Wednesday, July 22, 2009

10 things video games have taught us that can get us through the End Times

Here is a fantastic scenario: you are walking down the street enjoying a smoothie or a nice cup of coffee, when out of no where you are attacked by a horde of zombies. Maybe they aren't zombies but rather they are aliens or even worse mutants from a nuclear fallout. The Apocalypse can strike at anytime and the only people that will make it are the ones who know how to plan ahead. These 10 things should be sufficient to help last until mankind can rebuild our society.

1) A sawed off shotgun- This guy can become your best friend and you better be sleeping with it clutched in your cold not-quite-dead-yet hands.   If video games have taught us one thing about guns its this: it may be simple, it may not be elegant, but a shotgun is a real nice way to fuck up somebody's day.  While the reload time sucks, this will inflict major damage on whatever is trying to maim or eat you. Just make sure you aim for the face (provided your foe has a face). Now, you better believe this is not going to be your only firearm.

2) Assault Rifle- All video games have them and everyone in real life wants one.  Why?  Simple.  This weapon will give you three things: it is easy to reload, it fires rapidly, and it is light in weight. While your sawed off shotgun will be awesome for blowing your enemies faces off at close range, this all important tool will give you some range so that you can put more mileage between you and your target.  That's not all though, it's versatility as a "crowd control" device can be just as useful when spraying into hordes of oncoming bad guys.  You won't know which to use though in what situation unless you have this next thing.

3) Intellegence.  It's important to be smart, have situational awareness, all that stuff and it's also equally important to know you foe- What are you facing? Inbred human tribes, aliens, zombies, mutants, demons? You need to know your enemy. You can't waste time and resources to only find out all those Molotov cocktails you threw are actually making the giant bug monsters larger. You need to observe your enemy, possibly capture one of their young or their weaker comrades and experiment.  You need to know when and what type of situation you should use which particular weapon.  Like if you're up against robots--are you going to shot your pistol that them?  No.  You're going to find some ions grenades and lob those at them.  Or, you're going to disable their control deck and hack into their mother board.  Easy as pie.
But letes face it, vven though you may know your enemy, things may still get hairy fast and you're going to need to get away quickly.

4) A car- The trick here is to have a automobile that is durable, has good gas mileage, and can accommodate your entire party. This no time to live out a fantasy of driving someone's abandoned Jag or sticking to your eco convictions with the Prius. You need something rugged that can plow though mobs but still has a good get up and go ability.  Easy to maintain would be a good one.  The fewer fancy parts the better.  Most apocalyptic video games don't let you use vehicles.  It's a shame too.  Now while you think on that, think on this: stamina.

5) Stamina- I will say it right now, and not that I am the most athletic person, but if you can't run a mile as fast as you can without stopping then you will die! Apocalyptic fiends are not fond of waiting for you to catch you breath. So if your only experience with the Apocalypse is Fallout and Left 4 Dead, then you need to get off your ass and exercise. Now to keep you stamina you will need some munchies...

6) Food- This one is kind of a no brainer but your body will still need nourishment during the Apocalypse and it will be important to know where to acquire such food. Abandoned grocery store are the first place to check, but remember you will be limited to what is up for grabs. You may not have the ability to cook what you get so look for non-perishable foods that can be eaten raw. Also, assume tha you will potentially be walking, so keep in mind weight. While all those can of Vienna Sausages look great now, they will be the death of you (literally) when trying to run from the horde. The grocery is not the only place to find food. Depending on which Apocalypse you find yourself in, you may still be able to find foods in the wild. Providing this isn't a nuclear waste land you should still be able to hunt, fish, and look for fruits and veggies in the wild. If you are in fallout type situation, you are no screwed. You have evolution on your side. The human body can adapt to different foods, so just experiment. I recommend having the whiney rich guy that no one likes be the guinea pig. With all this food, you will need a way of keeping up with up with it.

7)  Charisma--the power of persuasion is priceless.  Nothing like relying on your sweet charms and debonair  to coerce people into giving you stuff.  Taken to the extreme, you could become the leader of a small tribe of humans battling to stay free--or enslave other humans under your tyrannical wrath.  Your choice.  Either way, if you want to insure you'll stay alive, you'd better be prepared to be highly medicated.  No matter how much charisma you have, no one will want to have anything to do with you if you come down with small pox.  So try and stay healthy.  

