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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

what is post-apocalypse


WHAT IS POST-APOCALYPSE

The definition of Post-Apocalypse anymore seems to be a mere label useful for advertising.  When Logan’s Run, a dystopian fiction piece, is labeled as post-apocalypse, we all nod and grin and remember the big busted big haired Fara Facitt ( I know, spelling ).  Okay, so they all went underground after a nuclear war or whatever it is.   Today, their society looks like a middle class shopping mall.  Full of beautiful people.  No one is starving, crime is reasonable if not nonexistent ( I haven’t seen the movie since it first came out on video ).  Society is normal.  How is this then considered post-apocalypse?  The Disney movie Wall-E claimed to be post-apocalypse, just because the planet blew up and they went elsewhere.  To a functioning environment.  To my mind, post-apocalypse isn’t just about events after a major cataclysm, not if society has recovered and is fully functional.  To me, post-apocalypse is the struggle to get to a functioning society again.  Once you get there, that ain’t post-apocalypse any more but science fiction ( although, of course, post-apocalypse is a sub-genre of science fiction.  In this case it slips from its sub-genre classification back to the parent genre ).  I know I’m splitting hairs here, but I also feel it is necessary because without doing so there is a lot of cheating taking a customers money under false pretext.  Just like when the book store and the library lump fantasy in with science fiction.  They ain’t the same thing.  At all.  They are as far apart as Romance and Men’s Military Adventure.

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Is there a governing body that stays in power through policing rather than military conflict?  Is there trade established with other organizational entities?  Is there a surplus of resources to allow trade?  Do citizens spend more time working at a trade than fighting to get enough to eat?  Well then, you are not in a post-apocalypse world.  You might be in an alternate world, sci-fi wise.  But you are no longer surviving a die-off.  And that would be, surviving a die-off whilst under no government protection ( natural disasters, crop failure famines and the like are not post-apocalypse.  They are regular life before and after petroleum in the First World ).  As much as the anarchist in me cringes, almost no human society as ever successfully functioned without some level of governance ( which requires force to survive ).  The lack of governance is a key factor in post-apocalypse stories, because without it you can’t have safety to grow food and you can’t safely trade food for other necessities.  Once stable government is established, and crops are grown, and trade is possible, you are technically still in a period AFTER the Apocalypse but you are no longer IN an Apocalypse.  So while the label of “post-apocalypse” is technically correct, it is a lawyer weasel word ( what is the definition of IS? ).  I don’t expect most to agree with me, nor this to change a damn thing.  But perhaps it will go a ways to explaining those times when I casually dismiss any book or movie as “NOT post-apocalypse”. 

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8 comments:

  1. Well stated. This is why I read your blog daily: clarity.

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  2. Its apparently all relative then.
    Are the native americans in their post-apocalypse world?

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    1. No. They were not struggling to survive per se, resource wise. Theirs is more a prison society, the warden being a giant dick who sometimes withholds medical care and food.

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  3. Farrah Fawcett was in Logan's Run???? Oh crap she was! All I remember was the modified 1911 the dude carried.

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    1. I don't remember the gun. But, then, Big Hair was always my bag, baby.

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  4. "As much as the anarchist in me cringes, almost no human society as ever successfully functioned without some level of governance ( which requires force to survive"

    It seems to be a necessary evil James. In the beginning it always starts off small, but inevitably grows in leaps and bounds, consuming all liberties in its path. The father's of the Constitution recognized this, and came close to a perfect solution. But failed to include a few all to important stipulations, such as preventing others from being able to vote in a way that can determine how others get to use their own private property according to what is deemed "fair" by the leftist, brainwashed community at large, along with no wealth redistribution.

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    1. Let's not get into right/left finger pointing. It is a column of smoke blown up our asses. Both parties play a game of fighting but both end up with more power. They use each other as scapegoats. Don't fall for it.

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    2. No worries James. I fully understand that the modern right is just as useless as the left. The primary difference being that one is directly voting in Communism. It bothers me to no end when someone feels that they have the right to vote in a way as to control my views or property rights. But of course, that would be true of either side.

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