Tag Archives: Zombies

Observations of the Apocalypse

29 Jan

I was checking the locks before going to bed and saw a slip of paper stuck in the front door. It was a pamphlet, and its haunting title stared back at me.

Will This World Survive?

I usually throw this stuff away, but something made me keep this one. Was it a sudden fascination with the apocalypse? Not really. I thought it might make an interesting blog post. A few minutes ago, I read it and came up with a few observations.End

1. Whoever left the paper in our door is dedicated to the cause. It is cold out there, and they certainly left one at every house. I am not sure about this apocalypse stuff, but I have to admire their dedication to making sure everyone knows about it.

2. Is this something that happens in other parts of the country, or is it a southern thing? We live in the buckle of the Bible Belt and having someone stop by the house to talk religion is not unusual. I wonder if it happens in places that are not as fundamentalist as here.

Now, a break for some apocalyptic trivia. A lot of people know about Nashville’s music industry. However, few people know that Nashville is also home to a large printing industry. In fact, Nashville prints more religious material than any other city. Oh yeah, it also prints more pornography than any other city.

3. The first sentence states the following – “No other generation has heard so much talk about the end of the world.” I guess that is true, but predicting the end of the world is not something new. I think back to the Millerites in the 1840s. They were convinced that the end was near. When it did not happen, some fulfilled the prophecy by committing suicide.

4. The pamphlet lists the ways in which the world may reach its demise. It contains the usual suspects – nuclear holocaust, pollution, economic chaos. However, it did not mention the current apocalyptic fad. Everyone knows that the world will end with a zombie apocalypse. Anything that leaves that out is not considering all of the possibilities.

5. There are passages about Noah and the flood. Humanity went off the rails and a cleansing was needed. The waters covered the wicked, and Noah was left to repopulate the world. It continues by saying something that I have heard in many sermons. The next cleansing will be with fire. That could be a nuclear fire, but I would bet on an issue with the sun. Whether by bomb or sun, that is going to be a cleansing that is hard to survive.

6. At this point, the pamphlet delves into history. There are a few sentences about a sign. Then, there is mention of the First World War. I got from this that the sign and World War I have something in common. In essence, the apocalypse began in 1914. It was supposed to be the “War That Ends All Wars.” Turns out, it was the war that ended everything.

7. What has happened in the last hundred years to prove that the end is near?

War has raged, and hunger has killed millions

Earthquakes have killed more people in the past hundred years than in the centuries before. Of course, there have been large cities built on fault lines.

Diseases, starting with the Spanish Flu, have ravaged populations.

Streets are filled with lawlessness and chaos.

In short, all of the signs are there.

8. The pamphlet was last updated in 2005. Has anything happened in the last 10 years to change course? I guess that is why zombies were left out.

9. This world will surely come to an end. At some point, our sun will die, and the planet will die with it. Hopefully, humanity will be able to escape with technology. However, they may not be the case. We may go the way to the dinosaurs and other creatures that have inhabited this place.

However, people have been looking for the end of the world since there has been people. The Millerites did it, and plenty of others did it before and after them. Sadly, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy for many. Today, I read about a young family that was found dead because the parents had become obsessed with the end of the world. For them and their children, it ended with poison.

The apocalypse cannot be predicted because the signs are always there. Heck, everyone who has ever predicted his has been wrong. War, hunger, natural disasters, disease and crime are tragedies that have always been with us. Instead of looking for signs, we should be looking for ways to fix them.

I avoid writing about religion, and I do not mean for this to be about that subject. I am saying that we should not focus on the world ending. We should focus on fixing it.

The Horror of It All

15 Feb

Recently, my nephew and I saw The Woman in Black, the horror movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. When I told my girlfriend that we were going, she immediately started in on the “I Hate Horror Movies” conversation. She went on about how she doesn’t understand why they are enjoyable and how she can’t sleep if she watches one. Of course, she has become a pro at watching movies through her fingers. After we saw the movie, she asked if I had to lock my bedroom door and sleep with the covers over my head.

Well, nothing like that happened. In fact, the only thing that scared me about The Woman in Black was the future prospect of Radcliffe’s acting career. The audience consisted mostly of mothers with their Tween daughters, and I reckon they thought it was going to be Harry Potter versus Valdemort’s younger sister. With that being said, I must admit that there were a few times when I thought he should just pull out his wand and get rid of the bitch. That’s unfortunate for Radcliffe because I am afraid that he is heading down the path that Sean Connery took after James Bond. Although Connery made some good films, people did not accept his new roles, and his career stagnated until it recovered with The Untouchables. The one thing I fear more than Radcliffe’s future is being forced to watch a screening of Zardoz.

This is probably a good time to get back to my original point. The Woman in Black did its best to scare me, but no “scary” movie has ever accomplished that. It’s just a movie. I have never understood why people fear something on a screen and jump at every noise when they get home. I say again that it’s just a movie. However, my girlfriend’s comments did make me think. Have I ever locked my bedroom door after a movie? No. Have I ever slept with my head under the covers? No. But, I have had a few movies that stayed with me for a while. They did not make me afraid, but they did give me the creeps and made me think. These are the ones that will never get a second viewing by me.

Misery – The idea of being trapped or held prisoner has always bothered me, but a lot of movies play off that theme. This one really hit the cringe quotient when Kathy Bates took a sledge-hammer to James Caan’s legs. He got massacred as Sonny Corleone and played the toughest sport ever in Rollerball, but nothing compared to this. It took days to get the sound of bone crunching out of my head.