8)  A good Med kit--what makes a good med kit?  Pain killers definitely gotta in there.  Also, clean bandages.  All video games, post-apocalyptic or not, have medkits, they're crucial.  Duh.  What's super important above all--antibiotics.  Penicillin is going to be the new petroleum.  Anti-biotic cream will come in handy as well.  Also going to need need and thread for stitches, as well as tweezers, sharp knives for home surgeries, and did we mention a good pain killer?

9)  Radio Device--There's usually a mission in post apocalyptic games or really most video games that sends you out to go repair a radio device.  Knowledge of this repair might come in useful so I'd start studying actual radios and how they work--right now.  It's important that you look for other survivors or coordinate with others in whatever type of resistance/war you'll become embroiled in.  After all, John Connor wouldn't be the post-apocalyptic Mesiah and at the top of SkyNet's most wanted list if it weren't for his handy dandy radio transmitter.  

10)  Lastly, another crucial and life saving device is going to be a flashlight.  While you'd hope you'll never find yourself walking around the ruins of the wasteland around you at night, you can walk a little easier knowing your way is lit.  You must use caution though.  A flashlight is just as harmful as it is useful because while it can give away your position and signal to other survivors where you are, it can also signal to whatever zombies, alien, robots, or enemy humans who are on the hunt for you.  I'd suggest something big, like a big-ass maglight. 

In the end though, lets face it.  Even with the ten helpful hints and suggestions we've provided above, you're most likely going to be a part of the billions who die in the initial--whatever--it is that goes off.  So, unless you're just one really lucky bastard, who reads this blog, and survives, and is then able to find all these useful things, you might--just might--have a chance.  But probably not.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Harry Potter Apocalypse

Going out in a blaze of glory as a result of the forces of good wizards battling the bad wizards has got to be one of the coolest ways the world could ever end.  For those of you who read; however, you know that's not the case, at least as it is in the Harry Potter series.  

What's even more fascinating are the numbers of people, mostly evangelical christians who believe that the Potter franchise is nothing but a veiled plot by Satanist to take over the minds of the youth and herald in the end of the world.  

This post is not really a post so much about Harry Potter as it is the first post of many about a group of people, who like the 2012 people, some of whom fall in both categories, love the Book of Revelations and "Paradise Lost" by John Milton.  

Milton and J.K. Rowling would probably get along pretty well together.  Both wrote extremely captivating and imaginative stories whose meanings have been skewed by religious zealots lacking in creativity and analytical skills.  What's truly sad though, for Milton, is that his story of Satan has now become almost synonymous with religious scripture.  What was originally supposed to be a story about what happens when God is defied soon turned into the modern version of what probably went on.  It's like going to a crime scene and taking eye-witness testimony of someone strung out on acid and accepting that testimony for what really went down.  

The bible unfortunately lacks many details about Satan, Hell, and battles between Angels and who said what to whom.  Well, Milton decided to fill in those gaps and thus has fired the imaginations of people everywhere.  

I seem to have wondered off topic pretty damn well.  We went from Harry Potter, the apocalypse, the bible, evangelicals, and John Milton.  Pretty nice tirade for a twenty minutes worth of work.  

Anyways, I'll try to reign in the commentary on stuff that is less related to impending doom.  The Potter haters are a fascinating bunch though.  Best of luck to them and all that dogma stuff. 

thanks be to the end!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"The War Game" (1965)

Apocalyptic cinema is making a come-back.  In the wake of successful films like "Children of
 Men," and the hype surrounding the upcoming movie, "The Road" audiences are beginning to take the genre more seriously.  Past problems with the genre like bad plots, poor special effects, and Kevin Costner, have caused a great dwindling of credibility on films and directors to actually deliver.  Despite these problems there have been many successes.  That said, perhaps none have been as riveting and shocking as Peter Watkin's film, "The War Game."

The 1966 film, pseudo-documentary, "The War Game," is no-joke, one scary as hell piece of apocalyptic cinema.  Based in the 1960's Cold War era the movie is a step-by-step account of what would happen to England if it were caught in the middle of a nuclear showdown between the US and USSR.  The shaky hand-held and news reporting style of the movie adds a very tangible layer of credibility lacking in most films on the same subject.  

