theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

October 28, 2013

'Walking Dead' fans in Ada

Dan Marsh Managing Editor
www.theadanews.com

Ada —

I don’t normally do much photography for The Ada News — we have an excellent staff photographer, Richard R. Barron, who handles most of those duties — but Saturday I ended up on Main Street using my new Nikon to shoot the Zombies for Piece March.

It was a lot of fun — way more than I expected. I have to admit, there aren’t many other communties I know of that put on such an event. OK, there are no other communities I know of that put on such an event. Lots of folks, living and otherwise, turned out, both to observe and participate, and you can see the photos in today’s paper.

I know the march was intended to promote organ donor awareness, but I can’t help but think it might also have been inspired by a little show on AMC titled “The Walking Dead,” which is now in its fourth season. “The Walking Dead” is an insanely popular series about what happens after a virus puts an end to the world as we know it and transforms the dead into, well, the walking dead.

I personally am not much for zombie books, movies, comics, or other forms of entertainment. I don’t think zombies in and of themselves are particularly scary. As demonstrated Saturday here in Ada, they mostly just stagger and moan, and, as depicted in “The Walking Dead,” are amazingly easy to dispatch. They come to you and you get to do whatever you want to them.

Nor do I believe that, some day, there will be a “zombie apocalypse” for which I must prepare by digging a hole in my backyard and filling it with shotgun shells, canned peaches and other survivalist paraphernalia. I still remember the hullaballoo that surrounded Y2K; I don’t plan on quitting my job and moving to the woods.

That said, I love “The Walking Dead.” I’ve watched all three seasons on DVD (usually in marathons) and must congratulate those who participated in Zombies for Piece on their undead performances. For the most part, they were very convincing, and never left character.

What’s so great about “The Walking Dead,” especially to a non-believer like me? Well, like “Breaking Bad,” it is extremely well-written and acted. From the first season, I got involved in the characters and their plight and cared a great deal about what happened to many of them. I never thought I’d say that of a show about a zombie apocalypse, but I’m saying it.

The zombies (or “walkers,” or “biters”) aren’t really the point of the show, anyway. Hit one in the head and 40 more take its place. They literally  move in herds and aren’t all that hard to escape (unless you are very unlucky). The point is how the survivors band together and create little mini-societies that rely on many of the same rules as the larger civilization that was just destroyed.

On every episode, the characters face life-or-death choices that pave the way for some pretty fascinating discussions of morality and human decency. They constantly grapple with what is right and wrong — and, like all of us, usually make poor decisions. (A poor decision in their world often results in getting munched on by a walker.)

The show itself is gorier and more graphic than anything I’ve seen on TV — or even in most movies — and if it weren’t such a great drama, I probably would not watch it. I’m taking a break from the series for the time being — haven’t watched a minute of the new season four — but Zombies for Piece kinda made me want to throw on a few of my favorite episodes from the past three seasons. Or learn the dance steps to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Oh, and organ donor awareness — it’s a good thing!