How The Walking Dead made me a better blogger

Have you seen The Walking Dead on AMC yet? It’s a horrible show about life after the zombie apocalypse. The undead have taken over, though no one really knows why. In one day, the world has been plunged into chaos, social norms no longer exist, and everyone has reverted to a state of primal survival mode. Every episode, someone is either shot, transformed into a zombie, or messily devoured in a graphic manner. It’s the kind of show you have to watch from between your outstretched fingers lest you be caught unawares by a horrible creature lurching out of the shadows.

I love it.

I’ve been watching with interest the brouhaha that erupted over at the Iams Facebook page this week. It happens a few times every year, when someone somewhere gets their hands on a PeTA video that’s been circulating the web for a good decade or so and decides to go on the warpath. (If you aren’t familiar with the backstory there, I’ve written about it here.)

Now, internet trolls are nothing new. Harmless though annoying, they descend on various sites like kamikaze bombers, leaving some sort of irrelevant and insulting statement, and move on. These types of groupthink attacks, though, are a little more malevolent. They are, in fact, more like the zombie hordes than they are the random troll.

It hasn’t happened here, yet. Hopefully it never will. But if it does, I’m ready for it, because I’ve been reading the Walking Dead since before it became a TV series. (You can’t rely on electricity during a zombie apocalypse). Here is what I’ve learned:

Lesson 1: You can’t reason with zombies.

Internet zombies, once infected by a virus like LUVPUPPIES1 (I made that up), are transformed into mindless, shambling creatures with one purpose and one purpose only: destruction. Much like actual zombies, internet zombies cannot be reasoned with. They respond to attempts at discourse with teeth and groans. And also like actual zombies, they attack in large numbers. You can pick one off, but 50 more replace them.

Zombie: YOU KILL PETS ARGH EAT YOUR BRAINS

Company rep: Actually, here are 10 sources of information that have been written by us, as well as another 10 from independent sources, that show how this is not true.

Zombie: YOU KILL PETS ARGH EAT YOUR BRAINS

Scary.

Lesson 2: There is only one way to deal with zombies: eradication.

You can run, but they always seem to corner you. So you need to hold your ground, get your crossbow ready like our handy friend Daryl above- he’s the number one zombie slayer on the show- and take them out. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Now, zombie attacks occur in a post-apocalyptic world, but companies like Iams are stuck in the pre-apocalyptic real world. As such, they are constrained by such things as rules, codes of conduct, and professionalism.

Zombie: I WILL DESTROY YOU

Company rep: Hi there, would you mind reading our code of conduct for our Facebook page? Thanks!

Zombie: DIEEEEE

 

You see how this could be problematic.

Here’s the good news for mavericks like me: I write my own world. I have no rules for how I deal with people, since I oversee this site with tyranny and absolute power. I could rock this place tomorrow and turn it into a….hmmm, what would really be shocking?….A mommy blog! Ha. Then you’d know the real apocalypse is upon us. Even worse. A tech blog. I can’t even imagine.

Lesson 3: Know your friends.

In a perfect world, during a time of terrible destruction the sole survivors would stick together and work towards the goal of saving the human race. Sadly, even humans are capable of doing terrible things, like when Shane fed Otis to the zombies because it was the only way he was going to make it to the car in one piece. You never know who’s going to throw you under the bus. So keep your friends close, because when the zombies hit, you want someone who’s going to be shooting alongside you, not shooting you in the kneecap and tossing you over the ledge to draw them off. (Also a good analogy when choosing which Brownie troop to join up with.)

My mentor, and I use that term loosely, used to do that to me all the time. When he felt under attack by a client, he would point out how the newbie vet was so much more terrible and inept than he was, it was probably my fault, and they should just trust him instead. Sadly, I was not in possession of a crossbow at the time. Fortunately, I had friends in the staff, who would drag my incapacitated carcass off the floor before the client could rip me to shreds.

Lesson 4: Have a survival plan in place.

Things happen quickly in a zombie apocalypse. You need to be prepared.

