Parallels: Blogging and the Zombie Apocalypse

Actress Kim Dickens plays Maddie on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. She's just one of the characters who's too calm by far for my liking.
Actress Kim Dickens plays Maddie on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. She’s just one of the characters who’s too calm for my liking.

I know, I said I would be on hiatus, but I also said it would be an informal hiatus, which gives me this window of opportunity to come back and say a few things that need to be said.

I have indeed been busy while I was away, and the truth is, I need a break from setting up my new blog, which will be the permanent new home of the Year in the Death of One Man project. I encountered some problems and eventually had to contact a WordPress “Happiness Engineer,” who failed to make me happy.

I had even anted up the money to make my new site a “Premium” site, which supposedly meant that I would be able to do nifty tricks like make the cemetery posts appear in chronological order, which I’m sure you’ll all agree makes a lot more sense, given the nature of the project, and assuming you read any of it in the first place.

Well, I fiddled with the new blog all weekend before finally contacting the Happiness Engineer, which practically took an act of Congress to figure out how to do. But in the end, he only offered the same solutions I’d already tried myself, before finally suggesting a completely different approach, which had already occurred to me, but that I’d dismissed because it just won’t be as groovy as it could have been. And guess what, that new approach doesn’t even require the Premium upgrade, so I canceled my order. Yes, I’m taking the cheap, low-tech, ungroovy option, which in addition to my blog(s), also describes me to a T.

Stay tuned. I’ll notify you when the ungroovy new site is up and running. I know you can’t wait.

Oh, hold on a second, I’m not quite through ranting!

I’m still shaking my head about the whole experience. We can send men to walk on the moon, and we can send a spacecraft about a bazillion miles away to snap pictures of effing Pluto, but WordPress can’t give me a simple, no nonsense button to make my posts appear in chronological order? Sheesh!

Okay, stop! I’ve finally had enough! That’s why I decided to leave behind the madness of CSS coding and style sheets, and return to sanity in the Land of the Gnomes, where everything is copacetic.

And what do I want to write about now that I’m here? Zombies, of course!

I know, I know, I’ve already regaled you with my thoughts about AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, but need to do it again. You see, I have problems with the show and need to get this off my chest.

Although I like the original Walking Dead show much better, the spinoff is the show that keeps me thinking, and I can’t say I like all my thoughts. A lot of you are probably saying that a show about shambling corpses just capitalizes on gore, and is unrealistic anyway. I’m not here to argue about the gore, but I am asking that you suspend your disbelief for a moment. You did it for Star Trek, now I’m asking you to do it for zombies.


The problem I have with Fear the Walking Dead is not the unlikelihood of a real-life Zombie Apocalypse, but the unlikely reactions to a Zombie Apocalypse by the show’s main characters.

Let’s take Maddie, for instance, played by Kim Dickens, who is a very fine actress, and a veteran of HBO’s Treme, which I enjoyed very much. Now let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are Maddie, and that you’ve just broken into the high school where you work as a counselor because you need to steal some drugs for your son, who’s a junkie. Okay, so you’re creeping through this empty school, and you’re startled to see one of your students there, who’s hawking food and other supplies. Why? Because Pugsley, at least, is smart enough to see what’s going down.

Okay, remember, you’re still playing the role of Maddie. Suddenly you hear noises, and horror of horrors, you spot the school principal shambling down the hallway, and OMG, now he’s trying to chew Pugsley’s face off! Stop that, Mr. Costa, not cool! Well, I don’t know what you would do, but Maddie finds a fire extinguisher and stoves in Mr. Costa’s head, but not before taking a few practice swings.

Are you with me so far?

Okay, let’s say it was you — not Maddie — who had just wielded the fire extinguisher, with devastating effect. What would be your next move? Remember, unshirted hell is breaking loose all around you. What. Would. You. Do?

Well, if you’re Maddie, you’d run home and spark up an exciting game of Monopoly with your daughter and junkie son, while waiting for your husband to come home from a meeting with his attractive ex-wife. Oh, but wait, hubby calls and says he’s been delayed because he’s caught in the middle of a riot and has taken refuge inside a barricaded barbershop … with his ex!

Everybody stay calm, and hey, I just passed Go, where’s my $200?

