I finished “Black Monday” by R. Scott Reiss earlier this week, a newish novel about total societal breakdown after a nanovirus corrupts—and renders useless—the world’s oil supply. The science and politics of the book are secondary to its main concern– man’s fragilie hold on civility and right and wrong.
Very quickly in “Black Monday,” good intentions give way to desperate measures. When faced with dire consequences such as the inability to find food and adequately provide security for family and self, people turn to much more base behaviors. Rioting, looting, cruelty, rape, homicide, and cannibalism (referred to in the book as “imaginative eating”) are all part of the horrors in the apocalyptic story.
“Black Monday” reminded me of two key things:
1. We humans are just glorified monkeys. We’re all just one really bad
experience away from very ugly behavior.
2. I need to go to CostCo and load up on survival supplies.