The Girl at the End of the World

Anthology call for submissions that might be of interest to the apocalyptically minded.

It’s all been pretty quiet on here. I suspect we are all a tad disheartened by the complete faliur on t he worlds part, to end in 2012. Still, it never hurts to prepare and I for one will keep on planning for every eventuality.

I’ve been clearing the garage to make room for supplies, also found my axe which is excellent news. I’ve also been thinking, perhaps if the world doesn’t end, we should be seeking to take it over because i’m generally disappointed in many things at the moment. I reckon we could do a better job in charge.

Something to think on. Plans for world domination ladies?

Honeybadger out.

 

 

 

Music for the Apocalypse #48: Belong, by REM

This is one of those odd songs that you can listen to and enjoy several times before you start listening to the lyrics and are startled into realising that it isn’t your typical pop or rock song. Unlike REM’s ‘It’s the End of the World as we Know it’,  ‘Belong’ isn’t gleefully belting it’s end apocalyptic credentials. It’s a quiet song with a soothing tone, offering us a mother’s mantra to her child:

[She] Stood and whispered to her child: belong
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm, belong

The spoken lyrics are said in the same calming mode that we imagine the mother must be using with her child, and it’s easy to be soothed by them into not listening. But when one does, the words are striking indeed:

Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She got up from the kitchen table
Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea, sea

There’s clearly a metaphorical mode to this. The video ties the song to a political message – the creatures jumping the barricades perhaps representing protestors fighting for freedom. But the song resists a direct, simplistic meaning. Such a broad, political meaning is contrasted with the deeply personal opening line. It is her world that has collapsed, and the little mundane details speak to a smaller, more personal event, the sort of thing that could go utterly unnoticed by the rest of the world. It is ‘early Sunday morning’ – a time evocative of peace and solitude: it’s early, before other people are up and moving about; it’s a spiritual time, in the Christian religion, and an empty time, in that (for Christians) work is forbidden – it’s evocative of the stillness and echoing quiet of churches. She gets up from the table, folds her newspaper, turns off the radio – the sort of details one would only put in a story – much less a song – unless they has some significance, and yet, there is nothing momentous in the actions themselves. Three lines are devoted to these very ordinary notes in a song that opens dramatically about the world (or her world) collapsing, yet fails to say why. What the barricades are. What the creatures are.

And we must note the oddity that it is not people who are describes jumping the barricades, but ‘creatures’. Even in metaphor, it is a startling phrase. If these are protestors fighting for freedom, it is strange that they should be cast in such an alienating light. But equally, if the creatures jumping the barricades is the cause of the world collapsing, it seems odd that they are headed to the sea, presumably away from the mother and child at home. And, moreover, the mother is inspired by them:

She began to breathe
To breathe at the thought of such freedom

It sounds as though she has been inspired to rebel, possibly against her own domesticity, the smallness of the details of her life. But then, one has to wonder, why does she tell the child to ‘belong’, which has such connotations of conformity, or repressing individuality?

I don’t think this song is meant to be open to an easy reading. I think it is meant to sooth us and wake us up at the same time. The calming voice of the spoken lyrics is contrasted with the hopeful (yet also somewhat melancholy?) wordless singing that rises up above the monotone, like a bird soaring to freedom. I suspect it is in part meant to express the unavoidable tension between our need to belong and our need to be free to express ourselves and control our own destiny. Which, of course, is central to the appeal of apocalyptic fiction. We imagine the apocalypse in part to scare ourselves – we depict it as hard and wild and dangerous – but also because we long for a peace and solitude that is unattainable in the press of rules and restrictions, and even the bodies of our fellow humans… the barricades can only hold for so long before we long to burst free.

I think this song shows the real genius of poetry in REM’s music, and I think, when the barricades break and the world collapses, this would be a very good song to listen to, contemplating the uncertain future. And I can’t help but not that it is particularly appropriate for the girls of the apocalypse, some of whom may be mothers with babes in their arms to care for.

– Apocalypse Womble out

Simple Preparation

Even Apocalypse Girls have Dad’s and mine is a believer in preparation.

He recently got me a wind up torch to keep in the boot of my car. It’s a cheapish one from argos that you can charge by hand winding or through the car cigarette lighter. An essential part of any Apocalypse Girls go bag. 4

This is the one I was given, but there are lots of options out there for a wind up torch.

What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 2


(Mark Segar – Reuters)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe.

In Part One of What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the urban apocalypse, we looked at Corporate Sponsorship, Disaster Parasites, and the not-so sweet smell of the apocalypse.

Past the cut, in Part Two, we’ll be looking at the comfort of petty theft, how hipsters decorate their fallout digs, and why it’s not over til it’s over…

Continue reading

What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 1


(Spencer Platt – Getty Images)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe. Past the cut, here’s the first of a two part blog on what Hurricane Sandy taught us about surviving the urban apocalypse.
 
