Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dead Set, Reality Shows, and what they tell us about ourselves

If you appreciate zombie horror, hate reality shows (most of all Big Boss/Brother) and haven't seen Dead Set yet, please do asap. It's the TV equivalent of that scene from Office Space when the Three take their evil, uncooperative fax machine into a field and smash seven kinds of hell out of it with baseball bats. For all those times when you watched BB and prayed to god that he smite them with thunderbolts, plagues of boils, or just have the living dead tear them into pieces and eat them alive, you just got your wish. 

Dead Set delivers, and delivers how - but it's about more than just a highly graphic gorefest. (Seriously, don't watch it before or during meals.) It opens up a fascinating thought into what defines us as human. 

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

There's always going to be that one stupid, greedy, cowardly, self-serving person in every situation who's going to get you all killed. You know who it is. You even have an idea of how he's going to do it. The question is - if the only realistic way to stop him is to kill him, would you do it? 
Altruism, the social glue that makes civilization possible, that makes us look out for one another and help one another including the weaker ones, would tell us no. Even if we knew we were wrong, we'd give them the benefit of doubt, keep giving them more and more rope... until they hung themselves and the rest of us with it. 
There's also that one crazy, ruthless, smart guy, who can save some - maybe most of you. At first glance, it's hard to tell the stupid and the smart apart, especially in a high-stress situation. Remember, he is as likely to get some of you killed. But the rest can survive. 
If you stay put and maintain status quo, in the long run, you will eventually run out of water, or food, or sanity. 

The question is - when all of civilization is gone, does it make sense to hang on to civility - or is that the only thing that prevents a total collapse, removes the last difference between you and the undead?

If you've read The Walking Dead, The Mayor chose the latter. And he was successful, more or less, except for some bad luck. Was he human, though? 
Think about it. 


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