Snowed. Off work. Did this.
Before I get started, I should admit that I could only make it halfway through this book because it was so bad, so I’m only reviewing the first half. However, I doubt the second half could have done anything to redeem what I’d already endured.
I really can’t understand all the good reviews of this book. The writing was horrible… inconsistent, juvenile in many cases, and packed full of grammatical errors. There were cultural references that were simply wrong… saying that the American Express motto was “Don’t go anywhere without it.” Really?
The author scattered in a selection of big words every now and then that were completely out of character with the rest of the writing. They weren’t unknown words (like “lugubrious”), but it made it appear as though he was stuck for a word and quickly thumbed through a thesaurus to grab a flashy adjective. It was simply distracting.
The main character was, in turn, smart then stupid then brave then a coward then loving then antagonistic… no consistency. The wife has absolutely no good qualities. It was just bad, bad, bad.
The writing aside, even the zombie part of the story didn’t make sense. One hour after things went spiraling into zombie apocalypse, there were rotting, maggot-ridden corpses? How does that work? The main character, even though he supposedly knew about zombies (from fiction) and had been sort of looking forward to the zombie apocalypse, didn’t seem to know to shoot them in the head. Wait… actually, he did mention that you needed to destroy the brain, but then he would waste entire clips of M16 ammo spraying the body of a single zombie… without killing it.
It was hard enough to stomach the bad writing and really bad characterizations, but then showing no respect for the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief took it over the top and into the land of discarded books.
I tried, though. I really tried.
I told my friend Mike…
If there was a zombie outbreak at the atheist convention this weekend, I think all the atheists would be sad… because we wouldn’t be able (in good conscience) to use the great line, “I’m sending you back to Hell!!!” as we killed the zombies.
Some asshole will quote the movie and say “When Hell is full, the dead will walk the earth” and get berated by 500 screaming atheists and everyone will lose sight of the bigger picture and die horribly.
Some people wonder why evolution isn’t more accepted than it is. Despite the monumental amount of evidence in multiple fields of scientific inquiry, those pesky creationists, bringing up the same tired arguments, sometimes seem like B-movie zombies. No matter how many times they get smacked down, they keep coming back to torment scientifically-minded, rational people with their brainless moaning and logic resistance.
It’s not that they have anything new. Oh, sure. Occasionally a new bit of scientific evidence will be discovered… a fossil, some DNA functionality, a new species in a remote location… and they’ll latch onto it and somehow manage to twist it into something they claim supports intelligent design or a young Earth, but it doesn’t. Aside from that, it’s the same old stuff. Why, then, won’t their arguments die?
Because assertions are easy.
Transylvania has the largest population of vampire bats in the world, which is why vampire legends originated there.
See how easy that was? Does it sound reasonable? Sure it does, as long as you don’t know anything about vampire bats (or vampire legends). It took me about 20 seconds to come up with that claim and type the sentence. How long would it take you, if you don’t actually know any data about vampire bats, to refute my statement?
The internet helps, but you have to have motivation. Wikipedia is an obvious and expedient place to visit. Here’s what you find out from the Wikipedia article…
Vampire bats are bats whose food source is blood, a dietary trait called hematophagy. There are three bat species that feed solely on blood: the Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the Hairy-legged Vampire Bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the White-winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus youngi). All three species are native to the Americas, ranging from Mexico to Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.
There you go. All the known species of vampire bats are native to the Americas. What if you don’t know where Transylvania is? Another visit to Wikipedia lets you know it’s in Romania… which isn’t part of either of the Americas. So it would seem that my statement has been soundly refuted and put to rest.
Or has it?
Oh no, I say.
There used to be another species of vampire bat that was native to Romania, but it went extinct over 100 years ago. Vampire legends started well before the bats went extinct.
Now what? The Wikipedia article says nothing of an extinct species of vampire bat. There’s nothing in the Romania information that states anything about vampire bats being native to the country. If you want to do more research into debunking my claim, you’re going to have to spend a bunch of time searching the internet… to refute something that you’re 99% sure is completely bogus, anyway.
But how much time did I spend on my claim? Not much… perhaps under a minute… and if I really believe what I’m saying, I’m going to start making that statement all over the place to anyone who will give me 30 seconds of his time or to any place that will allow me to post my nonsense. By the time I’ve reached 1,000 people, you’d still be trying to confirm whether there actually was a species of vampire bat in Romania 100 years ago.
