David Anderegg's Blog

David Anderegg's Blog

Those zombies will love you to death Cultural detritus
Feb 11, 2014 - Another season of “The Walking Dead” is upon us, and it shows no sign of slowing down. For those of you who have been a little, shall we say, out of it lately (if not positively undead), the show is a pop culture phenomenon, especially among that oh-so-desirable 18 to 49 demographic. In fact, market research demonstrates that the audience for “The Walking Dead” just keeps getting refreshed: more and more young people watch it as avidly as people my age watch “Downton Abbey.” The question is, how come?

Isn’t it obvious? Young people are mesmerized by Deputy Sheriff Rick and his compadres having to contend with a menacing horde who want nothing more than to get close. The zombies are old and gnarly looking, technologically stupid, and unrelenting in their desire to devour. Think about it: the viewers of the show, a generation of people raised by helicopter parents, can’t get enough of watching with horror as bright, (mostly) young people try to escape from a menacing army of old, creepy, voracious dumbasses whose only wish is to possess, and thereby destroy. Yes, fellow parents of twenty-and-thirty-somethings; they’re talking about us.

Horror movies and TV shows are most successful when they exploit latent anxieties, after all. And what do energetically parented young people have to be anxious about? They can be defeated in their efforts to break free of their well-meaning but grasping parents, and thus never individuate. Or they can become their parents. And zombies threaten people in just those two ways: they devour you, and/or infect you so you turn into one of them.

No matter how mean the bright young people are, the gnarlies will not be deterred. They just keep coming back for more punishment. If they had a brain in their un-dead heads, they would notice that the lively young people will do anything to discourage them, but they are never discouraged. Why don’t the zombies get a life? Of their own, for goodness’ sake? No, they don’t want that. They want to suck the life out of the lively young’uns they keep following around, despite the fact that the young’uns have made it perfectly clear that they are ruthless where the gnarlies are concerned.

I don’t know about you, but this zombie is going to find something else to do. If I keep bugging those bright young people for more quality time, I’m going to end up with an axe in my forehead…
 
Apologia pro blogga sua: David Anderegg's blog

I know, I'm about 10 years behind the curve...people used to blog, but now, because everyone has the attention span of a gnat, they tweet. Blogging is too hard to execute, and too hard to consume. Okay. I'm years behind the curve. All I can do is hope the curve is a Moebius strip and somehow I will jog along behind until I'm ahead.       continued....
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Apologia pro blogga sua: David Anderegg's blog


I know, I'm about 10 years behind the curve...people used to blog, but now, because everyone has the attention span of a gnat, they tweet. Blogging is too hard to execute, and too hard to consume. Okay. I'm years behind the curve. All I can do is hope the curve is a Moebius strip and somehow I will jog along behind until I'm ahead.

But why? Is it the angst-ridden cry of a middle-aged psychologist with too much time on his hands? No. I have almost no time on my hands...although I will cop to the middle-aged psychologist part. Is it just the unbridled narcissism that affects us all? I hope not. You see, unbridled narcissism is one of my targets, so if I am afflicted with it, I will be my own worst enemy. No, I hope to educate, to amuse, and to proselytize. If it were the year 500 or 100 or 1 BC, I would be content to be a prophet, standing in the wilderness, or outside the city gates, screaming at people. One of my favorite Bible verses is, in fact, when John the Baptist addresses the people coming to him for baptism as "You brood of vipers!" (You'd think he would be gratified, but no, he has to insult them first.) But John the Baptist did not have a blog. I do. You vipers.

I am enjoined by my webmaster to tell people what my blog is about. It is about the things I care about. It is about progressive politics, developmental and clinical psychology, music, art, literature, religion, and the current deplorable state of the American psyche. There will also be a special section in which I talk back to the powerful, especially the powerful who write for the New York Times. I may consider this blog to be a sort of salon des refusés (although refusés is plural and so far I am the only voice here...). Perhaps it could be the home of opinions that should be in the Times but are not. There will also be the occasional humor piece, short story, song lyric, or dream fragment that floats to the surface, but I promise these will be infrequent.

If this sounds like an incoherent mix, so be it. I did have, for a while, a blog at PsychologyToday.com, and, while I appreciated the opportunity to write it, I felt constrained writing only about children and parenting. I promise to try to categorize the topics, so those of you who wish to skip the philosophizing or the rants directed at Maureen Dowd can do so. Rants? Directed at Maureen Dowd? Yeah, baby. And David Brooks, too. Stay tuned.