The Apocalypse and Its (Many, Modern) Mediators: John's Revelation, Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around, Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, and the Videographers of YouTube

Johnny Cash's description of his 2002 song, The Man Comes Around (from his American IV album), as being "based, loosely" on the Apocalypse of John is in fact a considerable understatement. The song quotes verbatim from that and other biblical texts, echoes a number of its most important apocalyptic motifs, and effectively moulds John of Patmos" material into a functional, available, and culturally significant "mini-Apocalypse". The formal relationship between the song and its "parent" texts and Cash's own characterisation of his role in mediating between the two are first briefly examined. The paper then critically analyses the ongoing impact of the book of Revelation – as mediated through the song and its first significant soundtrack outing in Zack Snyder"s zombie film, Dawn of the Dead (2004) – upon a specific media set, the growing number of YouTube videos that are being created to illustrate Cash"s "mini-Apocalypse" (2006-present). Finally, certain aspects of the early impact of John of Patmos" own Apocalypse are re-considered in the light of the assumptions and processes that have been observed within this modern chain of traditions.