US Environmental History: Inviting Doomsday

By John Wills | Go to book overview

Introduction

JACKSON CURTIS. I was listening to the broadcast and I was
wondering what is exactly that’s gonna start in Hollywood.
charlie frost. It’s the apocalypse. End of days. The Judgment
Day, the end of the world, my friend.

2012 (2009)

In 2009, Hollywood provided a sneak preview of ‘the apocalypse. End of Days’. With Western interpretations of the Mayan prophecy serving as inspiration, the blockbuster movie 2012, directed by Roland Emmerich, mapped out the contours of the forthcoming Judgement Day. As predicted in the ancient Mayan calendar, the world would end on 21 December 2012. The film’s tag line read simply, ‘We were warned’.

2012 homed in on the trials and tribulations of failed novelist and unlikely action hero Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) and his desperate attempts to circumvent Armageddon. With the warming of the Earth’s core triggering the falling apart of the United States, with whole landscapes disappearing, Curtis and his dysfunctional family attempt escape by commandeering limousine, Winnebago, and private jet. Watching over his crumbling capitalist empire, reflecting on his role as the very last commander-in-chief, President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) speaks to the nation: ‘My fellow Americans. This will be the last time I address you. As you know, catastrophe has struck our nation…has struck the world. I wish I

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