So you can read my books

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE STRAIN, THE LAST SHIP? Do you watch them?


After a global pandemic kills or sickens over 80% of the world's population,

the crew (consisting of 217 men and women) of a lone unaffected U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer,

 the fictional USS Nathan James (DDG-151),

must try to find a cure and stop the virus in order to save humanity.


The Strain is an American vampire horror–drama television series that premiered on FX on July 13, 2014.

It was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan,

based on their novel trilogy of the same name.

Del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode, "Night Zero", which del Toro directed.

Both shows are well-done.  And the popularity of these shows and post-Apocalyptic books and films got to me wondering


The ghost of Carl Jung tells me the answer springs from Man's Collective Unconscious --

We know on some deeply unconscious (or maybe even conscious) level that we’re screwing things up.

We know that all our pollution and over-consumption is driving the planet to ruin.

We might not accept the science of climate change,

but we can’t ignore all the droughts, floods, super storms, forest fires, heat waves and other signs of a world spinning out of balance.

Nor can we ignore the many signs of social inequality and religious zealotry leading to civil unrest.

Teens are very conscious of this and of the gilding of the poltical speech from the world's leaders.

Teens usually have heard it all their lives from one or both parents.

Something is slowly going deeply wrong all around teens. 

Like the children they once were, they have little or no power to take control of the madness they see in the nightly news.

So of course. post-apocalyptic novels where teens save the day in a world gone mad become popular. 

It is wish-fulfilment and the refuting of adult denial at one and the same time.

Children in alcoholic families learn at a young age to pretend that there isn’t a problem

and act like everything is fine.

And the "easiest" way to do this is to deny your own experiences and emotions.

This takes a terrible emotional toll.

Post-apocalyptic books and films offer us a vision of the world gone wrong in a symbolic way

so that the problems that must not be mentioned in our real lives can finally be confronted ...

And the tension and angst of the pain can be sublimated in conscious form as Freud said our dreams did in our unconscious.

Teens can sense when adults and our society are being insincere. Post-apocalyptic books and films are a way of calling us out on this.

Or maybe not.

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this.
If you enjoy post-apocalyptic books,
What is it about them that makes them
appealing to you?



  1. Interesting theory. Never thought of it like that. Maybe it is because the real problems can't be mentioned.
    So far The Strain is good. Following the book well.

  2. Alex:
    Yes, the world is unraveling, and everyone is pretending it isn't happening. The elephant in the living room syndrome, right?

    I read the first two books and liked them.

  3. Apocalyptic tales although dark and frightening, when done correctly shine a light on the one thing that we all desire...Hope. The Secular Humanist would say we are basically good, driven to evil by environment and circumstance. I say we are basically evil driven to good by our environments and circumstance. You don't have to teach a child to steal the cookies after they are told no. You have to teach them to do good. All that to say the darkness of mans sin can envelop us all as seen in the novels and movies we read, but there is alway hope that the world can be redeemed. Not trying to preach you just got me to thinking , which is probably why you wrote this post in the first place. ;-)

  4. David:
    Yes, I have just been reading a doctoral thesis that Post Apocalyptic literature leaves us with Hope. However devastating a catastrophe may be, in the end it is not what humanity has lost that matters, but rather what remains.

    Some may want to believe that Man is basically good, but let the lights and civilization go as it did in New Orleans after Katrina, and you will see Man has an evil core within. We must be taught to deny that core and continually spark that light within us.

    I always hope to spark thought and reflection in my friends like you, David. I'm glad I got you to musing on Man and this world. :-)

  5. Post apocalyptic novels, movies and shows seem to be everywhere right now! When I was a kid I loved Star Trek, which had a very optimistic view of the future of humanity (we stop waging wars and being stupid and together go out to explore the universe!). Sad to think we are now going through so much pessimism, but then the world seems to be exploding into chaos, and climate change is real and altering our planet. Only by working together can we save ourselves.

    You brought up children of alcoholics. One characteristic some of them display can be overachieving--they try to be better than their parents to deflect attention, and they try this way to save at least their own personal worlds.

  6. Helena:
    I hope you hear from the publisher soon. :-)

    Yes, apocalyptic novels and films are the norm. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY seems to be trying to put the fun back into Sci Fi again.

    Children of alcoholics have to work hard to lead a healthy life and gain some measure of inner peace -- :-(

    Thanks for visiting. And I was and am a big STAR TREK fan. I am going to be speaking, The Father willing, next year at the Sci Fi Convention here in the city. :-)

  7. These types of books crystallize our fears. Humans, when confronted by a disaster / predator, will sometimes invent other ways to fight rather than take flight.

  8. I have been DVR-ing The Strain. I can't wait to start watching it!!

  9. D.G.:
    Sometimes when humans can't fight the disaster/predator, they tear at one another -- sad but true. Like the man who gets chewed out by the boss and goes home and kicks the dog. :-( Good hearing from you. :-)

    I think you will enjoy THE STRAIN. The lead actor was the man who portrayed Hemingway in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. :-)

  10. I like these sorts of stories, though I never gave much thought to the reason behind it. Now I am thinking about it. I think that most people do recognize that we are in a downward spiral and, like so many things, might need to hit "rock bottom" before people see the need to make changes. I think bad weather has always been a problem. I think bad politicians and government have always been a problem. It has resulted in horrible things in real-life, which makes the horrible things in books not seem so far-fetched.