I have no idea where my morbid fascination for the post apocalyptic originated from.
As a young boy i spent hours alone in my room trying to imagine what it would be like, living in a world where civilization was at the verge to be extinct, all alone in the world, or almost alone..
“Palle alone in the world”
My earliest post apocalyptic memory is from a childrens book by the danish author and psychologist Jens Sigsgaard – Palle alene i Verden (1942), roughly translated to “Palle alone in the world”. It’s about a boy waking up one morning realizing he’s the only one left in the whole world (I am Legend anyone?). At first he reacts, as most people would, doing all the things previous forbidden or out of reach to him. Driving a bus, eating as much candy as he can etc. A coupple of pages later I remember the book taking a turn for the scary.. The fact that he’s alone and the question of survival when a civilazation slowly starts to decay suddenly impacts on me as a child..
I have this vivid memory of the book giving me nightmares and how I obesessed with the whole idea. I still do, but it doesn’t scare me as much anymore. As a grown-up I try to treat the subject as a possibility and how I would handle it. But the fact that I can actually toy around with the idea as a possibility, intrigues me and scares me..
Cause and effect
Regardless of the cause – the effect is always the same. Wether it’s mutants from radiation, humanity driven by survival or a mysterious desease – the element of threat from our fellow men is allways there.
The solitude, the search for food and water is never enough, It’s allways a scenario where you would have to fight for your survival and be prepared to kill or be killed.
A world where trust would be a rare commodity..
A world where trust would be a rare commodity
Maybe it’s this simple fact that makes it so fascinating? What are we, as civilized humans, prepared to do? What lines are we prepared to cross to stay alive and who can we trust? How do we react when beeing forced to fight our neighbours, famlily, co workers to stay alive? When do we break and who of us are willing to to do whatever it takes to stay alive when facing the possibility of lifes destruction?
These are the questions that follows me still today. In my daydreams I return to the idea over and over again. Trying to wrap my head around what kind of a man i truly am or would like to be.
We all think were “that guy”
Of course in my daydreams I’m allways “that guy” – the lone hero making it, making the hard choices, staying alive, regardless.. Over the years my fantasies have changed – radically so when I became a father. Now my post apocalyptic fantasies about the fight for survival is almost allways about protecting my daughter and my wife. The lines I have to cross to asure their survival are thinner, and the hard choices, easier – almost natural and obvious..
In reality most of us would die due to our poor ability to adapt
While beeing the strong survivor might just be who we all hope and wish we are.
In reality most of us would die or give up in situations facing a catastrophic event – regardless of it beeing on a sinking boat or a global event..
In reality most of us simply refuse to accept the fact of things when it changes too rapidly around us and would die due to our poor ability to adapt.
The photo above is of an unknown man sitting on the side of MS Estonia right before she sinks. It was dark and the photographer found his way out of the sinking ship by taking flashphotography. Most likely the man on the picture didn’t survive, because noone’s yet claimed to be him. This photographer had ability to adapt, was probably sober when the event started and had the will to survive at all costs.. Maybe he/she left people behind, moved for the exit when the first tremor came or just was one of the few awake, in the right place when the event accured. Nevertheless – the photographer above had the ability to adapt..
So why did I write this? I have no idea. I just feel I had to adress my morbid fascination for the post apocalyptic, mostly for my own sake and for the event that I one day have to face the fact that the rest of the world have “gone zombie” on me – you have been warned.
I will do whatever it takes.. I have mentally trained for this for over 35 years..
You have been warned.