Tag: The Walking Dead

ACF Critic Series #30: The Walking Dead

 

Paul Cantor joins me for the second part of our conversation on his new book: Pop Culture And The Dark Side Of The American Dream: Con Men, Gangsters, Drug Lords, And Zombies. It’s time for the zombies–for the postmodern Western, The Walking Dead, from Shane to Wagon Train to our times of crisis, when we ask ourselves, could we be what we think we are without the institutions and technology that prop us up? Is American character able to withstand the test of the state of nature?

The Walking Disappointed

 

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Who else was disappointed in the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead?” And I’m not talking about students coming out of their college and law school exams.

I’ve always enjoyed the show and even think it is basically conservative in outlook — it reminds us of the state of nature to which we could return if it were not for the fragile institutions that keep society functioning. The group at the heart of the show tries to build a society among itself with rules and institutions and try to balance security with the need for a future. Alexandria struck me as a typical liberal fantasy land, kept alive by luck but from which the inhabitants inferred that they could build a perfect community free from the tough truths of reality.

The Economics of The Walking Dead

 

250px-PhilipBlakeTFGAs has been pointed out in nearly every commentary on AMC’s The Walking Dead, the series is best when it focuses less on the horrors of shambling zombies than on those committed by survivors against each other.

Through the first two seasons, most of these came from hot-blooded emotions such as fear and desperation; ordinary people making bad — even evil — decisions under duress, rather than out of malice. That changed in the third episode of the third season with introduction of Philip Blake, aka the Governor.

A former nobody, Blake rose to be the leader of the biggest and most successful survivor camp in the region. Under his leadership, the town of Woodbury remains safe, open, and well-fortified; if you looked past the barricades and the piles of undead that are stacked around them, the place almost looks cute.