In great detail the narrator explains the scenes unfolding.  One in particular was a burning neighborhood that had a direct hit by an atom bomb that exploded in mid-air before reaching its target, The London Airport.  Grotesque images of people with burns, burn victims, and fire-fighters dying of suffocation while trying to fight fierce 100 mile an hour fallout winds is enough to take your breath away.  Highlighting the action all along the way is the soothing British narrator, whose cold voice explains how the real horror of nuclear war will unfold after the bombs go off.  No surprise it won the oscar for best documentary in 1966.

In the years since the Cold War has concluded the movie has fallen into obscurity.  I didn't know about it until watching a trailer for it on's top ten list of the most controversial films ever made.  After premiering in Britain the public reaction to the movie was so strong that the BBC banned it until 1983.  

I feel very thankful that I was able to grow up in a time when fear of being vaporized in a nuclear holocaust was not something I had to live with everyday.  It is perhaps this lack of impending nuclear doom that has opened the doorways for apocalyptic fans to spin stories of other impending dooms like the bullshit that was Y2K and soon bullshit-to-be hysteria of 2012.  

Nothing will really ever come close or be more of a reality than those dark days in the 1960's when the possibility of Russia and the United States turning the world into a big parking lot seemed almost certain.  While we still retain the weapons to do such things, and the possibility is still real; the promise of mutually assured destruction has so far worked to insure our safety.  Only time can tell though.

Thanks be to the end!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Michael Jackson, Dead; Four Horsemen Still at Large.

Since capitalizing on recent celebrity deaths is all the rage nowadays we here at the Apocalypse Blog feel compelled to do our part.  It's sad that people die.  Yet; one person, one special person who danced really well, sang pretty, donated lots of money to charities, and built his own personal amusement park, is all the American News Media Wants to talk about.  For the first time in ages I actually watched Fox News because, while I wouldn't call what they do reporting, they were at least running Michael Jackson stories at less of a rate than MSNBC, CNN, HLN, MTV, E, and VH1.  It seems MJ's death, (and yes, anyone who is in the "KNOW" calls him 'MJ') is the only thing the news and every major media outlet can talk about.

So here's a retrospective on where we are in relationship to the end of the world now that Michael Jackson has died and stopped breathing the same air we breath.  

For starters, 1.7 million other people, some of who didn't dance so well or sing so pretty, happened to die as well.  Not to make MJ feel so alone, statistically speaking, some of them had to be child molesters and drug abusers as well as having family problems that probably caused all of that to begin with.  Some of them were other celebrities.  According to census reports with 146,357 people dying each, that leaves quite a few dead after the twelve days spanning Jackson's death and funeral.  

In the meantime, while I was glued trying to figure out some kind of secret code to the end of the world hidden within the news of Jackson's downfall, North Korea figured out a code of their own and launched a successful cyber attack against the US.  This wasn't the typical forum flaming, "LAWLS.. USA SUCK A DICK NOOBFACE ROFL COPTER... KIM JON IL JUST PWNED YOU LIKE  A BITCH," from what I understand it was a little more serious than all that.

Also, Obama sent the Marines into southern Afghanistan.  Some died, but who cares?  MJ's babies' mama is pissed she doesn't have custody.  Well, good news, there's so many ongoing custody cases in the US that they can't all be counted.  So at least we know she's not alone.

And lastly, while Michael Jackson had a nearly state sponsored funeral/rock concert in his name to send him off, most of us will die and have only a few sad relatives and friends in attendance.  Our funerals will end up costing our families thousands of dollars, most of which they'll have to pay on their own.  Michael Jackson's funeral costs over 1.5 million dollars and his family is asking fans and friends for donations to help them pay for it.  For a man who was once valued at being worth hundreds of millions of dollars, surely there's a spare million and a half lying around somewhere.

