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Why we love the apocalypse

After years of misjudged apocalypse theories, humanity has become desensitized to the concept of “the end.” Books and movies portray a post-disaster world over and over, while the increase in our culture’s fascination with an apocalypse can be completely blamed on our own anxiety.

Where did this spike come from? It stems from the plausibility.

Looking back at 2012, from constant earthquakes and outer space collisions, to the Mayan calendar pulling possibly the century’s best prank, the year was a full of doom scares. However, will these remain just scares? Have our desensitized brains been designed to prepare for the inevitable end? History proves that bad things do happen, just ask the dinosaurs.

The Ice Age still holds secrets we will probably never understand. Is there an ending approaching that we can’t see over all the zombie blockbusters and pictures of cute polar bears losing their glaciers?

We need to redesign. Our food, transportation and energy sources are costing us our home. We have to let go of our selfish desire to mass-produce killer corn and experimenting on angry chimpanzees named Augustus.  Political consistency keeps us from changing and is often confused with security. We can only say the word “change” so many times until the world ends.

Looking back at history, there are lessons to be learned about dangerous monopolies and treating animals as test subjects. Human are now lined up behind the Dodo birds to seal their fate.

We are modifying plants and animals to our needs or desires with no regard to repercussions of alternating their environment or food chain. The saying “what goes around comes around” is not just a lyric to a Justin Timberlake song; what it means is that what we do to our environment, it will do to us.

We’ve all seen “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” or at least understand the basic premise of it. In the movie, monkeys are genetically altered in order to study a possible cure to cancer. The cruel experimentation may pay off temporarily while we look for a cure, but it isn’t long until the monkeys return the favor.

Karma’s fury is not only in defense of animals but also to plants. In an article written by Jeffrey Smith about the toxicity of altered corn, he says “they [farmers] spray [toxins] on plants, where it washes off and degrades in sunlight. The GM version is built-in; every plant cell has its own spray bottle. The toxin doesn’t wash off; it’s consumed.  ”

He continues the article with its effect on people and animals around the world.

“Now thousands of Indian farm laborers are suffering from the same allergic and flu-like symptoms as those in the Pacific Northwest simply from handling genetically engineered cotton plants that produce Bt-toxin.”

Corn is not the only danger, there has recently been something dubbed with the name “Zombie Wheat.” There is literally a strain of wheat that does not die. “Scientists at Oregon State University and the USDA have confirmed that the wheat was genetically engineered, but no one can account for where the GMO wheat seeds came from,” says an article written by Willy Blackmore.

We live in a world where corn and wheat, a staple food since cavemen could crack their knuckles, is drowning us. We’re now up to our ears in angry crops. Our desire for more and better crops has led us to alter them beyond our own control. Organic goods have become something inconvenient to the average consumer and require extra money or effort.

We want “healthy” plants to keep us in our best shape and producers alter plants to increase produce and profit. The Institute for Responsible Technology published “10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs” on their website. Plants are altered simply for production benefits. Doctors now prescribe specific diets for patients instructing them to eat organic, it’s not just a trend.

Our grocery stores are stocked with toxins and our world is melting. Frogs have three legs because they’ve been poisoned in their own homes. Chicken can’t even walk because they are so fat and full of hormones, steroids, preservatives, and anything else that would make them larger and meatier.

Modern technology has reached a point where anyone with a functioning biotechnology lab can create his or her own GMOs. With all this genetic tampering, could we create our own zombie apocalypse?

First of all, what exactly is a zombie? They’re more common than ever in today’s mainstream media: there are crawlers, walkers, runners, and thrillers. Sometimes they eat people and sometimes they turn them into more zombies, but sometimes they just help Michael Jackson create iconic music videos. So let’s break this down: there are two main types of zombies found in media. The first is a traditional “I-want-brains” zombie. This zombie is raised from graveyards by some sort of supernatural force. Then there are today’s “will-eat-everything-that-moves” zombies. These are the zombies that have been infected by some sort of disease or virus.

In recent blockbuster film “World War Z,” the zombies had a type of rabies that infected humans due to the evolution of the virus. This is seemingly plausible, and this movie is yet another example of how we cope with the anxiety of that plausibility.

There are two ways that a GMO could begin a real life zombie apocalypse. The first being intentional creation. Someone could intentionally create a malicious infection to manufacture their own army of flesh-eating soldiers. These bio-villains could have warfare in mind or just plain, old mass world destruction. As Alfred said to our Dark Knight, “some men just want to watch the world burn.” The other option would be the accidental creation of zombies. This would mean gene therapy gone wrong or angry GMO classified pigs getting a little too hungry. All it takes is one bite to start a domino effect. We may not mean to create these flesh craving organisms, but maybe our tampering prevents RNA from doing its job and we lose control of our brains. There is a lot that can go wrong from modifying what nature created for us.

In the 2009 film “Daybreakers,” we have imagined a cure to a global apocalyptic sickness. What is the cure? Vampires. We don’t know how to cope, and we look to the same storybook area the zombies limp from, only to find Vampires. Logical isn’t it? Vampires aren’t alive. That’s just it though – they are not alive. We never thought zombies were possible, but look at where we are now. The films helps us cope, showing that things will be tough but we will prevail, yet another story of good triumphing the bad. This feel good ending to not such a good-feel story helps the public cope with the plausibility.

 

About The Author

Madison Hampton

Madison Hampton is a sophomore who has a different major every week. She is the sports and media editor. She was born at a young age in Naples, Florida and has since become a caffeine dependent life-form. When she isn't in the newsroom, she's probably taking a nap. Madison is a paper-cut survivor and an advocate of sweatpants in the work place. #GodBlessThisHotMess

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