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zombies 2

Zombie Survivial....and retaining your humanity

Posted on 2012.03.12 at 23:22
Current Location: Home
Current Play: Duke Special
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Couple of quick rules about playing in a world filled with zombies.

1.  Keep your clothes tight and as little to grab hold of you as possible (no pony tails or things that can get you hung up on it.

2.  You can outrun zombies, but you can't out marathon them.  As soon as you get out of sight, change direction.  Absolutely do not lead them to a place you consider a final destination (unless that is your intention). 

3.  You don't have to reload a blunt instrument.  It also doesn't attract attention from a distance.

4.  If you find a place to head out, place sentries to watch 360 degrees immediately. Have an escape plan in place immediately.

5.  Start to reinforce your perimeter immediately. 

6.  Keep an eye on your kids.

7.  No one should travel alone.  Check 360 around you every 10 seconds.

8.  If you meet other survivors and they talk about raping women or joking about taking away from other people, shoot them in the head when they don't expect.

9.  Everyone has value.  Just figure out what it is and put them to it.

The Walking Dead series is sufficiently different from the comic series, but I am OK with the differences.  The thing that gets me is the comments of some of the viewers.  It is a fun thing for people to imagine how they would be in a zombie apocalypse setting.  Not only are the challenges presented given to quick thinking, history has long tempted people with the great "equalizer" of a situation.  There are no more rich or poor people.  There is no more race.  There is only light meat and dark meat.

Some of my conservative friends think that there is too much "liberal" influence in the writing of the television show.  Some of my liberal friends sound like absolute fascists as they talk about what they would do in certain situations.  Both scare me.  Zombies are an obstacle, they have rules, capabilities, weaknesses.  They are a dangerous threat....and yet, they are just an obstacle.  Much like the series Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead is not about the threat of extermination, it is about how people conduct themselves under the threat of extermination. 

Two things still haunt me.  The first is the capture of a young teenager near the farm our survivors have been staying.  The teen named Randy was with some bad people.  The bad people had no compunction about killing other survivors in order to take what they needed, they even admitted to raping some girls.  Randy, a teenager who's parents were dead (as well as everyone else he knew), joined with them simply to survive.  Being captured by our survivors the question became of if to kill him or not.  IS he a threat?  Can you have a trial?  Do you just don't want to take any chances?  What do you do?  So many people just said "kill him".  I kept coming back to what Dale, an elderly character said in the show "A person's life is worth more than a five minute conversation".  It shook me because people didn't see to have any concern for how doing such a thing would do to them.

I've been thinking a lot about mores and values recently, the ones held by different religions, secular people, different groups.  Where do they come from?  How are they imparted?  How are they kept?  How are they valued?  How do you hang onto being human in these circumstances?  What is it to be human to be civilized?  These sort of things are not new.  They have happened many times in our history.  Some societies have fared better than others.  The fall of Rome comes to mind where collectives of like minded people banded together to defend one another.  Some came under the protection of strongest and in return the strongest took from them...many times in excess.

The other thing that haunts me is Shane.  I can understand why Shane would look attractive to people in a survival situation.  He looks like he is the one who is willing to do what needs to be done.  Unfortunately most of that includes sacrificing anyone around him in order to do what needs to be done.  Don't get me wrong, sacrificing five people in order to save fifty is not the decisions I am talking about.  Those times will come and people will make the right choices at that time.  I am talking about the choices like Shane wanting to get rid of Rick because he is in charge.  Even the choice to sacrifice Otis was one made with Otis helping him every step of the way until the betrayal.  Betrayal and murder are one trick ponies.  You do them once and then you can never really do them again (unless no one sees you do it).  Just like in today's society, cheating only works if everyone else is playing by the rules.  If everyone else is cheating too, then cheating cannot help you.  Shane was only concerned with himself. 

People change in dire situations, especially prolonged ones.  Big strong people have been known to crumble, small frail people have been known to rise to the occasion.  It affects everyone differently.  The important thing is that you must cling to your humanity, that you must rise above your baser instincts, not just for others, but that others may do the same for you when the time comes that you are down.  Maybe this feeds into the rise of mythology and religions.  The earliest sprang forth in desperately violent times.  They were not just there to be explain the whys and whats of the beyond, but to give a structure for people to retain their humanity.  This IS the crux of the show.  The Walking Dead does not just refer to the zombies that are after the survivors, but the survivors themselves.  Will they rise above their circumstances and retain their humanity is anyone's guess... but I have hopes for them.


a_lonewolf at 2012-03-13 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
Great entry, Bob. Very well-reasoned discussion of the show. I'm on my iPhone or I would type more. Steve and I talk about the episodes after we watch and we've had some pretty lively debates about different things that have happened. It definitely gives one a lot to think about. Too bad we're not local to each other because it would be fun to watch together.
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