Archive for the Post-Apocalypse Category

When It’s All Said and Done, I Want It to be Over: Final Blog Post

Posted in Natural Disasters, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by cjreevesii

As I sit here writing my last blog post, I am reminded of all of the others that not only I, but my classmates have written before. A various range of genres flooding my thoughts, but all pertaining to one specific subject: eco- collapse. During my time in this class I have learned a lot about what makes our world go round, and if I may correctly say, what will eventually make it stop turning altogether. However, after everything I have learned from this class, two questions continue to pop in mind. Is the earth really going to end? If so, why are we trying to stop it? Although I understand that we as humans are selfish and would love to preserve our time spent controlling every possible element of the earth we can, I myself think that it would be better to let the earth die.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want the earth to die? Surely that would mean the death of all mankind dying with it. Well, I will tell you why. After much reading (thanks professor Ray) and discussion on what direction our planet is heading, I have determined that the conclusion is not good. Surely after all of the war, pollution, extinction, deprivation, death, global warming, natural disasters, (and the list goes on) the earth will be a ball of flames, born anew out of ashes, spinning without us. Although this may seem a bleak and out willful future, I believe it will ultimately do the earth more good to continue without us. Honestly, it’s no secret that we humans have done nothing to help restore the balance in the world. More accurately, we are almost always the cause of any bad thing happening on the planet, and sadly we do not seem to see the error of our ways.

Alan Weisman, the author of The World Without Us, gives us an astounding realization of our behaviors when he says “Every four days our population raises by 1 million. Since we really can’t grasp the effects of the numbers, we will crash and burn just like other species have done in the past.” It’s clear to see that from our own destructive ways we are harming the planet more every day. Would it be so much of a stretch to think that we humans could have one act of selflessness and ‘take on for team earth’? Surely we all know that the earth can go on without us. I would even venture to say that it will do quite better without human influence misguiding its path.

Well, from my perspective, when it’s all said and done, I want it to be over for us humans. Although I am eager to see just how many other share my opinion. Weisman seems to think that no matter what (even if the human race becomes extinct) we will never truly leave the earth alone. He ended his essay (which I will leave you with as well) with these last haunting lines. “Or even one day-long after we are gone, unbearably lonely for the beautiful world which we so foolishly banished ourselves- we, or our memories, might surf home abroad some comic electromagnetic waves to haunt our beloved earth.”

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The Voice’s View

Posted in Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse on March 31, 2010 by coolaccordionest

Josh’s heart seemed to beat out of his chest.  For months he had figured he was the only one alive in this godforsaken city, possibly the only one in the country or the world.  Now though, he had been proven wrong as he found himself standing in the dark with a girl pointing a gun at him.  Her dog was near, the fur on its back standing straight up.  She walked closer to him, her flashlight in his eyes.

“It’s okay.  I promise.  No need to shoot,” he said as calmly as possible attempting to block the extreme shine of the flashlight.

“How do I know that?  I have no idea who you are.”  She tilted the flashlight down.  From here he could get an outline of her and some details:  medium height, athletic figure, dark cherry red hair.  The song “Apocalyptic Love Song” by The Pop Culture Suicides starting playing in his head at the sight of her. God, how could he get so lucky?  The only other person on this planet and it turns out she’s an incredibly hot girl who knows how to use a gun?  Life doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

“I’m Josh, Josh Kane.  I’ve been living in this building since, well since everything happened.  Who are you?”

“Remy, this is my dog Ruby.  We live in a flat about an hour away in the city…” Josh stopped her.

“Woah, woah, woah…. In the city?  Are you insane?! Don’t you understand the dangers of living in the city?  I mean, the left over pesticides and toxins from the final cloud and the creatures from all the government experiments, just to name a few things.”  Remy glared at him.

“You’re going to lecture me on the city why you live her in the forest?  I don’t think you understand how dangerous it is to live out here.  I basically had to gear up for war just to walk out here.”  She shook her head as Ruby growled.

“Why do you live out there anyways?  What’s the point of risking your life so much?”  He looked at her as she held her breath.  Slowly exhaling, she started to speak.

“I live there because my mother prepared it for me.  When the cloud was coming she was incredibly sick and ended up dying while it passed over head.  Before she passed, she had created what she called a ‘safe spot’ so if anything happened, I would be okay and have a place to live.  That’s how I got the flat.  It’s equipped with everything I need and Ruby and I are comfortable and safe there every day and night.  Why’d you lock yourself up in here?”  Josh just stared at her for a second.  Add tough to the hotness factor, he thought.