If all of this is leaving you quite baffled, fear not.  If you're wondering what all this has to do with the impending apocalypse then chew on this for a second.  Thirteen news and media channels (by my count) carried the live coverage of Michael Jackson's funeral.   five of which are not even news channels.  What channels you ask?  Well, there's ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC WallStreet, CNN, HLN, FOX NEWS, MTV, VH1, BET, E, WGN, That's more stations that cover presidential declarations of war, State of the Unions, and press conferences announcing giant space rocks are on collision courses with planet Earth.  If you're not baffled by any of this then there has got to be something wrong with you.  An important person died but he was no Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, so lets remember that.  Something is wrong when we live in a world that values its entertainers more than its leaders and problem solvers.  The end must be near.

Thanks be to the end!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Apocalypse of 2012 pt. 2

When we think the end of the world, we generally think, "Oh fuck."  With 2012 just two and a half short years away we'd better start enjoying life and preparing for the end right away!  
What are you going to do?  I know I for one am going to finally turn my bathroom into a distillery and start making hooch.  If prisoners in maximum security prisons can do it, I'm sure I can do it too.  Then I'll sell it.  I'll become the Donald Trump of the post apocalypse. 
I've seen to wander off subject again.  Anyways, check out these loony sites if you're actually serious about this whole 2012 business,  
 (If I were you I'd go ahead and write some kind of book about 2012 being the end because the market is about to explode in that whole area.  Disaster-Prophesy literature is booming, just ask Nostradamus).

If you don't want to go through the trouble then let me break it down for you:

      1 part (religion) 
+ 1/2 parts (Science)  
+ 1 parts (Astrology)
+ 1/2 parts (Ancient Mythology)  

the square root of FEAR of the Unknown  


Apocalyptic Prediction

There will be more on this theorum at a later date but as you can see, predicting the apocalypse is a very complicated matter and requires integers, long division, multiplication, and courage in the face of irrational numbers--not to mention years of training that I just can't break down to you in a few paragraphs and equations.  
This leaves us somewhat befuddled.  Confused?  Don't be, it all adds up in the end! (no pun intended).
In modern times there seems to be a surface level feeling of anxiety which hints that something big and bad is in the future.  Pinning a date on it, like 2012, makes it more tangible and real; however, no less than what is already at hand.  There are lots of ways we could wipe ourselves out right now!
What ways you ask? 
Well how about bio-terrorism, nuclear holocaust, killer bees, and the cluster fuck that is becoming global warming?  It's true, yes we have a lot to be concerned with.  Not to mention the completely unexpected, like aliens from a distant planet invading, or Earth getting hit by a giant asteroid, or the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland actually creating a black hole that then swallows the Earth whole.  No wonder why predicting the end of the world can get so dizzying!  
Next, we'll look at how the media exploded a rational danger in the Y2K problem of 1999 and caused panic in America and at the local Home Depot store.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Apocalypse of 2012 pt. I

Have you ever been at a family gathering and heard this?  

"How do you know?"
"The ancient Mayan predicted it!"
"Oh really?"
"Yes!  And also, a huge volcano is going to erupt in Yellowstone and kill millions of people in the United States!"
"Yeah, and the sun is going to start producing massive solar flares that will send huge amounts of radiation to earth and eat up our magnetic fields!"
"You don't say?"
"I do, and also, Jesus is going to come back and lead all the Jews and Christians into battle in the Middle East against the forces of Satan!"
"Well, now you've got me, if Jesus is involved it must be true."
I hope none of your have ever had a conversation like this, but I guarantee at least one of you has.  And an interesting conversation it was too.  He was very serious for a fourteen year old and I don't blame him.  The apocalypse is no laughing matter.  
Chef Boy R D is the only thing that I will put in my apocalypse shelter.  Before I digress into another long story of what I want to put in my apocalypse pantry, let's discuss the whole issue of the looming date of December 21, 2012.  
First a brief history of apocalyptic predictions...

