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View Diary: Are Republicans Admitting They've Created a "Dystopia" in the U.S.? (98 comments)

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  •  Next..The War on Zombies??? (7+ / 0-)

    I never understood the prevalence of the current ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE meme in books, games, etc.. All I can think of is that it is a defense mechanism to invent a threat at once horrible yet not so horrible as the prospect of country run by Republicans.

    Of course, when Zombies come to eat BRAINS...there is little doubt as to which side of the aisle they will find them in...so it is cold comfort indeed.

    •  Oh, you don't understand.... (14+ / 0-)

      If the Republicans ultimately get their way, the end result will be indistinguishable from the Zombie Apocalypse.

      Thank about it.  Nobody who isn't rich will have access to healthcare.  Tax cuts will end Social Security, Medicare, and all other social services.  This will put the economy into a death spiral, and it won't take long before local communities can't afford to repave their roads, can't afford to maintain their utilities, can't afford to pay their police and firefighters.  It will become an every-person-for-himself scenario.  We will all be watching out for banndits and poachers all night, armed to the teeth.  Nobody will be safe.  And there you have the Republican paradise.  It just also happens to be just like life in a Zombie Apolcalypse, admittedly without the brain-eating monsters.

      -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

      by gizmo59 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 01:13:49 PM PDT

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      •  But we'll be constantly having to shoot "zombies" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gizmo59, sethtriggs, kyril

        ...between pauses in sentences ('scuse me...BLAM!) as if it was the most normal thing....(there's another one...BLAMMO!)...Libertarian Paradise indeed!

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 04:51:49 PM PDT

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    •  I have attributed it much as you have (5+ / 0-)

      people find the problems of the modern world overwhelming and not subject to short-term or easy fixes.  It is easier and more fun to think about what you would do if there were a zombie apocolypse.  Sad but true when brain eating dead people are easier and more fun to deal with than reality.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:51:52 PM PDT

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    •  It's a complicated, multilayered thing (15+ / 0-)

      Superficially and most obviously, it's just yet another manifestation of humans' fascination with apocalyptic escapism. All apocalyptic escapism comes fundamentally from a sense that the world is too fucked up and complicated to fix and we'd all be better off if we just threw out our whole civilization and started over. Up until the 20th century, most apocalypse myths were religious.

      For a short time in the early-mid 20th century, science fiction provided an alternative outlet for that idea through stories of space exploration and colonization - scenarios where people could imagine 'starting over' without the bloodshed. At the same time, science produced a legitimate non-religious scenario for apocalyptic escapism: a nuclear war. So there were two secular outlets created in an area previously dominated by religion.

      With the memory of the Cold War fading, and with it becoming increasingly clear how unrealistic our space-colonization dreams are, there's a void in the popular imagination that needs filling. Some of the old religious myths are coming back into style. But the 20th century uncovered a demand for a secular apocalyptic myth; that demand has been filled by (loosely-defined, generally virus-based) zombies.

      On another level, like most speculative fiction, it's a manifestation of particular obsessions of the collective unconscious. In the '80s and '90s, we moved away from 'classic' science fiction, which was generally very optimistic and pro-technology, and into a darker set of genres: alien invasions (echoes of Wells and Lovecraft), cyberpunk dystopias, and zombies.

      The first is primarily a film phenomenon that can be chalked up to marketability. But the latter two have some particular commonalities: most notably a growing distrust of technology, especially biotechnology, and most especially corporate biotechnology. Where the existential threats to civilization in mid-century speculative fiction were largely political ideas/entities (fascism, communism, theocracy) it's now much more fashionable to feature corporate villains (most often biotech and pharmaceutical companies).

      You see the same thread even in authors who identify themselves as libertarian (as many science fiction writers do); their imagination isn't tapping into their own conscious beliefs, but rather a collective unconscious unease with the rise of corporate power, concentrated wealth, and biotechnology.

      On a third level, the zombie fantasy in particular is a sublimation of anger - a generation's anger at a lack of hope, a lack of economic opportunity. In Zombie Apocalypse World, you can kill people. Blamelessly. There aren't any complicated moral questions; it's pretty much always self-defense. You do everything in your power to stay alive. Even in the Zombocalypse worlds where there's a possibility of a cure, you still have to live long enough to develop that cure or to protect the people developing it. So you get to engage in (fantasy) violence, not only without legal repercussions, but without any serious moral questions.

      This is a generation that's accepted everyone on the planet as human, a generation that's very resistant to dehumanizing people. We're not comfortable with killing 'Commies.' In games where we kill 'terrorists', we also demand to be able to play as the 'terrorists'. We've borrowed our grandparents' Nazis, but that only goes so far; you can't tell 'new' stories that way. We're not even cool with slaughtering aliens, because we've started empathizing with pretty much anything advanced enough to talk...and some things that don't. So in our violent fantasies, we need our opponents to be literally dehumanized.

      If you turn the bad guys into zombies, you can kill as many as you want, because they are by definition, by construction, not people. There's something very attractive about that. I happen to think it's a lazy way out of telling a real story with real moral implications, but it works well for sublimating rage.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 03:59:16 PM PDT

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      •  Hey there's ANOTHER ONE!!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Larsstephens
                               BLAMMO!

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 04:55:00 PM PDT

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      •  I read something once (4+ / 0-)

        that said vampires are the poor man's fear. Zombies are the rich man's.

        One seemingly all-powerful immensely powerful inhuman thing that is not bounded by natural laws or able to be touched by the laws of man, who feeds on the life of the people.

        One randomly created thing that turns formerly law-abiding obedient slaves into slavering monsters that won't listen to reason, can't be bought, and if not killed will eat you alive.

        The first sounds like a corporation. The second sounds like what the 1% thinks OWS is.....

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:27:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, vampires are to the 1% as zombies are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alexandra Lynch

          to the masses, so that makes sense in a way.

          I mean, you could hardly have a society entirely of vampires were there no others with any blood to supply. At the same token, just a few zombies could hardly pose a threat to a normal society like the USA what with the gated communities, security technology, and guns and ammo in such abundance.

          vampires are the poor man's fear. Zombies are the rich man's.

          H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

          by Knarfc on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:27:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think the mistake in that analysis (0+ / 0-)

          is the assumption that zombie/vampire fiction is an expression of fear. I'd argue that in fact the modern interpretations of the zombie/vampire genres are not horror, but fantasy.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:00:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So when vampires bite you and drink your blood (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          do you become another vampire investor to perpetuate their species and drink the blood of the living, or do you become a zombie bank to eat the brains of the living and turn them into more zombies? Or is it vampires?

          I'm so confused by pop culture these days.

        •  here's an article (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.mrscienceshow.com/...

          They found a definite trend, going back to the '50s, of a higher percentage of zombie movies being produced during Republican administrations.

      •  This is the most awesome analysis I have ever seen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        I wish I could rec 10x.

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