Sunday, November 15, 2009

The End Of The World!

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According to the great prophets of doom and supported by a heavy mix of pseudo science and science fiction the world is on course for a predictable conclusion in late December 2012.

Wrapped up neatly in ancient Mayan mythology, though mostly ridiculed by modern Mayans, the 2012 phenomenon as it is referred, posits global cataclysm of Doomsday proportions. The end of the world as we know it.

The hype and speculation certainly adds fuel to the fire of Hollywood self promotion. A film (2012) that reputedly cost nearly 300 Million dollars to spawn will milk every ounce from the flood of speculation and accompanying sensationalism.

What fascinates this scribbler however, is the observation that so many outwardly intelligent participants in this soap opera seem hypnotized and unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.

There are an increasing number of accounts of people preparing for the 'inevitable'. talks of suicide pacts, and other troubling stories of mass delusion.

Where do these apparently absurd beliefs emanate? How is it that celluloid villains are chastised and admonished on the street by apparently normal people seemingly oblivious to the fact that these are actually real life people.
Matinee idols are equally feted by virtue of their onscreen animal magnetism.
Invariably in the flesh they are 5 inches shorter and displaying love handles a fact that seems to perplex these hypnotized folks.

If suspended belief helps us transcend normal cynicism and heighten our escapist enjoyment of popcorn entertainment, then so be it. There must be a moment though when we realize that it's not entirely healthy to completely embrace fantasy into our everyday interactions.

If you're over the age of 6 and still have an imaginary friend, or are accustomed to sitting on the train chatting away to yourself whilst gesticulating wildly, then it may be time to investigate the merits of medication or at the very least a little therapy.

Yet behavior not too far removed from the above, is encouraged and reinforced by the  media as if it is reasonable. Before long group hysteria starts to take over and fantasies become profound beliefs. Therein lies the problem. The inability to engage rational reason creates a default to populist thinking.

What can be more populist than John Cusack earnestly racing across our screens to save his family from the apocalypse. He seems credible, so let's enjoy the ride and buy in to the plot and become part of the cast of millions.

Just remember to exit rear stage when the credits roll!

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