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Uploaded:2011-11-16
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In which John counts down his top five favorite zombie apocalypses of all time, from video game zombies to novelistic zombies to vampire zombies to movie zombies to...well, you get the picture. I also talk a bit about the broader eschatological urges of humans.

Sorry I'm uploading late. I'm in Grand Haven, Michigan recording an audio version of The Fault in Our Stars. More info on that here: http://dft.ba/tfiosboxset

Also, the Nerdfighter kiva bank has reached over $106,000 in loans. Amazing: http://www.kiva.org/team/nerdfighters


HERE ARE A LOT OF LINKS TO NERDFIGHTASTIC THINGS:

Shirts and Stuff: http://dftba.com/artist/30/Vlogbrothers
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Crash Course: http://www.youtube.com/crashcourse
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http://reddit.com/r/nerdfighters
http://nerdfighteria.info/

A Bunny
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Good morning, Hank. It's Wednesday. The Beckoning of Lovely was so lovely, thanks to everyone who was there. I wanna talk today about my top 5 zombie apocalypses. I've been thinking about zombie apocalypses a lot lately. Here's a broad observation, Hank: we're in an absolute golden age of zombie apocalypses and I think it might be related to the high unemployment rate and the general feeling of malaise. I think what's bad for people is good for zombies, which makes me wonder… are zombies people? I mean I know they're not human anymore, they're sort of ex-humans but are ex-humans still people? I don't know, that's one of the things I love about zombie apocalypses: they ask the big questions. #5 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which includes one of the great first lines in American literature "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains". Two reasons I love this so much, first it still feels like a Jane Austen novel even though it's about zombies. It's like Jane Austen's zombie apocalypse, which, to a nerd like me is just.. heaven. And second, even though you keep thinking it's gonna feel like a schtick it never does. That novel is astonishingly readable. The only reason it's not higher on the list: I feel like it was a little short on zombies. In an ideal zombie apocalypse novel I wanna see at least a 1 to 1 paragraph to zombie-killing ratio. #4 The Walking Dead, no, not - YES. That one. The comic. I don't wanna sound like an originalist but it's much better than the TV show. Small town cop, brilliant illustrations and most importantly the right kind of zombies. There are 2 kinds of zombie apocalypses. So there are the kind of zombie apocalypses in which all people who die, regardless of how they die, are reanimated as zombies and then there are the kind of zombie apocalypses in which only some dead people are reanimated as zombies (usually people who have been infected by some kind of virus) - that, in my opinion, is the superior zombie apocalypse. Because at its core the zombie apocalypse is all about exposing the fragility of human social orders and I think it is done better when it is a specific kind of death that leads to this total collapse because that's more like what's gonna actually happen - at least in my opinion. #3 George Romero's 1968 film 'Night of the Living Dead' Now that's gonna be extremely controversial because everyone else places that at number one. Why? Because it basically invented zombies although that film never uses the word 'zombies'. I mean zombies are originally like a Haitian folklore tradition but George Romero's zombies look a lot more like the zombies we see today than anything that came before. Aside from maybe 'I am Legend' - it's the most influential zombie work of all time - so why am I ranking it so low? Simple. Wrong kind of zombies. It's like the boring, shuffle-y zombies. Not the awesome, viral zombies. #2 Left 4 Dead 2. Not Left 4 Dead 1, Left 4 Dead 2 why? Because it is the only zombie apocalypse video game in which you can listen to the best zombie apocalypse song of all time, Jonathan Coulton's 're: your brains' Plus there is a lot of zombie killing like in any zombie apocalypse video game the idea ratio minutes played to zombies killed is like 1:80 and Left 4 Dead 2 comes very close to that. #1 I mentioned it earlier, not Shaun of the Dead that's #6 on my list - sorry, fanboys - #1 I am Legend! The 1954 novel by Richard Matheson basically invented everything awesome about zombie apocalypses and they had the right kind of zombies (vaguely vampiric) but the right kind. Hank, if it hadn't been for Matheson's novel we might not even be worried about disease apocalypses, we might still be focused on boring apocalypses like meteors and food shortages. And yes, I think meteor apocalypses are boring, I'm probably inviting a meteor apocalypse by saying that but I don't care, it's true. World, if you end that way, it's super cliche'. Hank, great song on Monday, I will see you on Friday. Sometimes my gesticulations are like 'I'm a cop at an intersection and you should go this way and y'all should go over here.' I should just turn the video off.