Is it the apocalypse or just the start of a new era? Can it be both? Andrea and Alex delve into everything from the military to existentialism, brought to life by Frank Darabont’s controversial adaptation of Stephen King’s novella.
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The Mist. Dir. Frank Darabont, 2007. .
A Brief History of the End of the World M.R. Carey’s analysis of the apocalypse genre in literature.
The Philosophy of “Optimistic Nihilism,” Or How to Find Purpose in a Meaningless Universe Open Culture’s helpful video describing how contextualize the end of the world in a healthy, productive way.
Making Sense of “The Weird and the Eerie” A primer on academic Mark Fisher and his works.
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We’re all in that supermarket now.
We’ve been told over and over what is happening to the environment, and it’s clear we’re facing the extinction of ourselves as a species and just about everything other kind of animal life. Like the people in “The Mist,” we’re seeing a variety of reactions to that information.
The most distressing reaction is denial. Just as Norton refuses to believe in the monsters in the mist, it seems a huge number of people are in denial about environmental destruction. Hell, the “president of the United States” (if we must give him that title), is a denier of human-made climate change and destruction.
Yeah, some of that denial is motivated by self-interest (people don’t want to change their lifestyles, corporations want to keep making money, people don’t want to feel guilt for their role in climate destruction, etc.), but a lot of it is fear. Trying to ignore or deny the existence of what scares us is common, I’d guess … and what could possibly scare us more than the thought of our own destruction?
Unlike David’s group and Mrs. Carmody’s congregation, there’s nothing to “do” about the climate at the individual level — my attempts to do things like recycle and conserve energy are pathetic and laughable, compared to the damage done hourly by the great industrial polluters. So, I guess that brings us to “optimistic nihilism.”
Because, really, what else do we have left? I find all I can do is try to fix at least the one little part of the world where I have a shred of control. That’s why I keep recycling that plastic, and donating money to agencies helping refugees at the border, and it’s why I’m so religious about keeping the bird feeders full and the birdbath water fresh. I can’t fix anything world-wide, so all I have is at least making sure the cardinals and finches are fed. It’s not enough, but at least the birds are fed.
Good episode, guys. Nice work tackling such weighty subject matter. I’ll look forward to hearing your perspective on “Henry,” which is a masterpiece of horror I never want to watch ever again.
Great episode as usual! My son and I watched this together (he was 14) and landed with Alex. It blew our wheels off but yikes! Your analysis has pumped to give it another look. We decided we’d soaked up too much American optimism (ironic huh?) so a good dose of cold water was needed.
Your discussion of The Mits made me realize that I had never paid enough attention to Mrs. Carmody and her role in the supermarket group. I made a short list of things that prophets do and rewatched them film. Sure enough, she ticked all the boxes. If she is a prophet, there must be a God trying to communicate with us, at least on that of the mist, that border where everything we know is subverted. Including that God. The blog I wrote about my new understanding of The Mist is in my biographical info below.