What’s more relaxing than sitting down at the end of a long hard day, with a buttery tub of popcorn and an ice-cold Coca Cola, and popping in a DVD to watch…a man speak for 80 minutes about – not necessarily an apocalypse of biblical proportions, but let’s call it – the end of the world as we know it. Welcome to the crushing blow that is Collapse.
Michael Ruppert is a former Los Angeles police officer and “rogue” reporter. Some might say conspiracy theorist. He made his name as an officer by trying to call out the Central Intelligence Agency for allegedly selling narcotics in the United States. He made his name as a reporter by predicting a major financial crisis that has become all too true. Now, he has a prediction for humanity that is all doom and gloom for our current way of living.
For 80 minutes, Collapse shows Ruppert smoking a cigarette, sitting in a chair in a mostly empty studio, delivering his theory for a major meltdown of the human race rooted in oil and economics, with some stock footage to add visualizations to his arguments. In short, Ruppert explains that oil is the crux of the industrialized world – not only for running motors, but in creating almost everything we’ve grown accustomed to using in our everyday lives, from plastics to mass food production – and that on a bell curve, the world has already passed peak oil production and is in decline.
So, if this is taken as a fact, what does it mean for the world? According to Ruppert, this, combined with a world economy that he essentially sees as a pyramid scheme of loans, means we’re in for a major collapse. Ruppert predicts this collapse will end life as we know it, literally reducing the population significantly over time, seeing our infrastructure decay and going back to an old-school, living-off-the-earth way of localized, family- or clan-based survival.
The filmmakers behind the camera do a great job of being journalists themselves, asking Ruppert all the right questions. They confront him on charges of being a conspiracy theorist, ask what his credentials are to make such predictions, and question whether he’s cutting short human ingenuity as a possibility to save us from this crisis. Whether or not Ruppert’s answers suffice is up to the viewer to decide. But even if the man is viewed as little more than a crackpot, there are some central truths to the interview he gives – what he sees as the laws of physics – that are hard to dispute, and it makes Collapse downright haunting in its message. Ruppert sees an inevitable collapse, sees us powerless to stop it and sees it coming a lot sooner than anyone might think. It’s definitely not light-viewing subject matter, but at the same time, if this is potentially our future, it seems irresponsible not to take notice.
The Collapse DVD includes a trailer, deleted scenes reel and an update on Ruppert’s predictions.
Bill Jones is the editor-in-chief of padsandpanels.com, a site dedicated to the coverage of games and comics.