Skip to main content

View Diary: Noam Chomsky Breaks Down the Zombie Apocalypse (184 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Chomsky prolly doesnt do much zombie fiction lol (6+ / 0-)
    And at the last minute we are saved by a superhero or a super weapon, or in recent years high school kids going to the hills to chase away the Russians, things like that.  That's one theme that runs through constantly.
    Kinda showed his relative ignorance of the genre here. One of the most common tropes of Zombie Apocalypse fiction is that the situation is utterly hopeless. Walking Dead is prototypical‎ in this regard. World War Z is the exception, and even then it takes what - 20 years & 4+ billion dead for humanity to win? Hardly the stuff of heroic monomyth lol.

    The Zombie Apocalypse world is the best of all scary fictional worlds - a happy marriage of Cold War era WW3 nightmares and medieval plague fears.

    Personally, I think its increasing in popularity because people have slowly realized that - c'mon - no matter how bad shit gets, it can never get THAT bad. Right? Right.

    It's very comforting for the worst-case scenario to be factually impossible lol.

    Also video games. Makes for great video games and it has for decades now. Resident Evil has become dumber than a sexist beer commercial but The Last Of Us was one of the greatest games I've ever played omfg.

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 08:06:50 PM PST

    •  I don't suppose Chomsky's much into zombie (8+ / 0-)

      fiction, but the particulars aren't the thing here -- it's that the whole Undead Creepy Threat provides a vast canvas to project our fears and fantasies, with endless variations, onto.

      •  what better way to fear "The Other" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, dradams, JVolvo, nota bene

        than for The Other to literally not even be alive, just a walking hunk of decaying flesh begging to be shot?

        "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

        by TheHalfrican on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:40:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, JVolvo

          ...we were really, literally running out of people to shoot. Important-sounding ones, that is. (You can always fantasize about a terr'ist from Nowherelandia.)

          When Crysis had to fantasize an economic revolution in North Korea to come up with an enemy, I knew they were scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

          by sagesource on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 11:42:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, cuz there's only so many post-USSR Eastern (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            Europeans (90s) and swarthy non-whites (80s and 00s) to fill the bad guy roles in film and fiction.  Enter the decaying, brain-eating hordes (lower pay scale)...

            "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

            by JVolvo on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:16:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The particulars are very much the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo

        Your general point is true:  monster literature in general is a canvas upon which the culture projects its fears (and some other things) but Chomsky was making an argument more particular than that. And it's an answer that is so simplistic that it really could use some more attention to particulars.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:17:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  THIS ^^ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo
      The Zombie Apocalypse world is the best of all scary fictional worlds - a happy marriage of Cold War era WW3 nightmares and medieval plague fears.
      The zombies themselves aren't scary (Romero himself figured this out in 1978's 'Dawn of the Dead' by including a pie fight with zombies), it's the breakdown of civil authority and social norms that frighten us

      This space for rent -- Cheap!

      by jds1978 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:34:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice to see somebody with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      an appreciation for the actual books and movies weigh in.

      OTOH, I can't blame Chomsky too much, because the question did come in out of left field. I can't blame the man for not being a fan of zombie fiction. Well, not too much.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:15:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Imagine the response from the Chomsky NON-fans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        if he rattled off 5 zombie films, their differences from the novels and how today's under-35s viewed our US Empire through the lens of SAS: Zombie Assault 2.

        The cloth-rending and pearl-clutching would go to 11!

        heh

        "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

        by JVolvo on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:21:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. Talk dirty to me! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo

          I'd love to hear Chomsky do that.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:46:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fuh-reak! :o) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD

            "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

            by JVolvo on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:00:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site