sure we do not want that. So let’s get back to watching The 100.
Until Next Time
A Worried Student