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Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fights: The End of the World Pt. 1

The ‘pockyclipse: 
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre has toyed with post-apocalyptic Earth for quite some time now—Planet of the Apes, Mad Max, The Stand, Waterworld…on up to the Hunger Games and Walking Dead. Sometimes the world has been rendered unrecognizable, and sometimes humanity is still clinging to the familiar.  
We ask the panel: Which post-apocalyptic society would you want to live in and why? Would you rather be the hero who helps his family survive the zombie infestation, the soldier that restructures the fight against the new enemy, or the scientist that discovers the cure? Are you interested in being on those first arks that survived the flooding of the Earth (and part of the repopulation efforts), or the intrepid colonist who helps rebuild society on your return to a now-habitable Earth?

Pete:  I have a pretty solid zombie plan (that most other people say is crap) but I'm not sure the zombie apocalypse is for me.
Scott: Agreed. The zombies are fun to watch, but I don’t want to participate and risk the chance of becoming a chew toy. (This was the last we heard of Scott, by the way.  Killed by zombies …?)
Stephanie:  Yeah, we all have a plan about what we'd do, but the reality is that our chances of survival are pretty random, methinks.

Topic 1: Which Apocalypse? 

Stephanie:  Can I say that the post-apocalyptic world I'd like to live in is Shaun of the Dead's London? Does that count?
Manny: Yes.
Better yet, live in Lego London!
Pete:  Based solely on the commercials for Revolution and the two episodes I’ve watched, that place could be a half decent so-called apocalypse to live in. The power is gone, forever and ever ... except that it's not if you have a USB necklace from Spencer's. And as long as you don't live around Chicago with that warlord guy running everything, you're ok.
Stephanie:  It's kind of hard to choose which world I'd want to live in, so let me start with the ones I'd LEAST like to live in. Because let's face it, they all kind of suck. So number one on the list is 1984...I'd much prefer a bunch of smaller, local guv'ments than a Big Brother that systematically squashes all hopes and dreams of the proletariat. So, by extension, I would also not like to live in Dark City, Brazil, or Equilibrium worlds.  Or the Matrix. That would just suck, even if you were one of the "unplugged." Although does that count as post-apocalyptic? I'm sketch on the whole premise.
Pete:  I keep promising Rosa I'm going to start a cult, but I think if I had to live after the big wipeout, I definitely want to be a mayor of some kind (or a Guv'nah). Find a grid city like Portland or Seattle and take it block by block. And put people to work making it livable. Common belief in a zombie world is to get out of the cities, but since they'll be first to go, I will hole up in a city and wait until the zombies pour out into the suburbs and go more and more rural.  They've got to follow the food.
Stephanie:  Hmm...but Pete, would you be a good witch, or a bad witch? Are you planning on keeping the heads of your enemies (be it zombies, aliens, or whatever force caused this apocalypse) in formaldehyde in your living room?
Pete:  As long as they match the carpet.
Rosa:  The book "Boneshaker" is a good example of Seattle + zombies + steampunk...and it actually paints an unhappy world, Pete. The city is all walled up, and there's a toxic gas in the air that turns you in to a zombie if you breathe it...and of course it sticks around because of Seattle's stupid climate. Sorry, bub, but zombie infested Seattle is off our couples list...unless you let me make you a zombie with me.
p.s.  Zombie burlesque in Seattle would literally be the worst...pasties attached to rotting flesh? Bleh.
Pete:  Ew. And I don't know why the hell you’re always trying to make me a zombie. As for the Matrix, I know it's noble to be the hero and everything, but I am totally with Joe Pantoliano on this one. Make me a billionaire and plug me back in baby - it's a program. It costs the machines nothing. I have no use for weird underground barefoot raves and Morpheus' spoken word concerts. Of all the things I saw in Zion in the Matrix sequels, I saw not one shower. Just thousands of patchouli-scented red-pill-takerers dry-humping, passing out in their clothes and going back to work. That seems to be a problem in almost all post apocalyptic scenarios. Hygiene. Maybe I'd prefer Waterworld.
Manny:  The world as presented in the also much maligned Kevin Costner movie "The Postman" really wouldn't be that bad either. Since you all mentioned the "Revolution" TV series, I suggest that you read the books it was based on, written by S.M. Stirling. Start with "Dies the Fire". The world as presented in the books is more akin to medieval Dark Ages Europe...the LARPers and D&D nerds are the ones that rise to power. My preferred post-apocalyptic world would be...the world presented in the Aerosmith "Revolution X" arcade game. Pete and I would effing RULE!

