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Paradise Lost (& Never To Be Found Again)

Over the past week since being stricken with the pox and knocking me completely for six, among the fever dreams and feeling sorry for myself a few notions dawned on me.

I’ve blogged before about the fact that aspects of my childhood can never be enjoyed by my children as times have changed and technology has taken over and the fact this saddens me deeply. I started to watch Warm Bodies as well as read more of Rise of The Governor and the biggest thing to me out of these concepts, especially in Revolution, is that the current generation would never survive because everything they’ve come to know and take as the every day norm wouldn’t exist as it’s all based on technology.  Even I have become sheltered and lost a lot of ‘smarts’ I once owned as a boisterous adventurer.

In the event of zombies or a global power take-down, most of our memories would be gone.  Digital photographs stored on the inter-webs, memoires tippy-tappy-typed on blogs, videos of special occasions inaccessible as Youtube is no more.  It’s a horrifying concept and one that all of us in developed countries will be able to relate to even partially.  People like me think me can’t comprehend the absurdity of people who don’t own laptops, have wi-fi or own a mobile phone.  Perhaps they have it right.  Perhaps they have the correct set of priorities…

The trouble is, we are in a society where there is no going back – even if we lose technology due to no power sources being available, things would never regress back to simpler times.  We will still collect technology only, instead of working and saving or serving the time of a contract to reach your eagerly anticipated upgrade date, we will steal, we will kill, we will rape and pillage.  We will regress too far back to the point where our more primal instincts come out.

The Walking Dead hits the nail on the head as to how we would be.  Yes, there would be good among us, but due to the strife and adversity even then, our sense of good will be bent to encompass our new environs.  It’s not about zombies or nuclear holocausts, it doesn’t matter how society collapses – the results would be the same.

My children will never know the simple pleasures of climbing trees and building dens using corrugated iron sheets, discarded pallets and tarpaulins and foraging for other scraps to make it more ‘homely’.  They have The Sims for that.

They will never know what it’s like to pretend fight with toy guns or lumps of wood fashioned into weapon-like objects because they have movies, games or even the ability to join the army and do it for real.

Running round woods for hours playing ‘Predator’ is no longer in.  Mainly because there are actual predators in the woods these days.  Our kids don’t play dead after encountering these ones…they get dead for real.

There’s no thrill of setting your alarm during the summer holidays to catch awesome cartoons at 6am because you can Sky+ them or they probably already have them on iTunes, DVD, Blu-ray or whatever the next for of physical media is.

There’s no rummaging through the droppage of a chestnut tree to pick the best ‘conker’ to dominate your friends with in competitions because there’s probably a DS game to simulate the entire thing.

There’s no playing with toy cars in the soil creating your own roads and taking down some insects as you’re cruising.  Why?  When they can play GTA and run PEOPLE over?  It’s more fun, for crying out loud!

No building with actual LEGO blocks any more because you can design virtual cities and play – no mess so what’s NOT to love?

You’d think I’m anti-tech based on this – and hypocritical considering I’m blogging, but I love tech.  I love GTA and now I have a bit more energy the amount of time I have spent in Skyrim has been significant.  The difference is, I had a good wholesome childhood and gamed from a young age but still had time to enjoy real life adventures.  You can’t get scars from playing videogames unless you fall off your top bunk because you’re staying up crazy late.

It’s almost like our kids’ childhoods are being lived by surrogates.

Dead Silence

Well, it’s been a majorly long time since I last posted – not had anything to say/rant about!  For the most part it’s been a case of wanting to say something but not having the words to formulate something that would even resemble a blog post at any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve been struggling with my writing – been working on two comic book ideas (one of which I have already scripted partially – 2 pages done!) and a journal of my daughter’s life to date to then maintain that daily as well as doing a whole new one when the new arrival pops out within the next few weeks.

A lot of my time, outside of work, has been dedicated to listening to podcasts while I go about my daily routines (school run, cleaning etc).  I’m trying to catch up on my podcast subscriptions and have managed to race through the back catalogue of SModcast, Tell ’em Steve-Dave and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old but still have a ways to go to fully catch up.  I’ve also been trying to plough my way through The New 52 series of comics as well as getting up to date on The Walking Dead (mission accomplished on that one) and also reading all of The Dark Tower series to date as well.

They say writers should partake in other forms of media to keep the inspiration/flow of writing going.  I watch movies/TV regularly, reading is sporadic and my main literature diet at the moment is comics but my writing is very laboured and I find myself resenting that and then end up in the vicious cycle I am in where I hate the fact I have hit brick walls with my writing but can’t find the energy/concentration/desire to work through it.

I guess it’s like any best laid plan – deviate slightly from the itinerary and you’re pretty much fucked.  Hopefully I will reclaim my “get up ‘n’ go” once I find out where it decided to fuck off to but the coming months may be worse due to tiredness and less time to do any writing when having to look after two kids – we shall see…

The Talking Dead



I’ve recently started watching The Walking Dead after pining to watch it since I saw it advertised when season 1 was about to begin.  I caught snippets of it but never got round to actually sitting down to watch it.

