Tag Archive for zombie

Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 2

Rebuild LogoBruce found a hole in the fence that surrounded the warehouse and carefully slipped through it. The building loomed dark and ominous, so he started his search by walking the perimeter. Deliberate steps avoiding kicking anything or stepping on anything, his head constantly turning left and right scanning from the warehouse to the street outside the fence. It was clear. Every step and the longer it stayed clear just amped up his internal tension. By the time he got back to the hole in the fence he was practically jumping out of his skin.

Turning toward the building, his palms started to sweat. Bruce had not brought with him any sort of weapon. It was a little stupid, but then without a weapon he wouldn’t be tempted to try to stand and fight. Flight back to the safety of the compound was the real goal.

All the doors to the warehouse were open. There was no light inside save for where the sun shone through. He took the three steps up to the nearest open door slowly and peered inside.

It was an empty shell. Probably abandoned long before the zombies came. There were shadows in places, but none so dark he couldn’t see into them. Once inside and his eyes adjusted slightly, the building wasn’t nearly as foreboding as it had appeared from outside. There were no zombies here. No other survivors either. And no supplies of any sort. Not an entirely wasted trip, however, since he now knew there was nothing here.

Bruce stopped being careful and jogged back to the fence, slipped through the hole and ran back to the wall. He scrambled over the top of the wall and dropped to the ground, safe. All the tension flowed out of his body and he collapsed back against the wall.

“Find anything,” a voice called from above. Bruce looked up and shielded his eyes from the sun to see the shape of Candy standing on the edge of the police station roof.

“Nope. Just an empty warehouse.” He got up and dusted himself off.

“The way you shot over the top of the wall, I thought maybe you were being chased.” He could hear the smile in her voice.

“Just excited to get back inside. Johnny back yet?”

“Superman said that Gray flashed some Morse code using a hand mirror. The kid was back inside, found some people who might join us if our illustrious leader goes over to pay them a visit.”

“Is the hospital safe?”

“No idea. You’ll have to ask the kid yourself.”

“The others?”

“Jason said he might have to stay the night to win over any new recruits. And the scavengers want to be thorough, so they’ll be outside tonight too.”

Bruce nodded. “Thanks, Candy. Good lookin’ out.”

“It’s my job now.” With that she vanished back away from the edge.

Bruce headed into the station and found a spot to sit down. He broke out the granola bar he hadn’t eaten for lunch and nibbled at it. After a short while, Johnny walked in and pulled up a chair.

“So, now what?”

“I suppose,” Bruce said between nibbles, “we get a good night’s sleep, then head out to scout more tomorrow. How was the hospital?”

“Clear, mostly.” Johnny picked up a small bag of chips, tore it open and started eating. “There are some zombies locked in rooms, maybe some wandering the upper floors, but it’s safe enough. There are a few people living in there. Didn’t try to convince them to come back with me though.”

“No?”

“Yeah. I don’t like talking to gun barrels.”

“Right.”

“So, tomorrow?”

“I want to go take a look at the neighborhood to the north-east. You mind checking out the trailer park to the south-west?”

“I guess not. I supposed this is my job now.”

Bruce smiled and sighed, “At least until we come up with something better.”

They both laughed, just a little, and then wandered off to find places to sleep.

In the morning, everyone met up for breakfast, ate in silence, and then went back to their duties. Johnny strolled off toward the trailers, and Bruce ambled off toward the houses.

Rebuild - Day 2

Rebuild: Kingston Falls – Day 1

Rebuild LogoRebuild is a game by Sarah Northway. It’s best described as a survival sim and it’s done in the after action report style. Meaning you assign people to tasks that have chances of success or failure, then when you are done the game calculates the results and gives them back to you. In Rebuild, each turn is a day. But enough about that… this game is about zombies, and the story goes like this:

It all started in Holland…

The media called it the Dutch Flu, and connected it to some kind of weird tulip eating cult. The Netherlands used to export a quarter of the world’s tomatoes and cucumbers, but that wasn’t all. They were exporting the undead. Armageddon.

