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'Walking Dead' summons American spirit of independence, courage

Posted by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM
  • 22 Replies
1 mom liked this


The new guys running the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead understand that the show is about zombies, not feelings. This is good. And the astronomical ratings for the Oct. 13 premiere showed something good about Americans as well.

There are no real spoilers ahead unless the thought that a show about zombies might involve zombies is one--though in the case of TWD, that actually could count as a surprise.

Season two eliminated the nightmare known as Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), the liberal whiner whose bright ideas included dumping a whole cache of weapons because … well, he was liberal. He didn’t really need a reason to be annoying.

Season three lifted the curse of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), the most annoying cable wife outside of Breaking Bad’s Skylar and Boardwalk Empire’s Margaret. Rather than torment us with car wash or women’s clinic story lines, the producers just offed her--thank goodness.

And as for Andrea (Laurie Holden), well, good riddance.

So, the new season begins without a lot of chatty baggage and with a whole bunch of new residents of the prison to act as red-shirted ensigns down the road. This is all good. Sadly, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) still seems to be the center of the show, and his judgment appears to be as farsighted and wise as ever.

“Crazy chick wants me to go alone back to her camp?  Why, how could this go wrong?”

There was some nice zombie action in a glorified Wal-Mart, where mindless creatures who devour everything set in front of them feel right at home. There was some eerie foreshadowing as the number of zombies outside that rickety fence line kept growing. And there was a nasty little cliffhanger set up at the end that once again raises the question of why--why--these people never seem to learn to set up security around their camps no matter how often zombie come traipsing though. Sheesh.

The first new episode is much better than the tiresome third season, but the millions who tuned into the premiere didn’t know that. The astonishing popularity of TWD among Americans superficially seems to be something of a mystery until one realizes what the show really is--and therefore recognizes the chord it strikes in Americans.

The Walking Dead is a western, a show about life on the frontier, about the trappings of civilization being stripped away. This is uniquely American--the frontier is in our cultural DNA. In the world of TWD, it’s just a man and his gun against the savage hordes. Just substitute cowboys and townspeople for the characters and Indians for the zombies (Hollywood used to depict Native Americans as mindless savages as instead of the skilled warriors they were and remain in our armed forces today).

You have all the pieces of a classic western--heck, Rick is a Sheriff, and he insists on carrying a six-gun for heaven’s sake.

Americans, prosperous, comfortable and (except for the .5 percent off at war) living in peace, wonder if at some level if they still have what it takes to do what the pioneers did. Americans’ fierce defense of their right to keep and bear arms comes from the same place. Unlike Europeans, liberals and other submissives, they believe it is their personal duty to act to protect their community and country in time of crisis--with an AR-15 if need be.

This is why if, heaven forbid, some bunch of jihadi degenerates ever decide to pull a Nairobi mall or Mumbai assault in America, it won’t be in Arizona or Texas.

Americans ask themselves whether, if all hell broke loose--if society fell--could they cut it? TWD is more than just a show about monsters chomping overly chatty humans. It’s a show that lets Americans think about how they would personally measure up in a crisis.

Of course, those of us who served with Americans in war know the answer--the answer, proven again and again, is “Yes.”

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 12:33 AM
2 moms liked this

Everyone believes in the Second Amendment in the Zombie Apocalypse.



cammibear
by Bronze Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 12:39 AM
I may be the only person that doesn't watch this show. I guess I am missing out.
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 1:22 AM

It's a very, very well done show.

And I'm not a zombie show person at all.

It's far more about survival and staying human - than just the Walkers. If it were just an action show, I would not like it. I am into the drama. 

Usually before the season and mid-season, they show all the episodes from the beginning. If you have AMC, you might want to record them. Then you'll have the whole saga. 

Quoting cammibear:

I may be the only person that doesn't watch this show. I guess I am missing out.


gludwig2000
by Gina on Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:19 AM
1 mom liked this
I like those memes Sally.
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:40 AM

Here's more just for you.  :)

Guess who's my favorite character?


Quoting gludwig2000:

I like those memes Sally.


cammibear
by Bronze Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM
We don't have cable, but we have Neflix and Amazon Prime. Oh, and Hulu. Surely we can catch up on one of those. Hopefully.

I didn't think I would like it, but I guess I'm going to check it out. :)


Quoting SallyMJ:

It's a very, very well done show.

And I'm not a zombie show person at all.

It's far more about survival and staying human - than just the Walkers. If it were just an action show, I would not like it. I am into the drama. 

Usually before the season and mid-season, they show all the episodes from the beginning. If you have AMC, you might want to record them. Then you'll have the whole saga. 

Quoting cammibear:

I may be the only person that doesn't watch this show. I guess I am missing out.



idunno1234
by Bronze Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 8:04 AM

I've seen some of the show and can see why its so popular..

To me, you can't have a good show without good writing as well as good character development. TWD has these elements which is why I think its so popular- the characters represent someone we all know, people we can identify with.  There are parallels that can be drawn to our real lives.

They guy who wrote this article though is so totally off the mark, seemingly obsessed with the destructive legend of macho culture, individualism...even more, dog eat dog.  Or in this case, man does not only kill zombies but they want to kill each other.   Shows like this highlight humans' fatal flaws and hold us captive with the possibility that we will do things differently this time, work together to fight a common enemy rather than helping the enemy by fighting each other.  