So, I’ve now watched all of the first season and I love it – but there are haters out there.  Why?

The show didn’t turn out to be what I expected – but that’s a good thing.  I expected your typical diet of nonsensical violence and gore that is only fitting of a zombie apocalypse.  But the show, thankfully, is not as shallow as that.

Now my views may be slightly different to yours and other avid viewers’ but I think that’s the beauty of the show – we all take something different away from the viewing experience.

To me, the show is a mere social study of human nature and how they adapt or react to certain events.  The zombie setting is merely a back drop to show the true nature of humanity – you could easily have had a different setting such as a post apocalyptic world, a world enslaved by aliens etc.  Zombies, though, is something I think we can relate to because it’s the other aspects of humanity that this cataclysmic event brings to light.

Take Rick Grimes.  Deputy Sheriff, shot in a shoot out and left in a coma for one month.  In that time, the world he left behind changed dramatically for reasons unknown.  He wakes up to find the world in tatters.  Now begins the social study.

As the series expands, you learn more of his past prior to the zombie infestation and after.  Breaking and entering, looting and various other anti social behaviours are observed when seeing the man of the law in action. But this is merely human nature – when there is no law, no order, the only rule is to survive.

The biggest social commentary, however, is that in one month – or less as he’s in a coma for one month but you’re not sure when the event started – the world goes crazy in the wake of this extinction level event in such a short period.  This is the most interesting thing about what the show is hinting at as in every single scene – in the presence of such adversity society as we know it is so fragile it crumbled in anything from a few days to a few weeks with everything we take for granted no longer there such as television, radio, mobile phones, electricity, hot water, readily available food and supplies.

Another commentary on human nature I quite liked and can relate to is when Rick has encountered Morgan and his son Duane.  Morgan’s wife had recently turned and during one of the scenes in a house in Rick’s neighbourhood, the wife returns to the house they’re holding up in indicating some aspect of her humanity remains – my take on it is that she has some residual memory as she may have recently been turned and in time that memory may then be lost as the brain cells start to decompose and she loses full function of the more advanced instincts and neurological activity.

Later on, Morgan wants closure so he can move on and the only way to do so is to put what once was his wife to rest.  With her in the cross-hairs of the scope of the sniper rifle he had acquired in the police station with Rick, he buckles because he still sees his wife even though he knows nothing of her remains apart from the decaying carcass that once embodied her life essence.

Once Rick reaches Atlanta in the hope of refuge he eventually meets more survivors, all desperate to survive and all driven by their own goals and agendas.  It’s here that I realised that the zombies our species are contending with actually demonstrate, albeit very limited, traits that the humans should be clinging.  For example, the zombies tend to move in groups and regardless of the condition of their bodies, they continue and struggle on due to the sweet scent of human flesh.

Obviously they have little or no consciousness, but the human characters are all have their own selfish needs and desires which puts the group at risk.  Rick, being a man of the law, sees fit to try and help anyone and everyone and because of this, when some of the group head back into the city to rescue Merle who they had inadvertently left behind, handcuffed to some pipes on the roof.

Rick and Merle, upon meeting each other conflicted from the on-set.  Now this is another strong social commentary – based on Rick’s life, or former life prior to the zombie outbreak dictates the type of choices he makes.  Merle’s life does the same, but Merle clearly had a different path in life based on his racial comments and, no doubt, colourful criminal background.  

Merle, being more of an animal than a human, cuts off his hand in desperation and by the type Rick and the others reach the rooftop, Merle is gone.

Throughout the series there are subtle and there are in-your-face comments about our nature and instincts and how fragile we actually are or can be.  Another scene, when Rick runs out of gas on the way to Atlanta, where he checks out a farmhouse where the man had killed his wife and then killed himself probably around the time the zombie infestation first began and some writing begging God for forgiveness in blood.  

If we were to analyse human nature as it stands now, all of these behaviours are present in the various societies across the globe because circumstance will drive the various types of behaviour in one direction or another but obviously to make a point, there needs to be some kind of event that can then bring humanity together into the same circumstance so the behaviours can be observed in a fairer and more evident manner.

Suicide, is an idea that has fascinated me from my teen years and many times I’ve thought about doingit – but then I wonder what would the impact of my death have around me.  To people directly involved it would probably have a large impact but the further you move out from the…inner circle, if you will, the lesser the impact.  Just like the ripples from a drop in a puddle – the immediate ripples are clear and powerful but as they radiate outward they lose power.

In relation to the show, one has to wonder how many people actually killed themselves and could this make a difference between the survival or extinction of our race?  Did they give up without a fight because their thoughts a futile battle were correct?  Or should they have given their ability to survive a chance and push themselves against the adversity to prove that humans, by nature, are survivors?

What do you think?  Did you have a different take on the show or did you have a similar line of thinking?

The Walken Dead


The Dead Shall Walk – Walking Dead Game Screenshot

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