During that first year, survivors banded together to fend off the zombies, always staying on the movie and never looking back. But we’re not going to run any more. We’re putting out feet down here and we’re going to reclaim this place in the name of Humanity. Today… we begin to rebuild.

But I’m not just here to tell you about a nifty game. I’m a writer… I’m here to tell you a story. So what follows in this post, and for the rest of this series, is a narrative of the plight of Kingston Falls, a 10×10 city in Rebuild on the Nightmare difficulty level.


Jason watched as Bruce Collins secured the last piece of the fence. Jason had convinced them to stop running, to try to make a safe place to fight back against the shambling husks. And it began in a police station and then spread to two small neighborhoods and a field they were already working to grow food in.

“You know,” Bruce said, “running was a lot safer than this.”

“Sure. But it also kept us on edge all the time. Perhaps behind a secure fence we can relax a little.”

“Relaxing gets you dead.”

“I did say ‘a little’.” Jason turned and headed back toward the police station. Bruce trailed behind him. Along the way they ran into others, everyone heading toward the meeting Jason had called. Inside, they all took seats and sat silently for a while.

“Who’s on the wall?”

Jason didn’t see who asked it, but he ticked off the names aloud anyway. “Gray, Candy and Superman.” The soldier already had that nickname when Jason had met him, but he’d seen enough action out of the man to know the guy deserved it. Lately he’d taken to watch duty. They called it ‘sitting the wall’ but in reality they were on roof tops. Superman was up on the police station now, along with Candy. Gray was out on one of the houses, which was just as well since the scientist’s talking to himself made everyone a little uneasy. They were all a little stressed and tired, run down, but Gray might just be full-blown crazy.

The room fell to silence again. Ever since the decision had been made to stand some ground, the whole group had been looking to Jason for orders. “Eric,” he said at last, “you and Tom, grab some sacks and see if you can scrounge up some more food from that other field just south of the wall. Take Private Walker with you.” The three of them nodded. “Bruce, if you’re up to it, I want you to go outside the fence, north-west, and check out the warehouse we can see from the roof.”

“Aye aye.” Bruce tapped his fingers to his brow in salute.

“Cut that out.” Bruce smirked back at Jason. “Johnny, you know this town, right?”

Johnny was a skinny kid. He’d probably be in high school if not for the end of the world. “Yeah.”

“You know the hospital to the south-east at all?”

“I’ve been there once. A long time ago.”

“Well, I’d like you to go check the place out and see what you can find. Eventually I want to move the fence to include it. A lot of that equipment could be useful.” Johnny gave a half nod and hung his head. It was clear to everyone that he didn’t want to go outside. “That just leaves me and Private Kane. We’ll be looking in on the apartment building to the north. I think I saw some people in there.”

“Might be zeds,” Kane blurted out.

“That’s why you are going with me. You and that M-16.” Kane smiled from ear to ear. “Anyone got anything else to add? No? Well then, everyone has a job to do, so let’s do it.”

Rebuild - Day 1

Rabbit

The dead began to rise, and the rest descended into chaos. In the after, humanity returned to an oral history. Stories told by campfire and candlelight, to ward off the dark.

Rabbit

Molly, her mother and a group of others had stumbled upon the warehouse. It was like a dream. Shelf after shelf, aisle after aisle of food and supplies tucked away in this nondescript little building. It did not appear guarded, but surely something like this was planned and whoever planned it would return. So rather than stay in the little warehouse, they cleared out an apartment building a few blocks away that gave them a clear view of the stock of goods.

The group worked together, slowly clearing other nearby buildings, creating an intricate maze of pathways, bridges and ladders, from building to building leading from their chosen home to the warehouse. Each bridge, each ladder or swing, could be pulled up or disabled from either side and hidden, lest they giveaway their safe living to anyone passing through with ill intentions. But also they made sure not to do anything that drew attention to the warehouse itself. They always entered from the roof, and while they barred the ground level doors from the inside, they made no attempt to obscure any of them from the outside or to chain them or lock them with visible locks. The warehouse was made to simply look uninteresting, just as it was back when they almost passed it by.