I like to think we have created a pretty happy place here. We talk, we have some laughs, we put dogs in stupid costumes. Perhaps it will always be this way. Or maybe one day the sun will set and rise the next dawn on a ravaged landscape, when angry hordes have trashed the terrain over some ill-advised post about Wayne Pacelle, Michael Vick, or, you know, zombie animal rights activists. Groaning, angry people who, despite their assertions to be kind and loving guardians of peace, will be out for blood.

If and when that happens, guess what? I’m losing the labcoat. I’m not going to engage. I’m arming my ban button, and I’m going full Daryl. I’m scrappy like that.

 

Filed: Blog, Musings, Picks of the Litter Tagged: , , , , ,
  • Sue W.

    This is an EXCELLENT posting! You’re writing just gets better and better and, BONUS, you wrapped it all up in zombies, a personal favorite. Remember to take the zombie out at the head when you go to eradicate!

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Yes! Or wind up like poor Otis! (Still angry at Shane.)

      • http://casacaudill.blogspot.com casacaudill

        At the beginning of the episode they showed Shane side-eyeing Otis and I said out loud, he’s going down. There’s just always been something ruthless about Shane and I knew he’d sacrifice Otis to get away.

        • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

          Yes. He is just like my awful mentor, except better looking. At this point I’m hoping Daryl takes out both him and Lori.

  • mili ran
    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      But I have an iphone!

  • Anonymous

    “zombie animal rights activists”

    So are they animal right activists that have become zombies OR are they activists for for the rights of zombie animals?

    I prefer the former because in my post-apocalyptic world, zombies don’t like animals (à la the remade “Dawn of the Dead”) and I’d rather deal with a Zombie chanting “Stooooopid…dresses pets up. Animal abuuuuuuuse” vs dealing with a flesh eating Cookiegirl woofing “braaaaaaaaains” or “treeeeeeaaaat.”

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Oh, it’s the former, though I’m sure the latter would make for an interesting book.

  • http://www.biscuitsbylambchop.com Annette

    Sounds just like my Facebook (and sometimes now outside of FB) stalker who repeatedly posted dog treat recipes on FB page (a little like bringing your own food – poisonous food – to a restaurant) that were full of excessive amounts of salt, onions and garlic and other fun ingredients, then proceeded to trash talk me over and over an over when I removed it, and much like a zombie, never really dies, showing up randomly every so often. Often under various names.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Ugh, a phantom zombie. Even worse. Shoot em in the head. ;)

      • http://www.biscuitsbylambchop.com Annette

        I did but you know the living dead can’t die.

  • Lisa W

    You make every day a little brighter…. I’d be on your zombie-fighting team any day!

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Yes! Let’s all meet up in Vegas when the apocalypse hits.

      • Anonymous

        A land-locked spot in the desert where travelling on foot and possible running could kill you via heat stroke? Limited ground cover for camoflauge and poor options for natural food gathering? The potential for naked prostitute zombies? RETHINK YOUR PLAN. (the caps? Totally justified there.) I will be choosing a much gentler climate to try and survive the apocalypse.

        • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

          True, true. My sister, who lives in Vegas, e-mailed me to chastise as well. She suggested Texas or Colorado.

        • Anonymous

          Texas is a good option. I worry about a CO winters. So much snow! (Although, I wonder if the ILUVPUPPIES1 virus can survive extreme cold?) Personally, I am sticking to the coast. In theory, I can hijack a boat, live safely just offshore (or on a small coastal Island) and only put to shore when I absolutely have to for supplies.

        • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

          Wow, you’re smart. We have some naval ships down here in SD that would be a great place to hole up.

  • Amy V

    This is the greatest blog, EVER! I may have to post your rules at work :)

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Every workplace needs a survival plan in place too.

  • Solangehan

    can you believe shane did that?!? that son of a… anyhoo, this is a fun entry – zombies everywhere and i love it! have you read “world war z”? i don’t read books since i am inundated at work with journals, strategic plans and what not, but my hubby kept urging me to read it. it is an awesome book. bonus: they’re making it into a movie starring brad pitt. woot.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I, too, count on my husband to pre-vet my reading choices for me since I am so low on time. :D

  • http://istillwantmorepuppies.blogspot.com Pup Fan

    Genius. Simply genius.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I figured this post would either go over very well or be a total bomb. I love my readers.