  1. Joanna Southcott: (pictured above)  Self-Proclaimed Woman from the Bible with Prophetic Powers.  Born in 1750 Britain, Joanna thought that she was the woman from Revelations 12:1-6 (King James version) and that she was going to give birth to the Messiah and herald the end of the world.  The end date would be October 19, 1814.  When this date came and went her followers did not faulter but only assumed there was some kind of cosmic 'mix-up.'  Ironically Joanna would die two months later.  In a strange twist, her loyal followers kept her body around for a while in hopes she may raise herself from the dead but when it started to rot, they handed it over to authorities.
  2. Millerites:  These were the followers of an upstate New York baptist preacher named William Miller who taught that Jesus would be coming back roughly around the year 1843.  Miller drew a lot of his teaching based on a very literal reading of the book of Daniel combined with a smattering of things out of Revelations.  Interestingly, Miller's movement became widely circulated in the newspaper media of the time starting mostly in Boston in the paper, "Signs of the Times."  Overall there would go on to be some 48 newspapers and periodicals that published Millerite literature until "The Great Dissapointment" happened in 1843, which, as you probably guessed, was when Miller was proven wrong.  For several more times throughout their lives Miller and other followers went on to make predictions about armageddon but each failed.  Soon most left the organization and what was left split into several loosely connected organizations, some of them being foundations for modern protestant groups of today.
  3. Jehovah's Witness:  Daniel must have said some interesting stuff in the bible because he has inspired a number of people, for whatever reason, to believe that the end of the world was coming sooner, rather than later.  The modern Jehovah's Witness organization does not believe in making the end of the world predictions like it used to, now they adhere to a belief that the end is coming soon and it's best just to be ready.  Some famous predictions dates include 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, and 1994.  
Gathered here is just a short collection of stories of people hoping to predict the end of the world.  In understanding the predictions of 2012 and whether or not you should sell everything and move to the mountains and live in a cave, we'll continue understanding this history of apocalyptic prediction and prophesy.  Who knows, maybe we'll learn something!  More is coming.  That is, if the world doesn't end tomorrow.  

To Be Continued...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

6 ½ Reasons for Why the Apocalypse is going to be f#@&ing AWESOME!


6.  No bosses!  Everyone can agree when the apocalypse comes the one thing you won’t  have to worry about anymore is pissing off your boss.  That’s right.  Fuck it.  Treat everyday like you’re stuck in the movie Office Space.  Except, imagine it’s only you left, and no one else.  So what if you don’t get the benefit of having quirky co-workers who make you look and feel more like the cool, sincere slacker you really are.  Just know that you can achieve all you possibly can achieve if you put your mind to it.  Let that one settle while we go on to the next point.

5.  Gainful Employment!  While rejoicing the fact that you have no boss you can delight in the pleasure of becoming your own.  That’s right, you get to be in charge.  So what will you do with the new found freedom and responsibility, not having anyone looking over your shoulder every five minutes?   While you think about that, ponder some other reasons why the apocalypse is gonna rock your socks. 

4.  No Speed limit!  That’s right.  So, while you might have worried in the past about speeding to work so you won’t get in trouble with your boss, but too afraid to get pulled over by a cop to do it, your problems are solved.  First, you have no boss, you are your own boss now remember?  And second, well, there’s no cops.  But what makes this scenario even more fun is the fact that there is no one else around to cause traffic accidents, bottle necks, or to flat out cut you off from merging.  This is going to come in handy because while you might not be the only sole survivor, chances are you may find yourself in a situation where you have to make a fast getaway, perhaps from someone else who has decided to be their own boss too. 

3.  Looting!  Why else would you need to make a fast getaway?  And if you don’t have to worry about making the getaway, well, lets just say there’s going to be lots of stuff to go around.  And by stuff I mean all that stuff cluttering up your old boss’s house who happens to be one of the billion or so who didn’t make it through the apocalypse like you did.  Not to mention the fact that all the cool stuff from all the cool stores that you couldn’t afford is now on sale, 100% off!  The only problem of course is the fact that probably half the stuff you want to buy is electronic and well, there’s not going to be much electricity after you know, when the lights go out. 

2.  Shooting!  This skill goes hand in hand with all aforementioned.  Nothing says self employed like aiming down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun.  With no cops around to tell you to put your gun away, you can sling it around and shoot at anything and everything.  No problem.  That is of course until you start running out of ammo.  In which case you mind want to conserve some for picking off other looters who are trying to loot stuff on your turf.  Simple enough.  Of course, the catch to all this is all the other self employed survivals who’s number one job tool is also the 12 gauge shotgun.  In which case, shoot first and ask questions later. 

