Civilization is hideously fragile [and] there’s not much between us and the horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.Everyone by now is familiar with the stories of both heartbreaking heroism and the most appalling kind of opportunistic brutality that have come out of Katrina's aftermath. People under incredible stress do incredible things.
--C P Snow
I'm reminded of THE TRIGGER EFFECT, David Koepp's 1996 thriller about how long it takes for civilized Angelenos to go completely paranoid batshit survivalist when the power, radio, and phones inexplicably go out. Not long.
The movie is an homage to the Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," which also dealt with what happens to people when our culture's social veneer gets eaten away. The theme winds its way through our storytelling tradition from LORD OF THE FLIES to the disaster movies of the 1970s to LOST.
The questions all these stories ask: say it was you who had the rug of your life pulled out from under your feet.
What would you do?
More to the point, if you live in an at-risk area -- mine's the seismic tinderbox that is the San Andreas Fault -- what will you do?