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!