1.  Free Parking!  After a hard days work of looting, shooting, and getting shot at you’ll need a place to park after speeding back to your hideout.  Fortunately you don’t have to worry about meter mades and parking police anymore! 

½  Silence...  It's a halfway awesome reason because it's also halfway craptastic.  You've been driving fast, being your own boss all day, shooting stuff up on your way to that free parking space and so now what do you do when you get there?  Sleep?  Eat?  Play yourself in a game a chess?  It will both suck and be pretty nice at the same time.  Would you really want to be reminded constantly about how lonely you are after the world ends?  Seriously, what kind of person are you?

Thanks be to the end!

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Introduction

Where did you get such a sick idea?  The apocalypse?  Seriously?  First, a brief anecdote.  If you want to skip the anecdote, the real meat is in the last two paragraphs.

While the thought to do this blog didn't cross my mind till some years later, my interest in the apocalypse has for some reason always been a part of my life.  As a child I was always interested in how humans began and to complete that thought, how we'd come to end.  My interest in our specie's origins up until now is probably why i decided to major in history in college.  All that death and destruction thought is pretty perverse stuff for an eleven year old but the thought of how other's around me viewed it didn't really cross my mind until I was almost done with college.  It became clear to me that almost everyone, not just me, has some sort of opinion or concern regarding our extinction.

So, one lazy morning, fighting off sleep in my renaissance history class (imagine that) I woke up trying to figure out how the discussion had wondered away from religious depictions in Italian art (lots of nudity was invovled) to finishing grad school and about how long our professor thought it would take.  There was apparently a grad student in our class and he was trying to get some kind of daddy-like approval from the professor, so he kept going on and on with him, meanwhile the poor man  was probably trying to figure out an exit strategy to get the lecture back on track again.  I was immediately bored with it.  Suddenly the professor said to all of us, “If you want to get your phd’s many of you won’t be getting them until 2012 or later.  So get on it!” 

I muttered something rhetorical to myself about how it wouldn’t matter anyways because the ancient Mayans said we’ll all be dead by then (I was citing some crap I had heard on the History Channel, which is always a nice dart board for history students to throw things at).

Apparently this was not stated that way.  What I said,  I said out loud in front of the whole class and in my half asleep stooper didn’t realize it.  Suddenly the girl behind me perked up, a girl who had said nothing all semester, exclaimed, “Don’t joke about things like that!”

Thinking she was being just as sarcastic as I was, I pressed on and said something like, “No seriously, the apocalypse is coming, it won’t matter if we have our phd’s by then because we won’t get to use them.”

“You don’t joke about the end times.  Haven't you read your bible?  Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart?”  And yes, that’s what she said.  I immediately realized I was having a serious conversation.  The professor finally figured enough was enough and took over the conversation by continuing his lecture while me and this girl looked at each other is complete dumbfoundedness.

I didn't mean to intentionally offend someone, so I apologized,“It was only a joke.”  I whispered.

“You don’t need to joke about it.”  She said back. 

“The world is not really going to end in 2012.” 

“You don’t know that.  Some people think it’s VERY likely.”  At this point I shrugged and turned around.  She was obviously offended.  There was no point going on about it.  For the remainder of class I sat there and wondered how she had gotten so far in school with such backwards thinking.

And then it hit me.  You don’t have to be dumb or smart to believe the apocalypse is coming.  We’re being bombarded with it constantly.  If it’s not from some theocratic angle it’s in the news, on tv shows, on the radio, all over the internet, and in the video games we play.  Human kind is advancing (sort of), becoming over populated, and resources are being stretched thin.  To this end, it's no wonder people get so up-in-arms about how we're all heading towards an apocalyptic disaster of some kind.  The idea is so prevalent, it's like we've accepted from birth.  So I thought, why not talk about it?  Why not demystify some of the bullshit surrounding it?  And if we can, why not laugh about?  We're all going to go the way of the dinosaurs sooner or later... Or are we?

So this is my plan and hopefully you readers, the four or five of you that there are, will find it amusing.  I’m going to dedicate this space for all things “apocalypse style”—that is anything and everything pertaining to the notion and practice of figuring out how the world will end, and what, if anything, could be funny about all this hub-bub.  Anything is fair game.


Thanks be to the end!