Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Philosophizing The Walking Dead S1E2 Guts and Can Racism Survive The Apocalypse?

Welcome to our journey into the guts of The Walking Dead. What kind of journey? A philosophical, psychoanalytical and political kind. What I would like to do over the next couple months is dig thought the Walking Dead episode by episode to see what it can teach us. Thank you for following me on this journey. I look forward to reading your comments. Be forewarned: There are spoilers everywhere. Don’t forget to check out my previous post in the Philosophizing TWD series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead: S1E1 Day's Gone Bye, Bromance and Marriage

Days Gone By left Rick trapped in a tank in Atlanta, Georgia. Where he meets a new friend (Glenn) via the tanks radio. Taking Glenn's suggestion, Rick makes a run for it and meets Glenn in an alleyway. A hysterical Andrea greets him with a gun as soon as Rick arrives safely inside an abandoned store. Rick smooth talks his way into the group and wins over their tentative trust. On the Roof, Rick and the gang come upon Merle who is shooting at zombies stumbling through the streets. When Merle is confronted by the gang, they question his motivation, and Merle goes nutty slinging racial slurs and attacks everyone. After Rick recovers from being knocked to the ground, he confronts Merle.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hard Candy (2005) Dialog: Part 2 Final Girls, and "She is asking for it."

Dear Readers. You have come to part 2 of the hard Candy Dialog . A couple weeks ago I ran across a cool blog called Feminist Elizabethan, so I asked the author if she would like to have a discussion about a movie in the context of pop culture critique and feminism. We decided on a film called Hard Candy which stars Ellen Paige. Check out the first part in his series here: Hard Candy Dialog (2005): Part 1 Junk, Little Red Riding Hood and "She is asking for it."

Feminist Elizabethan wrote: A final girl trope is when the only person who survives a bad situation is a girl, but to be the final girl she must first be terrorized, and then fight back once she or her friends have been thoroughly terrorized. And if she does fight back, then she usually uses the killer's weapon or some sort of a phallic weapon.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Philosophizing The Walking Dead: S1E1 Day's Gone Bye, Bromance and Marriage

Welcome to our journey into the guts of The Walking Dead. What kind of journey? A philosophical, psychoanalytical and political kind. What I would like to do over the next couple months is dig thought the Walking Dead episode by episode to see what it can teach us. Thank you for following me on this journey. I look forward to reading your comments. Be forewarned: There are spoilers everywhere.

In the opening scene of Days Gone By, we ask a rather important question about the nature of femininity and provided with an unconvincing set of answers. Sitting in their police car Shane asks Rick
Shane: What is the difference between men and women? (TWD S1E1)

Hard Candy Dialog (2005): Part 1 Junk, Little Red Riding Hood and "She is asking for it."

Dear Readers. Let me being by saying this is a new experiment. A couple weeks ago I ran across a cool blog called Feminist Elizabethan, so I asked the author if she would like to have a discussion about a movie in the context of pop culture critique and feminism. We decided on a film called Hard Candy which stars Ellen Paige. Let me explain the format, Feminist Elizabethan is beings by responding to my question: what did you make of the film? 

Feminist Elizabethan wrote: 
Well, when I first saw it I was about 14. My step-mom and I were really bored, and she had just gotten a random DVD in the mail from Blockbuster. We had no idea what the movie was about, and when I saw the title, I just hoped it wasn't a porno.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Resolution (2012) and the Intervention of the Real.

The Resolution is a film about the intervention of the real. Michael and Chris are friends. Chris has a methamphetamine addiction. Fed up with Chris's addition, Michael decides to force him to go quit cold turkey by handcuffing him to a pipe. The home that Chris is squatting in is located in the middle of nowhere on a native American reservation. Standard enough plot, but the movie is filled with weirdness. Resolution uses weirdness to materialized trauma. By injecting random elements into the plot the viewer is forced into the traumatic and changing relationship between two friends.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Mist (2007), "There is Politics in the Mist!", and War Drones

The Mist is a complex movie with a lot of moving parts. David, our hero, is an artist and husband living in a small mountain town with his wife and child. Suddenly, a storm breaks. The next morning the family wakes up to find the neighbor's tree crashed into the boathouse. Needing supplies, David makes his way to the grocery store just before the mysterious mist appears. What is the Mist? The film provides no answer. Right away we are kept at arm’s length from the truth. Breaking the confused, wondering of the consumers in the store, man covered in blood is running away from the Mist towards the Grocery store.
Dan Miller: There is something in the Mist! (The Mist, 2007)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

100 Feet, Valentines Day and Domestic Violence

Valentine’s Day is usually associated with hearts and chocolates, but Valentine’s Day is one of the most violent days of the year for women in abusive relationships. V-day is a yearly socio-economic and cultural event that creates and propels a set of romantic standards that, while fluffy for some trigger violence in others. This articles objective is interrogate 100 Feet in order to celebrate authentic love and raise awareness about domestic violence.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Interrogating Louis Althusser's On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and the State Apparatuses

Louis Althusser is an oddity. On the one hand, he is a brilliant mind who struggled with his comrades for a better world in a 1960's France, and created the theory of the Ideological State Apparatus. On the other hand, in a fit of a madness he strangled his wife to death. Nevertheless, I will not take the shady route and condemn Althusser's writings because he was mad. Like other philosopher's, I'm thinking about Nietzsche, madness was required for greatness.

