Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"A Consumer's Guide to the Apocalypse"

I just opened Eduardo A. Velásquez's new book, A Consumer's Guide to the Apocalypse: Why There is No Cultural War in America and Why We Will Perish Nonetheless.

Here's the first page of the introduction:
A Primer for Annihilation

Nothing really matters to me--Queen

What accounts for the popularity of ABC's hit series Lost, a story of marooned survivors on a mystical island haunted by dark forces, with mysterious computerized bunkers running underneath, at the same time that a biblical hue is cast over events? Have you wondered why the New Battlestar Galactica couches the futuristic quest of the last remaining humans in mythological language that harks back to the Greek gods? Why are the cylons (machines created by humans, some human enough to bear children) devout believers? Why are so many of the humans faithless cynics? Is the success of the Matrix trilogy a consequence of the marriage of myth, Bible, and science?

In other words, what explains the emergence of a litany of films and programs that interweave science and metaphysics at a time when the divide between secular and religious America has never seemed wider? Why these strange new mutations and conflations?
Questions, questions. Of course I'm reading on....

--Marshal Zeringue