Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not Feeling the Zombie Apocalypse

Ramblings Post #217
Chase your dreams. Or at least try to look at them from time to time. Dreams are your brain running checks in the system, exposing you to things you were even afraid to think while awake. But don't over do it, sometimes you brain just spits out stuff. Let it go.

Walking Dead Shot - So wrong. The highway on the left leads to Freedom Park, the bridge in the distance is 85/75 and leads out of town. The traffic should be on other side of the road trying to get out, not heading to brunch.

Last night I had dreams about zombies. Not once, but three or four times. It was like a triple feature where I went from scenario to scenario, at one point hiding out in a tower - with trash bags in the corridor and brewing beer in hanging bottles(?) - to being back at my parents house praising the loss of power because it meant we could spend more time doing things that were actually important. Oddly, I saw no zombies, but the people in my dreams talked about them a lot. It was one of those things you want to try to interpret, but don't know where to start. Or just not.

I don't particularly like zombies. First, I'm not a big fan of horror. When I was younger I found horror films funny (I cheered for the monster) but the latest breed of horror creations I find too gory. It's how creative can I get without any heart. Sporty and I used to go see them, but only because she wanted to. Watching movies waiting to be scared isn't something I enjoy.

The other reason I don't like zombies is that I think that it's intellectually lazy to use them. As a writer, I think one of the keys of good storytelling is that both the protagonist and the antagonist have viable and believable stories. The villain has to want something - revenge, money, power, etc. to give the hero something to do. And the hero has to have a reason to stop them. Bad villain? Lackluster motivation? Hero involved for no reason? The whole story suffers. The use of zombies sadly eliminates the need for that whole construct. Zombies just want to feed. No ego, no motivation, no plan that has to be worked out or scenario to create to make them believable. Just say they exist and boom, you're done. Even better, all the hero needs to do is kill them, with no real other plan. Sometimes the author gives the hero destination to reach "safety" but the use of zombies is as lazy as sticking vampires into the tale. 

So I don't watch the Walking Dead, nor am I particularly excited about the upcoming movie World War Z and I look past the cover of video games that offer hordes of zombies to blow away. Lazy. The last zombies I liked were on South Park, where it turned out you weren't supposed to kill them! Oops.

Barkeep. Do you have anything with universal themes, strong characters, inventive writing? Oh, you serve drinks, not books? Oh, well pity me then, and not a lot of ice.

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