They limited their trips to the store of supplies, carrying as much as they could back to their apartment homes, but never so much as to make them slow when the world had become a place where quickness was most precious. A few days worth was all they could bring safely, and so they had to return every few days to get more.

[ read the whole story ]

 

Telltale Zombies

Today marks the release of The Walking Dead video game by Telltale Games. Normally, I’m all over anything with zombies, but I’ve got such a large backlog of games right now that I’ll probably wait and pick this up later. And this isn’t even the whole thing. They’ll be releasing an episode a month, five episodes in all.

Anyway, check out the trailer:

I’ve enjoyed a few of Telltale’s other games, like the Sam & Max series that was released through GameTap, and I’ve heard good things about others. I’m looking forward to playing this at some point.

Too Late

Podcast Playlist

Podcast Logo

Feed me.

It’s been about 9 months since I wrote about radio shows. And things have changed a little since then, so I figured I’d do a round-up and review of the podcasts I’m currently listening to. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • Atlanta Radio Theater Company – They do all sorts of stuff, from sci-fi to horror to comedy to … well, pretty much anything. If you pull up their feed, you can listen back to several years worth of recordings, which I have. The current format for the free podcast is monthly, so once you catch up it’s easy to stay current. And if you don’t mind paying for things, you can get a bunch of their full shows at audible. Overall it’s good, though sometimes I feel the live audience detracts from my enjoyment. But for free, I can’t complain.
  • Common Sense – Dan Carlin talks about politics and current events. It’s interesting to see the way he ties topics together, all without sounding like some sort of conspiracy loon. It helps, I suppose, that I tend to agree with his views. A little confirmation bias, but at least I’m aware of it.
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Long, sometimes multipart, podcasts about historical topics. Some are better than others, but all of them are interesting in their own way. I wish my history teachers in school had spoken with this much passion for the subject.
  • Decoder Ring Theater – Back in my original post when I was looking for old-time radio style shows, this is what I was looking for. They have two main shows, The Red Panda Adventures and Black Jack Justice, which are a Shadow-style superhero and a pulp noir detective, respectively. They also do other items in their Showcase, and like ARTC they’ve got years of shows in their feed, and I’m still catching up – I’m in June of 2007 with over 100 episodes to go, and loving every one so far.
  • How Did This Get Made? – Listen as a few comedians talk about movies that are so bad that they are awesome, and occasionally movies that are awesome but in ways that defy the Hollywood system yet still got made. I highly recommend the episode on Punisher War Zone as an example of the latter, and they even got the director on as a guest.
  • Making It – Riki Lindhome (of Garfunkel and Oates) talks to people involved with acting and movies about how they got started, the breaks they’ve had, the troubles they’ve run into and more. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in acting as a profession.
  • Penn’s Sunday School – I just started this one, so I don’t have a real opinion on it yet, but since I pretty much love everything that Penn Jillette does I’m sure this won’t be the exception.
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton keeps to no particular schedule and just random puts out collections of stories and bits of music. It isn’t deep, but I enjoy it.
  • The Moth – Podcast version of their True Stories Told Live, it ranges from serious and thought-provoking to silly and thought-provoking. And they are short, so I can listen to one when I run quick errands in the car.
  • The Nerdist – Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira talk to people, usually about comedy but really about anything that comes to mind. Personally, I delete all the episodes without a guest because I just don’t find their “hostfull” episodes to be worth the hour.
  • This American Life – A podcast version of the radio show, they pick a topic, interview people and tell stories. It’s more like a news program than anything else I listen to, very highly produced rather than just talking. I think I mostly listen to this because “everybody” listens to it. Half the time I’m barely paying attention. Maybe I should drop it.
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour – Much like the Decoder Ring Theater, this is new stories in the style of old-time radio, though here they do much more comedy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anything that wasn’t comedic. Beyond Belief and Tales from the Black Lagoon are my favorites.
  • We’re Alive – A serial drama set in the zombie apocalypse. This show is right up my ally, and I cannot begin to convey the amount of pure awesome that this show is. Everyone should listen to it. If you are just starting, there are two complete seasons with the third under way.

