The End Is Near…

 If you’ve stumbled across this website, you may have realized that I’m sort of a fan of end-of-the-world type things. Post-apocalyptic things. Conspiracy theories. Doomsday forecasts. Those signs you always see outside big cities that warn that “HELL IS WAITING” or something along those lines (they’re usually right before porn stores). Anyway, I eat that stuff up.

 

Why? I’m not really sure. I wasn’t a particularly paranoid child. My guess is that it happened somewhere in my teenage years when I realized the world was a HIDEOUS, AWFUL PLACE AND THAT EVERYBODY WAS CRUEL AND THAT ADULTS HAVE ONLY ONE PURPOSE: TO KILL FREE EXPRESSION. I suspect most young people feel this way at some point. Maybe we grow out of it. Maybe, like most things, we learn to live with it, like a chronic health condition, and gradually over time stop remembering why we were fighting everyone anyway. We become the machine. We follow the status quo. We look back on ourselves and say, “If I’d only known how easy I had it then.”

But there’s always something bigger looming, threatening to terrorize. When I was young it was my parents. Finals. My empty gas tank. Now it’s bills, and work, and deadlines. And my empty gas tank. Always another roadblock to what? Freedom? Peace of mind? Isn’t that what we all want?

This other day I was caught in a severe storm, and let me tell you, I hate the term “severe storm” because it in no way demonstrates how apocalyptic-like the situation really is – the sky turns black, then bright white with lighting that never seems to stop. The thunder is pissed-off and unrelenting. Then the rain. Then the hail. Then a mix of it, turning sideways.

My husband had run into Home Depot for something, which meant that I was trapped outside in the Kia, alone, during the worst of it. As the wind started shoving the car from side to side, I became progressively more freaked out. I started thinking of how small I am, how small we all are really. Okay, first I thought “Holy crap I’m going to die – was that a body that just hit my car – no it was a shopping cart – cars are the worst place to be in a tornado – I need to find a ditch – ohshitohshitohshit…” Then I thought about how small we are. You can do anything and everything to try to direct your path in life, to be safe, to strive for health or wealth or glory, when at any time a lightning bolt could take you out.

My point is this: the world is a dangerous place with or without manmade barriers, and at the end of the day we’re all just trying to survive. Dystopian stories recognize this world. They magnify it, highlighting injustice and persecution and mistrust. They put us on a journey through it, and give us hope that our struggles are not in vain.

Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

10 Responses to The End Is Near…

  1. Paul Jones says:

    Once again, you nailed it, Kristen. I firmly believe we are born into a world at war and much more is going on in the ‘unseen’ realms than most would dare to imagine. It seems that the world’s plan is to keep us entertained, distracted, or otherwise fat-dumb-and-happy until it’s too late. And, yes, I totally hear how conspiracy-freaky that sounds.:)

    Yet, to me, our hearts are drawn towards these sorts of stories because they all point to a larger story that we’ve found ourselves fallen into, like Frodo and all the other Hobbits from the shire. Writers like you hold up a mirror in front of the world and force us to look at reality. Much like ancient prophets from long ago, sounding the clarion call. We’ve lost our ability to think mythically. We must find it again if we’re ever to understand what is going around around and in our lives.

    But, seriously?! Thunderstorms ROCK!
    (Just sayin…)

  2. LH says:

    Wow…Interesting insight in your thought process; thanks for sharing :)
    i hate storms. Especially driving in them!

  3. LH says:

    BTW-why are you seeing all these signs by porn shops???

  4. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I think you’re right that this is one reason we like dystopian stories. And because they are set in a world we can identify with even if it is futuristic. Great post.

  5. Ello says:

    I have found your blog!! Ta da! And I likes your posts! (applause!)

    Oh btw – have I mentioned how much I love your book cover? It’s coming! It’s coming soon! I’m so excited for you!!!

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks Ellen! You know, so much of my internet presence I owe to your encouragement and direction! Thank you!

  6. Lauren Watterson says:

    Kristen…. OMG…. this is AMAZING!!!! I am so excited for you! I’m adding your site to my favorites so I can follow your updates! So Proud of you!!!!

    Lauren

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