"All hail Steven Tyler! Man, i wish we had zombies..."
Pete:  Revolution X would mean living in a world where Eat the Rich is always playing. Always.
Manny:  They played Sweet Emotion too bro.  And Kerri Hoskins can oppress me anytime she wants.
Pete:  At least Kerri Hoskins is 42 and not 75. So you're doing better than last time, Manny.
Manny:  Don't judge me.
Jason:  I must say that the zombie apocalypse is the way to go. I get to take out years of repressed anger at the idiots in our society, by literally killing them. Also, of all the scenarios it gives you the largest amount of time between disaster and new order so I get to play cowboy for years! Finally, by the time society comes back, the herd is super thinned, so the stupid is culled (for a while at least). And I know I said finally, but if I end my days as a horse riding, survivalist, gunmen drifter in a post zombie infested world...
Pete: It sounds a lot like Jason will be the first to "accidentally" shoot a non-zombie person.
Manny:  I'm surprised that nobody has gone with a post-Skynet Terminator world.
Pete:  I feel about that the same way I do about alien invasions. They're cooler to watch in movies than they would be to experience. After two seasons of watching Falling Skies it seems to me that living there consists of "Oh, Thank goodness, we finally found supplies and a place to rest-OH MY GOD; THE ALIENS FOUND US AGAIN! RUNNN!"
I think machines would not be much different.

"98 ... 99... 100!  Ok, guys!  I'm coming to find you!"
Manny: I believe that i can better shoot a gun than swing a sword tho bro
Pete:  Ammo runs out. And robots and aliens are notoriously too advanced for that shit.
Manny:  Plus, i got a macbook pro...I can hack the alien mainframe and infect it with a virus!
Pete:  Also, in case we are currently trapped in the Matrix, I would hereby like to notify my machine overlords that I will gladly sell out anyone I need to for a measly 10 million dollars.
Rosa: It's definitely easier to put yourself in a zombie-like situation where, even if man originally created the problem, at least it's a problem that we can eventually outwit. Battling machines like Terminators or Cylons just reinforces the fact that 1) we messed up and 2) we messed up big time by creating something that just keeps getting smarter than us.  But, I do like the time travel option in the Terminator universe...so I can go back to the 80's and feather my hair like there's no tomorrow! (because there won't be thanks to Skynet)
Manny: But what city would you be prepared to appear butt ass naked in?
Rosa:  Miami. I can just claim to be a Cuban refuge who lost her clothes to some sharks. Or at the Statue of Liberty like Daryl Hannah in Splash...perhaps I will then get to meet Tom Hanks.
Manny: Good thinking
Pete:  West coast cities like Seattle and SF would be less likely to notice.
Rosa: You would really have to end up naked in the Castro in SF in order to not be noticed...on the plus side--Philz Coffee! Downside: no pockets for money to purchase Philz Coffee.
Shaida:  San Francisco just outlawed public nudity, so you'll have to arrive naked during Bay to Breakers or you're breaking the law!
Jason:  I'm answering Zombie style because anything else is either surefire death (machines/aliens/I am Legend SUPER CREATURES. I think we all forgot that they were super human, good luck cutting their head off before they FLAY YOU ALIVE FOR LUNCH) or really kind of annoying/boring "civilization collapse"(aka Costner films), which is really the same as Zombies except you don't have to aim for the head.
Shaida:  I have spent a ridiculous amount of time plotting my survival in case of zombies (and no, I'm not telling, you scabs!), but I am pretty sure I think about it because deep down I know I would not survive long. Initial outbreaks stages when the population is small and the zombies are slow, maybe, but once they start to herd I'm pretty sure I wouldn't last long--I don't have combat skills and I'm slow & clumsy myself, practically a zombie already! If I had to choose one zombie world to inhabit, it would be that of The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell (seriously, SOOOOO good, if you like zombie stuff, read it!). The zombies are survivable, humans are cutthroat but not universally evil, and it all comes down to making good decisions and staying on the move.

Where are you going to live?