I’m always open to more, so if you have good ones to suggest, please do so. I might just add it to my trusty Zune.

Man vs Wife: Zombie Dice

Man vs WifeZombie Dice is the award-winning dice game from Steve Jackson Games. In it, you play a zombie and try to collect (eat) the most brains. The game comes with a cup (cardboard with two plastic lids for each end) and thirteen dice (and instructions – because selling games without instructions would be very silly – that said, if anyone put out a game with no instructions, it would probably be Steve Jackson Games).

The game is played as follows. The winner of the previous game, or the person who can most convincingly moan “BRAAAAAAAINS!”, goes first, they shake the 13 dice in the cup, then (without looking) they select and roll 3 of those dice. Dice that show brains or shotgun blasts stay on the board, while dice that show footprints go back in the cup. The player can stop at any time to end their turn and collect their points (brains), but if they get a total of 3 shotgun blasts their turn ends with zero points collected for the round. Put all the dice in the cup and pass it to the next player. When a player reaches thirteen (or more) brains at the end of their turn, finish the round and whoever has the most brains wins. If there is a tie for first, then those players play one more tiebreaker round.

Zombie Dice

Braaaaaains!

In our play, being only two players, we decided that simply the first player to 13 won, that way we wouldn’t have to keep track of which one of us went first so we’d know if the other person got another turn. Also, I totally forgot that rule when we played. (Wife: Cheater!) I didn’t cheat. (Wife: But we played without you telling me all the rules!) And? (Wife: Just sayin’…)

Anyway, we settled on playing a best-of-three series. We used the results of playing Life last time to determine who went first. (Wife: And I won at Life.) She went first. (Wife: Yay me!) On her first turn, she rolled three dice five times, ending her round after getting a second shotgun blast and scoring 4 points. I then rolled twice, getting 2 brains the first time and then two blasts on the second and quitting. Her second turn netted 2 more brains in four rolls, quitting when she got her second shotgun blast. For my second turn, I got 1 brain, one shotgun blast and one footprints on the first roll; on the second roll I got 3 brains (Wife: You suck!); on the third roll I got 3 brains again (Wife: You really suck!) and then I quit, scoring seven points for the round – more on why I quit despite only having one shotgun blast later. 2 brains and two blasts on her third turn. 2 brains and two blasts on my third turn as well. On her fourth turn she rolled twice, 2 brains on the first and 3 brains on the second, bringing her total to 13. (Wife: I win!) Only if you stop. You can keep going. (Wife: Nope. I like winning.) I know.

Round two… Despite her winning the last game, she let me go first (Wife: It’s because I’m awesome.) just so that I could see what it’s like to go first (Wife: And because I’m awesome.) and to shake things up. (Wife: Because if I went first, I’d just win.) That too. For my first turn, I got myself two brains and one blast on the first roll, then one brain and two feet on the second, and finally one brain and two blasts on the third. (Wife: Score for the human race!) I exit the round with no points. (Wife: Ha ha!) Laugh it up. (Wife: I will!) For her first turn, she rolls three shotgun blasts, and stops laughing. (Wife: I hate the humans.) Not so funny now, huh? (Wife: Just take your turn.) My second turn is looking good, I’ve got five brains and one shotgun blast, I’m about to stop when I decide to chance it, and get two more blasts. (Wife: The human race strikes again! Ha ha!) So, it’s only funny when it happens to me? (Wife: Yes.) Noted. She racks up 4 brains and stops when she gets two blasts. (Wife: 4 to nothing! I am winning!) Then on my turn I get 6 brains before stopping with two blasts. (Wife: I am not winning.) She gets 2 brains, then I get 2 brains. She gets 1 brain, then I get 3. She gets 2 more brains, and so do I, but my 2 brains happen to be the two I need to get 13 and win the round. (Wife: Come on, humans, kill that zombie!)

