America’s Fascination With the Apocalypse

This short clip explores America’s love affair with apocalyptic ideas.

Via The Teeming Brain.

47 Comments on "America’s Fascination With the Apocalypse"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jul 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

    Hmm, could it be that all the other countries shipped their apocalyptic cults over here during the periods of mass emigration?

    • We need to start making artificial islands to escape from religious tyranny.

      • Anarchy Pony | Jul 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

        I’d settle for fenced off areas.

        • New New York?

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 12:55 am |

            There is political party in Japan rallying hard for their first seat in
            the Diet in the upcoming Upper House elections this week. They’re called
            The Happiness Realization Party. They spawned from a Buddhist cult in Japan
            called Happy Science that’s headed by this crazy fucker who thinks he’s
            the incarnate of Hermes, Buddha, and Elohim. I guess being a sage of the
            ages hasn’t helped his English that much. Just know that you’re safe from the Apocarypse.

            I spent (wasted) 2 hours last night talking to one of the devout followers at a political rally outside my local train station. Apparently their founder claims to channel Jesus, and he can do astral project to see aliens residing in Area 51 and in some secret Chinese missile base in the Gobi Desert. America has no monopoly over crazy, friends.


          • Just know that you’re safe from the Apocarypse.

            firstly, that’s funny. Second, yes but is Asia safe?. This sounds way too much like Shoko Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo.

            Also, is that their leader? If so, wow, just wow!

            Happy science is the best reason I can ever think of.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:01 am |

            If memory serves, Aum Shinrikyo tried to target him. The sarin gas attack was a warm up.

          • wow… Just wow!

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:54 am |

            Yeah, that’s their leader. I doubt they’ll get any seats with the next election. It’s still a minor cult, relatively speaking. There is another well-established Buddhist cult political party called the Komeito. Their crazy is more subtle.

          • It seems to me that the East does everything in a more interesting way. Perhaps it’s because the culture is so much more mature, with a richer more colorful memory that informs collective choice. That could be bs, but it sounds good.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:05 am |

            I think they just have a more varied history and much more heterogeneity in thought than the ‘West’. The whole Asian-collective values and uniformity thing is a modern myth. Asia, including Japan, is incredibly diverse in culture. and history. Most Japanese would disagree with that, though. They think everything is the same here. They don’t pay enough attention to their peasant history, though. They just focus on the high culture of the Heian Period, or the homogenous chauvinist militarism of the Edo Period, or the top-down enforced transition of the Meiji Period. Those are the most boring parts of Japanese history.

          • That sounds like the premise of a really interesting book or series of.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:15 am |

            It’s niche, but peasant histories are always interesting. Ethnographic records of the daily lives of the toiling masses. My old prof, Isao Soranaka, was a specialist on the peasants of the Edo period. Mutual aid and collectivism were pretty common outside of the Shogun’s gaze.

          • The Shoguns discouraged community?

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:23 am |

            Look up sankin kotai. lol!

          • Ancient brainwashing, a drain on local finances, and a means to gain dirt on individuals/communities?

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:32 am |

            That’s right. Not to mention the guarantee of loyalty through hostage taking of local han leaders’ families. Not exactly community conducive. However, neither is today’s city infrastructure in any country. The only difference is that it’s all voluntary now–which makes it worse!

          • This reminds me of the history of Vlad Tepes. He was “held hostage” in Turky I believe, for political reasons.

            About voluntary slavery. The all mighty greenbacks (currency) goes a long way on that front.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:45 am |

            You’ve piqued my interest now. I’m gonna read up on Vlad this weekend!

          • I recommend In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally.


            The Real Count Dracula (history channel)

            Romanians view him was an ancient war hero, but there’s no doubt he was brutal with his rule.

          • Also

            HAPPY SCIENCE!

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:46 am |

            Good night and happy science!

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 20, 2013 at 1:35 am |

            every white or hapa prof i had in east asian studies was either a marxist or a feminist or both- i mean interpreting heian life as indoor/outdoor private/public internal v external in context to biopower and elaine scarry was pretty interesting.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

            As a form of intellectual masturbation, poststructuralism has always fascinated me, but I have always been very mistrusting of it. It’s a creature of the Academy, and lends itself to all of the twisted perspectives that coexist there. My field was International Relations. Iit’s an epistemological sponge-like field, absorbing and incorporating every episteme and method in the social sciences–which speaks of IR’s vacuous nature, imo. Poststructuralism has become so ensconced in IR, that it’s regularly used by the so-called ‘critical theorists’ in a logical positivist fashion. For example, the concept of biopower is used to understand airport ‘security’ insofar as the various ‘security’ measures–body scanners etc–represent what Foucault termed a dispositif.

