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American Carnage in City Heights

Choose your own apocalypse

When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface.
When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface.

When the world as we know it ends, will it be our fault?

Broadly speaking, dystopian sagas diverge into two camps. On the one hand, you have your bleak future in the vein of Fahrenheit 451, where humanity’s plight is, for lack of a better term, entirely self-inflicted, i.e. the political processes hath wrought a state of grim dictatorship and social repression. The remainder of dystopian fantasy tales take place in a post-apocalyptic setting, where acts of god and the forces of nature conspire to render all the earth an inhospitable wasteland; although humanity often takes oblique credit for the devastation, as in nuclear fallout stories, such as Alas, Babylon.

American Carnage: A Love Story

Aimee Greenberg’s American Carnage: A Love Story fits comfortably into the latter camp, with humanity surviving along the rank edges of a blighted world bereft of trees and, presumably, arable land in general. Thanks, climate change.

The “man-made armageddon” narrative has apparently outpaced the “XYZ unforeseen and unstoppable obliterative force” narrative, and I think it’s because the extrinsic apocalypse lends itself to feel-good tales of human ingenuity. Is that a big old space rock hurtling towards the planet? Better summon a team of plucky roughnecks to save the day. Aliens systematically wiping out life on earth? Good thing for retired military heroes who just want to have a normal life. Geology trying to kill us all? How about we just have The Rock jump off some stuff for two hours and call it good.

When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface. Maybe it’s because the kind of apocalypse where human intervention leaves the world a desolated charnel house might actually happen, and the next thing you know it, you have mad scientists trying to perfect the human species, and dictatorial figures hoarding the world’s pleasure for themselves. If we had to choose, I think we’d all take the blameless, extinction-level event over the anthropogenic disaster. Not all apocalypses are created equal.

American Carnage runs at the City Heights Performance Annex at the Weingart Library through November 26.

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When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface.
When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface.

When the world as we know it ends, will it be our fault?

Broadly speaking, dystopian sagas diverge into two camps. On the one hand, you have your bleak future in the vein of Fahrenheit 451, where humanity’s plight is, for lack of a better term, entirely self-inflicted, i.e. the political processes hath wrought a state of grim dictatorship and social repression. The remainder of dystopian fantasy tales take place in a post-apocalyptic setting, where acts of god and the forces of nature conspire to render all the earth an inhospitable wasteland; although humanity often takes oblique credit for the devastation, as in nuclear fallout stories, such as Alas, Babylon.

American Carnage: A Love Story

Aimee Greenberg’s American Carnage: A Love Story fits comfortably into the latter camp, with humanity surviving along the rank edges of a blighted world bereft of trees and, presumably, arable land in general. Thanks, climate change.

The “man-made armageddon” narrative has apparently outpaced the “XYZ unforeseen and unstoppable obliterative force” narrative, and I think it’s because the extrinsic apocalypse lends itself to feel-good tales of human ingenuity. Is that a big old space rock hurtling towards the planet? Better summon a team of plucky roughnecks to save the day. Aliens systematically wiping out life on earth? Good thing for retired military heroes who just want to have a normal life. Geology trying to kill us all? How about we just have The Rock jump off some stuff for two hours and call it good.

When we have nothing and no one but ourselves to blame, darker themes creep to the surface. Maybe it’s because the kind of apocalypse where human intervention leaves the world a desolated charnel house might actually happen, and the next thing you know it, you have mad scientists trying to perfect the human species, and dictatorial figures hoarding the world’s pleasure for themselves. If we had to choose, I think we’d all take the blameless, extinction-level event over the anthropogenic disaster. Not all apocalypses are created equal.

American Carnage runs at the City Heights Performance Annex at the Weingart Library through November 26.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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