Round 3… You see, in a best-of-three series it’s always nice when the first two rounds are split because then you get to play the third round. (Wife: Duh.) Well, it’s better than someone winning the first two rounds and just trouncing the other person into the dirt. (Wife: Unless I win, in which case it is awesome.) And when you lose? (Wife: I don’t, because I win.) Round three goes like this: 2 brains for her, 1 brain for me, 3 for her, 4 for me, 2 for her, 4 for me, 3 for her, 1 for me, and then 3 for her. (Wife: I win!) She wins. (Wife: I win two out of three!) The match goes to her. (Wife: And I rub it in your face!) And I glare at you. (Wife: And I smile.) And I cave. (Wife: And I do a victory dance!)

I love the simplicity of this game. The rules are uncomplicated, and scoring is easy. You can pass the cup around while still having conversations. In that way, it is a very social game. I plan to take this with us to Dragon*Con this year to have available for random games. I also might pick up the expansion, Zombie Dice 2, and a Zombie Dice Bag.

Another reason I like this game is that as simple as it is, there is also deep strategy if you pay attention. (Wife: You paid attention?) Yes. (Wife: But you lost.) Yes. (Wife: I’m going to go grab a nap while you get into boring math stuff. See ya!) As I was saying, there is a little more to the game than just rolling dice. Back up there in round one, I had a turn where I got 7 brains, 6 of which came from rolling 3 brains two separate times, and then I stopped. Here’s why. The game has 13 dice, each of them with brains, blasts and footprints on their sides, but they are also colored green, yellow and red. The green dice, of which there are 6, have three brains, two footprints and one shotgun blast, so a 50% chance of rolling a brain and a total 83% chance of not rolling a blast. The yellow, of which there are 4, have two brains, two feet and two blasts, so 33% brains and 66% not-blast. And the red, of which there are 3, have one brain, two feet and three blasts, so a 17% chance of a brain and a 50% not-blast. That means a red die also has a 50% chance to roll a shotgun blast. On my 7 brain turn, I had 8 dice on the table, 7 brains and 1 blast, and none of them red. That left 5 dice in the cup, 3 red and 2 yellow. I stopped because I felt that as awesome as it was to roll three brains twice in a row, there was a pretty high chance I might roll two more shotgun blasts and lose all those points.

Of course, knowing probabilities doesn’t always help that much. Smart people will sit at a craps table in Vegas losing all day long, or slowly winning small amounts, but then someone will come along who doesn’t know any of the math and will take the house for thousands. A case could be made that I lost round one because I thought myself out of taking the chance and getting more than 7 brains on that particular round.

Anyway…

Man, 0. Wife, 2.

(Wife: I’m back now. I win again! Victory dance!)

The Walking Dead, Season 2

The second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead ended just a few days ago, and I figured I’d go ahead and put down my thoughts on the events we saw.

We start the season with the survivors heading to Fort Benning. They quickly come to a traffic jam, and while taking a break and trying to make their way through, a herd of zombies comes strolling by. Season 1 of the show deviated from the books in small ways, introducing a couple of new characters, of course the CDC (Robert Kirkman says he wasn’t aware the CDC was in Atlanta, or else he would have included it in his original story), and Shane didn’t die like he was supposed to. The zombie herd was a concept that didn’t get introduced in the comics for a long while, but given the nature of it, it makes sense to have it sooner. After the herd mostly passes, Sophia is spotted by one and runs off into the woods. Rick goes after her, tells her to hide while he takes care of the chasing zombies and when he comes back she’s gone. This sets in motion of the worst parts of the season: search for Sophia. For seven episodes the survivors will spin in circles searching the woods for the missing girls, and while there are a few bright moments (and by bright I mean exciting) it is an extremely dull series of events. But before we finish the first episode, we see people scouring the woods and Carl gets shot.

