Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lurking at World's End

Disclaimer: This post was not prompted by the situation in Syria, but by a movie we saw on HBO some days ago.

If there were certain knowledge of an imminent date and time when the world would end - not just our world, THE world - how would we spend the short time, one or two weeks, still remaining to us?

In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a 2012 film written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, that question arose. The movie had been shown on HBO several times recently, we purposely avoided it. I prefer dystopian dramas, husband prefers straight sci-fi, this film seemed to promise no sci-fi and even more doomy doom than the worst dystopian flick available, with a promised sprinkle of.....comedy (?). Well, we would either laugh or cry I guess!

I accidentally allowed this movie to start while searching the schedule for something else. I was drawn in. We ended up watching it. Much to my surprise I enjoyed it, in a perverse kind of way, several songs featured in the soundtrack helped....among others songs from: Walker Brothers, Beach Boys, The Hollies.

There wasn't a whole lot of comedy, a few titter-worthy one-liners, and the odd try for a touch of satire. Ms Scafaria depicted a range of reactions to the terrible news that a huge (70-mile-wide) asteroid was about to collide with Earth, all attempts to deflect or destroy it had failed. The exact time of impact was known and there was absolutely no room for doubt on this.

How would any of us react to such news? In the film, along the way, we encounter a mix of characters' reactions, some predictable, some not.

Displaying a form of denial, the urge to just carry on as usual - a cleaning lady and a police officer on highway patrol fell into this category.

Attempting one long orgy, for example at a bar/restaurant called Friendsy's where it was drinks, drugs and sex-a go-go.

Joining a riot gang to rape, pillage, burn - remembering to get it in the right order (?)

Attempting survival - in special shelter with lots of food, water, and weaponry ("the new world will need leaders!")

Seeking before-the-end baptism on a beach: joining a growing line of those wanting to be "saved".

Looting for luxuries - that one's always on the cards!

Hiring a hitman to do the job before time - it'd save waiting for the inevitable - the waiting is always the worst.

Going out on the road to find lost loves or absent family.
What would any of us do? Would our astrology, perhaps, direct our reaction? Let's surmise. Earth-prominent people might choose to go the denial route, carry on as usual in spite of everything. Water-led groups would go for emotional endings - seeking loved ones, beautiful landscapes, as much peace as possible. Fire-led groups might include the two opposites : survivalists and rioters - but the need to "do something" would be strong. Air-prominent people, hmm, I don't know; they'd probably over-think things, maybe join the survivalist types, or using what logic (and money) they had left , hire a hitman (why wait?)

What would I do? I think I'd try to carry on as usual. I do have more Fire than Earth, but neither riots nor survival appeals in those particular circumstances. Must be my Earth Grand Trine leading the way.

At the end of the late Roger Ebert's review of the film (linked at the top of the post) he added an insightful thought - his last sentence: "Isn't the dilemma of the plot the essential dilemma of life?"


mike said...

I have to appreciate Roger Ebert's comment...I've always been keenly aware that we were born to die, with an interlude between the two. I've also considered the plausibility that we are already dead...this is just a dream-time...I base this on the vivid, ultra-real constructs of the dreams I have while sleeping...there is often little difference between my awake life and dream life, except this waking life appears more structured over time.

In real terms, I suppose that if the world were ending soon all hell would break-out and infringe on my desire to continue with my everyday life. I would stop paying my utility bills and not worry about vacuuming or the grass growing...maybe try-out a few ultra-rich dessert recipes I'd put off. Maybe try to find enough marijuana for that final joint to smoke just prior to impact!

“I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” Woody Allen

Twilight said...

mike ~ Film fans sorely miss Roger Ebert's insights.

I hardly ever remember dreams myself. Your experience sounds fascinating, but still I'd find it a little disturbing I think.

If, as Tom Lehrer sang "We'll all go together when we go", those of us getting on in years have an unfair advantage over the young set, having had longer to enjoy the fight through the tangle of joys and sorrows that is life. So I hope there'll be some kind of re-awakening as beings in some future world, at least for them.

All of our elements blowing in the winds of the universe will settle some place and maybe take root and bring forth Man Mark 2.
:-) :-/

LB said...

Hi Twilight - Thanks for another great movie review. It's going on the list.

Roger Ebert's comment is *very* insightful - I love that he got it. It's also why I try to keep my conscience clear and live each day as if it might be my last. If I knew for sure, I think I'd want to be with loved ones but also helping out in some way. My faith is very strong and can be very comforting in an all-inclusive kind of way that invites people in - even relative strangers.

I'm a mix, but more Air than anything else, though I also have a loose Grand Trine in Fire in the 4th,8th and 12th. With both Uranus and Pluto in the 12th, it's all about surrender and making peace with those things (often unexpected) that are beyond my control. When I was young, I used to have recurring dreams about what appeared to be stars falling from the night sky.

mike - Sounds like you might have something significant going on in your 12th too.:)

mike (again) said...

