The Walking Dead

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

The Walking Dead

Postby Vern Stevens » Mon May 27, 2013 5:43 am

I posted the following in another thread regarding watching TV.

"I'm still very much a fan of The Walking Dead. This is more of a thinking/philosophical show than I think many people give it credit for. Once you get past the zombies being monsters, you can see that they simply represent another obstacle for humanity to overcome (plagues, wars, famine) and that the real struggle remains how dealing with our fellow man represents the greatest threat or the greatest asset. The characters continually face moral choices and the fact that life can be fleeting is ever present with the loss of several major characters throughout the series."

I'd be curious if there are other forum members who have thoughts on this show. I realize it doesn't present ideas particularly from a Buddhist perspective, but I do think it represents a certain reality of human struggle that we all face regardless of our chosen philosophical path.
“What we think, we become.“ - The Buddha
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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon May 27, 2013 6:48 am

Zombie films replace the old "cowboy and Indian" movies- they give voice to the underlying xenophobia that is present in our culture, and give us permission to shoot and kill other humans without remorse. The end sociological outcome is a belief to distrust strangers, fences make good neighbors, and a loaded gun is essential to your survival.

Having said all that, if Carl becomes a sociopath then I am done watching TV for good. Period.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Ben » Mon May 27, 2013 7:05 am

Last year I downloaded Apocolypse Z: the beginning of the end, a novel by Marcel Loureiro on the strength of Amazon's algorithm of predicting what I would like. The reality couldn't have been further from the truth as Amazon was successful in picking one of the worst books I've ever read in my life. It was just awful. The only reason I finished the book was to find out how the story was resolved. Let me tell you - it doesn't get resolved. The author intends to punish us all with a series - that is, if he has his way.
I was not surprised when after finishing the book I noticed the number of glowing reviews that I suspect were written by sock-puppets of the author. Had I read the reviews before I downloaded the novel it would have have second thoughts. Needless to say my review of the book as well as others which were not as gentle as I were lost in the tsunami of exuberant reviews written, I suspect, by the author.
kind regards,

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon May 27, 2013 2:31 pm

PS- I really enjoyed the zombie movie Warm Bodies. It was silly, but replaced xenophobia with wish fulfillment to reintegrate with society's marginalized.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Vern Stevens » Mon May 27, 2013 3:24 pm

Thanks all for the responses.

In the last episode of season three there is a small exchange between Andrea (as she is dying) and Darryl. Andrea says, "You can't make it without people anymore." Darryl responds, "You never could." Despite the fact that they have had to continually weigh the "fences" vs. "the neighbors", I think this is the fundamental goal that the survivors would like to strive for. They then took in a large number of strangers from a camp of people who had previously tried to eradicate them.

The state Carl is in now, in my opinion, is demonstrating the negative consequence that he has learned from Rick and others. I don't think the show is ushering Carl towards psychotic behavior as a means of making him the hero of the "new" age, I think they are showing the damage that can be done to a mind that is not mature enough to have to make life or death decisions in a world where the prevailing perception seems to be "the rules have changed". In fact, the more mature members of the group realized the rules really haven't changed, members such as Herschel, Dale, at times Darryl, and slowly coming around Rick.
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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon May 27, 2013 6:41 pm

I could post this in the other thread, but since we are engaged here I will post here. As I become more interested/ experienced in meditation, my interest in television and fiction books has significantly diminished. But then I'm a nerd and I have nerd friends, and we tend to congregate around some of these TV shows. My roommate loves The Walking Dead, and we enjoy watching the show and talking about it, and the sense of community that comes from this. But IMHO it suffers the same failings as all TV shows: it started with some great character development and rich plot devices, but to maintain its ratings and viewership it has keep pushing the envelope of shock & awe. At the end of the day, what morals or values do we as consumers internalize from this process of escalating violence and horror? And how desensitized to traumatic material are we becoming? I can name several "betrayals" the producers played on loyal viewers, but when Carl shot his mother in the head it was a total deal breaker for me. Not just for this specific show, but I think it's time I unplug the TV.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby fivebells » Mon May 27, 2013 7:05 pm

TV is an illness, an unpaid debt, a passage on a desolate road, a prison, an enslavement. Also, I'm hanging out for a chance to watch the latest episodes of Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and Continuum. :)

Online forums are an illness, an unpaid debt, a passage on a desolate road, a prison, an enslavement...
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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby Vern Stevens » Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:And how desensitized to traumatic material are we becoming?


Real life as a cop for 27 years desensitized me to "traumatic material" long before the Walking Dead. Many things can desensitize us if we let them.

I do find this discussion a good example of how one thing is not solely one thing from it's own side. Each of us has watched the same material, yet walked away from it with different interpretations and influences.

Thank you all for your continued input.
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Re: The Walking Dead

Postby pegembara » Tue May 28, 2013 10:45 am

Vern Stevens wrote:I posted the following in another thread regarding watching TV.

"I'm still very much a fan of The Walking Dead. This is more of a thinking/philosophical show than I think many people give it credit for. Once you get past the zombies being monsters, you can see that they simply represent another obstacle for humanity to overcome (plagues, wars, famine) and that the real struggle remains how dealing with our fellow man represents the greatest threat or the greatest asset. The characters continually face moral choices and the fact that life can be fleeting is ever present with the loss of several major characters throughout the series."

I'd be curious if there are other forum members who have thoughts on this show. I realize it doesn't present ideas particularly from a Buddhist perspective, but I do think it represents a certain reality of human struggle that we all face regardless of our chosen philosophical path.


When I watch the movie I am reminded of this.


"'I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.' ...

"'I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.' ...

"'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.' ...

"'I am the owner of my actions,[1] heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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