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25 October, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 3 "Thank You"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
It is an important point to remember that, in the aftermath of any seriously debilitating disaster or long-term emergency, modern-day medical care might be a difficult thing to come by. As a result, something we might consider minor today – like the simple cut suffered by Rick in this episode – could snowball into an actual life-threatening situation. Imagine cutting or burning yourself now, and we all know that it would most likely be OK; doctors would prescribe antibiotics and antibiotic creams are even available for sale over the counter. Take that crutch away, however, and things could potentially become much more dire, so taking extra care to avoid even minor injuries would be very important.

Another point of interest, especially should one find themselves attempting survival on the road in a "bug out" situation, revolves around the need to account for injuries in one's party that could slow down or otherwise impede an escape or any kind of travel where haste is important. A decision will have to be made whether or not to leave individuals behind in the hopes of ensuring the survival of the healthy. This is a moral question that each individual will have to answer for themselves, rather than there being a clear-cut right or wrong answer. Realistically, and from a purely cold logic perspective, arguments can be made for such a position just as well as for not leaving anyone behind. In my own personal opinion, however, I would favor the latter simply because engendering in individuals the expectation that you would not abandon them in a time of need would be a big part of breeding loyalty within a group. The last thing you want is for every individual to feel like they are in it for themselves. If that's the attitude, then why have a group at all?

And, lastly, we viewers are reminded again about the likelihood of losing friends. Each and everyone of us is preparing for the possibility of harsher times in the future, and – regardless of what type of event causes that harshness – an increase in danger and the lack of societal controls will dictate that some people simply are not going to make it, unfortunately. Preparing with that knowledge might very well be the most important preparation of all. And the most difficult. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







21 October, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "The Ascent (Holding Their Own Book 4)" by Joe Nobody

The Doomer Fiction book I'm focusing on today is "The Ascent (Holding Their Own Book 4)" by Joe Nobody (Kindle edition). This is the fourth book in this very popular series that follows a young couple in Texas in the midst of America attempting to rebuild after society has completely collapsed. And, as can also be said about the first three installments, this novel is an entertaining read, though I will admit it starts off quite slow and builds from there. 

This installment picks up just days after the climactic assassination that occurred at the end of the previous novel, which was only the latest in a series of events that has laid the groundwork for a bloody Civil War between two competing governments. In the meantime, an uneasy stalemate exists that everyone is fully aware could quickly break out into a hot war again at any moment (there was already one very bloody battle just before the current ceasefire that has allowed both sides to gather even greater forces). Meanwhile, this power struggle stands in the way of actual recovery as millions of real people continue to struggle with no help, and Bishop and Terri just want to be left alone to return to their isolated retreat hidden in remote West Texas... but such a peaceful plan is not in their immediate future as they quickly find themselves targeted in a mysterious assassination attempt of their own that leaves them not knowing who to trust or why someone is after them. 

Truthfully, readers of this novel will notice that there doesn't seem to be a great deal happening for a good portion of the story, other then some intrigue followed by examples of how many people have suffered during the collapse, especially orphaned children. In addition, the reader is introduced to the idea that there are some serious limits to an economy based solely on bartering, and we are treated to a storyline involving returning electrical power to a community involving a large West Texas wind farm. Later, however, things heat up quite a bit with an attack carried out on Bishop and Terri's retreat that is spread over multiple chapters and very exciting to read. 

In the end and despite starting off slowly, this one is definitely a great read and a worthy installment in the series. 

Another interesting thing to note is that, apparently, Books 2 and 3 in the series took place over a span of just a few days as Bishop (early in this 4th book) ruminates on the near certainty of returning home to find that their fledgling garden has withered. He thinks specifically about he and Terri having departed their retreat just six days before (an event that occurred very early in Book 2) and that the sprouting plants likely won't have survived the heat without someone there to manually water them. 

18 October, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 2 "JSS" ("Just Survive Somehow")

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
Early in the episode, we are introduced to a character who is a trained psychiatrist that has been drafted into duty as the town's doctor. What we can take from this is a reinforcement of the understanding that anyone with medical training will both possess an asset that makes them extremely valuable to any burgeoning community attempting survival as well as that people should probably get used to the idea of having to operate outside of their own personal comfort zones. The character we see on screen chose to go into psychiatry, specifically because of having panic attacks when it came to the idea of performing surgery, etc., yet she's both now got to get past that because she's all the town has as well as possessing skills that more or less ensure her own survival and protection because of her value to the people of the settlement.

Essentially, what we are seeing play out in the show is the merging of two groups with different mindsets. There's a certain level of compromise involved when it comes to forming a community, but Rick's group has seen too much of the way the world is outside to feel that they are in a position where any type of compromise is really possible for them. They have experienced too much and have been shaped by it, their viewpoint basically boiling down to the fact that they know how to survive in the world as it is whereas the people of Alexandria have been largely sheltered from all of that.

