There be dragons!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Zombies and Heroes

A recent exchange with a former student on FaceBook. Excuse the misspellings and language - that's just FaceBook.

9:44pmARex

say, pardon the ignorance but who's the bloke in your profile pic?

9:46pmT. Discipulus

haha he's an actor adam brody I think. it's a stupid facebook thing find the celebrity that looks most like you and have that be your profile pic

they called it doppelganger month or week idk

9:47pmARex

oh yeah. mine was Debussy

i'm back to normal now

9:48pmT. Discipulus

ya i saw that he did look a lot like you if i say so myself

i liked my last profile pic i had, it was me in my vest looking like im thinking hard

9:49pmARex

"i'm thinking hard and it hurts my brain!"

9:50pmT. Discipulus

lol more like what video game should i play....???

9:52pmARex

or "how best to slice this zombie"

before he EATS YOUR FRICKIN HEAD!

9:52pmT. Discipulus

haha i did a speech last semester on the zombie apocalypse

it was persuasive getting people to be prepared

9:53pmARex

oh?

they need to be

and what is all this about zombies these days???

zombies zombies zombies

I think it's an indicator of the common zeitgeist

9:53pmT. Discipulus

idk but the media has been all over zombies of late

9:53pmARex

yeah. I know

my theory is that pop culture always reflects our common vision

right now that vision is about faceless mindless hordes coming after the individual us

fear of the mob

9:54pmT. Discipulus

fear of conformity?

9:54pmARex

something beyond our control

that too

but more

the fear that this whole mob rule thing is getting out of hand

not just a fear of conforming

but a real fear that other people are mindless and savage

there is great cause for such fear, i think

for instance, what if the infrastructure collapsed tomorrow

could you trust your neighbors to not steal your shit?

to not beat you up and take your girl?

9:56pmT. Discipulus

of course not

9:56pmARex

that's the sort of fear I think infects us

rather than optimism and a vision of the goodness of our neighbor

it's fear and paranoia

fed by hollywood

but also reflecting a real sense that things are out of control

we don't, after all, have a plethora of supermen after all

9:58pmT. Discipulus

but if we did would there be any sort of fear of such a thing?

of a thing that ought to be a natural fear?

idk what im saying

9:59pmARex

our fear of heros is misplaced

fed by such travesties as "Watchmen"

9:59pmT. Discipulus

fear of heros?

10:00pmARex

yes

they are too powerful and too good and too dangerous

they use their powers to dominate us

they are flawed and flimsy and dark characters

10:00pmT. Discipulus

and we'd be powerless against them

10:00pmARex

in the popular inmagination

and it seems a recreation for us to bring them down

that's what I mean

the disrespect

or the grossness

or the darkness surrounding heroes

is part of that

didn't use to exist

recent as the 1960s

BRB

10:01pmT. Discipulus

k

10:04pmARex

one final thing

i see in the recent popularity of family guy, simpsons, south park

all of which I find funny

a tearing down of the visions of greatness

a leveling of heroism with the common man

lampooning

which is funny and fine, but only if we have a simultaneous exalting of the heroic and noble

and a knowledge of the forms of greatness

we don't

and that is distressing to me

consequently we see other people as dangerous and vicious

zombies

10:06pmT. Discipulus

well but isn't heroism supposed to show that anyone could be heroic?

10:07pmARex

anyone can be heroic, but only if heroism is extolled rather than constantly lampooned

10:07pmT. Discipulus

but the level them out in a different way that is more humiliating?

10:07pmARex

what we have now is more a

"everyone can be a slob and that's okay"

10:07pmT. Discipulus

but they*

10:07pmARex

heroism consists of a knowledge of the heroic to which we aspire

mainly found in the stories of yore now lost to our general populace

boys used to be brought up with Stevenson, and Batman, and Dick Tracy, and ARabian nights

now it's all "Sally has two mommies" and that kind of bullshit

it's demeaning and emasculating

anyway, gotta go.

sorry for the brevity

can I post this quick exchange?

10:09pmT. Discipulus

no that's fine

ya go for it

on your blog?

10:09pmARex

probably best place for it

though i'm trying to stick to poetry

i never could keep my big yap shut

10:10pmT. Discipulus

i've been reading

dont worry its fine

I dont seem to talk enough

thanks for helping me out

10:11pmARex

no prob

God's love

10:11pmT. Discipulus

later

not gonna lie i almost said peace be with you lol

bye

10:12pmARex

and why not?

life is too short not to say such things

God by ye

3 comments:

  1. As we learned from "Shaun of the Dead," one of the better zombie flicks, even everyday slobs can become heroes when faced with a zombie apocalypse. I much prefer that to other zombie movies, which tend to be rather cynical and nihilistic (where, all too often, it ends in despair with everyone dying in undignified ways). Those can be fun, but "Shaun", though a parody, had more truth to it.

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  2. I'm also reminded of that one warren in Watership Down where the rabbits have all resigned themselves to death. Cowslip no longer values the stories of the rabbit folk-hero El-ahrairah, but rather prefers fatalistic poetry. Though he admits the stories of El-ahrairah are "charming."

    How familiar does that seem?

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  3. I enjoyed reading this exchange.

    I am a fan of zombie "stuff" in general, but I think that it appeals to me in the sense that facing an enemy who simply shambles along, with no cunning or subterfuge, whilst I happily blast away is appealing.

    Zombie movies also allow for a sort of "what-if" thought process where i can mentally measure my survival acumen against that of the protagonists. In my opinion i would fare pretty well..haha.

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