22 October 2010

Post-Apocalyptic Character Inversion

In the aftermath of natural disasters, the news is always filled with stories of human bravery. Of people coming together, helping each other. Being the best that they can be.

If you broke down the character of those who live today, some would be monsters. A few paragons. But most would be a mix of minor faults, self-interest, and general 'good' traits. In a crisis, some would quail, some would cower, and a solid portion would try to rise to the occasion.

Where, in post-apocalpytic shows (Survivors, Day of the Triffids), have all these people gone? Why do the pyschopaths, the would-be dictators, and the lunatics have such a superior survival rate?

Yes, yes, they serve the purpose of drama. But I find these post-apocalyptic stories _least_ interesting when it's all about people being horrible to people - that is already part of this world.

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