Continue reading

Music for the Apocalypse #47: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

I’m waking up to ash and dust

New on the Apocalypse Girls radar is the teddy apocalypse!  Yes, really! With cagefighting stuffed toys in a fun video from Imagine Dragons!

I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out of the prison bars
This is it, the apocalypse

Video aside, this is one of those great tunes that rocks an addictive beat with some cool melodies to get you into the zen zone when all about you is going a bit, well, apocalyptic.

 

battleaxebunny out

Christmas Music for the Apocalypse: Redux – Playlist 1 & 2012 bonus tracks

This is an apocalypse Christmas if ever there was one, with the Mayan calendar ending just a few days ago, it cannot be doubted that these are the end times. And no Apocalypse Girl can be without a little apocalypse cheer in these dark days.

Last year we gave you a Christmas Music for the Apocalypse Playlist, this year, we’ve revamped the old one, replacing dead videos, and made you a brand new one with brand new songs!

Even if the literal apocalypse hasn’t reached your household yet, you may be in need of a little light relief from the usual Christmas fair your family insists on playing. Trest yourself to these tunes, both bleak and chipper, and feel the hectic Christmas holiday world melt away.

Playlist 1

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that some of the videos that were a part of the list last year had been deleted. These have now been replaced, and the list is whole again.

We’d also like to remind you that most, if not all, of these songs are available for purchase at the following sites:

Track List
#1 Christmas at Gound Zero, by Weird Al Yankovic
#2 Stop the Cavalry, by Jona Lewie
#3 Carol of the Old Ones, by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society
#4 Chiron Beta Prime, by Jonathan Coulton
#5 Death to the World, by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society
#6 A Post Apocalyptic Christmas, by Art Elliot
#7 Little Rare Book Room, by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society
#8 Post Apocalypse Christmas, by Gruff Rhys
#9 Old Men’s Brains (A Zombie Christmas), by Julie Webster
#10 The Night Santa Went Crazy, by Weird Al Yankovic
#11 Nuclear Winter, by The Department of Public Safety (can’t find an mp3 anywhere! I’ll gladly link if you know one)
#12 Silent Night, Blasphemous Night, by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society
#13 The Power of Love, by Frankie goes to Hollywood
#14 Have Yourself a Scary Little Solstice, by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society

Playlist 2: 2012 bonus tracks

I’ll be honest, I snatched the most professional apocalypse-themed Christmas songs for last year’s playlist, but the Internet is a creative place, and there are some fun little ditties floating round YouTube. Most of these you can’t download and buy and seem to be just on YouTube for now, but let’s show our support – if you like the tune, go like the vid!

Tracks:
#1 Happy Christmas (It’s the End of the World), by Trojaniksr
#2 Post Apocalypse Christmas Song, by Matt Falk
#3 Apocalypse Not Now, by Polly Wolf
#4 Have Yourself A Merry Apocalypse ( Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Parody), by ROSE!
#5 “All I Want For Christmas Is You” PARODY Zombie Apocalypse, by AmandasChronicles
#6 Zombie Christmas Medley, by James Lacey and Edith Murphy

Try to infect the World with Plague Inc!

Want to know what happens when a pandemic sweeps the world? Want to mutate the symptoms and doom mankind?

Now you can with Plague Inc from Ndemic Creations.

http://www.ndemiccreations.com/

As an apocalypse girl I can tell you I have had hours of fun destroying the earth. I eventually moved on from slightly rude plagues to fluffy names like ‘Weasels’ yes it amused me reading ‘Weasels has destroyed humanity’.

I particularly like the little news flashes ‘Society has broken down in the UK’ or ‘Greenland executes infected’.

It’s like tetris, it’s brilliance is it’s simplicity.

Music for the Apocalypse #46: Insect Nation, by Bill Bailey

Comedy, the most essential of tools in your survival kit. If you can’t keep your morale up, you’ll be lost, so keep this song from master musician and comedian, Bill Bailey, to hand. Especially if you find yourself to be a human slave in an insect nation.

And remember: the spiders are not insects, but in the war they will side with the insects.

- Apocalypse Womble out.

Music for the Apocalypse #45: We Are The Champions, by Queen

Not all songs suitable for the Apocalypse have to be depressing and downbeat. When the end comes I want to go out fighting – I want to cheer my sisters on and win the day. It’s impossible not to feel uplifted by this song. The slow, the swell of the melody, building throughout the song provides the perfect counter-point to the tired and plodding beat. This is a song for the downtrodden who are not beaten. This is a song for celebration in a hard world.

We are the champions, my friends. The champions of the world.

- Apocalypse Womble out.

 

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