Dan:  So it's I am Legend for me, but I live in Hawaii. Plenty of seafood, fruits, and veggies. At night you live on a boat but have a safe night place set up for storms. Also on an island there's an end game; once you kill all the zombies you aren't worried about others migrating to you. Also you can travel to the other islands for supplies. I see a plan where you build a fence with a gate near the water to lure the zombies out to at night once they pass a point you close the gates and trap them outside. The bait man runs to the water where a jet ski is waiting to zoom off to the boat that is waiting far off shore.
Rosa:  Hawaii seems like a risky bet given how over-populated it currently is. It would take forever to clear just one little island, and probably be very difficult to maintain control over the others. Perhaps something a little more remote and/or with a smaller population. Would you recommend Diego Garcia, Pete? We could Swiss Family Robinson the fuck out of that place.
Stephanie:  Also, Hawaii apparently has smoke monsters and trouble staying in one time-continuum. No thanks.
Dan:  Pete, we also talked about Hawaii being a good spot because with the other islands right there if other people come to the island and want to fight, we have the other islands to offer up and build allies.
Plus in the I am legend world you don't even need weapons to kill them; you simply draw them out at night into fenced off areas and when the sun comes out they die off.   Plus you can be free and clear during the day. Now the zombies can apparently become smart and trick Will Smith into talking to mannequins- but hey, new friends. Plus in this world some are immune to becoming zombies so you don't have to worry about turning zombie or your new friends becoming zombies.
Manny:  One advantage of living in the south...I know a lot of people with an awful lot of guns and ammo. 'MURICA!
Pete:  So it's a whole bunch of Mearle's?   Nah, I'll go to Maine. There's guns there, too. And Red Sox fans.
Rosa:  And lobstah!
Manny: I gotta work with what i've got!
*Kick*  "Pete, the red Sox Suck!  Go Braves!"
Pete:  I plan on thriving in an apocalypse, so Hawaii may be cool, but what about Rio de Janero? once the zombies are cleared, you could dress them up in Carnival regalia and cordon off a big main street and pen the Zs in there. People would come from miles around to see a year-round zombie Carnival!  Riioo Riiooo
Rosa: And then we could get Sean Connery down there to find a cure for zombie-ism via plant extracts found in the Amazon!
Stephanie:  It seems like most post-apocalyptic worlds are lawless...but I think I've finally figured out the one I'd like to live in: the Vermont commune in I Am Legend. It was downright purty, well-fortified, and stocked with good people and scientists - like Woodbury minus the crazy.
Pete:  But why Vermont? Why did they settle someplace that suffers from like blizzards and stuff.
Stephanie:  hello?  How’s that different than Maine?  I love the northeast, so I don't care, but I'm going to cross a few story lines and guess that it's because zombies can't survive in the cold.
Rosa:  (pushes broken nerd glasses further up nose) Pete ...Actually...if you read World War Z you will find why the cold is a good thing...(takes off nerd glasses, punches self in face, steals own lunch money).
Stephanie:  Wait...Pete hasn't read WWZ? What kind of nerd are you, anyway?
Pete:  I'm working on it. It's on my short list!
Rosa: I put it on his iPad so he could read it while deployed. He read comic books instead. (Sorry to blow up your spot...but you still refuse to let me make you a zombie so we can feast on flesh together for eternity, so there).
Pete:  And I will certainly take Vermont over damn Australia any day of the week. We look at the possibility of social breakdown in our country and say, "That's pretty bad." But you don't see anyone in the Walking Dead wearing bondage gear, driving giant fetishmobiles, lustily licking mannequins, wearing little people for hats or talking dead-eyed in creepy unison about the 'pockyclipse. It's like Australians have been training for the apocalypse for decades and they can't wait
Ah, shit!
Gen:  Plus have you ever seen a terrifying video or picture of a dangerous poisonous spider? They all live in Australia. No thank you.
Rosa:  You know what else lives in Australia? Delicious kangaroos and koalas! We would feast like kings!
Jason: I think the best course of action is to clean out a small town the has a series of closely located multi-story buildings. Then building a "roof top city" if you will (yes Rosa, this is close to Swiss Family Robinson, just more... urban) by connecting roofs with planks and rope bridges and destroying any way up that's not a retractable ladder. Then we have a base of operations in which to spread out and find resources, and since we have rooftops, we can grow pot food of our own. This plan would make the most sense on the North East coast of the country (Rosa and Pete feel free to celebrate now) so I would head there. As far as weapons, I understand everyone's desire to shoot guns, but we will have PLENTY of time and chance to practice with both swords and... drum roll please... arrows! Yes folks, we turn to the bow and arrow, since they effectively killed humans for HUNDREDS of years. And as cool as Daryl may be with his crossbow, I say we learn long bows. Faster rate of fire, and longer distances. Best part, we can make our own ammo for our near SILENT weapons. Because lest we forget, this new world will be a lot more silent than anything we've ever known... ever. Ever. Ever.
Pete:  Jason, your city rooftop idea is precicely what I was thinking. take over a high-rise and expand as needed. Rooftop for vegetables and a lobby made inacessable by any means necessary. I do think your arrows theory may well be affected by our many months playing Baldur's Gate on the X-Box.
Rosa:  Jason--your rooftop idea is neat, but climatically flawed. The northeast is susceptible to big storms such as Nor'easters, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, and violent thunderstorms. I would not want to be living on a rooftop when any of those things came through. Weather-wise, California is a much more acceptable area (or, the cradle of civilization: Oregon's Willamette Valley). The long-term concern about these "cloud cities" is that they are perched on man-made structures that require maintenance and upkeep, and eventually will come crashing down on us. I still like your "sky village" idea though, so I would throw out something more in tune with our natural environment--either we go to the Redwoods and make tree cities like the elves and Ewoks  or move in to the ancient Hopi dwellings that have already been carved in to cliff faces in the southwest. We just have to figure out how to deal with drought and the eventual turn to cannibalism.
Jason: And Rosa, we should create a pen for Zombie Pete. We can keep the local population in-line by cutting the hands off of law breakers and pitting them against him. Fun and efficent!
Rosa: Hmmm...Zombie Pete's pen is going to need to be on the other side of the Cliff City from where I'm living. I don't want his zombie eyes judging me as I "mourn" him by whoring it up.
Pete:  Boo! I mean Raaaarrrwwwgh. Wait, I'm NOT a zombie! Now I'm doing it!
Catch us next week for the exciting conclusion.  Find out what marketable apocalypse skills our panel has, what we'd do with our pets.  And what kind of diet will zombie Pete be living on...


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