Friday, October 15, 2004

OK, I'm a sucker for disaster movies and books so I watched "The Day After Tomorrow" last night on DVD. It fit in rather well with the disaster book I'm reading now, "Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling.

In the movie, global warming, caused by humans, has resulted in ongoing melting of the polar ice caps. The resulting fresh water influx into the oceans then causes the ocean currents to stop flowing. When the ocean currents stop flowing, gigantic storms pull the upper atmosphere down to Earth and instantly freezes the northern hemisphere. Americans above Kentucky all freeze to death and Americans below Kentucky all evacuate to Mexico. All you really need to know is that the whole concept was inspired by an Art Bell (late night radio) book. Interestingly, this whole scenario supposedly played out 10,000 years ago, too, without the help of human global warming. Go figure.

In the book, as I think I said the other day, something has caused all electronic equipment to stop working and all gunpowder as well. I guess we must assume more than just gunpowder since very little seems to work. Humans immediately start wearing armor again and banging car parts into swords. The cities die out in short order and cannibalism is the only way many people can survive (except for our heroes who are able to hunt and gather their way to a stable environment).

Both stories are ridiculous. The movie can safely ignore religion because the planet is engulfed in an immediate freeze and everything happens too fast for people's religion to be an issue. But the book is dead set against Christianity. The only Christians in the book are mean and bigoted. The main male hero is either an atheist or agnostic... he says he was raised by believers, but apparently does not believe himself. The main female hero is a Wiccan. Now I'm not one who wants to go out and burn all Wiccan witches... the true Wiccan religion, or paganism, or whatever it is, has something of the golden rule to it: your actions, whether for good or ill, will return to you three -fold. That' s not that bad a philosophy to live by, and it's pretty darn close to "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But the wiccan chanting and celtic mindset of the book really turned me off after awhile.

I believe that in a major disaster, the Christian faith would serve the planet well. Look at the Christians now who help all over the world. But books and movies never play out that way. The "Left Behind" books are really not disaster books, after all, but rather "Army of God" books.

Anyway... so much for Dennis Quaid trekking through the troposphere.

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