Althusser is one of my favorite philosophers I have read the least. Luckily, I got my hands on a copy of On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideology State Apparatuses. I found the book helpful for me to get a better grip on a shorter/condensed text called Ideology and State Apparatuses: Notes towards and Investigation. I found the former document more welcoming to new readers than the second one.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Grace (2009), The Horror of God's Love and Cute Babies

Grace, in the film of the same title, is a zombie baby. Grace gets her nourishment from the blood of the non-that-innocent victims that Grace's mother kills. The word grace is a float-y theological concept that seeks to describe an individual's transcendental experience with life (What does a zombie baby have to do with theology? Read on.) Grace is the sublime beauty of the moment that is happening. It is a moment transfused with divinity and personal metaphysical connection. Grace is a kind of personal fidelity with existence. Grace is also an action. An otherworldly mercy that shines a favorable light upon the individual. Grace the overwhelming psychedelic perspective we take on an event which encodes it with meaning beyond itself.

The first time the word Grace is mentioned in the film Madeline (Jordan Ladd) is giving birth to her infant that, supposedly died, moments before during a car crash. Madeline has opted for a water birth. The most natural way to give birth to zombies. In the mists of her birth screaming, Boom!, water is misted with blood that is reminiscent of a squid escaping an attacker. The midwife pronounces the child dead, but Madeline cradles the child in her arms. Suddenly, Bang!, the baby is alive and suckling. Madeline says:
It is grace. She is grace. (Grace, 2009)
Grace is not a normal baby. Grace is a flesh eating baby. Where is the theological concept of grace hiding in this tragedy? In the mother's love. A love so embarrassing that Madeline can love her infant even if the creature is a cannibal. Madeline here plays a god-like role where she has an inner capacity to expend grace towards her child. Grace enough to even feed the child, her own blood. What is interesting here is depth of Madeline's love. Having miscarried two previous children, she is deeply invested in the idea of being a mother. Even during the opening sex scene the viewer is almost given the impression through Madeline's facial expression that she is already living deeply in the fantasy of being a mother.

Grace's love fits the description of the horrific description of God's all-embracing love. The Christian god, whom will love even the most grievance sins as long as they seek forgiveness. There is a sense in which Madeline's love is more open than God's love because her love is not conditional. Grace loves and asks nothing from her infant. Not even goodness. Madeline's love is a love beyond good and evil.

Let's saw into God's love and its limitations by beginning with the problem of evil. Theodicy is the subset of theology that seeks to answer the question about why God allows evil. Theodicy is when theologians theorize about why God would allow things like the Holocaust, and American slavery to happen. There's a key to understanding theodicy in the word holocaust which means “burnt offering.” What is the benefit of thinking about the holocaust in the terms of divine sacrifice? On the one hand, obfuscates god's accountability as an all loving deity. And on the other, it allows theologians to insert the hand of God in to radical evil. As if the holocaust was some kind of moral science project.

I don't have a word for what I'm about to describe. But let me attempt a definition in the form of a question. What is the theology around seeking to answer why God would allow himself to be evil? For example, lets take the case of the story where God demands that Abraham murder his son. Some Christian's pursue insidious arguments that seek to justify God's actions, create a protective bubble that blocks us from critical thinking, and radically distance God from his actions. Is not the greater sin to euphemistically recode attempted murder to sacrifice? Let’s take a look at what happened.
Let us follow Kierkegaard's path and take a look at the story from Isaac's perspective. One day his father, who he trusts more than anyone, takes him out to a hill. Ties him to a pile of sticks, and raises a knife over his head. Where is grace to be found here? Is God's showing love when he is terrorizing children? Is grace a concept that can be applied to testing a father's faith through attempted murder?

