Archives for category: anarchy

Alexandria

Season 5 has been an interesting journey into the world of The Walking Dead on TV.  For the first time our rag-tag group of survivors have found a bit of utopia in the dystopic world they live in.  They have found Alexandria- a beautiful community of elegant homes in manicured landscaping with electricity and hot water and food, safely tucked behind an ominous wall.

But as the strange “man of God” Gabriel says in last week’s episode “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”.  There is an evil lurking in this shiny world.  The most dangerous form of evil is to deny its existence.   The people of Alexandria are under the mistaken impression that the only evil is the walkers outside the protective walls of their community.

They don’t believe that there could be any evil among the survivors so they do not allow anyone to be armed within the walls of the community.  They have rules and those that will not abide by the rules are exiled into the world of walkers outside the walls.

“The rules” do not allow for self-sacrifice or heroics to save and protect one another but there is a survival of the fittest creed that they appear to hold to.  Relationships among the Alexandrites seem to be shallow and forced and for the most part they isolate into their shiny granite-countered, stainless steel homes.

But they forget “the evil that men do.” I wrote in a previous blog how the anarchic world of The Walking Dead appeals to the mostly millennial and Gen-X audience who want a world without a controlling government.

As the series shows over and over the real evil is the evil perpetrated by the human beings not the living dead.  Anarchy cannot protect mankind from itself.  The selfish nature of the people of Alexandria is shown in the refusal to protect Francine from the Walkers on the constructions site and Nicholas’ every man for himself attitude on supply runs.  We are also privy to some physical abuse that is going on in Jessy and Dr. Pete’s home.  The greatest evil is, that Deanna the leader of Alexandria refuses to take action against Dr. Pete because his surgical skills are needed by the community.

Could it be that another more horrible evil is being perpetrated outside the walls by humans as well?  The naked woman tied to a tree to be fed on by walkers had to be the doings of the living not the walking dead.

It must be remembered that the Good Book says “No one is righteous—     not even one. 11 No one is truly wise;     no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away;     all have become useless. No one does good,     not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.     Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “They rush to commit murder. 16     Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.” 18     “They have no fear of God at all.” Romans 3:10-18

This is true of mankind in the real world as much as the fictional world of “The Dead” even if Gabriel tears the pages out of the Bible.

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At the beginning of the 4th Season of Walking Dead, I was appalled by the gratuitous violence and wrote a scathing blog called “Is Violence the New Porn?” about it, as well as other shows on the new Fall season of TV.

I may not have been the only one objecting because when I checked in on the shows later in the season the violence was definitely toned down. My self-imposed protest of these shows (by refusing to watch them) sort of fell be the wayside.

I found that the barrage of blood and guts were replaced by some actual story and character development that sucked me back in like an addict. In the case of The Walking Dead, I was not alone in my addiction.

Nielsen estimates that the regular-timeslot telecast of the zombie skein averaged 15.7 million total viewers — a 17% week-to-week gain (from 13.47 million) and 26% bigger than its year-ago season finale (12.42 million). Among all episodes to date, Sunday’s finale ranks third, behind only the season 4 premiere last fall (16.11 million) and the show’s mid-season return on Feb. 9 (15.76 million).

In adults 18-49, “The Walking Dead” averaged a 8.0 rating (10.2 million viewers in the age group), up 20% week-to-week and about 25% vs. last year. It more than tripled the top rating for any broadcast entertainment series on Sunday (ABC’s “Resurrection” did a 2.3 rating). http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/amcs-walking-dead-finale-draws-whopping-15-7-million-viewers-1201150367/

What is the fascination with the Zombie Apocalypse world of The Walking Dead? In my last blog I wrote about Dystopic Fiction and Young Adults.  If Dystopia is the new Utopia for Young Adults, then Anarchy is Nirvana for Adults. Young Adults resonate with a world controlled by a totalitarian regime that the heroic characters revolt against to reclaim their freedom. (i.e. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner etc.)

The world of The Walking Dead is a view of humanity without rules without order-survival of the fittest-anarchy.  I’m reminded of that ode to anarchy by Alice Cooper:

“School’s Out”

Well we got no choice

All the girls and boys

Makin all that noise

‘Cause they found new toys

Well we can’t salute ya

Can’t find a flag

If that don’t suit ya

That’s a drag

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils

No more books

No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class

And we got no principles

And we got no innocence

We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils

No more books

No more teacher’s dirty looks

Out for summer

Out till fall

We might not go back at all

School’s out forever

School’s out for summer

School’s out with fever

School’s out completely

There are no rules, no laws in The Dead.  There is a different kind of freedom in this society of anarchy.  The only guidance for behavior is in the vestiges of human kindness and love that the characters have for each other.

The Walking Dead juxtaposes the almost utopic commune of the living in their barricaded prison, with the dangerous world of flesh eating zombies roaming beyond the barbed wire enclosure.  When the prison is evacuated, the former inhabitants are left to fend for themselves against the world of the undead, the wilds of nature and the packs of brutal criminal humans.

They have only their wits, their weapons and their will to keep fighting.  They search for “Terminus” at the end of the railroad tracks.  Could this be the utopia they are looking for?

Terminus appears to hide a dark secret (and a lot of grilled flesh).  The message is  that when humans organize and leaders emerge, freedom is lost. Anarchy is the only road to freedom and Nirvana. Will there ever be true freedom for the characters of The Walking Dead-or humankind in the world as we know it-for that matter?

Tune in next season to find out…….

As for mankind my hope is:

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. I Peter 1:24-25