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The idea of apocalypse is truly ancient. Although the word essentially translates as a revelation of knowledge, today the term is commonly used in reference to end-time scenarios or to the end of the world in general. Almost every culture and civilization has or has had its own apocalyptic tradition, often believing the end-time already begun and the end itself imminent. Whether self-inflicted or supernatural, cosmic or divine, apocalyptic thinking infuses all corners of culture. From the mysteries and meanings of religion and art, to our beliefs about the past, present and future, and the values which guide how we see ourselves, others, and the world at large, the dread of impending doom never seems far away.
During the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, this once unspoken unease grew into a pervasive terror. Nuclear annihilation, dehumanizing technology, ecological disaster, and rampant totalitarianism now apparently conspire to deliver, at best, the dystopian nightmares of Brave New World or Nineteen Eighty-Four or, at worst, the complete destruction of all life on Earth. Roaming through this forbidden zone Joanna Demers takes a sideways look at apocalyptic culture. Our discussion today centres mainly on music and the fear of the future which has given us both an unhealthy obsession with the sound of the past, and bleak but often beautiful new sounds reflecting the contradictory dread and longing which characterise our species at this moment time.
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