By Torie Bosch|Posted Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, at 7:11 AM ET
The Walking Dead, Season 2.
Photograph by Gene Page/AMC.
"These highbrow zombie stories are not just about watching the newly humbled struggle to make sense of the topsy-turvy world. The suburbanite/urbanite viewer who can’t hunt, can’t slaughter animals, can’t grow her own food, is meant to shudder at her ill-preparedness while watching. It’s the existential fear of the economy writ large: I sometimes wonder what I would do if I lost everything. Move in with my mother? Crash on a generous friend’s couch? Somehow put my supercharged typing skills to use? The zombie apocalypse scenario takes these fears and explodes them."
This article explores the zombie craze phemonenon and why it reflects the fear of white collar workers, and the somewhat liberated optimism of blue-collar workers. Basically, the fear is that the world where we put so much time, energy, money into education for cushy lives is stripped down, it will collapse and invert the power structure we’ve become so used to. Only free of tough, survivalist, labor, real life skills people will be useful, or capable of making it, rendering the rest of us pretty helpless, dependent.
The interesting thing about that, is our lives would be turned upside down, but the natural order of things would actually be restored, sort of. People who know useful, practical things like how to hunt, how to fix things, etc. would be better off, because the useless things that make more money would become obselete in a dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest sort of world. So even though that would be the worst thing ever, this apocalyptic world would be more similar to what you find in nature than what we have know.
That being said, knowledge is still important, and both things have their place. You need people to make the fires and beat the brains of the zombies, but you also need someone to discover a cure or a battle strategy to win long term… right? That’s how we evolved, because of our smarts. But I think the paranoia of becoming obsolete is legitimate, and interesting. Also, I really dislike that journalist is listed among the useless skills, I would rock in a zombie apocalypse.
Read more here: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2011/10/zombies_the_the_zombie_boom_is_inspired_by_the_economy_.2.html
Really, really moving and well-done investigative journalism. I thought they did an excellent job of trying to pursue the topic from all angles, despite a handful of comments that said the first part in the series went out of its way to vilify the state of South Dakota. From spending time on reservations, and interacting with people, I can honestly say, yes some children need to be removed from their homes. But from that time, I can also tell you there is so much cultural heritage and stability in these areas, these people. Those kind of statistics are spitting in the face of the Indian Welfare Act, which was barely an apology or solution for the century of boarding school indoctrination and horrifying treatment anyway. Listen to these stories and decide for yourself, they are enlightening and very thought-provoking/enraging.
View captionJohn Poole/NPR(391) (321)
Nearly 700 Native American children in South Dakota are being removed from their homes every year, sometimes in questionable circumstances.
October 25, 2011 In South Dakota, Native American grandparents like Janice Howe are fighting to bring home their grandchildren who are caught up in a foster care system that is placing them with white families off the reservation.
October 26, 2011 In South Dakota, hundreds of Native American foster children are being placed in a large private group home, which gets paid millions of dollars, instead of with family or other members of their tribes.
October 27, 2011 Native Americans like Dwayne Stenstrom, who were sent off the reservation as young children, seek the culture and heritage they lost.
October 25, 2011 Suzanne Crow’s three year struggle to bring her grandchildren home after they were placed in South Dakota’s foster care system reminds her of the days she, and other American Indians were sent to boarding schools.
This is important because I think it really does show the struggle in journalism, to balance between what people want and what people need to know, to remain objective yet have a recognizable persona that will get/retain an audience. I liked the show, the news parts, but still, there were holes in the reporting and I don’t know if this was because of catering to viewers with diminished attention spans or maybe because they felt incomplete reporting wouldn’t be noticed. At any rate, I like what they’re trying to do, I just think we’re getting dumber as a society and newsy stuff is always the first thing to go. But maybe I should loosen my collar about this kind of entertainment journalism. If it informs people, even a little, about something other than Jersey Shore, it has to be a step in the right direction, right? -shannonmariesmith
One belongs to a suave “NBC Nightly News” anchor familiar to those old enough to remember President Jimmy Carter.
