Monday, October 13, 2014

Update; Walking Dead Ramble

Good weekend.
Friday night I think we mostly just hung out.  Amy had promised me that we would watch something "Halloweenish", but I had promised that it wouldn't be too scary, so we settled on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 which featured a film called The Increbibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.  I like MST3K, but this movie was so bad that it was hard to watch even with jokes throughout the whole thing.  Anyway, I'm not sure we're gonna count that as our Halloween movie for this year.
On Saturday Amy got up and went to a prenatal yoga class with Mary, a friend from work.  I took Ryan and Jamie to the airport for their vacation trip to Washington, D.C.    I've seen a few Facebook posts from Ryan, and it sounds like they're having a good time.
Also, my parents came over to watch the Texas-OU game on Saturday.  It was a good game, but we didn't quite pull it off.  26-31 isn't bad, though.  Swoopes is looking better and better.
During the game, my dad and I put together some Ikea furniture (thanks for the help, Admiral!).  Now I have a couple of new dressers!

(we lost the OU game, but we won the battle of better
clothing storage!)
So we had a good time with my folks on Saturday.  Amy made her delicious queso, and we had veggie sticks and pizza.  Good to catch up with Mom and Dad, and, of course, we were grateful to get some help with the furniture building!
On Sunday we went out for breakfast at Juan in a Million.  We went shopping, did some chores, got some exercise, and sort of hung out.
Sunday night Amy made some really good chili and cornbread to go with it.  Delicious! 

(Amy's "Better Than Steanso Deserves" Chili!)

After dinner and dishes I watched the season premier of The Walking Dead.
Then we went to bed.
It was a good weekend!

In terms of the Walking Dead premier...
It was a good episode.  That show is really dark, but really compelling.  It's brutal, but I can't give up on it because I just want to see whether basic human decency can prevail in a zombified post-apocalyptic America.
Truthfully, the real draw of the show is just seeing whether people of morality and empathy can survive in any sort of post-apocalypse scenario.  The zombies on the show are imaginatively scary, but the main characters have long since learned how to deal with the zombies and have been forced to turn their attention to the real threat- other people.  Other people, as it turns out, can be pretty horrible to each other when resources get scarce and thier back is to the wall.  Actual civilization will never fall because of a zombie outbreak, but disease, war, famine, and economic collapse are pretty real. 
I think about these things because, Walking Dead is, after all, a violent, dark show that can be depressing to watch.  So I ask my self why I (and millions of other people) watch it.  If it was just a silly zombie show, I think it would have died out by now, but, instead, people seem more engaged with it than ever.  But, of course, fans of the show know that it's more than just a garden variety horror serial.
We live in an age of 24 hour cable news sensationalism, where even the terrorists are media savvy, producing grisly videos of beheadings in high definition for consumption by broadcasters and internet publishers.  Reporters keep telling us that Ebola is about to wipe us out, that global warming will be the end of us, and that death by nuclear/biological/chemical weapons could be right around the corner.
In the face of so many predictions about our imminent doom, I guess it's sort of logical for some of us to start wondering about, "What happens after the end?"  We all want to avoid the catastrophes, of course, but the media makes it feel like one of these things is going to get us sooner or later.  So, at the very least it makes an interesting thought experiment to ask: if civilization as we know it comes to a screeching halt and humanity begins to turn against itself, will any of our ideals and beliefs survive?
Zombies are, of course, a little silly.  Questions about human nature in the face of horrible catastrophe are not.
So we watch Walking Dead, knowing that our favorite, most beloved characters will probably be systematically killed off, but hoping against hope that some of the better aspects of human nature (i.e., altruism, sacrifice, loyalty, friendship, family, etc.) can somehow survive.  That's all we want.  Root for the survivors, and hope that they can preserve their own humanity in the process.

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