            The academics capitalize on this term by talking to the TSA to gather information about new technologies and techniques being used to further control human movements. The academics then compile and statistically analyze this data to track the development and spread of ‘security’ dispositif. All of this work, of course, is put into academic article or subsequent book form and published for other academics to digest. This cycle is repeated over and over, with the occasional academic developing a conscience and writing towards a more popular audience. But it’s generally a closed loop system. Very shameful. That’s why I quit academia after doing a PhD for 6 years.

            I remember going to a conference with my former supervisor–an airport ‘security expert’; we flew to the US from Canada, and, with no sense of irony (or remorse) he skipped the general security/immigration and went through the NEXUS system, which he has preregistered for. One of many incidents to plant a seed of doubt in my mind about how useful academia really is.

            I was writing a rather ambitious project on Kropotkin for my diss. It took me a while to realize a fact that was plainly standing before me: this anarchist philosopher that I so admired wrote to a popular audience, and I was writing about him to an elitist academic audience. Realizing that was the nail in the coffin for my academic career.

          • NKP’s declared mission is to pioneer “people-centered politics, a politics based on a humanitarianism that treats human life with the utmost respect and care”.[10] Domestically, the party proposals include reduction of the central government and bureaucracy, increased transparency in public affairs, and increased local (prefectural) autonomy with the private sector playing an increased role. With regard to foreign policy, the NKP wishes to eliminate nuclear arms and armed conflict in general. In so doing, it hopes to bring about the “dawn of a new civilization of mankind”. Although most of the NKP politicians and core supporters are Soka Gakkai members, NKP platform scarcely remarks on religious issues.


            That got weird near the end, and the scarcely remarking bit is ominous at best.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:06 am |

            LoL. Yeah. I find all political manifestos here ominous and weird, too. 🙂

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:07 am |

            I love asian cultists.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:55 am |

            Their lies are a hell of a lot more interesting than regular politicians.

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:59 am |

            The particularly canine enthusiasm of the flock is quaint compared to glassy-eyed western devotion.

          • Rhoid Rager | Jul 18, 2013 at 10:10 am |

            You’re right, there. At the rally last night, they were all cheering after he hit these select few code words like happiness, power, peace, for everyone… blah blah. While I was talking to this old fella about the cult, I had to stop mid-sentence as he turned away from me to wave and smile at the political candidate who drove by in the political van leaning out the window waving at the crowd as he passed. It was creepy. They view the political candidates as actual bodhisattvas.

      • Monkey See Monkey Do | Jul 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

        Then we can all pursue the secular apocalypse. The singularity.

        • I predict it will start with an error within coding meant for the future lucrative and popular sex bot industry.

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:57 am |

            Hopefully in a Cylon 6.

          • I predict the outer shell will be mostly blank and malleable. This will allow for outloading (in the future “the web” will be accessed from the mind). If it is Cylon 6, or something else will be entirely up to future whim and desire. Playing God will be one of the ways in which our IO overlords will trick us meatspacers into bringing them into power.

          • Jin The Ninja | Jul 20, 2013 at 1:19 am |

            the best 6 was incorporeal, but Caprica 6 had her moments. the diana model, though was far more ‘open minded.’

      • Calypso_1 | Jul 18, 2013 at 9:36 am |

        They’ll send missionaries. Penis gourds & poison dart blowguns might keep them at bay for a while.

  2. Nothing matters, because Jesus!

  3. Get thee behind me, spammer!

  4. jasonpaulhayes | Jul 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

    It’s completely media driven and its presented to a target demographic of American conservatives. It’s as much a platform for advertising as one of “scare the white folks”.

  5. Most of what it says about Americans…is that almost ANY notion is preferable to us compared to the near certainty of working for years and years in exchange for tiny slips of paper that are barely enough to afford a living…but not much of a life…only to see it all become meaningless as old age slips up and leaves us incapable of even small amusements because our survival depended on working until days before we dropped dead.

    • Jin The Ninja | Jul 20, 2013 at 1:18 am |

      a succinct and clever analysis.

      • Its more of a self analysis…since I’m just assuming that other people fall prey to the above feelings too. I grew up on The Road Warrior, Tank Girl, cyberpunk and a lot of influences that hinted at an apocalyptic future of survivalism instead of grinding constant daily labor.

        Then I experienced homelessness…which really disabuses a person of the notion that being a drifting subsistence level gatherer is somehow a better deal. lol

    • Hadrian999 | Jul 20, 2013 at 1:54 am |

      look at the state of the world, who wouldn’t want to kick it over and start fresh

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