The internet has also expanded what Average Joe is exposed to--like a small-scale version of mind-broadening you get from world-travel. Even if it's simply exposure to different cultures, if it hasn't made people more accepting, it's at least made them aware of/more used to exposure to cultural differences.
Morality is always evolving, I know that, but I think this mind-broadening influence is speeding up the process.
That's what I like about the apocalyptic theme, at least--the complete upending of society and pole-shift in ethics after disaster. Zombie movies, for instance: Sure, there are mobile, possibly supernatural, diseased dead-cannibals roaming about eating people, but that's not the best part of movies like Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, The Walking Dead(tv).
I think the theory holds true for other types of apocalyptic entertainment: The Terminator, The Book of Eli, The Stand, The Matrix Trilogy... It's like six in the a.m. and my brain is still a bit sleep-fuzzy, so I'm not coming up with lots of examples.
Anyway, thoughts? Disagree? Think I must have had a weird dream to prompt this? :D