Monday, July 06, 2009

Zombies on TAP

I'm not normally a reader of The American Prospect, but this article drew my attention.
Granted, I disagree with his conclusion about the nature of the genre (i.e., being essentially progressive, read American liberalism). But it is true that the genre is fundamentally concerned with challenging status quo and seeking to understand what is essential to human civilization.

However, I think that the disintegration and ineffectiveness of government is a key element of the genre. Also, the rugged independence / self-reliance that is key to both short and long-term survival in the genre. These are values generally regarded as the domain of the "right"...so I'm not sure the genre has a particularly political bent (unless you want to take a libertarian view of things...).

5 comments:

reformedpastor said...

By and large it's a good article, and yes, he's writing for a political magazine. But is it really necessary to take even the most purely entertaining piece of pop culture and tease political meaning out of it? (I know that Romero built social commentary into his zombie films, but social commentary isn't the same thing as ideologizing, to coin a horrible word). To me, that's the part that's depressingly "progressive"--the drive to politicize everything.

Doug Hagler said...

I'd say that the zombie genre supports a basically libertarian ethic rather than conservative or liberal/progressive. Both conservatives and liberals need a strong social order (they just want different kinds of social order) and zombies are all about who survives when social order totally collapses.

I would say that an actual zombie apocalypse would likely push everyone rightward - my observation is that fear tends to push a society right-ward, in general (I look especially at the aftermath of 9/11 as the best modern evidence in our society)

Sam said...

What did you do? Google "progressive zombies?"

I don't agree with his conclusion either, seems a stretch. It is an interesting, slightly bizarre, article though.

I'm not a big zombie fan. I do like Mary Shelley's monster, he's kind of a zombie I guess.

And... what are you doing reading a magazine endorsed by Ted Kennedy?

Rev'd Chris Larimer said...

Dave - Agreed. When you only have a hammer, all the world's problems start looking like nails.

Doug - Break it down!

Sam - Unlike the loyal opposition, the conservative mindset - established as it is in sound reason and evidence-based conclusions - is rarely threatened by encountering an opposite point of view.

E.G. When I was at Southern Baptist Seminary, I was required to read works by feminists, Roman Catholics, and classic liberals. They wanted us to know the "other side" and to interact with - possibly even critique - the arguments put forth. When I was at LPTS, we were given snippets of the classics in theology (up through the 17th c.), always through the lense of a postmodern critic.

Which of these was reactionary or frightened that the other side might have a decent argument?

Sam said...

Chris, point taken. I actually read and quoted something from the Layman today.