Pet Sematary – My friends and I saw this one at the old multiplex in town. The details have faded, but I know shit starts getting up and walking out of a cemetery good things will not happen. This is not a very scary movie on any scale, so I don’t know what hit me wrong. It was just creepy. (Oh, one more thing. I suppose the kid could be considered a zombie since he is the living dead, and that brings up a pet peeve of mine. When did voodoo lose the monopoly on zombies? Now, it’s always a disease that causes it.)

The Ring – This was a cool movie in every way. Cool concept. Cool filming. I was thoroughly entertained until the epilogue. When the girl crawled out of the television, I got creeped to the max. Of all the films, I carried this one the longest and didn’t watch television in my bedroom for a long time.

Paranormal Activity – This is one of the best horror concepts in a long time, and it scares me to think they will mess it up with continuous sequels. The latter ones a weaker than the first, but that could be because it was so great. It increased my creep factor by placing the story in an everyday setting about everyday people. There are no weird priests or spooky fog in this one. It’s in a suburban house that could be down the street. Or could be the one you live in.

The Grudge – I don’t remember much about his one, but I can never forget the creepy ghost kid that looked like Mikey from those old cereal commercials. The only difference is that after he ate anything – the anything turned out to be rat poison. And, that black blob thing was kind of strange as well. It was the scariest blob since James Arness in The Blob.

Twelve Monkeys – This movie is not really part of the genre. It is more of a desolate future kind of story. However, it stayed with me for a while. As I wrote earlier, I am not big on movies that show people being trapped, and I am sure my therapist would say there is some deep psychological reason for this. And, this movie is about being trapped in a time loop. We don’t know it until the end when Bruce Willis realizes it. It was a great movie until I figured out that the story was going to keep going and going like some evil Energizer bunny in Groundhog Day.

There you have it. The movies that stayed with me even though they didn’t scare me. I promise they didn’t, and I didn’t cover my eyes once.

Kindling – Part 2

21 Jan

Yesterday, I decided to filter through my Kindle archive and blog about the works I found in there. You can skim that posting to discover my motivation behind this action and to read about some of the books hibernating in the archive. Unfortunately, the post took me too close to the morning hours, and I had to set my computer aside. This post covers the rest of the stories (to paraphrase Paul Harvey).

1. “End Game: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness” by Frank Brady – When I was a kid, I was fascinated by Bobby Fischer. However, it wasn’t the chess. It was the fact that he disappeared. For some reason, I liked the people who fell off the face of the earth, such as Fischer and Howard Hughes. I started this book hoping that it would shed some light on that part of his life. To my dismay, it skimmed over the “mystery” because there was none. People knew where he was. He didn’t disappear. He just stopped playing chess. Despite that disappointment, this is an interesting journey into a mind that is slowly going mad. At the end, I thought I was crazy.

2. “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln – Who doesn’t like a good conspiracy? And this is the king daddy of them all. Get that – king daddy…Jesus had a kid. Yeah, kinda corny I suppose. Anyway, this is the book that inspired “The Da Vinci Code”. The writers delve into all sorts of history to come up with the theory of a holy bloodline that continues to flow. It is terribly written and terribly researched. But, that isn’t the point. If you don’t believe man landed on the moon and believe the world is going to end on December 21, 2012, then this is the book for you. I love conspiracies, so I loved the read.

3. “The Hunger Games” and “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins – I read the physical version of the other book. I reckon that grown men shouldn’t be reading YA novels about young girls. However, this young girl kicks ass. Almost everybody knows about this series, so I won’t go into a big explanation. It’s super cool, and I hope the movies are super cooler.

4. “Robopocalypse” by Daniel Wilson – It’s been done more than once. “I, Robot”. “Maximum Overdrive”. Machines come to life and take over the world. We seem to fear a takeover by the things that we believe we control. Machines and animals in particular. However, this is a great book that takes us around the world as survivors try to fight back. Despite their struggle, I can’t help but like the machine that is controlling the entire process. It accomplished where numerous humans have failed. It conquered the world.

5. “World War Z” by Max Brooks – Zombies are misunderstood. When did voodoo get taken out of the zombie story and disease take its place? Of all the zombie books, this one is my favorite because it reads like a real history. Interviews such as this have been done by real researchers talking to real veterans, and the stories are similar to reality. Well, except for the enemy that just won’t die. I can’t say enough about this book. It spans the globe and traces the history of a war that seemed impossible to win. It is becoming a movie, but I can’t see how they can fit this into a two-hour time slot. It will be interesting to watch, but I think the movie in my mind will have to suffice.

6. “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” by David Maraniss – In history, we tend to view the participants as two-dimensional beings. Good or bad. Hero or villain. Strong or weak. As the years pass, their humanity turns into statues of stone or metal. Vince Lombardi provides the perfect example. He is a winner – the greatest football coach ever. The Super Bowl trophy is named after him. This biography goes past the images and words of NFL Films to show a man who had fears, doubts and problems at home. He was a great coach but a terrible father. He was a saint but a tyrant. In short, he was human.

There you have it. That cleans out my digital archive. As it turns out, this was a lot easier than loading boxes with hundreds of pounds of books. Now, I just have to start reading the long list of books that I haven’t gotten to yet.