But what this episode also brings home quite clearly is that such a sheltered community would likely become a target for outsiders who want to take it for themselves. One of the things I have always liked the most about this show is its willingness not to shy away from the fact that other people are always the real monsters, which is something that those of us in the Prepper / Survivalist community know quite well. As stated by one of the characters, Alexandria is simply "too big with too many blind spots" to be able to protect it effectively. Of course, that capability increases exponentially when you add to the number of defenders behind the walls, which is something else we should all keep in mind for a possible harsher future.

I'm finding that I'm personally intrigued with the character of Morgan, who has returned to the cast this season (and as more than a guest star for the first time). The interesting thing about him, I think, will be to gauge his ability to coexist with a group. We know that he was originally surviving alongside his son in the very first episode of the series, and that he went a bit off the deep end after losing the boy. What we don't know, however, is what the lasting affects of that trauma will prove to have been or how he will interact within a community after only ever having to look out for himself and – at one time – one other person. Needless to say, his story will mirror that of a lot of other survivors, so he may end up standing as a testament to the kinds of scars that such hardship can leave on a person.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







11 October, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 Premiere - Episode 1 "First Time Again"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
One of the first things we are introduced to in this episode is Rick's push for the community to halt recruiting any more people. In such a situation, there will definitely be times when allowing someone to join your community will actually make the community stronger. This is especially true with respect to people who have certain skills, such as medical training or military/law-enforcement experience. However, one thing that must always be at the forefront of such decisions is the understanding that there are also many situations where allowing someone into a community means possibly allowing a threat to take hold within one's own proverbial house. 

Rick states, "I don't take chances anymore," and I would argue that such a stance is an example of wisdom on his part, learned the hard way out on the road trying to survive. Better than most, the group followed by the story knows that usually other people are the real monsters. We see that those who do join the community (Morgan) are kept in custody for a while similar to house arrest to make sure they aren't dangerous, asked questions about their time out on the road, etc. This serves the purpose of allowing the people in charge of the community to get to know the newcomer and attempt to ascertain whether or not they are a potential asset or a danger. Again, a very good idea, in my opinion.

Viewers are then faced with the idea that when violence is a part of everyday life, it may be a struggle to differentiate between killing for necessity's sake versus those who are simply cold-blooded killers. That's a good point this episode tries to drive home, but honestly I don't exactly see it the same way. I can think of many instances where resorting to violence might be the only choice that ensures the survival of me and mine, but that's not the same thing as being a violent person. In the end, I think it all boils down to whether or not the individual has a moral code by which they live. Some do and some do not, so each of us will need to get better at being able to discern the true natures of people we meet.

Another point is the need to be prepared for the necessity of taking preemptive action in order to keep your community safe. In the event of a sufficiently serious disaster or long-term emergency where communities (large or small) may be forced to band together to attempt survival, it is not unreasonable to assume that there will be many threats with which to contend. You must be prepared to deal with issues you discover early on in order to keep them from becoming more serious threats later, and it's important to remember that this kind of preemptive action won't necessarily be limited simply to action involving violence. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







04 October, 2015

REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead: Season 1 Finale - Episode 6 "The Good Man"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
When a military force that has been occupying an area in the aftermath of a serious disaster or long-term emergency receives orders to pull out or fall back, don't count on necessarily being advised ahead of time. Strategic withdrawals such as this are a reality of warfare, no matter how the threat being fought against manifests itself. Unfortunately, these kinds of strategic withdrawals would not necessarily involve evacuating the citizens of an area. One must be prepared to imagine that the worst would be possible of even their own government in the event that the situation is sufficiently bleak. 

In such a setting, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that someone in command may simply decide on a proverbial triage that sacrifices some of the general population as being expendable. Obviously, announcing this would lead to civil unrest, so don't bet on knowing they are leaving until they are already gone. My advice would be to keep a close watch in such a situation, so that you may be able to read the subtext of what is really happening behind closed doors that they aren't necessarily telling you. At that point, it's up to you to use your instincts to try to ensure the survival of yourself and your family and friends.

We must also prepare for the fact that some of our fellow survivors are going to adopt a philosophy of complete selfishness with respect to staying alive. Such people will only help others if it is somehow of benefit to themselves, performing cold mental assessments as to the value added equation of every action. Never doubt that these kind of people will do anything if it ensures their own survival, even if doing so means endangering yours or even taking from you and yours. And, truthfully, I imagine there will be more of those than we would like to admit, because striving for survival at any cost is a very powerful part of our inborn instinctual makeup. Some, of course, will maintain more of their humanity and try to help others; but people like this will be the minority.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for this series:
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5


My previous reviews for the parent series The Walking Dead can be accessed by clicking the links below: