Archive for November 2013
I haven’t watched a TV for any amount of time, for something like five years. The incessant propaganda, the mindless talking-heads attempting to spin the truth to be something other than what it is (obamascare, anyone?), and the complete political bullshit they attempt to feed my kids through a variety of cartoons and puppet shows, pissed me off. I’d been grumbling to my wife, that we should pull the plug, figuratively speaking. We have childrens’ programs for the kids- which we always watch with them the first time, to make sure it’s clean of PC-agenda- and we have an extensive DVD library. Plus, megashare and other video hosting sites drill the cost of watching a movie down to ’bout zero, so why should I pay a cable-company for crap programming? Screw ’em, says I…
And while such a policy eliminates the vast majority of BS coming from the mainstream media, it would appear I occasionally miss out on something worthy. And in this case, it’s “The Walking Dead,” hosted by AMC. Am I a bit late to the party? Yeah, I guess so. And probably, you’re having a good laugh at my tardiness. I stumbled across this by accident, several weeks ago. And so I started watching the entire series, from the debute to current episodes, by using megashare (COOL beans, baby!) plus walking dead and whatever episode was next.
What the HELL does this have to do with anything, you ask? Who CARES? Yeah, it’s a “zombie” show. It’s graphic; blood and gore, nothing held back. Well, to the comic-book crowd, this is old news. But for those of us trying to prepare for a much nastier, meaner future which will result from our unfolding economic collapse, there is much to be learned from this TV series.
While the story line revolves around groups of people who are trying to survive, while vastly outnumbered by the “walkers,” they have to make tough decisions. They have to BE tough… not necessarily mean, not lose that part of our humanity that ultimately relegates us to be no better than animals (or zombies)… They’re struggling to survive against crazy egomaniacs driven to start wars, the refuse from the old life (druggies and drunks, criminals, etc.), people who were naturally suspicious and avoided all contact… and those that have survived through sheer luck, though they’re basically stupid. They’re struggling to stay sane, in an insane situation.
The weapons and tactics change, the situations vary, but the bottom line is that survival is not a matter of physical toughness and having the sexiest gear, it’s about mental toughness. It’s important, when SHTF, to maintain control of yourself. Emotions are perhaps the most meaningful part of being human, but they’re also your biggest threat, when it’s time to act. In an emergency situation, we all can freeze, depending on what happens. Get me upon the roof of a skyscraper (like earlier this year) looking over the edge, and I… just…. lock up…. can’t move, too terrified to do anything but run away from the edge, and get the HELL out of the building. But in other events- where weapons were used, where there were explosions or lots of blood and screaming- it became clear that I can turn off the emotions like a switch, and move fast. The point is that we’ll all have times where we really have our shit together, ready to move and act. But not always.
Going back to the TV show, this is something I’ve noticed throughout the series- that the characters are constantly tested, not so much physically, but mentally.
The challenge is not only when to flip that switch to turn off the emotions, but when to turn it back on. Operate too long as a machine, and the trip back to… whatever life you may have left, becomes not one of minutes or hours… but years and decades. They used to call it “shell-shock;” they didn’t have a name for it when I came out the other side, but they do, now: PTSD. The movies depict such an event as happening when a guy freezes in an artillery attack, or runs in fear at the battle. About that, I don’t know, since I was never in such a situation. Everyone is different, every situation is different, so pigeon-holing something like what causes PTSD is a fools-errand. I won’t bother to detail what happened to me; it doesn’t really matter, now. What does matter, is that I swore I would get through that time, no matter what it took. And I obviously did, though not without cost… It burned away a part of who I was; when I returned home, my family didn’t really know me any more. And after crawling into a bottle for a long time, followed by a job that allowed me a lot of isolation (driving trucks OTR), I finally came out the other side.
I’m still not the person I was, and who wants to go back to being young and so brilliantly STUPID about life? Wisdom and experience are worthy things to have… but like everything, there is a price to be paid. I paid my tab in full, and I’m still alive to waste a bit more oxygen.
I see weird parallels to what I went through, in that TV series. Clearly there were no zombies (unless you count the ex-girlfried who adored Bill Clinton), but the burning-away of the PC bullshit we’re so inundated with… the hardening of the soul, that comes with difficult choices… And the brutally stubborn-streak to go on, when the shit is really hitting the fan… these are things that this series depicts.
Such mental qualities are important for the “tough times” we have yet to face. Those who aren’t mentally prepared, will suffer and perish quickly. Let’s just hope that those who do survive, are able to return to some semblance of humanity, when the killing is done, and it’s time to rebuild.
Watch the show. If you can get past the blood and gore, you’ll see what I mean…