Things to show what I’m talking about. Zombies are everywhere.

Picture of a zombie flash mob. Why do people do this?
Hit T.V show on AMC. Wasn’t going to have a second season, now its top dog.
Ricky Gervais running from a zombie mob in a commercial for Netflix airing frequently on major channels
NFA Weapons by Fiscal Year. Details to follow
Gun sales have gone up dramatically
a picture of top selling rock artist Rob Zombie, formerly of White Zombie
 earliest of the modern zombie theme, inspired a sequel and began the spree of films in the genre to emerge after

Idea for Poster – Zombies in 3D

  1. Pictures (Attached); I will include pictures from the zombie Film Headlines including N.O.T.L.D & 28 Days Later. I want pictures to be my main attraction on my poster since the topic of zombie film is such a visual idea. My typed work will be mostly spoken, although I will include main points from each paragraph as well as a work’s cited on the poster too. I would also like to include a 3-d and/or video element: I would like the visuals of my poster to be enhanced with 3-d graphics, almost like a zombie “coming out” of the poster, so that my project can be brought to life a little more (no pun intended). I was also thinking about having two laptops set up with one playing Romero’s 1968 black and white classic “Night of the Living Dead” while another simultaneously plays Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” so that just as is discussed in my paper, my audience will be able to observe differences between the two films themselves – almost as if the videos will help to prove my point for me without my saying anything. Also, these movies are just plain cool and I think they will attract a lot of attention from multiple generations remembering the classic zombie horror films of their time.

Images;This is an original poster/ cover for Romero’s original 1968 film, which many still claim to be the scariest movie ever made. Interestingly enough, this zombie doesn’t really look a thing like zombies in modern horror, which I also include pictures of on my poster.

 This is a popular poster sold at almost ever online poster website out there. In fact, my friend has one hanging in his room and I see this everywhere. I don’t understand it but think it’s a pretty interesting conversation point. One word; “Brains”. I don’t understand myself what kind of message or idea this is supposed to convey, but it seems that all of a sudden, zombies are becoming less scary and more ‘cool’. This correlates well in my paper which argues that society as a whole has lost a certain filter which once deemed this kind of imagery inappropriate – the same way that gore, blood, and violence has increased exponentially in modern cinema as opposed to zombie films from the 1960’s and 70’s.

These next two pictures I think are weirdly related in imagery, and use a visual idea to convey partially what my paper will be about. Not just about the fire, but the attitude of 9/11 gave us all a heightened fear and unsafe feeling which is absolutely played out in modern zombie flicks – especially “28 Days” which came out recently after 9/11. Just as our enemies are now so resourceful and destructive they can fly planes into buildings, the modern zombie exhibits similar ‘unstoppable’ feelings to audiences, who can longer imagine the zombie as a slow, docile, weak corpse as Romero’s 1968 “N.O.T.L.D” painted. Zombies, like our enemies, are now something uncanny and unknown, but surely destructive and something to be not only avoided, but feared.

Compare that to imagery from the 1960’s in both cinema and real life. A Nuclear bomb destroys everything, and I believe the slow and somewhat harmless docility of Romero’s zombie’s are reflected in Cold War ideology. Whereas modern zombies are aggressive and forceful, startling and overpoweringly REAL, Romero’s undead served more as a threat to human beings when our guard was let down. Just like politics of the Cold war preached vigilance, it was easier to survive the Zombie apocalypse in the 1960’s because the threat was obvious from far away – you could even outrun a zombie back then which is more than can be said of today. You can outrun a bomb, but deff not a plane.

what I didn’t know about the Revolution

I’ve enjoyed this book the most so far in class for several reasons. First of all, the format of the book is enjoyable and makes for an easy read. I think this is important that this book is a graphic novel because the Iranian Revolution was such a serious matter. Reading the book as one would a comic strip takes a lot of seriousness and previous political ideology out of the equation. There is no way we as Americans are used to reading about matters dealing with Iran in a similar way to which we read “Calvin and Hobbs”, and thus it brings many new ideas and perspectives to light regarding the situation as a whole. When combined with the narrative from a little girl growing up amidst the revolution, I find myself actually re-learning what happened. Some things I had misconceptions about includes everything from the attitude of the country (I had no idea there were so many sides to the revolution, or that so many events took place before the taking over of the U.S embassy; it seems Americans only perceive the revolution as taking place once our embassy was taken over). I also like the little girls depiction of God as a personable force in her life, as well as her religious comments in the beginning of the novel. We clearly see how religious attitudes of the country are much like our own in America, and possibly even more mild when considering the Evangelical Resurgence in the political climate of the U.S. Also, as clearly depicted in the last bubble on page 79, I learned that Arabs are NOT Iranians. This concept never occurred to me.

