Thank you for your patience and understanding over this extended absence from my blogging duties. Many wonderful things have happened in the interim, including the expansion of the high school drama club's scholarship fund, the rebirth of the parent run Drama Boosters organization, and the introduction of a truly wonderful theater professional into the school system. While the current teacher will not be continuing with the program in the fall, the changes she has implemented have revolutionized the program. She will also be helping me out by throwing my name and skills out at her contacts such that I may wind up with music direction/production management jobs that actually pay me in a timely fashion. And I was finally paid. And they didn't steal money this year for the football field refurbishment fund and other bullshit charges. (Update while typing: they won't pay me the 500 dollars I've received for 6 six years for running the school's Shakespeare festival. I will not be doing that again next year) Onto the blogging. Until I have the time to do the massive upgrade and service change I was planning to do last month (see previous post), I'll be going with a looser format on the blog. Broad sweeping topics will be covered based on my interest at the time. Understand that the subjects will still be connected to film, literature, and other forms of media, so its not like I'll begin ranting about public policy or which star had what brand of tampon hanging from which orifice. Zombies Are a Boy's Best Friend, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Zombie Apocalypse My friends, the signs all pointed to this news. Clearly, zombies are taking over the world. I should have heeded the wise warning of ZombieForecast and prepared. Even before that, I clearly received signs of the zombie apocalypse. For example, when I met Max Brooks at a convention, his cryptic message in my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide (everything lines up so nicely, doesn't it) should have clued me in three years ago: Now the evidence is everywhere. Have you heard about the undead civil rights movement in California? It's already been fictionalized by an S.G. Browne in what is being marketed as a novel: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament. To mitigate the sting of the cohabitation and segregation of the living dead in our society, some marketing genius decided to claim it's a "humor" novel. Sure, the "Andy Warner" character has a dry wit. That does not mean we are dealing with a humorous text. The book is quite serious in its approach. It might be safe to call it a dry dramedy with pitch black comedic flourishes. I was captivated by this heartfelt narrative that clearly works at anthropomorphizing the living dead to create pathos. Obviously, the living dead have no brain function and cannot safely live with their families after reanimation. I'll be doing a more thorough write-up of this text on Something Printed over the weekend. I highly recommend reading this book as a way of understanding just how serious a threat the glamorization of zombies really is. Zombies do not recall their previous lives. They are driven by an insatiable hunger for living flesh and nothing else. A more important text to examine for proper preparation would be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, repurposed by Seth Grahame-Smith to demonstrate the true nature of Austen's classic satire. Some have complained that the narrative does not benefit at all from the inclusion of realistic attacks from the living dead. A scan of Amazon indicates a sense of chaos created by the mere thought of sullying the good work of Jane Austen with lowbrow zombie humor. To that I say: open your eyes. Austen clearly understood the threat of supernatural forces. She brilliantly captured a conspiracy to cover up a nasty house haunting in Northanger Abbey, so feared by her publisher that he held off on releasing the book for 13 years. While I have not had the opportunity to read Grahame-Smith's restorative text, I have it on good authority that the historical accounts of undead dispensation are quite accurate. The Bennet sisters understand how to destroy their assailants and protect the community at large from danger. I have heard from a trusted source that these zombies scenes become a bit repetitive, but the book is still worth reading. Of course, if you wish to stick to the standard zombie preparation texts, you cannot go wrong with investing in Max Brooks' powerhouse duo. The Zombie Survival Guide is the resource to turn to if you suspect an undead uprising. Max Brooks carefully chronicles all of the zombie-specific survival information you will need when the dead walk among us. If you do not already have the text from the original printings, I recommend the new paperback addition. It features an invaluable resource in cards describing the highlights of the book. Do not use the cards as a cliff notes: they are merely meant to help you when you have to go on foot to restart civilization. Some will mistake The Zombie Survival Guide for humor. Brooks did take on a satirical tone to mock lesser survivalist texts, down to crude illustrations and excessive detail. However, for your money, you cannot beat the treasure trove of information presented in this text. Do not fall for the imitators: stick with this one, the true original. The important addendum to this resource is World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. If we do not learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. Fortunately for us, Brooks had to turn to mainstream publishers to release his real accounts of the zombie uprising from all around the world. If nothing else, this text should lead to the realization that The Zombie Survival Guide is an incredible resource. The survivors thrived because they knew the rules. Too bad your local library probably files this one under humor. This is not the book to be reading at night unless you want to go without sleep. Through interviews, Brooks captures the real voices of these different people. The accounts never become repetitive as each survivor has a distinct voice and story. The result is at times horrifying, a times heart-wrenching, and at times uplifting. We can survive if we just keep our cool and use our juicy meaty brains. I feel much better now. I know I have in my possession enough material to begin preparations for the oncoming assault. If nothing else, I know I can enjoy the books as fiction when trying to distract my mind from the incessant moans of the living dead.
Labels: book rec, zombies