The other is that of a comedy cameo performer known as “Bri-Wy” in Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter messages, who has played himself on “30 Rock” many times and made even more appearances on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” and 19 and counting on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” (Mr. Williams also lent his voice to Rock Granite, an animated character in an NBC holiday movie, “Little Spirit: Christmas in New York.”)
Mr. Williams has tried to reconcile his two identities in a new NBC newsmagazine show, “Rock Center,” which had its premiere on Monday as a replacement for the hastily canceled drama “Playboy Club.” Magazine shows are not a great bet for a network: They aren’t as expensive to produce as a sitcom or drama, but they don’t usually draw large prime-time audiences. (NBC’s “Dateline” is shown on Fridays and has devolved into a platform for cable-style true crime and weird people, as in “To Catch a Predator.”)
So Mr. Williams has split the difference, packaging worthy segments — the correspondent Richard Engel’s sneaking across the border into Syria, an employment boom town in North Dakota — around his loosened-tie persona. On the premiere Mr. Stewart was his star guest, clowning around live in the studio with Mr. Williams on the couch and even on a row of airplane seats transplanted to the set at Rockefeller Center (brought there to illustrate a cheeky but not very enlightening piece about airline boarding procedure).
Mr. Stewart played along with his host, but even he seemed taken aback by their playful chitchat about his Halloween plans. “Are we really doing this?” he asked. “We have a guy talking about anchor babies, about Syria, about emerging technology in North Korea, and you and I are going to talk fun-size candy?”
That is, however, how television news is shown these days, tucked around feel-good features and celebrity interviews. It used to be that news anchors, like sitting presidents, had a quelling authority that made any sidestep into entertainment surprising and even newsworthy: the CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite’s playing himself on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1974 or President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s appearing on “The Colgate Comedy Hour” in 1955.
Now entertainment shows are a bobbing life raft holding serious news — and serious people — afloat. Last week President Obama was Jay Leno’s guest on “The Tonight Show” — again. Mr. Obama has outperformed any of his predecessors, appearing even on “Jeopardy!” and “Mythbusters.”
Presidents branch out for the same reasons anchors do: The audience for network news keeps dwindling, so those who want to be seen have to go where the viewers are.
All the network anchors do it: Diane Sawyer of ABC has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Daily Show” but has mostly favored Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray. (Even Scott Pelley, who fancies himself a more serious, no-frills newsman, appeared on David Letterman’s show when he was first named CBS news anchor.)
Mr. Williams, 52, is merely more adventurous, stalking younger viewers who get their news mostly from the Internet and satirical comedy shows like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” And “Rock Center” relies on the Internet to flesh out incomplete reporting. The report on “anchor babies” noted how some rich Chinese women come to the United States to give birth in order to provide their offspring with American citizenship, as well as to get around China’s strictly enforced “one-child” policy. But the segment didn’t explain how that would work once the women returned home with their babies. Viewers were directed to learn more on a “Web Only” report that still didn’t fully answer the question.
There were moments on Monday when Mr. Stewart was the self-serious news anchor and Mr. Williams the comedian.
Mr. Williams tweaked Mr. Stewart for giving less than adulatory coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which Mr. Williams described as a new phenomenon. “You’re a newsman, go back to the Iraq war,” Mr. Stewart snapped. “There were a million people in the streets.”
“Rock Center” is still a work in progress, so it’s hard to judge how it will fare. But it’s already clear that Mr. Williams wasn’t chosen to host it because of his stature as a news anchor. Mostly, he is there to draw viewers who think of him as a funny TV personality who sometimes moonlights delivering the news.
So I don’t care that much about football… But let me say I am outraged as a journalist at what you just saw in the press room after the game. What they need to realize is that those reporters aren’t out to get them, and it’s not a superfluous moment that distracts from their busy lives. Rather, it is their opportunity to speak directly to Husker Nation. As in the fans, the ones that provide a backbone of the football legacy that makes up this state, the people who make your fame, salary an successful program possible. So show some respect, not the hubris you both seem incapable of moving past. You owe an explanation to those people, if nothing else, you owe them the time of day. And this childish immaturity toward the media? Do your jobs well and then we’ll write fluffy things about you. You can’t scare reporters into submission for criticizing the real faults we perceive in the program.