07
Mar
09

Apocalypse Not Now

Durer's Monstrous Pig

Durer's Monstrous Pig

 

Signs of the signs of the evisceration of human culture have become a popular refrain as exemplified in the recent posting by David Sirota on Salon.com. Mexico in particular is a focal point for these anxieties (even though Sirota’s article has an accompanying picture of the continental U.S. in flames), probably because Roberto Bolano’s 2666 is centered there and it is between the U.S. and the forebodings of the Mayan long count. Sirota points to violence (Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, Mexican drug cartels) and other ominous signs (octuplets, the recession) as reasons to worry that if we don’t turn things around soon enough there will be some sort of biblical “horror.” During the election, there was fear among some Americans that Obama was the antichrist.

This is not the apocalypse. These signs are ridiculous when you consider how mild they are in the context of the human history. Albrecht Durer made prints of two-tongued, two-bodied pigs and two headed children that were popularly interpreted as signs the end of the world was at hand. And how does the violence (or potential violence) of the world compare to the short-life expectancy periods of plague and famine of the dark or middle ages or of the two World Wars? I think this may be a day of reckoning for many things (like the Republican party or maybe even Capitalism), but I think it’s more likely a re-appraisal of American values (read: Baby Boomers afraid they won’t live for ever or save the world) or a stutter in the steps of some new emerging global culture than an entrance to the End Times path to the Resurrection of Christ.

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1 Response to “Apocalypse Not Now”


  1. 1 butttub
    March 8, 2009 at 7:54 am

    let’s talk in 2013.


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