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Back In The Food Chain

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#1
Hint_Of_Beetroot

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Louis CK did a great piece on how lucky we are not to be in the food chain (see YouTube or his own site, where you can buy his stuff for $5).

 

I didn't like the zombie trope until TWD. I thought it a pitiful excuse to fantasize about killing out-group human beings without conscience, that the zombie trope was well tired (excepting 28 days later), and the headshot thing was all too easy.

 

But TWD has drama, supported by action sequences.

 

Anyway, much like Jaws and so on, the show relies upon our real fear of returning to the food chain.

 

Especially

Spoiler

 

And also a return to serfdom, vis-a-vis the survivors with stronger human groups. That'd turn the clock back at least 700 years.

 

What do you think? What's the underlying subtext that drives the drama?


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#2
mosher

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I am not a fan of zombie fiction, but I am a huge fan of apocalyptic fiction. 

I don't watch enough zombie fiction to have an opinion on the culling fantasy you suggest, but I certainly have always seen TWD as apocalyptic fiction.

The reason I like this sort of fiction is because it answers the question, "what kind of animal are we."

Reducing humanity to it's base form- what Hobbes called 'nasty, brutish, and short.'

Is that who we are? Or are we intrinsically something more? What will we do to survive? What will we give up to survive?

At what point is life worth anything or does it become merely running and fighting until we die?

These are important question as we try to understand our base nature. And my education is in anthropology, so I guess those questions are at the heart of much of my interests.

And on a simpler level, watching people strive to survive, and ideally succeed and do well, is always a fun story.


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#3
mosher

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By the way, I never thought of the 'return to the food chain' theme, and I do think it's more than that, but I imagine that's a big answer to the question, 'why zombies?' Because apocalyptic fiction could just as easily be an asteroid, disease, or super volcano.

I always figured zombies because Kirman digs them, but the food chain reason is awesome. It adds to the what kind of animal are we equation.


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#4
kombat

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It's an interesting question to ponder. We are animals. The biological processes that sustain us are no different than that of probably any other mammal, and probably all vertebrates. We have an amazing brain though and that leads us to believe we are better than all other animals. People like to throw the "humanity" word around when it comes to TWD, but the reality is that "humanity" is a relatively new thing in the history of humans. We have a violent history, and many would argue a violent present as well. The apocalypse just reset humanity back 1000 years is all.

 

mosher, I took an anthropology class as an elective and it was by far the most enjoyable class I took in college. Loved the subject matter and it really sucked me in.


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#5
mosher

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Kombat, I was a biology major until I took an Anthro course. Somehow that class exposed what I really wanted to do with my life.

Not that I'm an anthropologist. As great as it was for me developmentally and intellectually, it doesn't lend itself to a variety of career choices. :)


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#6
theglassintheguvseye

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One of my favorite things about TWD and any post apoc art in all forms is rooted in my disdain for those who pine for "the good old days".  Really, life used to be very difficult and it wasn't all that long ago.  I like that we see strong females in TWD Carol, Michonne, Maggie etc.  It's a great look at how bad folks can and will take advantage of others when the opportunity arises.  We talk a lot of politics and a lot of comparisons are made during said conversations between world events and the show.  Nerdy, yes but enjoyable too!


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#7
mishone

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I have never been a zombie fan, just made no since to me. But I have to say TWD is a great show because the focus is on the survivors with plenty of action and the women are not portrayed as screaming idiots who cant fend for themselves.

In this fiction it will set them back 1000 + years. The strong will dominate the weak.
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Just having fun. 👀

#8
DeadOnMyFeet

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And the Reakers™ will inherit the earth?

The sheer stupidity of killing each other off
when the race is on the brink, simply escapes
me.
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