I was stunned to learn how repressive the regime was over a population which didn’t necessarily support a religious government. As seen with the family, people have very mixed views about religion – an idea embodied in the little girl. It amazes me how people use torture and violence to subjugate a population in fear and obedience. This concept is so foreign to me I can’t relate to it at all.

However, my favorite part about this novel is the humanity found within each character. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never been spoken to a group of Iranians in my life and therefore have never gotten a preview as to who they are as people. From what the graphic novel has pointed out, they are just like us; emotional, intelligent, and even funny. My favorite example of humor in the novel is on page 81. The little girl is complaining about the Iraqi’s telling her father how “they want to invade us”. Her fathers response really cracked me up; “And worse they drive like maniacs.” Its the same sort of everyday humor I could hear an American person using about some other group of people which we don’t understand or connect with.

Lastly, I’m fascinated by the clothing restrictions put on the population by the new Iranian government. Neckties, short sleeves and skirts were banned among other things. Recently I’ve also heard that Shorts and necklaces have been banned for men in that country. What does banning a style of clothing do to people? This is a question I will bring up in class. To show the hypocrisy of such an idea, here is a picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Please tell me that the lack of his necktie doesn’t still contradict his Armane suit. There is a stark contradiction to the traditional dress of the religious leaders of Iran, like Ayatollah Khomeini. Why is this? This is what puzzles me about the modern Iranian regime – the mixed signals we get in trying to understand them. Just like the little girl in Persepolis.

Riverbend

I want to start this discussion off with a comment about the introduction of the book begin inning on page 1. It becomes clear throughout reading this book, that the points of view expressed by the author or uniquely not American, and sometimes, not even political. I admire the author for her independent voice – which can maybe be attributed to the way in which we as Americans single her out as a foreign woman. We as Americans, in publishing this book, take some sort of meaning away from her reason for writing this blog in the first place. However, to get back to page 1; I find it wrong that the publishers chose to paint an American nationalist POV – putting everything this girl has to say – into a warped context; one we associate with war and politics. Her comments are about a way of life for her and her people; and how this idea has been continually lost throughout especially most recent decades.

“The Irony is hearing about the “War on Terrorism” on CNN and then tuning in to the CPA channel to see the Al-Da’awa people sitting there, polished and suited, Puppet Knights of the Round Table” (notice her reference to the Round table; her people have become completely westernized through their idea of politics) “To see Al-Jaffari, you almost forget that they had a reputation for terrorism over the decades.” (123).

This is very interesting to me; the concept of western politics and war has changed a bunch of so called terrorists into politicians – and changed all sorts of dynamics (note Al-Queda wasn’t in Iraq until the U.S entered that country). So then, lets take a look at images from this region – starting with the politicians, so that we may perhaps see the clash in ideology promoted by western interests.

Churchill’s descent into madness

In analyzing Churchill’s play, Far Away, societal descent into paranoia and madness becomes a prevalent and reoccurring theme. Ironically, madness escalates in an orderly manner starting at the very beginning of the play. What Joan first perceives as a brutal beating committed by her uncle is transformed by her aunt into a structured and rational event to which Joan’s uncle was in fact right to beat a man in his barn, and in keeping what first appear to be “prisoners”. I disagree with this first premise entirely. I don’t believe extreme violence is ever an appropriate response, no matter the situation. Even if Joan’s uncle was beating a traitor on the side of the enemy, would a quick execution have sufficed rather than a brutal and semi public beating? This is a foreshadowing of Act 2 where the situation has escalated tenfold. Executions are apparently now very public, and elaborate hats decorate the heads of those marked for death. Ironically so, the systematic execution of “enemies” is portrayed in complete madness. There can’t be a rational explanation for what happens in this scene – yet somehow the audience must believe in the rationality of the cause, herein lies a powerful contradiction. Act three extrapolates on the madness escalating throughout the play. Now the entire world is at war, and seemingly natural events are in fact horrible attacks. Inanimate objects begin to attack living things, and the world has lost its mind. We arrive at this conclusion through a seemingly rational explanation, a cause for war. While the war begun as a rational series of events, soon madness took hold and there is no return in Act 3. The audience, in the last lines of the play, are left to make their own decision; believe the hype or accept nature. The attached video is a school project assembled by a student which used other video clips to assemble a compilation video of what Far Away entails. I think it does a good job at communicating tone and message, although I don’t find it to depict an accurate synopsis of he play.