“I had family working in the building and before the huge cloud came I was visiting them.  You must know they have a huge kitchen in this building right?”  She shook her head yes.

“Well, I thought it would be a good idea to hide inside the fridge when the cloud was overhead why everyone panicked and got in their cars or hid in open areas.  In the end, I was the only one who survived. Granted, it was really cold but I managed.  I’m one of those strange folks who wears hoodies in the middle of summer.”   He laughed watching Remy smile.  Glad she thought he was somewhat amusing.

“So… do you just plan to continually point that gun at me and have your dog growl at me?  I mean, that’s fine if you want but I could give you a tour and hook you up with some more supplies.”  He pointed at her.

“Oh right,” she said stumbling over her words.  “That would be great.  I’m sorry.  You don’t seem too deadly, at least for now.  I’ll follow.”  Josh nodded and turned around making his way towards “his place.”  He couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she saw how he had hooked himself up in this building.  Not only did he have the whole place to himself, but he had the best room with the best view.  Not many people realized that the building was sitting on the edge of a cliff out looking the only oasis of Waverly.  He kept his hand on the string attached to the wall to find his way back to his room.

He smiled hearing Remy and her dogs’ footsteps following him.  It had been too long since basic human contact, let alone any contact with a very beautiful woman.  His guy thoughts were hoping that she needed to get her emotional stress out on him in a physical way.  He wouldn’t mind.  But for now, he would have to act somewhat normal because he would hate to lose his one connection to the human species.

“It’s just around this corner.  I think you’ll really like it.”  She mumbled yes and continued to follow.  “And here it is.”  He unlocked the door and swung it open.

The Toxic Avenger

Posted in Environmental Security, Nuclear Apocalypse, Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 by coolaccordionest

“Hurry up, Ruby. Come on, girl.”  Remy looked back at her chocolate lab wagging her tail behind her.  The red suns’ rays beamed down on both of them as they trotted their way towards the forest.  It seemed hotter than normal this morning.  Remy looked down at her iWatch, only 114 degrees.  She wondered why she felt like it was out of the usual.  It could have something to do with the massive amount of supplies she was carrying for those “just in case” moments.  Today she planned on walking towards the government building for more supplies and to snoop through their files.  It wasn’t if anyone was there to stop her.

The walk to the building was simple if you could easily find the pathway.  Even though the droughts had come and the people had vanished, the land had started to rebuild itself.  Certain areas of the Waverly city had become densely populated with huge forests. A small stone pathway made its way from the main city to the forest.  Once you got there a small path was barely recognizable.  Remy knew she had to be careful do to creatures created a decade ago.

Before Remy’s mother Susan passed away, she had informed Remy of the government’s undercover plan to alter animals with toxic waste. The toxic waste used was left over and created from the decades when humans still believed it wasn’t completely harmful.  People had always laughed at the stereotypical ideas of two-headed cows, things like “the flukeman” from the x-files, villains such The Joker and heroes like the Toxic Avenger, but now the government’s undercover chemists and biologists where making it a reality.

In 2019, a group named SCAMM (Scientists Creating Advanced Mutated Mammals) started working on a program called Project Skyscraper.  Their idea was to use toxic waste in certain doses to mutate mammals creating a race of super species making them potentially faster, stronger, and generally better than before.  This project started off using mice and rabbits, testing them in minute doses.  At first the changes were barely recognizable.  The rabbits could hop a little bit faster and the mice could carry heavier loads.  The scientists started to get impatient with their project therefore testing bigger animals like dogs and cats on much higher doses.  Not only did the animals become incredible strong and fast but their senses also drastically increased.

After finding this out, the next step for the scientists was to start human testing.  They figured that humans would have the same results as animals but they were wrong.  The first tests in low doses worked out fine, increasing health and wellness.  The scientists had the idea of turning these “doses” into pills to sell to the general audience. The pill was labeled Zoodacliftin (zoe-da-cliff-tine) and was sold for $300 for a bottle of 20.  The idea was to take one pill a day but as humans are, they started to over dose on the pills.  The effects became the opposite.  Everyone over dosing would get weaker and weaker, their senses going out of wack.  Quite a few people became blind, stopped hearing and smelling and even some lost the ability to talk.  When the people started to take a stand against the government, the government blamed the pharmacist saying it was wr0ng and unmoral of them to try and play God.  This brought up an upraise.  Not only were people dying of the drug, but now the war it caused.

Ruby barked towards Remy.  “Hold on, I’m coming, I’m coming….” She looked through the last bit of trees. Sure enough, Ruby had informed her that she was there.  The sign above the door read “Waverly Government Building.”  Remy opened up the door which let out a huge creak.  She slipped inside shutting it fast after Ruby entered.

