No, he’s not. Not even close. But I had a few questions about my views on The Walking Dead season 3, its finale and my recap this week, so I thought I’d address them. Plus, “Postal Apocalypse” looks at the future of genetics, nerd apparel, and the inevitable decline of civilization! Read on, but don’t forget to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Civilization has collapsed. Not in one dramatic moment such as an asteroid strike or nuclear war, but gradually due to climate change, resource depletion, increasing political instability, population decline, etc. Assuming this post-apocalypse follows the same pattern as previous civilizational collapses in history (Bronze-age collapse, fall of the Roman Empire, Harappan collapse, etc), some knowledge and technology will be retained, while some is lost. In your opinion, which technologies survive, and which disappear? As the global trade network falls apart, are we able to maintain some kind of rudimentary Internet? What energy technologies are likely to survive? Does the literacy rate drop, as in previous dark ages, or has the written word become too important now? Does humanity regress to a pre-Industrial Revolution stage, or merely a pre-Information Age? Would love to hear your thoughts.
It all depends on how far we fall. If we lose power, then all bets are off —we’re heading back to a mini-Dark Age, except with guns. That should work out well. I can see literacy being a major problem — who has time for reading when 1) there’s farming to do, 2) gangs of post-apocalyptic bikers roam the planet and 3) you have to find a damn candle to read after sundown? — but surely enough people will stay literate to pick up the pieces of civilization a bit faster than in the Dark Ages.
But if it’s a slow decline, then I’d guess we’re heading towards a weird form of neo-feudalism based around companies. Governments may fail, but the ruthlessness, assets and lack of concern for people in general and its employees in specific will effectively make companies havens of power that the non-powerful will gravitate to. These companies have a vested interest in keeping some sort of civilization going — i.e., profits — so I think we can assume the power will stay on and the Internet will stick around, because otherwise how could we order shit online?
But this only works while people still have access to food, and to get food we need farmers, who need trucks to transport the food to processing plants, who need gas for those trucks to take them to and from the plant, and those need electricity, and the stores also need electricity to keep the food from spoiling. One of those dominos falls, and it’s all going down.
Your Walking Dead recaps are terrible. You’ve talked on and on about how good the Governor is, and how much better he is than Rick, and now when he finally goes crazy and murders all his own people you’re still not happy. Can someone else write the WD recaps?
Well, if your question is if someone else can write the recaps, then the answer is yes, someone can. Anyone can, technically. But will someone else be asked or hired to do so? Unlikely. Because I’m awesome!
But I might as well correct you on a few things. I never said the Governor was a good guy. I said that the main theme of this past season seems to be whether safety is more important than humanity in this new, zombie-fied world. If you think safety is more important than humanity, then the Governor is, without a doubt, a much more successful leader than Rick. The Governor, for all his faults, kept Woodbury not only safe but in marvelous shape, at least until Rick attacked to save Glenn and Maggie. Rick, on the other hand, tried to be as cold as the Governor; when he succeeded, like with the hitchhiker, he kept people safe (from a threat that may not have existed) and when he failed, like with the prisoner he let escape, there were horrible consequences. The Governor is not a better person than Rick, but he is clearly, definitively better at keeping his people safe (or he was until he lost his mind in the finale). But whether the ends justify his means is up to the viewer.
My main problem with the season is that Rick has been thoroughly unlikable as he’s tried to be a bastard, and just because the Governor is a bigger bastard, this does not mitigate Rick’s dickishness. It’s a problem because it’s hard to care about Rick when he’s like a Bastard-in-Training to the Governor — and it makes for awkward TV, because it makes Andrea the center of morality on the series, and Andrea is the worst.
And last but not least, I am not happy about the finale because the show built up to a massive climax and then completely sputtered out. I watch 15 episodes slooooowly setting up this epic confrontation and then the Governor just kills his own team? I’m all for surprises in storytelling, but this is a scam.Walking Dead’s storytelling hasn’t earned the right to have these sorts of twists, because it hasn't reached this level of sophistication. I bought my ticket, I wanted my damn show.
The idea of Genetic Manipulation to improve/help people has been something that interest me. In theory one could cure a lot of different things and potentially make a flawless person or someone could become an actually furry. I have two questions: 1. Don't our flaws or imperfections help us strive to be better? 2. How would society react to such advanced genetic manipulation?
1) Well, usually it's "problems" that make us strive to be better. not just flaws. While no doubt that includes some physical or genetic imperfections, chances are unless you’re rich, you’re still going to have plenty of problems to overcome in your life, professionally, romantically, economically, etc. Frankly, if I hadn’t had to worry about terrible eyesight, asthma and bad acne as a kid (I AM THE PLATONIC IDEAL OF NERDS) I would have jumped at the chance.
2) I have to think society would be fine with people fixing problems and ailments; it’s when you start going above and beyond what the human body is capable of that things get weird. At what point do we stop being human? Will society ever get to a point where a furry can walk down the street without blowing people’s minds, especially if they have real fur? Are we going to be able to give ourselves superpowers? Who will make the strike in the inevitable human-mutant war, humans or Magneto?
I’m a bit of a pessimist, so I imagine if gene therapy develops faster than our social tolerance — which I think is pretty likely, unfortunately — we’re in for a heap of awkwardness.
Keep Your Shirt On
When is a nerdy t-shirt too nerdy?
When you feel self-conscious wearing it. If you have no problem wearing a ratty Punisher t-shirt you bought in 1998 out in public, more power to you. You should be who you want to be; besides, superheroes are legit pop culture now. It doesn’t have the “nerd” stigma that it did in the ‘80s and ‘90s (or rather, “nerd” is no longer a dirty word).
Personally, perhaps because I grew up in the less-nerd-tolerant ‘80s, I prefer my nerd shirts to be subtle — as in you have to know the reference to know what the hell the shirt is even about, let alone if it's nerdy or not. Fictional company logos from movies, a few seemingly random designs — that makes up most of my wardrobe. There are a few shirts so awesome I’ve had to make an exception, though.
1) Luke, Han Solo, Leia
2) Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman
3) Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor
4) Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast
I should note there were about a dozen of these, so I cherry-picked a few for brevity’s sake.
1) Fuck Leia, kill Han Solo and marry Luke Skywalker, purely so I can get my hands on a lightsaber. Besides, you know Han would cheat, and he’d probably get me killed in the crossfire because someone has a bounty out on him.
2) Fuck Wonder Woman (I will admit my heterosexuality is probably influencing some of my picks), kill Superman (thus dooming the entire planet) and marry Batman because he’s rich and never home, meaning I could stay home, get drunk and play Skyrim all day.
3) Oh, tough. I’d probably kill 9, fuck 10 (if only to make every nerd girl I know insanely jealous) and marry 11, because I think he’s a lot of fun, but then get annoyed with how manic he is all the time and pine wistfully after 10.
4) Kill Radagast, because he’s gross, fuck Gandalf, because even if I’m heterosexual I bet Ian McKellan knows a thing or two, and marry Saruman because Christopher Lee is the greatest.
Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email email@example.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!