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Discussion: Pop Culture After the Apocalypse

Mr. Burns Play

Anyone see the play Mr. Burns?

One of our local theaters put it on last season, and it was fascinating to me. Basically, there’s some kind of apocalypse, and some of the survivors gather and start recalling the details of an episode of the Simpsons. It’s a comforting bit of shared culture that literally helps them get through the night together.

As the play moves forward in time, troupes form to perform remembered episodes, going so far as to pay people for remembered scenes or dialogue to complete each episode.

And by the end, the Simpsons show has evolved and become a metaphor for the apocalyptic event that changed everyone’s lives – a way to bring it down to human scale and make sense of it.

It was strange and insane and utterly fascinating to me as a sci fi writer. And as a story teller, I was also sucked in by the way the stories changed over time.

So here are my questions: which parts of our current pop culture are likely survice an apocalyose, and in what form? How will they be changed to suit the needs of a future generation? And would we recognize ourselves and our present in them?

Come join the discussion!


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