Then suddenly you’ll find that someone else is saying that vampire bats lived in Romania 100 years ago, but they’re saying that bones were found that prove it… and that the bats were as large as ravens… and a group of scientists is researching whether or not they preyed on human babies.
What… is… going… on?!?
Assertions are easy.
It’s what creationists do. They shovel on the assertions (Gish Gallop, anyone?) and then, when their assertions are left unchallenged, they declare victory… and spread the news. It takes very little time to make assertions, but gathering evidence and presenting a logical refutation takes quite a bit of time (in comparison). Even if you already know the evidence and the refutation, it generally takes more time and effort to deliver it.
It’s not just creationists, though. Politicians do it. So do their opponents… especially protestors. Scientology does it (Fair Game doctrine). Climate change deniers do it. Moon hoaxers do it. Obama birthers do it. Sometimes, to add to their pseudo credibility, they’ll actually add facts to back up their claims… but only the facts that support their arguments. They’ll leave out contradictory facts or simply leave their facts out of context. They’ll misquote an expert (or quote mine). They’ll twist words.
When moon hoaxers do it, it’s amusing (unless you’re Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin). Nobody really takes them seriously. When creationists do it, it’s more serious because they want to teach our children to believe their nonsense… and they frequently want it in our schools. When climate change deniers do it, it can be dangerous in the long term… and just irresponsible.
Am I doing it right now? Sort of… but not really. These are my opinions based on my observations. I’m sure plenty of examples can be found where creationists have provided valid scientific data to irrefutably support their arguments.
*snicker* …or not.
This report hits the nail on the head. Although I think that more education needs to occur than just what video games can provide, I couldn’t agree more with statements such as “playing video games all day, alone and friendless, is simply the best way that we have to prepare our children for a life of solitude in a barren wasteland.”
I was at Borders Bookstore today to spend my newly earned $20 in Borders Bucks (along with a 30% off coupon) and after picking up a book about dinosaurs for my daughter and 40 Days and 40 Nights and The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for me, I was briefly perusing the humor section (it was on the way to the checkout counter) and stumbled across this gem entitled Zombie Haiku.
I paused and stared blankly at the book on the shelf for a good 15 or 20 seconds, stunned. Then, without another thought, I reached down, grabbed the book, and tossed it in my basket without even looking through it.
Oh, it was worth it! It starts out posing as someone’s poetry journal, but there’s a story scribbled in the margins from someone locked in a bathroom in order to avoid the zombies outside, knowing that he will inevitably be devoured, since he had no way to escape. He explains that the journal was being held by a zombie whose arm he had hacked off. The rest of the “poetry journal” shows the haiku of the former owner as he transforms from a puzzled office worker (Why all the car accidents in the morning? Why is nobody at the office? Why is Beth in her car eating spaghetti? Oh my god, that’s not spaghetti!) to minion of the undead.
Here’s a brief sampling…
Beth from accounting
is just sitting in her car
I ask her what’s up
but she just eats in her car.
Something’s wrong with Beth.
That escalates to things like…
They surround the car
and are all moaning something.
Is that the word “trains”?!
There’s nothing quite like
the pain you feel while dying —
switching to hunger.
One thing on my mind,
only one thing on my mind.
I’m going to eat you.
…and my favorite so far…
Brains, BRAINS, Brains, brains, BRAINS.
Brains, brains, Brains, BRAINS, Brains, brains, BRAINS.
BRAINS, Brains, brains, BRAINS, brains.
It just keeps going after that with some real gems, depicting the continuing adventure of life as a zombie.
The author ends with a heartfelt haiku thanks to George Romero.
To George Romero:
Because of you, I’m screwed up.
Thanks for your movies
Okay so maybe they’re technically not zombies, but they’re close enough. They’re more like infected zombie-like humanoids that voraciously attack you in swarms of blind, flesh-ripping rage. Yeah. Bring it on!
Thinning the horde is what’s been keeping me busy lately. Left 4 Dead is the game and the multiplayer aspect is just fantastic. Single player is fun, but just can’t compare to playing with a few other folks who talk and work together to survive and escape an area that’s been completely overrun with “zombies,” including some special ones with special powers that are disturbing, frightening, and fun all at the same time.
Ah… good times. Good times.