This gets us to Hershel’s farm. Lots of stupid happens here. For one, this farm is surrounded by flimsy wood and wire fences, totally unsafe, but most of our survivors sleep in tents with no protection. Hershel and his family have added no additional security to their house and basically live like nothing has changed, except that when they go to town for supplies now they don’t have to pay. (Interestingly enough, that’s actually a nice touch in that the town’s general store/drug store has a sign up about taking only what you need and it isn’t fully looted, presumably because any people like Hershel on nearby farms have been only taking a few items at a time rather than clearing the shelves.) People stand around and talk a lot. They talk about finding Sophia and yet only a couple of people ever really go out looking, the main one being Daryl.

Daryl was given to us in season 1, a character not from the books, he was essentially just the crossbow hunting brother of the racist guy who got left handcuffed to the roof. In season 2, Daryl is fully fleshed out. He tells a couple of stories of his youth. After an injury he hallucinates about his brother and we get to see some depth in him. His relentless search for Sophia and his kindness to Carol. Daryl quickly became a fan favorite, as well as a person favorite. (He’s so popular that Kirkman will be adding him to the comic.) Throughout the season, Daryl exhibits the kind of clear-headed decision-making and purpose that Rick lacks.

Shane turns into a complete asshole this season, which as a comic reader I expected. But it is just so drawn out and often poorly handled. It’s almost like they had a bunch of different writers with different ideas of how the story should play out, and they tried to do all of them. Every conversation between Shane and Lori becomes a reason to punch the screen. In turn, most of the stuff between Rick and Lori hurts too. The decision to let Shane survive season 1’s story (where he dies in the books) added a wrinkle that could have been good but played out terribly on the show. The love triangle just had no traction, and Lori’s pregnancy with both possible father’s still around made for melodrama that the show didn’t need. Everything about it made Lori unsympathetic and hated by many fans. Hopefully that can be fixed in season 3 before… well… yeah.

Anyway, the gang eventually finds Sophia. She’s been in the barn the whole time. She’s a zombie. Otis (who died a couple of episodes in getting supplies to help Carl) put her there and no one else knew. But the barn got opened and all the other zombies Hershel was keeping there to try to cure are killed. The mid-season break comes as Rick is forced to put Sophia down for good.

The latter half of the season had more action. There was a bar fight, of sorts, and having to deal with a prisoner whom they don’t want to keep and can’t just let go. But like with Sophia, it takes them about 5 episodes to deal with the prisoner, dragging the story out to the point of annoyance. Meanwhile, Carl is back on his feet and constantly getting into trouble. First he goes places he shouldn’t be and then he starts wandering off. He almost gets himself eaten by a zombie, but instead leads it back to the farm where it eats Dale instead. This’ll be an interesting twist because in the comics Dale survives for quite a while and even has a relationship with Andrea. As a reader, I’m happy they are changing things up as it gives me less fore-knowledge of events, at least the specifics.

So we get to the penultimate episode and finally people stop acting silly. They start gathering supplies, boarding up the house, preparing for the coming winter. But Shane finally goes off the deep end and concocts a plan to kill Rick so he can have Lori for himself. It doesn’t work out so well for him, and Rick kills Shane. Then Carl shows up and kills zombie-Shane. This shooting has attracted a passing herd of zombies.

The final episode of the season really delivered. Not just in zombie action, but in character defining moments. Sure, given the slowness of so many of the thirteen episodes of season 2, the onslaught of the zombie herd overrunning the farm was glorious. They broke fences and (slowly) stormed buildings, and they ate a couple of people. But for me the most excellent development was with the character of Andrea. Season 1 ended with her wanting to give up and die after the death of her sister, and throughout this season she has dealt with that, in part due to Dale’s coddling and pushing. She went from wanting to run off with Shane and leave the group, to leaping out of a truck where she was safe to go rescue Carol in this final episode. She gets left behind and resorts to escaping on foot, pursued by zombies. And when we see that all the other characters are safe, we return to Andrea who is several hours into gaining a lead, then turning to fell the lead zombies, which by the lack of zombies following her you can tell she’s been doing and succeeding all night long. Andrea, through the course of the season, went from defeated and weak to protecting others and fighting for her life with every ounce of her being.

