— FEATURED —
— FOLLOW US —
— POLICIES —
Except where indicated, Boing Boing is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution
— FONTS —
I recently found out that, in 2050, when I am 69 years old, the Voyager 1 space craft will finally reach a distance of one single light-day away from the Earth.
Light will reach that point in 24 hours. A man-made jumble of electronics will have taken 73 years. At that rate, it'll be more than 26,000 years before Voyager has traveled a light-year away from us.
The nearest star is more than 4 light-years away. (And also in the wrong direction.)
These facts were making me feel a little overwhelmed and strangely sad. Reader David Radune on Google+ captured those feelings perfectly, in one sentence,"I don't think we're ever getting off this rock."
For the uninitiated, The Walking Dead is Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn's superb and terrifying zombapocalypse graphic novel series, in which a band of survivors overcome zombies, internal power-struggles, traumatized family, zombie-bit lovers, and, of course, other survivors who've been turned even more feral by the walking dead.
The pacing never lets up -- something amply demonstrated in this volume, where a new rival group of survivors has something awful planned for our heroes, a plan that involves terrorizing them as much as possible, keeping them off balance.
What makes The Walking Dead so compelling to me is the way it asks you to decide, over and over again, do you bug-out (get away with your loved ones) or bug-in (help your neighbors and let them help you), or both? I've always hoped that I'd be a bug-in person, that in a disaster I'd work for the mutual aid of everyone. But bugging in works best if the rest of the world does it with you -- a few selfish buggers-out shatter the social bonds that make it possible for the most people to survive a terminal prisoner's dilemma. But even for us bug-in types, Kirkman wants us to ask ourselves, how far will you go? Who gets to come inside the shelter with you, and who gets left outside to die?
This is the kind of ethical question that underpins our responses to everything from humanitarian crises like the one in Haiti to the health-care debate to immigration and refugee policy. It's at the core of racism and sexism, at the core of xenophobia and discrimination. In its most extreme form, it can give rise to horrors like the American eugenics movement or Naziism, but who among us doesn't have a secret kernel of it lurking in our breast?
Reading The Walking Dead is never easy for me. I had to stop and put down the current collection several times, as the creators made my heart thud and my mind whirl. But when I was done, I immediately wished for the next volume to hit the stands.