All right, drastic schedule-wrangling measures are called for – in part because I’ll be in Texas most of this week. In fact, I’ll be part of the lineup at the Dionysium at Austin, TX’s famed Alamo Drafthouse at 7pm on Wednesday, April 6. Here’s the whole planned lineup, a Russia-themed evening:
1. Declamation: “The Duel” by Anton Chekhov: Dawn Youngs
2. Lecture: “Why Austin Should Not Be Socialist Like Russia”: Todd Seavey
3. Debate: Resolved: Ronald Reagan was instrumental in the breakup of the Soviet Union: LB Deyo affirmative, Jonathan Patschke opposition
4. Music: Survey of Russian Composers: Graham Reynolds
5. Animation: Lance Myers
6. Drinking Song: Everyone
My “Month of Heroes” entries may not begin until after my return (on Monday the 11th, one week from tomorrow). And I’m delaying my full Book Selections entry on zombies – but not just to give me time to confer with ardent zombie fan L.B. Deyo, who’ll be getting married in Austin this week, when he’s not hosting and debating at the Dionysium.
Since I promised you zombies today, though, I will make this one teasing observation: The main texts to be reviewed in my Book Selections entry will be the Max Brooks thriller World War Z, the subtle Canadian zombie movie Pontypool, and Jonathan Lethem’s book-length analysis of the John Carpenter movie They Live (in which, despite physical appearances to the contrary, it is arguably we who are the zombies and the monsters who alone have free will and moral agency).
In lieu of full reviews of these texts, I will for now just arrange them on a political spectrum:
I think it’s safe to they go from right/moderate (World War Z), through liberal (Pontypool), to leftist/deconstructionist (They Live), though not without shambling mindlessly through various complications along the way. It’s old-fashioned gumption, American know-how, and military tactics that carry the day in World War Z. It’s rethinking language to make our thoughts, in essence, more pro-peace and politically-correct that offers hope in Pontypool. And the only way out in They Live is to see through omnipresent yuppie-capitalist media mind-control propaganda.
You can save yourself with a gun, a taboo-smashing radio show, or a crash course in deconstructionism, respectively, in these three works – and maybe there’s something to be said for mastering all those techniques, after all. With that, I’ll get ready for Austin, TX. See you there on Wednesday.