Pat pat pat pat.

Remy turned quickly, hearing a set of footsteps.  Ruby growled at the darkness.   “Ssshhhh girl!” she whispered.  She brought out her gun and flashlight, pointing both in the opposite direction. The outline of a man turned towards her.

“Hello?” the voice in the darkness called.

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Apocalypse, Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear on March 9, 2010 by coolaccordionest

June 2031

Remy’s iWatch buzzed causing her to open her eyes to the blistering sun.  Falling asleep under the old gazebo wasn’t the smartest idea due to the dangers of the creatures and the weather.  Then again, neither was living alone.  Granted, that wasn’t much of a choice these days in the first place.

She picked up her backpack, making her way towards the flat.  Walking slowly, she thought back on her dream.  These days it was the same thoughts playing over and over.  The memory of when the global crisis warnings where just warnings and not reality, right before they really started to kick into effect.

The droughts, dust storms, and sweltering heat caused by global warming had been the start of it.  In school, she had learned about the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s but by the time the modern day dust bowl set in, no one could take anything from history.  It was already too late.  Overpopulation started to really effect the world causing famine, even worse pollution and very little pure drinking water.  Mankind continued to break the world with its nuclear waste and genetically modified organisms.  The question then became how long could we play God?  Now the Earth was rebelling against its people and there was nothing they could do to stop it.

Remy remembered her mother talking about the environmental protests to save the Earth before it was too late.  The main thought was it was a government hoax to keep people in line.  Even celebrities who promoted the cause couldn’t help.  People were too stubborn and it was them and only them that could have prevented the mess Remy still found herself in.

Remy opened the door to her flat, walking into the biohazard arctic entryway.  She took off her clothes leaving them wash bin and hopped in the shower.  Because of the massive amount of pollutants in the air, she had to be careful to keep her apartment clean and free from anything that might make her sick.  She had to stay here to take care of Ruby, her chocolate lab, and see how the world would end up.

Remy dried off, put on clean clothes and entered the flat.

“Hey Ruby.  How’s my girl?”  Ruby’s soft coat rubbed again her hand.  “I should have let you go with me.  You could have kept me from falling asleep. That could have been really bad.”  Ruby’s sorrowful eyes replied back to Remy with a yes.  The lab was her only companion and sometimes the only thing that kept her sane.

“Let’s get us some food and update our Facebook status…. Not like there’s really anyone who cares to know.”  Ruby barked.  “I know, terrible joke.  I’m trying to stay positive.”

She walked to the kitchen looking in the pantry for something other than Spam.  When they said that food would last a nuclear fallout, they weren’t lying.  Looking down at her iWatch, she scrolled through the music selection.  Just like Billie Holiday, she had her love to keep her warm for a long time.

Charles’s Job Part II

Posted in Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear with tags , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Conor

The timer dinged, indicating the reservoir’s water allotted for bathing that day had been used. Charles’s eyes opened to the familiar walls, carved out of bedrock, and fixtures built to last two lifetimes: rust-proof, ding-proof, autosterilizing, motion activated and all monitored by the nearly sentient computer. The engineers had given it a voice. Years ago, when Charles was still young, the computer would respond to his commands in a calm, clear, sexless voice

“Yes, Charles”

and when Charles woke each day the speakers in his bed frame would chirp

“Good morning Charles”

and whisper

“Good night Charles”

as he lay his bones upon his mattress. Charles couldn’t remember when it started, but at some point he began to answer the computer.

“Good morning Charles”

“Good morning Darling”

“Please run diagnostics on the reactor, Darling.”

“Reactor operating at ten percent. Approximate time left at current consumption rate: 331.7 years.”

“Nothing to worry about then, right Darling?”

But the computer was not programmed to respond to questions, only commands. Charles felt a secret shame and fear creep through him. For the rest of the day he would only use the manual interface at the main terminal to monitor the systems, the nursery, the surface, and perform all his chores silently and pretending he hadn’t been speaking to a complex mess of circuits and screens. That he wasn’t lonely.

It had been three days since Charles had checked on the lubricating cultures in the turbine axel. Charles had helped design the reactor system for the compound, one of the reasons he had been selected to be the Steward. The reactor heated water, generating steam, that spun a giant turbine, generating an electric current. Most of the current powered the compound but a percentage went to charging a large battery that was relied on whenever the turbine was being serviced. The turbine’s lubrication was provided by a culture of bacteria that produced natural oil, secreting it as waste, which trickled down from their cradle into the bearings of the turbine. Every several days, Charles would power down the turbine and go down, open up the pooling reservoir and collect all the oil that the bacteria had created, fed into the turbine, and was then broken down by the intense heat from the massive speed of the mechanism. This used oil would be incorporated into the auger that grew a separate strain of bacteria. These bacteria excreted a serum that fed the oil producing cultures. Both these strains, though marvels, had severe drawbacks. The genes that had been inserted into their DNA to make them produce their unique products inhibited the self-correcting mechanisms in each cell.

