Monday, September 22, 2014
Send in the Zombies
Too late, they're already here.
A few days ago one of my buddies, a guy named Marty, asked me if I was eager to see the new season of “The Walking Dead” zombie apocalypse series. For the first couple of seasons of The Walking Dead both Marty and I would examine every episode in detail as the characters struggled to survive both the zombies and the surviving humans who were often far more dangerous. After the conclusion of the third season though, I realized that I had lost nearly all interest in the show. Marty and I did continue to talk during and after the third season but, quite frankly, I was just trying to be sociable.
Part of the problem was the show itself, while the whole point was to explore how the characters would react and adapt to the end of the world, to me the episodes seemed to just be rewrites of the same nightmarish situation. Generally speaking, every episode would have the main characters fleeing a zombie horde while dealing with treachery from within their group or an external threat from another. Yeah, there lots of room to maneuver in such a fictional environment but, speaking strictly for myself, I need something that suggests the characters will do more than just narrowly survive each episode. If I invest time and emotion in fictional characters I need to see some chance that they will eventually reach an endgame in their struggles, whether that be tragic or happy.
The other reason I stopped watching “The Walking Dead” had to do with the general situation of the world. While I can deal with the idea that zombies symbolize mindless American consumers who will literally trample each other in an insane rush to save a few bucks on mass produced crap I have difficult time when the level of anarchy in the real world begins to rival that of the show.
Honestly, I don't know which is more terrifying and dangerous. Hordes of undead zombies looking to eat the flesh of the living or religious fanatics who believe their path to eternal paradise requires the death of anyone who believes something different. Officially, I'm agnostic and find religious matters incredibly tiresome since most of the people running around claiming a direct link to the Almighty have a horrible track record when it comes showing compassion and love to their fellow humans. In other words, if all faiths preach peace and understanding why aren't religious extremists the most peaceful? Yes, I am generally talking about the insanity of the ISIS movement. But I would be hypocritical if I did not mention American Christians screaming at buses loaded with children from Central American fleeing poverty and murderous gangs. The propaganda coming from American religious conservatives about how these children are invaders intent on talking over the United States defies even the most basic tenets of commonsense and reason.
Another aspect of modern life that seems like a bit of The Walking Dead spilling over into real life is seeing adults walking around American cities and towns with assault rifles. It would actually be a little funny if those people weren't deadly serious in their belief that they only feel safe in the United States carrying a weapons specifically designed for a high rate of fire and to more shred human tissue than kill.
The final thing that killed all my interest in zombies and most other end of the world scenarios is the Ebola plague ravaging west Africa even now. The last thing I want to do is seem like Chicken Little running around screaming about the sky falling but that is one nasty virus. I've read some decent news reports that scientists have determined the Ebola virus is evolving almost in real time. These reports suggest that this rapid evolution could mean the virus becomes less lethal, which would be a good thing, or easier to pass around like catching the common cold from someone's sneezing in a crowded room.
So I will happily be skipping The Walking Dead this season. Through religious inspired stupidity and civilians harboring a deluded dependence on military weapons fearful of an evil boogeyman lurking in the shadows, many seem to be wishing for some apocalypse. I have better things to do, plus we real-life humans don't seem to be much better than television zombies hungering for the flesh of the living.