Madeline's sense of grace and love for her child is deeper than God's love for creation because unlike Abraham killing her child is not something that crossed her mind. For instance, while God seeks the need to test his creation, Madeline fully loves evil center in her creation that is far beyond what God has shown capable of. While God constantly seeks to change his creation into something which is more fitting for grace, Madeline demonstrates a sublime grace that shows a radical sense of love for her child. Where God seeks obliteration of the human race, Madeline shows a genuine love for all that humanity is; a horror only a mother could love.
Grace (2009) IMDb,. (2014). Grace (2009). Retrieved 12 August 2014, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1220213/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Chainsaw Exorcism with activist Zombie Leader and Leukemia Activism

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Zombie Leader and when I'm not terrorizing the uninfected, I teach middle school science in CT. I'm married with 3 walkers. I am a collector (comics, autographs, & memorabilia), a dabbler in acrylic painting, a diehard sports fan, and fan of The Walking Dead. I'm an Air Force brat, so I lived in 7 different states as well as Greece growing up.

Analysis of Cassandra Sechler's Nightmare: "The Wall Between Doors"

Cassandra Sechler is a multimedia artist living in San Francisco, California. She primarily works with film, video, photography, and sculpture and runs a DIY film collaborative with Craig Jacobson called Dreams For Dead Cats Productions.

Her background is in conceptual art and psychology, which aids her in providing her viewer with expressionistic works that are both personal and poetic. The nature of gender, identity, dreams, technological infrastructure, and her place within them are often the focus of her work as a visual artist.

Sechler is currently working with c.3.3. films on a horror anthology called Blue Noon and a nightmarish web series titled The Phantoms Came to Meet Him.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism with Mark West author of The Mill

Could you tell me about yourself and about “The Mill”?

My name is Mark West, I live in Northamptonshire in England and I've been writing stories since I was eight (‘homages’ to “Star Wars” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”).  I began publishing short horror in the small press in 1998 and since then, I've had over seventy short stories appear, two novels, a collection and “The Mill”, a novelette.  “The Mill” originally appeared in “We Fade To Grey”, an anthology from Pendragon Press, edited by Gary McMahon, which was published in 2008.  In 2011, Tim C Taylor at Greyhart Press asked if he could re-publish it as a stand-alone book and I agreed.

“The Mill” concerns a recently bereaved man, who is struggling to come to terms with grief and loss.  When he starts to dream of his wife, calling to him from a place called The Mill, he finds himself ever more drawn there.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

All Things Interrogated: Horror of Authority, and Deconstructing the Superbowl Commercial Industry

I am taking a great class called Leading Strategically. The professor is very human, and spends most of the class engaging in class discussion. We began class for today talking about the Superbowl as a strategic entity. The class demographics are about half sports coaches (for the schools sports teams) half MBA majors and three social workers. Without going to deep into the full conversation I'd like to tap into a line of argument I presented to the class.

I began my shouting out what I thought.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism With Author Neil Cohen About His Zombie Novel Exit Zero

Could you tell me about yourself and Exit Zero?

My name is Neil Cohen and I was born and raised in New Jersey, but moved to a couple different states after college, and finally settled just outside Washington DC. But New Jersey is not something you can easily scrub off of you, even with brillo pad. It is in your DNA and it gives you a world view that make you an outsider pretty much everywhere else on the planet. Exit Zero came about from a number of influences. First off, I am a lifelong zombie fan. Zombie movies were the only things that really frightened me as a kid, and when I got older, I realized I only liked reading apocalyptic type books. I loved talking with authors and other fans at conventions, and thought it would be great if I could add to this genre’. For my real job, I deal with first responders and the military, and they are huge zombie fans, many of which have real zombie pandemic type response plans for their agency.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

On The Devil Inside(2012), Evil Ideologies and How to Preform an Exorcism on the Superbowl.

I'd like to pursue a strange question that came to me last week; What would a philosophical orientation structured like an exorcism look like? I have reached the conclusion that a philosophical discipline exorcism would have a set of principal; a personal certitude towards the truth of an idea, a belief that there are evil ideologies, a discernment process to identify if an ideology can be categorized as manipulative but curable or a harm to the whole of the human race, and finally an all out fight against evil.
  • Truth - People are more important than profit. 
  • Potential Evil Ideology - The ideology that a large social group participating in the Superbowl is a amoral 

Analysis of Zainab Ali's Nightmare - Rotting Teeth and Evil Newscasters

Zainab Ali is a Horror Blogger who writes about movies, books, dreams and nightmare interpretations, and real life experiences. Zainab Ali and I have swapped nightmares to analysis. You can find her analysis of my nightmare about zombies on a boat dream on her blog called The Nightmare Nook Horror Blog.


When I was little, I guess around 4, I forget. But I was sleeping and my face was turned to the wall. And then an image popped up on the wall. You know how you flip through channels and you see the news and the newscaster? It was similar to that, except this newscaster was so evil looking. He was grinning an evil grin with rotted teeth. I woke up so scared I ran to my parent's bedroom. For a very long time I was afraid to face the wall. I am 33 now and even though I face the wall when I sleep now, it is always there in the back of my mind.