And that sums up my whole objection to Fear the Walking Dead. It’s the reactions of the main characters that are waaaay more unrealistic than anything to do with undead corpses. Who kills their boss, then goes home and worries about the hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place?

The guy on the ground had been shot in the chest a couple times before going on a rampage and nearly killing our heroes. They finally being 86'd the guy by running over him with their pickup truck. While they do look somewhat aghast, they don't look quite as freaked out as one might expect.
The guy on the ground had been shot in the chest a couple times before going on a rampage and nearly killing our heroes. They finally being 86’d the zombie by running over him with their pickup truck. While they do look somewhat aghast, they don’t look quite nearly as freaked out as I would be.

You say you don’t believe in Zombie Apocalypses and don’t really care? Okay, make it about any kind of emergency. Let’s say you have to deal with an extended power outage, like I had to do not so long ago after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast.

Certainly you try to stay calm, but at some point it’s only natural to stand up and say, “Oh WTF is this? I thought I was living in New Jersey, not effing Beirut!”

And I’m sorry, but Maddie and the other characters on Fear the Walking Dead are dealing with much worse than my power outage from a few years ago. At least I didn’t face the prospect of, you know, my neighbors trying to eat me! Yet Maddie and the others are still calmly going about their business. Too damned calm for my taste!

I just want to slap these people and tell them to run for their lives, because I’ve watched the other show and I know what’s coming! It all makes me wonder, at what point do we cast aside our civilized sensibilities and run screaming for the hills? How much is too much? How much are you willing to take before you go tribal?

I ask myself what I’d do if I had the National Guard shooting people in the streets. What would I do if I could see uncontrolled fires burning on the horizon? How would I handle it if my neighbor showed up on my doorstep, not with a plate of her signature stuffed mushrooms, but because she wanted to tear my arm off with her teeth? Could I even find my fire extinguisher in time?

Would I run for the hills, or would I simply try to e-mail my friendly WordPress Happiness Engineer for advice?

It all begs the question, when the pressure’s on, what will you do?


Add yours →

  1. I will never EVER be watching either of these shows because I am a complete lightweight but I have spent time whimpering over Dr Who and begging the (disposable) female sidekick NOT TO WALK BACKWARDS ROUND CORNERS. For Chrissake… But do they listen?
    “Happiness Engineer”? Clearly, a misnomer (misgnomer?).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. glennr, i think you should restrict your tv watching to sports. at least it’s real. and you can still rant.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My neighbor did show up gnashing his teeth, and all I can say is that it did not go well for him, and the rest of the summer was very peaceful for us. Here’s a link to my post on that, in case you missed it:

    As for WordPress, don’t get me started. When I started my mirror blog, I asked the happiness people how I could switch back and forth so that my comments on other people’s blogs showed as coming from the right one of my two blogs. We went back and forth with various options. Nothing worked, and I finally just gave up and decided that all comments would have to come from me, not from my alter-ego.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s been my experience several times, that I know more than the techs (happiness engineers, indeed!). Which is completely surprising as they have supposedly taken major techiness courses and I have had a 4 hour Windows seminar 20 years ago and then learned everything by myself. Logic, cheap and low-tech are often best.

    Actually, I could think of a number of people who could off the boss and/or people who write the help pages and continue merrily along and stop for ice cream on the way home.

    The real horror story here is not zombies or techies, it’s cordeliasmom2012’s neighbours!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now that I think of it, the fire extinguisher has been the weapon of choice on a few shows I’ve seen lately!


  6. I’m with Ms. Carver on zombie shows. That whole gory genre, along with the teen-angst vampires and werewolves, offers nothing of interest to me. As for your computer travails, I must echo magickmermaid: “Logic, cheap and low-tech are often best.” Wise words. I often wish I could’ve figured out a way to keep our old Commodore C-128 online. The thought of “upgrading” from Windows 7 to Windows 10 gives me the gibbering willies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If you called up the Happiness Engineers often enough, perhaps you could build the sort of tolerance for stuff that should upset you that you, too, could appear so calm in the face of the zombie apocalypse.

    Of course, it could just be that the actors and actresses suck at acting and they can’t muster the requisite fear to make it seem realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

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