As much as I love the comic and have mostly been enjoying the show, if next season with the full cast is going to be more of what we got a lot of this season (slow drama), I’d rather Andrea and Daryl run off together and we get a real zombie survival show. But the final scenes give me hope. Face it, even in the books Hershel’s farm was kind of dull. That’s why they didn’t stay there very long. But the prison on the other hand, that was good stuff, and what do we see not too far from our band of survivors? The prison. Plus we also got a scene with Michonne, and entertainment news has told us they cast “The Governor” which pretty much cements what next season will be. Hopefully they’ll do it well and not drop the ball.

2012: Of Ends And Beginnings

2012So… welcome to 2012! Let’s dive right in. This year, as predicted, there will be an apocalypse. It will be nothing like any of the movies on the subject. There won’t be volcanoes and earthquakes. No super tidal waves, no zombies or plagues, no invasions from other planets. If Hollywood has dreamed it up and filmed it, it isn’t likely to be the way things happen.

However, on November 6th of this year, Americans will head to the polls to elect a President, possibly giving the current one another term or maybe giving a new one a try, and they’ll be electing every seat of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. I figure it’ll take about 6 weeks from that for things to come to a head, which will place it pretty squarely right where all those predictions claim “the world will end”.

Of course, the world won’t literally end. It’ll still be here, spinning on its axis and making its journey around the sun. But figuratively, the world as we know it will. There are a lot of people, and I’m one of them, who are upset at the way the government is currently running and are willing to vote “for the other guy” with almost no regard as to who that is because we want to send a message and throw everyone we can out of office. This is a “good thing” and is the reason why democracy is awesome. Power to the People and all that.

The only problem is that our current system of government is so horrendously broken that all of the “other guys” are pretty much the same as the guys currently in office. You might get a different slant on the same old rhetoric, but not much else. They’ll all keep voting the way they’ve been voting: for themselves.

However, 2011 illustrated that there is a significant swath of “the People” out there who have had enough AND are willing to do something about it, or at least to Occupy places. Don’t expect this to end. Winter always puts a damper on outdoor activities, but when it warms back up the sit-in will begin again. By November, politicians who in no way support the Occupy movement will be using the Occupy movement to get votes of people who would never vote for them, and once elected they’ll conveniently forget any promises they made to those “hippies” living in the parks. By December, it should be clear that nothing has changed as people start actually looking at voting records and other important things rather than campaign hype. It’ll be the Hope/Change bait and switch on epic proportions.

And let’s not forget, by December, our troops still won’t be home.

So, when I say that there will be an apocalypse in 2012, I simply mean that we will see a shift that will rock the United States, and through ripple effects the whole world. That last time we had a monumental shift was in 2001 on the 11th of September. The event and the actions taken in response changed the world. It was a dividing line. There existed a world before that day and a world after that day. And I think we will see that sort of thing happen again, another event that will create a dividing line.

But hey, don’t be sad. We’ve got a good solid ten months to enjoy before the fit hits the shan. So, live it well.

Dead Heat

Dead Heat

You Can't Keep A Good Cop Dead

I knew Joe Piscopo from his time on Saturday Night Live. Sure, I was between the ages of six and ten during his tenure, but the weekend is for staying up late. I’d also seen Johnny Dangerously and Wise Guys. So, probably sometime in 1989, when I saw Dead Heat on the shelf of the local video store, it was Joe who made me say, “I need to see this!” These days I remember it as the first movie I recall Treat Williams being in.

I also remember it as being a funny action buddy cop zombie movie.

It’s the story of a couple of cops, Roger Mortis and Doug Bigelow, looking into a recent rash of crimes perpetrated by criminals thought to be dead. And when they track down the nutcase behind the reanimations, Roger gets himself killed… and reanimated. Now just as indestructible as the bad guys, and finding out his condition is irreversible and deteriorating, he’s got a time limit to finish the job before he dies for good.

This is just such a fun movie that manages to blend horror and comedy well, while leaning more toward comedy, and action. And much to my delight, as of this morning it became available on Netflix Instant. I can’t wait to see it again.