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Are disaster films useful for survival training?

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posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:22 PM
I made an offhand (off topic) comment in another thread and it was suggested it might make a good thread of its own. Here goes:

Why do we watch disaster flicks? Is it pure entertainment or something more? A few propositions:

  1. Disaster movies are prophetic. Do we watch disaster movies in order know what the future holds? If that's the case do people act on the prophesy? Did a lot of people move out of LA after seeing The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake? Did anyone?

  2. Disaster movies are educational. Can we learn to how to survive a disaster by watching a disaster movie? I can't think of a single movie I've seen in which the "survival techniques" made a much sense or the protagonists survived by anything more than plot devices.

  3. Disaster movies are realistic depictions of what a real disaster is/would be like. What do they base their vision on? Do the scenarios make sense? Do the people in the movies react as people really would react?

There are sub-genres of disaster movies; natural disasters, ET induced disasters, human induced disasters, god-induced disasters (which would probably be considered man-made), animals gone wild disasters. How would the above propositions apply the the various types?

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 02:35 PM
I think one can learn from the mistakes that the characters in the films make.
Like the zombie dog scene in I am legend, I was yelling at the TV "Why did you leave your sidearm in the truck." Though we will never see that kind of scenario it goes it show the importance of having a back up gun if your main weapon goes down. (a lot less dramatic though.)
These are good films to watch with the wife and kids so you can say to them " That would never happen to us because we are prepared." It might get then thinking a bit.

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 04:31 PM
I agree on both parts. I think they can show us other ideas that maybe we hadnt thought of before. Just as a forum allows us to see new ideas from a different perspective, movies show us different ways to survive/escape/not screw up. Emulating them in real life would be the test but i can think of a couple things i wouldnt have thought of unless i saw them on tv/movies

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 05:47 PM
I think they tend to be more educational in 'Not what to do' more than what to do. Though, to be fair, in some films or shows, they sometimes show constructive methods and techniques.

I always treat them as a 'pointing out bad practice' educational film - can you spot the 10 faults the hero made.

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 09:29 PM
I never really considered the learning aspect of disaster films I guess there is a few tid bits that can be picked up here or there.

My Wife and I watch a ton of them. we enjoy them very much. I think the reason we watch and enjoy is boredom. We have for years been very active. Now not so much. For four years now we have done the normal working life except for the occasional summer camping trip.

its like going really fast for a long time then coming to a dead stop. You just find that the slow pace boars the snot out of you. How ever the when the body gets older things have to slow down. I am sure we will get use to it if given enough time. until then we use the disaster movies as a poor substitute.

In my opinion that is the main reason why people watch those films. It's about fighting boredom.

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 09:40 PM
The only thing I have ever learned from disaster movies is to get rid of the children as quickly as possible. All they seem to do is whine, require rescuing, or make noise at inappropriate moments. I blame Hollywood for that...

But back to being serious, some films are useful, others aren't. It all depends on the nature of the disaster, and the talent of the writers. However I do agree with the above poster, that all these films should be used for is entertainment, not as a "teaching aid" to help you survive any future events.

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 09:49 PM
reply to post by ro01xc08

Kids first. Buxom model next (I know, it's a hard decision but you'll regret it if you don't). Don't worry about the lawyer, he's bound to get it no matter what. And whatever you do, no matter what...protect the one who seems the least likely to do any good in any situation at all. That's going to be the one to save you.

Sorry, didn't mean to derail my own thread. It's not about cliches.

It was my first thought that entertainment (such as it is) is the only value to this genre but the notion that it may be a guide about what not to do intrigues me. I have to admit that somewhere in the back of my mind there is some useful information that may spring forward if the need arises. Not that I would ever admit where it came from.

[edit on 16-8-2008 by Phage]

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 12:42 AM
I have always enjoyed post-apoc stories, both film and book. There are probably a lot of reasons but the biggest I think is, at least it's a topic I relate to. So much out there is, in my view, complete fluff.
I mean, I spend a lot of time not only literally getting prepared for 'whatever' (shopping for food, stocking, etc.) but also thinking about what I need to be doing. You know, the..what have I forgotten, what comes next, what will make things easier in the future whatever.
What I mean is, watching 'The Stand' for example engages my mind. "What if....Why did they...what would i??"
Even in fairly corny post-apoc flicks, I can understand and identify with the at least one character in the film. I can suspend disbelief when they do things that wouldn't work at all in a real life 'whatever' situation and still understand their drive to survive/fight the bad guys/protect their families...etc.
On the other hand,
I've not seen Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants or Sex in the City but I'm pretty sure the only thing I'd have in common with the characters in those shows is that we are female. LOL. For starters, the 'pants' probably cost $200. That's a LOTTA beans and rice! (and that's exactly what I'd be thinking as I watched. LOL) As for Sex in the City, let's just say I don't relate. =)
So for me post-apoc media is entertaining and engaging, while many other genres I just don't get. But I don't get how most people live their lives these days, either.
I hope this explanation isn't as confusing as it's now sounding to me. LOL. Explaining things in a forum post is a bit harder than I'd realized! Ah well, practice makes perfect!
Good topic, Phage, thanks!=)
queen of the run on sentence

[edit on 8/17/08 by anahna muss]

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