What entertainment taught me about the end of the world and surviving.

What entertainment taught me about the end of the world and surviving.

By: Michael Kyllo-Kittleson

Fun fact about me: I am a major movie, documentary, television show buff. Honestly, I get sucked into these things like people do books.

As I was watching something the other night I realized something, I believe I have learned a fair amount (or gotten really skewed information, not quite sure yet) about the end of the world, surviving it, and surviving other “end of the world” like situations. Those things are as follows:

1. Book burning IS NOT as bad as people make it out to be!
This one comes from The Day After Tomorrow when the remaining survivors huddle together in a library and in order to keep warm start burning books. I mean, you can’t really get in trouble at this point… If you’re in a big enough library you have warmth for quite awhile AND entertainment. I could really benefit from picking up a few books and reading for pleasure once and awhile.

2. Manikins CAN be your friends.
I Am Legend enlightened me to this one. Up until this point I have been majorly creeped out by these things, I honestly avoid them while at stores and have been known to not buy something I liked BECAUSE it was on a manikin. Unhealthy? I know, I’m over it. In I Am Legend, Will Smith’s only “human” contact is manikins, it seems to provide him some sanity for a while a least. A part of me was hoping they would come to life the whole time and help him defeat the creepy zombie things. But I guess that was too outrageous.

3. On that note, you need Will Smith.
This is simple, Will Smith must save the day. No way you say? YES WAY! He was kicking butt and taking names in Independence Day and I Am Legend… not to mention Men in Black. You might have your Chuck Norrises and Jack Bauers but Will Smith, he is the key.

4. EVERYTHING happens to New York First.
Back to The Day After Tomorrow and welcome in 2012. In both these movies NY is destroyed… and then all hell breaks loose. It is blasted with a freak blizzard in one and a flood in another… ah oh, NY was just flooded by Sandy. Coincidence?

5. The military? Yeah, they are not coming for you.
Sorry, hate to break it to you but you’re stuck to fend for yourself; especially in the face of something biological. The movies Quarantine and 28 Days Later really helped me realize this one. Must have sucked to be the people desperately trying to get the attention of others and the military just to find they were being left behind and, well, quarantined in a “controlled” zone. Start fightin’ buddy!

6. Superior Martial Arts skills and general hunting/weapons skills are a necessity.
Have ya seen the opening to the Book of Eli?! That is all I’m going to say about that, and if not, go watch it. Case and point proven. Get training you city folk (me included) or else we are done for.

7. Reenacting religious end time stories and things is not going to actually cause the end of the world.
THANK GOODNESS! This relief is courtesy of last season (6) of Dexter . The killer that year was deemed the “Doomsday Killer” because his goal was to create scenes from revelation in the thought the end of the world would begin. Guess what? It did not happen, sorry Travis Marshall, good try though.

8. Trains are a big deal.
The new show Revolution has been plugging the finding of this train for weeks now. I don’t really watch the show BUT “in a world without power, this is game changing” – direct quote, the train must be important. The point being, steam powered things are crucial when power and electricity is no longer an opinion. Plus, with a train you can travel across the land easier, so, I guess it makes sense.

9. Some unknown things are just meant to be left alone.
ANY sci-fi, alien, creating clones and things, space kind of movie highlights this time and time again. When the flick opens with “we shouldn’t do this” “or maybe we should stop” ahhh YOU SHOULD PROBABLY CUT IT OUT! Examples: Splice, Prometheus, heck even iRobot and Angels and Demons with its “god particle” falls into this – BATTLESHIP TOO (RIP Alexandar Skarsgard’s character). Just leave some things alone, okay? If not, I blame the guy that insisted we needed to make alien contact and figured they’d be “nice”.

10. Friend the conscious robot.

Since I just mentioned iRobot this has to come next. This is straightforward… when robots become part of everyday life and you come across the one that is a little different in the way that, oh I don’t know, it is basically human MAKE FRIENDS WITH IT. One of the only reasons everything worked out okay is because the human robot liked Will Smith. That movie ends COMPLETELY different if he doesn’t.

11. Dead husbands come back and lead you on an amazing journey with letters and trips to Ireland!
Not the end of the world? You lose someone THAT close and important to you and tell me you don’t feel like the world is ending. This also goes along with one of our amazing feature stories, go check it out ;) See what I did there? But seriously, go read it, it is worth your time.

ANYWAY: Name that movie: that’s right, it is P.S. I Love You. I have been reassured that if I get married and he dies that I need not worry, after a year I will start to receive amazingly cute letter which guide me through and help me heal. And, yes, this does include a trip to Ireland where, believe it or not, I find my next love who, GUESS WHAT, knew my past husband. Wow J Looking forward to it!

The movie has an amazing quote though:

“I hate cosmetic companies. They get you addicted to the perfect lipstick or nail polish and 6 months later they discount it. You have to buy your favorite colors like you’re storing up for the apocalypse!” – trust me, it is true! I literally went online desperately searching for my favorite lip color and bought 6 when I found it, guilty. I don’t know, I found it relevant.

12. On a more serious note: you are supposed to do a lot, live big, & love
A great movie, the Bucket List, is a great teacher of this. It is charming and heartwarming, just go watch it – you’ll understand.

13. A note about vampires: they are not nice, they are not attractive, they do not want to be friends… or lovers. I’m sorry, but they want to eat you.
30 Days of Night – enough said. Terrifying movie, these suckers have some teeth. You’re in trouble if you see one of these guys. And no, if you’re cute (or angsty and never smile) it still doesn’t matter, you are not “intriguing” to these vampires, you are dinner. You’ve got no shot.

14. We seem to forget that animals are smart…
Humans are dumb sometimes. I don’t get why we think we are so great and give animals so little credit, especially monkeys. Planet of the Apes kind of says it all, do not piss off the animals we evolved from. Especially when they’ve been genetically mutated and enhanced. Good luck.

15. …and get a pet.
Companions are good and odds are there will be some dog or something that survives along with you. Buddy up, manikins only work for so long.

So all and all, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about survival and realistic expectations via good old televised entertainment. I’m ready to go. Bring it, catastrophic events.

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