For sure owning a gun in the world of the walking dead is a good thing.  Being tough and strong are a necessity as well.  But when the humans are fighting each other amidst zombieland, it highlights a problem of humanity, not the wonders of individualism.  If all the humans in this show banded together rather than being forced to worry about each other and what the next guy or gal was going to do, their odds would increase significantly.

Cooperation does not imply submissiveness as this pugnacious Kurt dude seems to think.  Its the only way we can survive as a species, not just against zombies but against each other.

And wow, I think I took this whole post way too seriously....analyzing TWD, lol.

 

 

ReadWriteLuv
by Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this

I hate it when people get hung up on the zombies, and don't watch for that reason. It's about much more than the zombies. Until the season, the zombies have really been more like pesky flies in the background rather than a force to be reckoned with. It's very much about the human spirit, and about what exactly would happen to us, and society as a whole, should the world go to shit. How do you deal with that as an individual? Is it possible to retain your humanity, or societal values, in a world where literally every day you are fighting for your survival. How far exactly are you willing to go to ensure not only your survival, but the survival of your family? How much of the old ways will be implemented in a world where there is no more law and order. It's fascinating, really. 

I've thought about a zombie apocolypse since, and made my first contingency plan in 1986 at the age of 9. I've been reading The Walking Dead graphic novels since 2007. I'm a HUGE fan. 


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ReadWriteLuv
by Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 8:32 AM

I don't think that is is within our basic human nature to cooperate. We're talking about humanity devolving back to Caveman-era mentality. Humans are much more capable of greed and envy than compassion. The fact is that there are very few resources to go around. Say you have a camp of 20 people. You have just enough resources to feed and care for those 20 people. 5 new people show up and want to join your camp. Do you let them in, and strain the resources of the people surrounding you that you know and trust, or do you turn them away? If you turn them away, after they've seen what you have, they are going to be pretty pissed. 

What would I do? I'd shoot them. A.) They are on the outside of my camp and probably not going to live long anyway. A bullet to the head is better than being eaten alive in my book. B.) I can't let them live if they know where my camp is, and how much I have. The only way to stay alive is to stay secluded. 

That is the thing I argue with people about a lot. It's the overlying theme of the storyline. There is no hope for these people in The Walking Dead-Verse. Everyone is infected, death is the catalyst. At some point every single living human on earth will die and become a zombie. There is no stopping it, there will never be a cure. You can live, but you are living on borrowed time. You can reproduce, but your baby, without simple things to combat childhood illness, has the odds stacked against it and will turn into a little baby zombie from something as simple as a case of RSV. Not to mention the fact that a baby is a HUGE liability in a zombie ridden world. There is no way to keep them quiet. Have you ever been out in the woods, way far away from civilization, and just listened to how absolutely quiet it is? The sound of a baby crying on a calm day would draw in every zombie for miles and miles. It would be like ringing a dinner bell.

Nothing good happens to these people. Nothing. In fact, their situation will just continue to get worse. And worse. And worse. The theme for this season is that you don't get to come back from the things you've done. Once you've made one selfish decision, it's easier to make another. Once you killed one person, it's easier to kill another. That is how society would, and will eventually, devolve. 

And you thought YOU put too much thought into this, LMAO.

Quoting idunno1234:

I've seen some of the show and can see why its so popular..

To me, you can't have a good show without good writing as well as good character development. TWD has these elements which is why I think its so popular- the characters represent someone we all know, people we can identify with.  There are parallels that can be drawn to our real lives.

They guy who wrote this article though is so totally off the mark, seemingly obsessed with the destructive legend of macho culture, individualism...even more, dog eat dog.  Or in this case, man does not only kill zombies but they want to kill each other.   Shows like this highlight humans' fatal flaws and hold us captive with the possibility that we will do things differently this time, work together to fight a common enemy rather than helping the enemy by fighting each other.  

For sure owning a gun in the world of the walking dead is a good thing.  Being tough and strong are a necessity as well.  But when the humans are fighting each other amidst zombieland, it highlights a problem of humanity, not the wonders of individualism.  If all the humans in this show banded together rather than being forced to worry about each other and what the next guy or gal was going to do, their odds would increase significantly.

Cooperation does not imply submissiveness as this pugnacious Kurt dude seems to think.  Its the only way we can survive as a species, not just against zombies but against each other.

And wow, I think I took this whole post way too seriously....analyzing TWD, lol.





Wanna join? Click the pic!

notjstanothrmom
by Member on Oct. 18, 2013 at 9:02 AM

I refused to watch "some dumb zombie show." But mid-season two decided to try it for my partner. He wanted to watch it and I gave in... it's one of my favorite shows. I don't like the article in this post. I don't agree with it. It's not at all a comparison to the wild west and a bunch of Englishmen killing innocent natives. It's got lots of relationships and the dynamic is interesting. Who gets let in and who left behind? Where do you go next? How do you survive? What do you do when your safe place isn't so safe anymore?

Quoting cammibear:

We don't have cable, but we have Neflix and Amazon Prime. Oh, and Hulu. Surely we can catch up on one of those. Hopefully.

I didn't think I would like it, but I guess I'm going to check it out. :)


Quoting SallyMJ:

It's a very, very well done show.

And I'm not a zombie show person at all.

It's far more about survival and staying human - than just the Walkers. If it were just an action show, I would not like it. I am into the drama. 

Usually before the season and mid-season, they show all the episodes from the beginning. If you have AMC, you might want to record them. Then you'll have the whole saga. 

Quoting cammibear:

I may be the only person that doesn't watch this show. I guess I am missing out.




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You must be a member to reply to this post.
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