  • Susi

    An absolute “killer” (ha!) blog, Jessica, well done! It’s time to spread the word (maybe to the Occupy Wallstreet bunch) that PETA and HSUS are mega-corporations that rely on scare tactics, inaccuracies and sensationalism. Honestly, I’m embarrassed for anyone sucked into that vortex.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Very punny Susi, very punny.

  • http://www.birdmedicineandsurgery.com Megan Baebler, DVM

    I was yelling at the screen last week when it was revealed Hershel was a veterinarian. Rick and his wife got all uppity at a lowly VET talking about performing abdominal surgery on their kid… Hm, let’s think about the number of GP vets who routinely perform abdominal surgery versus the number of MDs out there who do… My bet, in the zombie apocolypse, is with the vets all the way! Plus, Hershel had already stabilized and treated the kid for a gunshot wound! Really?! Trust the guy!

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I know, right? I cheered. Yay, Hershel! Give me him over a dermatologist any day when it comes to chest tube placement. Oh, and Lori can turn into a zombie Lunchable any day now.

      • http://casacaudill.blogspot.com casacaudill

        I cannot stand Lori.

  • http://www.petcarebev.com Bev VanZant

    Dr. V, I’ve said this before, I ADORE YOU!!! YOU ARE MY HERO!!! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I LOVE THE WAY YOU WRITE!!!! I LOVE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR!!! YOU ARE PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!! YOU ARE PART OF A RARE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE!!!!! (please don’t ban me because I’m writing in all caps. i’m just emotional over your post.)

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I dedicate this post to you, Janet, and Jen.

  • Rachel

    I love it Dr V.! You’re the best! I was actually feeling bad about removing a post and banning one of those zoomies on a non-profit facebook page I oversee..now I feel like a bad ass with my ban button ..down with the zombies!! LOL.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Oh yes, I am proud of you. Embrace the ban.

  • Anonymous

    You know, the zombies would be so much more fun to deal with if there was a ‘Zombie’ setting on Language in Facebook, much like the ‘Pirate’ setting. Come to think of it, I’m changing a few pages to Pirate, just for kicks.

    I think you need to ban that Bev chick who is writing in all caps. HAHAHAHA ;-)

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Wait, there’s a pirate setting on Facebook? How did I not know this?

      • Anonymous

        YES there is! If you scroll to the bottom, click on English and it brings up all the language options. It is English (Pirate). Just now saw the English (upside down) too.

        • http://www.birdmedicineandsurgery.com Megan Baebler, DVM

          I have now changed my facebook to pirate for the day. YARRRRR…

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      No, if you’re overcome with emotion at my awesomeness I will make an exception to the no caps rule.

  • Jaime Smith

    By far, one of the top five blog posts I have ever read. I Tweeted and put on FB… Thanks Jess for keepin’ it real, having a sense of humor, being so intelligent, and using your powers wisely!

    jaime

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I’m working on some Zombie gear now. I’ve had a great idea.

  • PetMOZ

    This might possibly go down as one of the best blog post I have read.. Maybe. :) Love it!

    • PetMOZ

      BTW, Where exactly do you get Zombie gear…. Just in case.

      • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

        I’m working on it as we speak!

  • mybrownnewfies

    What can I say? You have done it once again with a wonderful, perfectly executed post! Nice job Dr V!

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      Thank you! I was pleased to see so many survivalists here.

  • Anonymous

    I love you. That’s about it, I just love you. I’m not sure how you managed to tie together an entire Walking Dead post to the animal world but I am awed and impressed. TWD is our favourite show – even th dogs settle down on the couch to watch them some Zombies.

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I was thinking about trolls the other day, and then as I watching the show it totally hit me. OMG. Zombies.

  • Cathey

    I gotta say, YOU, Dr. V., are my HERO! I’m having my husband teach me how to draw back his re-curve bow (no cross bow available to people without a handicap in Iowa) and I will be by your side! Embrace the BAN button!

    • http://www.pawcurious.com Dr. V

      I have it armed and ready, if need be. :D

  • Debbie

    Great post Dr. V! I am totally with you on the Zombie Apocalypse. Thanks for the link to the Iams video, by the way. A friend had sent me the PETA video, and I was all, don’t like. Glad to have some perspective on it. Of to do some target practice now. :)