Well, Twilight, I agree with your sentiment regarding youth snuffed prematurely. We humans can only conjecture what this life is all about and what occurs post-demise.

I have very different thoughts regarding the reality of maybe it's not as real as it seems. All life on Earth is fodder for some other life-form...predator and prey...survival of the fittest. All life eventually succumbs to something. There's a lot of beauty in the recycling and transformations. I think we humans take it all too seriously and fail to see the natural beauty of our position...we've become materialistic, fearful, and greedy, by not seeing the "natural" in our relationship to Earth and her nature.

I differ vastly from the Christian view of the hereafter. I'm more toward a variation of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism blend. I don't believe that my ego survives this life, but I do believe my energy survives and-or returns to the universal source.

LB, I have a vacant 12th, but stellium in the 6th...the opposition can bring-out qualities of both. However, the ruler of my 12th is in my 6th! My Neptune is in the 5th...maybe that stirs my dreams, too...I love them, they are either mundane or fun, but very rarely scarey. I once read that dreams contain vast quantities of subconscious information, but since we remember and analyze them while conscious, we only have our conscious tools and symbols to interpret them, which dumbs them down considerably.

mike (again) said...

“Vimes died. The sun dropped out of the sky, giant lizards took over the world, and the stars exploded and went out and all hope vanished and gurgled into the sinktrap of oblivion. And gas filled the firmament and combusted and behold! There was a new heaven - or possibly not. And Disc and Io and and possibly verily life crawled out of the sea - or possibly didn't because it had been made by the gods, and lizards turned to less scaly lizards - or possibly did not. And lizards turned into birds and bugs turned into butterflies and a species of apple turned into banana and a kind of monkey fell out of a tree and realised life was better when you didn't have to spend your time hanging onto something. And in only a few billion years evolved trousers and ornamental stripey hats. Lastly the game of Crocket. And there, magically reincarnated, was Vimes, a little dizzy, standing on the village green looking into the smiling countenance of an enthusiast.”
Terry Pratchett, "Snuff"

LB said...

mike - Given your comment about life being a dream, I had it reversed. I would've guessed maybe your 6th (or 1st) house ruler was in the 12th. Interesting how strong placements in one house can take on the qualities of the opposite house. And with Neptune in the 5th, dreaming would be a pleasure.

Rulers of my 3rd and 6th are in my 12th, so I often receive information in unusual ways. I also love to dream.

ex-Chomp said...

By the way, at actual state, this famous and never existed so-called End of Ye World will be postponed to date to be found, t a date which will never be found.

Of course, the actual crisis is not ended but who cares...

It will be probably give way to other crisis, but who cares...

This world will not end in a booom, but in a whisper ...
As someone said ...

ex-Chomp said...

To be exact and precise, the words are:

“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

(T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”, 1925)

Whimper and not whisper... What a letter can do...

But let me simply add that the maning does not change that much...

ex-Chomp said...

This is the Way the World Ends - We, The Dreams -

ex-Chomp said...

The nothingness of our present world, all is of plastic, no one really cares but anyone affects he or she is full of interest towards others but in reality is totally closed in him/herself. All this nothingness is depicted by this video I found for chance on You Tube:
I Forgot My Phone

Hey what did you do in life... I forgot my phone...

Someone posted this comment, a quote of Einstein, I do invite ye all to meditate upon it:

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”. - Einstein

Well my riends: It surpassed. It surpassed...

anyjazz said...

The movie did present several end of the world scenarios. I kept expecting the movie to have a Hollywood ending, where everyone lived happily ever after.

Twilight said...

mike ~ My favourite theory on what life is all about is that we are the result of some previous civilisation of Earth who managed to survive way beyond the stage we're likely to survive - our human brains are nothing but an organic computer of their design - after many trials and errors, but their civilisation went the way of all flesh before they could bring on the de luxe improved version. So, we are what we are, and we can, and have, multiplid - and, sadly, divided. ;-)

More good Pratchett! :-)

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ Great quote that! Whisper or whimper - it's all good, and quite likely very true. It will not be an asteroid or a mushroom cloud, but the hubris of humans in draining the planet's resources, until it becomes a shell without the means to support even a cockroach, that's what'll end us, and leave a planet like Mars is now for some space travellers to wonder about in the year 5000.

The plastic world we inhabit at present is part of the whimper to come....though it'll be few, maybe many decades ahead. Another very good quote from Einstein too!
We are, indeed idiots.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Me too. We've been conditioned to believe in happy endings. The film was brave and honest. Even novels often shy away from such an ending.

James Higham said...

Take care of one's affairs and then just do whatever good you could till the end.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ Sounds like a reasonable plan.