Happy Friday the 13th – Zombies, suicide, and me talking abortion

Friday13Sometime, next week probably, I am going to discuss Richard Dawkins and abuse and trauma, but this week I thought I’d end on an upbeat note, since it is Friday the Thirteenth and I do suffer from friggatriskaidekaphilia.

1. ZOMBIES

I miss Ian ’round the old FtB haunts, but he’s still doing many interesting things. As a fan of 1. pop culture, 2. zombies, and 3. anti-racism, I am fairly certain that I am the precise audience for this.

In the following presentation, given in January of 2013 in Kelowna, BC, I explore the parallels between zombie movies and anti-racism, with examples drawn from classic horror scenes. I discuss how we can learn to understand racism in a contemporary context, and understand the role our subconscious plays in our interactions, and how we can use this knowledge to avoid and combat racism in the same way we use it to avoid and combat zombies.

http://crommunist.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/dont-go-in-there-talking-about-race-racism-and-race-issues-in-the-time-of-the-zombie-apocalypse/

2. SUICIDE

I make no secret of my deep love for Jennifer Michael Hecht.  My intellectual crush on her is boundless.

When you take your own life, you normalize suicide for people who liked you and who are like you. Once the numbers reach a critical mass, as they have in the military today, it is a massacre.

http://theamericanscholar.org/to-live-is-an-act-of-courage/?utm_source=email#.Ui9Zx2Q5zNo

3. ABORTION

Finally, yesterday I did my first toe-dipping into media appearances related to my new job with the wonderful as ever Jamila Bey.

From increasing the number of doctors trained in the procedure to working with social services agencies, Provide is working to ensure that all American women are able to exercise their constitutional rights despite living in jurisdictions that seek to impede this.

http://voiceofrussia.com/us/2013_09_13/Abortion-rights-organization-Provide-1675/

 

What are the most important zombie films?

nightlivingdeadgirlAs a film geek and pop culture nerd, I have always enjoyed a good monster story.  When I was young, I was more interested in vampires, but as I got older, zombies gained some ground.  I have to confess, though, I’ve never much cared for werewolves.  Vampires are all about sex and immortality and danger and loss of innocence.  Zombies are a metaphor either for the inevitability of death or pandemics or human meddling in science beyond their ken.  Werewolves are I guess about how people are fundamentally animalistic or something.  Whatever.  Werewolves — ain’t nobody got time for that.

Point being, I have like 3 degrees in film and media and so therefore I am an expert on the evolution of the genre of zombies.  So, if you want to know what the most important zombie films are, you’re going to have to click the link over to Bite Club blog.  They’re in chronological order, not in order of importance.

They’re coming to get you, Barbara.

Zombies in Pop Culture: The 2 books that started it — Bite Club

Many people think of the zombie as a cinematic invention, but the zombie story has a long tradition in literature as well. Most of the greatest films about zombies were either based upon or inspired by novels. All of these films depend heavily on the influence of just two books.

Shockingly, neither of these books presents zombies exactly as we are used to them. The first introduces the term and the spelling of the word with an (e) as opposed to just an (i). The second book introduces the apocalyptic nature of the zombie plague.

So begins my first blog post on Bite Club — the blog from Shit Zombies Say.  Go over and read the rest.

Tonight at 7PM EST – The Ashley F Miller Show Episode 2

Join me, JT Eberhard of What Would JT Do?, and Nicholas Thurkettle of his eponymous blog as we talk:

Politics: Wendy Davis

Media: World War Z and the political nature of zombies

Guest choice: the surprise success of The Heat.

You can RSVP to the “event” here and it should send you a link of the YouTube page, or just come back here at 7 and the YouTube link will be up.

This is filmed in front of a live internet audience — if you’ve got input feel free to get in touch before or during the show by commenting here, on youtube, or on the event page.

It will also be edited and released as a podcast.

Podcast website: http://ashleyfmiller.libsyn.com/webpage

Podcast RSS: http://ashleyfmiller.libsyn.com/rss

Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ashley-f-miller-show/id666564480

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming: Pitching, Zombies, Glee and Otters

So, I have actually had a good couple of days.  I had a pitch with PitchQ.  They’re a service that records your pitch and posts it online.  I submitted a pitch to a specific call and got to go in and record it without paying the usual fee on the website.  It was a really great experience.  The guy behind the service is really cool, supportive, and open about the process.  He says they accept about 2-3% of the pitches they receive, and then have about a 1% success rate.

He also said if you’ve written a zombie script, you’re in.  Which reminds me that I have that zombie idea that I keep meaning to write about.  It’s actually web series in my mind — but maybe I could Love Actually that thing up.

And I found out last week that I got a promotion — I’ll now be Lead AE on a full season of a reality show, which is exciting.  It won’t start until February, but it’s a decent raise, and an excellent job.  I’ll even get to edit the webisodes, which I am stoked about.  Because I have a strong attachment to the idea that the web is the new distribution method… as soon as it figures out how to do that.

I also watched the entire first season (so far) of Glee.  Which I love.  Like, I want to work on that show because it is everything I love: musical numbers, awkward high schoolers, comically over the top bad guys you love, and occasional really touching and honest moments.  Also, the gayness.  The only thing that would make it better would be otters.

Strange Dreams: Zombies, The Civil War, Count Olaf, and Obama’s Nobel Prize

From last night:

1. Zombies were attacking and every time anyone felt under the weather they had to be chained up outside on the roof until it was clear that they were not turning into Zombies.  I blame F for showing me Plants vs Zombies.

2. I was writing a paper for a history class in High School where my old student teacher who is now married to my step-cousin, Mary Leslie, was the teacher.  I was writing a really long involved thing on how the conflicting policies of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and their actions in divorcing the British Government and forming their own led to the Civil War.  If this is in any way true, I have no idea, but it sounds interesting.

3. I shot Count Olaf and planted his fingerprints on the gun to save the Baudelaire children.  They came to live with me in California.  This is strange because I haven’t even read all those Series of Unfortunate Events books.

4. This turned out not to be a dream, but I thought it was when I woke up.  The zombie dream woke me up and I felt really terrible — nauseous — so I looked at my email on my phone.  I had an email from HuffPo about Obama winning the peace prize.  That didn’t make any sense, because I’ve never gotten email from HuffPo and also what?  When I woke up I decided it was a dream that sort of made sense that it would happen some day if he ever managed to end the war on gays, drugs, health, Afghanistan, and/or Iraq.  But then it wasn’t a dream, and I was confused, because he hasn’t done any of that.

Actually, I feel a bit sorry for Obama.  He already had enough pressure on him, this is just adding to it.  It’s politically sort of not that great for him because he’s got nothing he can really point to and be like “Yes, look at what I did!”  I think we treat him like a man who can do a lot more than the system allows him to.  In reality, decisions are made by a bunch of assholes in Congress who play to their bases instead of the good of the country.

We’re currently occupying and waging wars in two separate Muslim countries and making clear we reserve the “right” to attack a third.  Someone who made meaningful changes to those realities would truly be a man of peace.  It’s unreasonable to expect that Obama would magically transform all of this in nine months, and he certainly hasn’t.  Instead, he presides over it and is continuing much of it.  One can reasonably debate how much blame he merits for all of that, but there are simply no meaningful “peace” accomplishment in his record — at least not yet — and there’s plenty of the opposite.  That’s what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.  – Glenn Greenwald