Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Toxic Holiday 

Wednesday, Jun 13 2012
We’re drawn to images and tales of disaster and apocalypse: vacant Detroit buildings fallen into disrepair, abandoned amusement parks, basic cable documentaries such as History’s Life After People. Call it a morbid fascination or disaster porn, but the notion of civilization fallen to disrepair has an inescapable allure. Of course, the concept is a lot more appealing to people who aren’t living through these disasters. In his new book Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places, journalist Andrew Blackwell dares to go up close and investigate the sites of environmental apocalypse that we’d prefer remain a continent away — the better to project our lurid fantasies of zombie armageddon, as the taste-impaired directors of recent horror flick Chernobyl Diaries chose to do. Blackwell’s disaster travelogue takes him to the irradiated Eden of Chernobyl, desolate Canadian oil strip mines, botulism-bearing bodies of sacred water in India, and the Chinese city of Linfen, which may be the most polluted place on Earth. Though such locations could easily invite hand-wringing earnestness or grim self-reflection, Blackwell retains a sharp satirical voice throughout, reaping pathos as well as gallows humor from revolting scenes of environmental catastrophe.
Thu., June 14, 6 p.m., 2012

About The Author

Paul M. Davis

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis
    January 14, 2015 was the first night of Trixxie Carr Presents: Maneater at Oasis in San Francisco. Photos by Calibree Photography.
  • No Pants BART Ride 2015 - NSFW
    The No Pants BART Ride commenced on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Participants rode without pants, and at the end of the ride they disembarked at The Mission to bar hop, eat burritos and take selfies. Photos by Richard Haick.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular