It was not a good idea to finally watch 2012, the movie I actually failed to catch when it was shown here in Manila. With the big earthquake in Haiti, suddenly the apocalyptic catastrophe exaggerated in the movie eerily became not so ridiculous. What was generally deemed as hyperbolic disaster porn, now it’s really making me think about how things could just end, just like that with hardly any warning. Just a few days ago we felt a temblor, and recently in Taiwan, Fiji, and the video above happened just 5 days ago in California. The ring of fire is pretty active recently and they say even Mayon’s activity is still part of the big network of fire.
Of course it is a fact that every generation, from the ancient times, all the way to the present, believed that they’re living during the end times. We all feel special, in a twisted kind of way, that the orgiastic cataclysm will happen in our lifetime. Although it seems self-absorbed to believe that we will be around to witness the end of days, it also isn’t so far off either. The chances it will happen is just as much as the chances that it won’t. Somehow, I feel Armageddon won’t follow the rules of science as we know it. It’ll creep in like a thief in the night.
One scientist said a good rule to follow when it comes to disasters is: “If it happened before, it will happen again. If it hasn’t happened in a long time, then it will happen soon.” Apparently there’s a forgotten island that used to be a vacationer’s paradise in New York. No one remembers it even being there, but way back, it used to be a Coney Island type of refuge, but after one particularly vicious hurricane, it was completely demolished, wiping it from the map permanently. So if you were to follow that logic, if life was decimated at one point during the reign of the dinosaurs, cataclysms of that magnitude will inevitably happen again somewhere in the future. Just how far off into the future, that is the question.
Brazil had it’s first typhoon ever recently, Venice is slowly sinking due to rising waters, it floods in areas where it never used to flood, droughts where it used to be wet all year, even snow it places that never experienced snow. As a kid I’ve been fascinated with subjects that dealt with the unknown: the Apocalypse, apparitions, bigfoot, and whatever arcane stuff floated my way, I devoured with inquisitive fervor. I’ve reenacted so many versions of the end of the world, from the Biblical version with the four horsemen and the plagues to the scientific version with meteors crashing into the cities, to the viral version where we’re wiped out by pestilence and disease, to the polar caps melting, to a new ice age, to zombies ruling the world (unless the plants save us first). So with my fertile imagination, it’s not difficult to freak me out with movies engineered exactly to panic gullible people like myself. When I watched Jaws for the first time, I refused to swim in our pool for months! I had to have someone swimming with me so that the great white shark that will swim up from the drainage will have more choices to choose from. I’d have at least 50% chances of not being shark lunch. And after watching the Omen, I was so paranoid with the thought that: what if I was the Antichrist? What if at the appointed time, a bad-ass rottweiler with red eyes starts protecting me from my “enemies” and I start freaking out every time I go inside a church? I was impressionable that way.
But back to earthquakes, we work on the 17th floor, and memories of the 1991 tremor still haunt me. Do the math. Maybe I should lay off on the disaster movies for now…