Voice of Kushner

I’m having trouble identifying the opening narrator of the play. Is it the author, or are we as the audience supposed to understand a deeper cultural voice, which is undoubtedly filled with angst and sorrow. In addition to my trouble identifying the narrator’s voice, I’m having a hard time relating the past day ramblings from the history book on afghanistan to the modern commentary on marriage and life and psychoactive drugs meant to control depression and anxiety. Kushner is no way a comfortable read, yet she seems to be pretty comfortable with her condition, as to the characters of the play, minus milton – who still takes minimal action in preventing his only daughter from walking the streets of Kabul immediately after the death of her mother. Is the marriage reflected in Milton’s dead wife pertinent to the failing pill filled marriage on which Kushner’s opening ponders heavily? In conclusion, the opening segment of the play completely put a sour taste into my mouth. Kushner’s “woe is me” attitude comes off as pretentious, and completely takes away from her attempt to ostracize past historical atrocities and current one’s, amidst the city of Kabul, to which we find the violence resonating in that place today to be focused on women. The play is so far completely dissasociative and way too nostalgic and wish washy. Part of me feels like Kushner is really taking all the pills in real life which she mentions in her play. I would however like to see how this story in Kabul pans out, hopefully we don’t begin time traveling.

Personality of India

As the second part of the novel opens up, and with his trip to Delhi, Balram begins to describe his masters more and more personally. We begin to see how Mr. Ashok is not really a bad guy. In fact, it seems that the servants are all the more devious in this novel. For example, the eldest, and former number one servant, Ram Bahadur tried to bribe the driving position in Delhi from both the muslim servant and Balram. In addition, the servants in Delhi are so brutal that Balram choses to live alone. Balram’s family, and people from his village such as his school teacher were corrupt as well. It amazes me in this novel, that he is obligated to send money back home, which he neglects to do finally. Even upon returning to visit his family, he is treated as a money making object rather than a human being, and therefore storms out. Ironically, the Landlords, Mr. Ashok in particular are the ones who are not out to humiliate everyone else. In fact, it seems like they pay their staff handsomely and even at one point, refer to Ram Bashadur as a family member after 35 years of service. When we meet the Great Socialist it is sad to understand that corruption has fully infiltrated India from the poorest levels of society (the Dehli driver with a skin disease) up to the highest levels of government, who Mr. Ashok had come to bribe. No where in India does one find true console, at least that’s how Balram has us thinking. For a country of extreme religious value and exploding population, one would think they’d be less malicious and devious to each other than they are. Balram also specifically diverts blame away from the Caste System for this. Earlier in the novel he claims the Caste system was beneficial to Indians, where a harmonious order was accomplished and where no one really ever starved. It is the British, he claims, in 1947 who left and destroyed everything in the process.

Lastly I would like to comment on the Murder Weekly Magazines published in Dehli by the government to keep lower castes submissive. Balram mentions that every driver and servant (over a billion of them) are probably constantly thinking about killling, more specifically “strangling” their masters. He says “When your servant starts reading Ghandi” is when to be afraid. This an is interesting tactic by the government, aside from it being sick and disturbing. Rape and murder fantasies are the unhealthiest means to keep people under control. Is this a true allegation about the Indian Government? I’ve heard about similar programs in other countries where the government subsidizes harmful products to keep people at bay – like the Russians subsidizing Vodka for all government employees (which includes everyone) so that people can stay drunk and docile all the time.