Signs of the Apocalypse: “The Post-Apocalyptic iPod”

Charlie Jane Anders, Editor of the always entertaining, all things dorky i09 offers us a wonderful contemplation Hollywood’s improbably portrayal of gadgetry that survives the end of days.  Ms. Anders is directly referencing the new Denzel Washington film “The Book of Eli” (which I should disclaim that I have not seen) in which the titular character uses a thirty year old iPod to listen to music. 

I must say, I sincerely hope that the term “Post-Apocalyptic iPod” comes into it own in dork jargon.  It really is a perfect example of the theme of “what still works” that shows up in many stories taking place far in the future (post-apocalypse or not).  Personally I am thinking of Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” which pokes fun at the servivability of technology from past gone days, when Allen’s character discovers a Volkswagen Beetle which starts right up when he tries the ignition.  Of course Ms. Anders gets it spot on in suggesting that the reason for including these still working bits of technology from or present time is to create a sense of comfort and in some ways to tie characters back to the stable reality of all the by gone.

Still, I consider this a good GDAFSA because if we are relying on Hollywood to shape our visions of the post-apocalyptic world we are likely to find ourselves quite disappointed.  Much of the gadgets that we use today rely very heavily upon a stable and maintained infrastructure (specifically available electricity), scrap that infrastructure and an iPod will quickly become nothing more than a stylish-looking chuck of plastic.  Basically . . . if the civilization were to collapse tomorrow I think we’d all find ourselves in some pretty serious deep shit, and probably wouldn’t have a good soundtrack to help us navigate through it.

Kudos to you Ms. Anders.  Keep up the great work!

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~ by Nathaniel on January 15, 2010.

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