Small mistakes in mRNA coding that would normally be detected and repaired were allowed to continue, and after a few days the accumulated mutations would result in a cell unable to complete basic functions and regulate the ion pumps in their membranes killing the cells. Because of this flaw, every few days Charles had to go down and replace each culture with new clones of the original cells that were kept in stasis in the nursery.

Charles had a time limit when completing this task, however. The steam released by the reactor would burn him alive if he stood in the chimney while it was active. A thick steel bulkhead closed, just beneath the turbine housing, bisecting the chimney and trapping the steam beneath where Charles had to work. But the steam was created at such a rate that it would burst through the bulkhead at a predicted ten minutes. Charles had nightmares about that chimney.

On his way back from the turbine, walking down the stairs in the gently sloping tunnel Charles passed the cavern housing the mainframe. He stopped, turned and walked into the cavern, slipping on the parka hanging outside the door. This room and the chimney were the only chambers that had doors. In the chimney it was to contain the heat of the steam. In the mainframe’s cavern it was to keep in the cold. In this great vault there were five clusters of five databases, each like the five stretching fingers of five great cabled, blinking, buzzing hands sprouting out of the ceiling and burrowing their nails into the floor. In the center of this cavern was the mainframe terminal where Charles now sat, his breath haunting the air before him, the ghost of exhalations past.

“Hello Charles.”

“Hello Darling.”

“Shall I run diagnostics on the Art, Science, Math, History, and Protocol databanks Charles?” naming each of the clusters. Each cluster held the entirety of human achievement and folly in its binary brains.

“Yes Darling, please do that.”

The computer began listing the temperatures, statuses, contents, percent capacities, and speed of each of the clusters, its voice pleasantly listing percentages and rates and to Charles it sounded content in its actions, pleased to be performing tasks for him. On the Uni-port before him he accessed computer preferences and scrolled down to interface and his finger hovered over “aural updates”. As the screen began to blur Charles whispered

“Goodbye Darling” and the droning was suddenly gone. Charles sat cold, still, feeling the tears freeze against his lashes, hearing only the whirr of the fans.

Break from Dust Bowl…Back to Apocalypse!

Posted in Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse, Religious Roots, Rhetoric on February 25, 2010 by juneaudale

So i feel it is now a moot point to be enrolled in this class. What’s the point in discussing the history, rhetoric, ideas and theories of a subject that is already apparently upon us? Good luck and God speed!

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/latest_sarah_palin_speech_opens

Perfection is a Liobam

Posted in Atwood, Post-Apocalypse on February 18, 2010 by rcspray

One of the things that struck me about “The Year of the Flood” was the convoluted sense of perfection in the book.

Pigoons: pigs that grow human organs. From http://www.perdador.com/f6update/Oc3.html

  1. Corporations are trying to make perfect humans and perfect animals. That’s what’s up with all the gene-splicing; skin, hair, face, whatever replacements; the liobams and pigoons and even BlyssPlus (It’s perfect sex).
  2. Then there’s the God Gardener’s sense of perfection, which is a little more down to earth and involves trying to perfect human nature and especially human’s relationship to the earth and other animals.
  3. Then there’s Crake out there trying to create the perfect people, which apparently he does (Perfect to whom?), and does so by combining God Gardener’s beliefs and manpower with the gene-splicing creationism of the Corporations.

In the novel, it’s this push for perfection that ends humanity (Ironic that the guy who’s trying to create the perfect people ends up killing all the “unperfect” ones off – including himself). The book begs the question how close can you get to perfection before you create a monstrosity?

And then at the end of the book, you’re left with only two visions of perfection:

The Crakers (as they’re called in “Oryx and Crake”, the parallel-prequel that deals Crake, Oryx and Jimmy) who are supposedly perfect but will they survive this harsh new world? And will their world and themselves be any more perfect than ours (are we just not the right species)?

And the God’s Gardeners, mostly the more practical and more violent members, who get to use all their fun gardener skills in trying to rebuild this new world?

Are either of these two groups perfect? Or can they become perfect?

A snat, just another something OrganInc Farms.

More illustrations of “Oryx and Crake” at http://www.perdador.com/f6update/Oc3.html