Posted by: Johan Normark | October 30, 2012

2012: Sandy and apocalyptic fantasies

Sandy is devastating the east coast of USA and religious people of different sorts are, not surprisingly, seeing this as one sign of an ongoing phenomenon, either as a part of the imagined “2012-Maya doomsday” or a part of the Christian God’s great plan to destroy USA. The latter are, as always, the worst since they have potential power. Take preacher John McTernan as an illustrative example. From what I can see on various 2012 forums, people have not yet begun to write about the “Maya” causes behind the storm. For more “in-depth analyzes” of what can happen during one of these apocalyptic phenomena (particularly in New York), watch any movie made by Roland Emmerich. I have a suggestion for Emmerich as well. I can write up a script for a new disaster movie called “2027: Armageddon is back with an Aztec vengeance:”

No doubt, both kinds of people will see the storm as a sign of a higher transcendent order. They will not make the obvious connection to climate change (a topic completely ignored in the presidential campaign). This is an illustrative example of an apocalyptic fantasy which simply is a metonymical displacement of the real global ecological disaster that is facing us. True knowledge would have to sort out the links between capitalism, climate change, population growth, etc. Instead the fantasy gives us an image of a fight between good and evil (which are chosen by your own preference). Fighting these products of imagination will not get you out of this mess WE have helped to create. Good luck USA in the upcoming election, you can choose more fantasy productions (Romney, Faux News, etc.) or you can choose more realistic politicians (and I am not sure Obama is one of them…).


Responses

  1. The “real global ecological disaster” is the metonym of the biblical apocalypse. I’d say you have it backwards except that there is no impending ecological disaster, that’s just an IPCC fantasy, and anyways it is fundamentally different from the biblical one. The biblical apocalypse is far more mystical and immaterial.

  2. Indeed, ecological disaster is not the accurate words since there will always be a ecological system in one way or another. The current system will not be able to support the growing population so there will be some changes and some of them will not be very pleasent.

  3. Wow, that picture is awesome scary. Mind if I borrow it? If I paste in a mannequin in place of the Statue of Liberty, it’ll be a perfect image for my blog.

    Not sure about the other 2012’ers, but I’ve just experienced a piece of Popol Vuh weirdness:

    While Sandy began brewing in the tropics and wending her way toward the North, I began having trouble with my eyes (like Seven Macaw did in the PV). No, I’m not making this up. I made no connection between the two at fhe time. First, I noticed that I had to prop my book up on top of another book in order to read clearly. Then it was two books, then three, then a whole stack, until I finally the book I was reading was right under my chin.

    As Sandy slammed into the US’s East coast, wiping out the Northeast power grid and leaving NY & NJ without electricity, as well as thousands of my fellow Ohioans (fortunately, my area was not among them), my eyes became so sore that I couldn’t keep them open.

    Fortunately, one of my friends just helped me out by getting me a supply of Bilberry Extract (with which I’ve had excellent results in the past), so the problem should be fixed soon. It’s probably just an infection, but still. Weird timing.

    It’s interesting that ol’ Hurucan//K’awiil, who governs succession to the throne as well as tropical storms, has decided to attack the US at the time we are choosing our new ruler for the next 4 yrs. Maybe he’s trying to scare us into reelecting Obama.

    Of course, after causing multiple casualties & billions of dollars of damage, it would be /extremely/ petty of him to inflict his wrath personally on a single American blogger who uses the name “Seven Macaw”. I’m not even running for President.

  4. It is not my picture, I just link to another website. I am not even sure it is a real picture, it could be from one of Emmerich’s disaster movies (or something similar). I have seen other pictures supposedly taken during the storm that actually are from movies.

    The only cause behind the storm/hurricane is the northward movement of warm air, probably intensified by global warming. There is no sign to interpret but it should be a wake up call to people. Do not vote for Romney: http://grist.org/politics/the-most-brutal-ad-youll-see-this-election/

  5. It’s funny, Paul Mullins wrote on hurricane porn a couple of days ago. It’s at http://paulmullins.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/hurricane-porn-the-aesthetics-of-authenticity-and-natures-wrath/. And there’s the same picture again.

  6. President Obama visited the Sandy disaster site in Virginia.
    A lot of people now in Virginia will be naming their children; Barack.
    When Clinton was the president,thousands of Americans were naming
    their children; Monica.

  7. Heh, weather porn. “Just look at the….. front on those billowing clouds!”

    I was going to make a comment to the effect that the picture might be the meteorological equivalent of an airbrushed supermodel. But it looks like Nana Gouvea beat me to that idea.

    As for Sandy being nothing but a bunch of hot air, so to speak: I have more of a Chaos Magick perspective on the relationship between myth & science. I view them both as valid in their own domains; although, of course, imagination should never be substituted for scientific research, since the indiscriminate mixture of the two leads to pseudoscience. I wrote a little piece recently in which my characters discuss a natural phenomenon (in this case, an eclipse) from the point of view of causation and meaning:
    http://sevenmacaw.blogspot.com/2012/11/seven-macaw-and-ta-hol-discuss-eclipses.html

    It’s not so much that Sandy has no meaning as that she has many potential meanings. What makes our postmodern world different from times past, is that people nowadays are increasingly coming in contact with meanings that differ from their own, unlike in, say, the days of the Classic Maya when you could be reasonably sure that most people in the same city-state were referencing the same general set of memes.This contrast makes all meanings seem ephemeral & contingent.

    Some people see this as a tragedy, a “Death of Meaning”. I see it as a creative opportunity; an opening for each of us to launch our own Sun and Moon. (But then, I’m a weird little parrot.)

    The apocalypse concept is, among other things, a metaphor for this breakup of assured meanings. People have no idea where the world is going, but they can at least be sure that it is ending. The belief in an end gives a paradoxical sense of stability: if there is an ending, there must also be a story.


Categories

%d bloggers like this: