Friday, March 27, 2015

Everything about the Walking Dead that drives me crazy

Since I've all but totally abandoned writing fiction, I've decided to repurpose this blog space to do something far nobler than bitch about trying to get published: to pull together every complaint I have about the show the Walking Dead into one place so I can easily post a link to all these complaints on my Facebook page.

I like the show, mostly. At least, it's better than waiting for Sunday night to just end and work to come the next day. But some things about this show just drive me crazy:

1) Gas would not work. It's been five years. No cars should be running.
2) Zombies are wearing clothes. They must poop and pee in their clothes.
3) Speaking of the fact that zombies have metabolic processes going on, they should die from more than just headshots. They seem to still breathe and pump blood. Serious interruptions to these processes should kill them sooner rather than later. Yes, you usually have to kill the regenerators in Resident Evil IV by using the special scope and hitting the hidden spots, but you can also pull out a rocket launcher and kill them that way using tons of damage.
4) Canned food has all gone bad by now. Don't try to tell me it hasn't really been five years. Carl is clearly five years older.
5) The baby came in season three, right? She should be walking by now. Carl's aged two years, why hasn't she?
6) They were supposedly saving ammo, right? What happened to that?
7) A ragtag group of people with makeshift weapons can survive forever, but the military and all of modern society was overrun in a few weeks before they figured out what was happening.
8) How long was Rick in the hospital? Was he eating? How was he strong enough to walk out of there? Who was refilling his bag?
9) Black people are all weak except Michone. Sasha's recent turn to sniper Sasha is forced.
10) Zombies are soooooooooooooooooo easy to kill. It's boring. And again, how did they ever destroy civilization? We survived the Nazis, but these guys took us down?
11) Haven't they killed enough zombies by now that none are left?
12) Zombies are slow. And stupid. And loud. How do they hunt animals or whatever to stay alive? No animal stupid enough to be eaten by them would have survived until now.
13) Saying "they just starve slow" is a cop-out. Some zombies have clearly been sitting in houses for like 5 years. Since they clearly continue to carry out metabolic processes, they are using energy. That energy needs to be replaced.
14) They have so much blood, but do they ever drink? They should be dehydrated. They should also bleed out and die.
15) They have so many characters, they can't keep a consistent narrative arc going for any of them. Mullet boy has disappeared. Carl only reappears now to get horny for the weird girl. Rick has changed personnas like seven times. He's been moral center, spaced-out crazy man, woosy, dictator, moral center again, beast-mode Rick, and now whatever he just was in that last episode. Horny Rick, I guess.
16) Killing characters nobody cares about and then milking a whole episode out of people feeling sad about that person nobody cares about.
17) For example, Beth in that hospital lasted FORE EV ER. I was ready to kill her myself.
18) So, let's get this straight...a bite or scratch from a zombie, even if you wash it directly afterwards, gives you the disease. Being drenched in the gorey effervescence of splatter wounds and driving your fist into their skulls=wipe it off in the grass and you're good? They must have gotten zobmie guts in their nasal cavities at some point. I think that counts as contact with bodily fluids.
19) How do zombies sneak up on anyone? There should never be jump scares.
20) Carol shoots a gas tank and it explodes. A gas tank that is somehow full of gas after three years of apocalyptic power shortages.
21) How are Maggie and Glen practicing birth control? There should be at least three episodes dedicated to showing us exactly how.
22) Why do you have to engineer brilliant walls to keep the zombies out? There are already like billions of walls built already on Earth. Any building should keep them out. They aren't smart or particularly strong.
23) You can lure them in with meat and kill all of them. But there are still more every day. That must mean they travel a long distance. Which again, means using a lot of energy. But they hardly ever eat.
24) There are an awful lot of living people left for civilization to be just gone. Seriously. Get a radio. Gather some folks. 100 people can kill a million of them if you're at all smart.
25) Just poison them! It works for rats, and rats are probably smarter.
26) They now live in a walled community. Build a hidden trap around it. We already know zombies will walk into it over and over. Then make a bunch of noise. Kill everyone within 20 miles. Now you're safe.
27) I think we all pretty much know by now they're not going to kill Darryl. That would end the show. So quit trying to scare me into thinking you'll kill him.
28) Don't fucking prove me wrong by killing Darryl.
29) Did somebody remember to turn off all the nuclear power plants before the zombies ate them?
30) How did zombies chase down a horse? Horses used to survive by outrunning real hunters, like panthers and stuff.
31) Wouldn't clothing have just rotted off zombies that are outside? Or are you afraid to show us a naked zombie? Really? You can have your art department fill a giant balloon full of whale sperm and pop it when someone's head gets knocked in, but you draw the decency line at zombie boobs?
32) If Maggie ever dies, we should see her zombie boobs.
33) Rick occasionally forgets he's not British.
34) Rick is starting to talk low an awful lot. He's like Batman.

I will surely think of more later.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Suggestion to make all writing programs much better

I have had to receive a lot of feedback at work lately. Decisions are being made on money. There isn't enough to give raises to everyone who deserves one. So that means management has to give lame excuses for not giving raises--and even they know they're lame.

My managers offered to give me feedback in person. I said just e-mail it to me. I think management feels this is a great shame to them to not meet face-to-face with their people. I think this is the only way to do these feedback sessions. You're going to tell me some stuff about work I put everything I had into, and not all of it's going to be good. And you know I'm going to disagree with some of what you say, and you know there's a chance I might have some valid points. Let's not complicate all that by letting emotion come into it. Send it to me so I can read it when nobody is around. Let me fume about it in the stairwell. Or let me never read it. Ever. Maybe I don't want to know what it says.

This is also how writing programs should work. Feedback should go either on a group page or directly to the writer. The writer can do whatever the hell he wants with the feedback. But he doesn't have to hear criticism of what he put everything he had into in front of 5-20 other writers.


-I can ignore people whose opinions I don't care about, and focus on those I do. Seriously, your story about children with super powers in the wake of a nuclear holocaust is stupid. I don't want to take any advice you have.
-This can lead to honest, deep relationships between writers who have similar literary values and goals. They can continue to correspond "off line" from the class as much as they want.
-No time is wasted with talking writers down from their emotional responses. They can take time on their own to recover before needing to respond.
-I feel like this might add to specificity. If you had to tie your comments to actual parts of the text with a MS comments format, it might help avoid useless generalisms that were born of overworked students not really putting any thought into their feedback.

What should you do in class instead? Maybe have the instructor--the supposed professional in the room--talk craft, take questions about craft, etc. Seriously, you don't go to biology and spend the whole time talking about one person's experiment. You talk about mitochondria, and then you go do science on your own. Why doesn't writing do this?