While we are familiar with the “End of Days” cataclysmic meaning of the word from the Book of Revelation, the ancient Greek etymology is “reveal; unveiling; uncovering”. This puts the word in a more positive light. What is it, exactly, that comes to light in an apocalypse? Perhaps, apocalypse is good for you? I suppose the evangelists who look forward to the Rapture would agree.
(for an interesting spin on The Rapture, check out this interview with Tom Perrotta, author of “The Leftovers” in which he asks, what happens to those who are left behind?)
There has been a resurgence of interest lately in Pandemic Fiction.
Pornhub has reported 7 million searches in the last thirty days for Covid-19 Porn, which invites the moniker, “Pandemic Porn”.
The saying, “We find out who’s been swimming naked when the tide goes out”, is often attributed to Warren Buffet who uses the phrase to gauge financial stability when there’s a market crash or correction. This could be a type of ‘unmasking’ of those who heretofore were pretending to be in good financial shape.
Toby and I did a podcast on the word ‘apocalypse’ and came up with a bunch of related expressions relevant to the current coronavirus pandemic: ‘flattening the curve’, disaster magnet, ruin porn, etc.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” comes to mind.
An ‘unveiling’ is also the ceremonial dedication of a marker or headstone in front of a grieving family gathering for a deceased loved one.
Can there every be a ‘happy apocalypse’?
Love is often called a destructive force. In Elif Shafak’s, “Forty Rules of Love”, love is often referred to as a force that destroys you but can ultimately rebirth you into someone better.
Here’s an excerpt from the novel that isn’t about the power of love per se but an interesting meditation on death:
“…the silkworms destroy the silk they produce as they emerge from their cocoons. This is why the famers have to make a choice between the silk and the silkworm. More often than not, they kill the silkworm while it is inside the cocoon in order to pull the silk out intact. It takes the lives of hundred silkworms to produce one silk scarf.”
This excerpt makes me think about the current US pandemic predicament in which the president mused out loud that we would be better off letting a few million citizens die in order to save the beautiful economy because it would be for the greater good. How do you like that scarf, now?