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A professor of morbid curiosity.

July 2, 2020 - 09:40 -- Admin

I sent out my first invoice in nearly four months yesterday - since early April, according to my invoicing app. And that last invoice I sent was literally the last invoice I will ever send to Fairfax/Nine. They kicked my arse to the kerb in the first week of lockdown.

And yet I'm still doing better than a lot of people, and a hell of a lot better than most peeps in media and publishing. If you're doing it tough wherever you are, my thoughts are with you.

Perhaps some apocalyptic fiction might help?

Sparty Williams, who has a couple of cameo appearances in the next Zero Day book, sent me an encouraging link to a piece in The Grauniad reporting on the benefits of reading end of the world fiction here at the end of the world.

For those of you who whiled away hours on the sofa watching society crumble in the face of marauding zombies, deadly aliens and infectious diseases – it’s time to reap the rewards.

Psychologists have found evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies – where global order is upturned – may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest of us.

The bleak scenarios thrown up by films such as Contagion, from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and fake claims of miracle cures, appeared to help viewers take the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis.

Admittedly, I've been writing a lot of apocalyptic splodey-fic during lockdown, but for my own reading I’ve been getting into high fantasy and space opera. To each their own.

My main takeaway from the Guardian piece wasn't that horror movie fans were better prepared, emotionally, for the pandemic than most people, and those who favoured "prepper” movies were the best prepared of all, but rather that the lead psychologist on the study, a guy called Coltan Scrivner from the University of Chicago, has built his career around studying "morbid curiosity."

So I guess I'm not the only one.

Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a prepper movie. Maybe there is a secret category at Netflix?

@JohnBirmingham now you are a public service! ","username":"MarkJISC","name":"Mark","date":"Wed Jul 01 19:48:19 +0000 2020","photos":[],"quoted_tweet":{},"retweet_count":0,"like_count":0,"expanded_url":{"url":"https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jul/01/end-of-the-world-as-we-k... feel fine: fans of world-ending films ‘coping better with pandemic’","description":"Researchers say apocalyptic movies prepare people for Covid-19 and make them more resilient","domain":"theguardian.com"}}">Mark @MarkJISC@JohnBirmingham now you are a public service! I feel fine: fans of world-ending films ‘coping better with pandemic’Researchers say apocalyptic movies prepare people for Covid-19 and make them more resilienttheguardian.com

July 1st 2020