Zombie Creation: The Walkie Talkie Dead

There’s a lot of zombie stuff out there, and most of it is crap. People like to jump on bandwagons and produce quick tie-ins rather than investing love and effort into their creations. Luckily for you, I’m here to help separate the wheat from the chaff. Check back every Thursday, when I’m going to share the coolest zombie-related creation I can find out there on the web.

The Zombie Creation:

This week’s creation, “The Walkie Talkie Dead” by Glove and Boots, takes a look at Rick Grimes’ usage of the walkie talkie as a lazy narrative device in The Walking Dead on AMC. It is, in a word, brilliant.

So What’s Going On?

If you watch AMC’s The Walking Dead, you’re likely familiar with the setup. Rick has given a walkie talkie to another survivor, Morgan, with whom he is trying to communicate. However, his attempts to talk to the other survivor are a lot less about reaching out to his fellow man than to act as a sort of diary entry. It’s a lazy narrative device, the writers are simply telling us what Rick is thinking rather than doing the hard work of establishing it through action, nonverbal communication, and dialog.

This video spoofs Rick’s monolog really well, focusing primarily on Rick’s talking on and on, never once taking his finger off the button and thus not allowing the man he’s “trying” to talk to to get a word in edgewise.

Let’s Talk About the Zombies

We don’t really see any zombies here, but the zombie apocalypse is pretty vital to the setup of the piece. Let’s just imagine those zombies are right outside the survivor’s door, and that Rick’s one-sided conversation has doomed him. That works for me.

Have you seen a great zombie creation out on the web? Are you working on the next great zombie MOC as we speak? Well you had better let us know right away, otherwise we’ll never be able to include it here.

30 Comments

AC

by the way, does something from the hunger games count for this site? I made a cornicopia, id like to share it on this site

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Bo

I often teach folks how to use the radio. This comes up quite a bit. To all folks wanting to use a two-way radio, first, make sure you’ve got the radio freq set correctly. Second (and most important), think about what you’re going to say. The radio is not a time for hemming and hawing. Then press the PTT button on the microphone or HT (that’s “handie talkie” for you, Dave). This is important, too, you have to wait about a second before you begin speaking. If you start talking just before or at the same time you push the button, I am going to lose about half of what you’re trying to say. I am going to lose half of what you’re going to say because you are going to limit your TX (transmission) to about two to three phrases, about five to seven seconds worth of talking. Like the bloviated narcissist Rick above, you’re not talking to hear yourself talk. Gathering your thoughts and paring it down to what’s important before you hit the button makes it easier for the rest of us listening in.

And regarding listening in, a radio is not a cell phone. There is absolutely no expectation of privacy. Anyone with the the appropriate radio or scanner can listen in. Amateur radio operators understand this, and tend not to transmit TMI; but it is amazing the personal conversations I pick up on FRS/GMRS radios, which require no license to operate. Radio etiquette is important.

Finally, if you’re planning on using radio comms in a WCS event, learn to use them now. Don’t think that you can sit down in front of a radio for the first time, pick it up, and start talking like it’s a telephone. Today’s radios are more user-friendly than ever; but you still have to program them, maybe tune the antenna, and have a basic understanding of radio operation and maybe antenna theory.

I am am member of a local group that uses VHF radios in case of an emergency. We practice every week, usually with battery-powered mobile and handheld radios. I recommend it as a good place to start, since the license takes about a weekend of study and costs sixteen dollars. You can get a really good radio setup with fifty watts of power, transceiver, batteries, and antenna, for about $200. That’s a home run for intermediate range comms, from across the street to about a hundred miles.

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Dave

Very good info Bo.

I have limited experience with radios, and that was on a system that was already setup. But yeah, people did exactly what you said: stated talking immediate after hitting the button and getting cut off, and never taking their finger off the button. Good times.

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Bo

Sounds like this should be the subject of a future guest essay. The first aid one was not exactly a hit, though; and I think your blog should be about expanding readership first, do you agree?

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Dave

We definitely need to expand readership.

But I must say, I’m quite happy with how the First Aid entry came out, and the reaction it got. That’s the first blog entry of it’s type on here, so it’s a bit of uncharted territory, and it still managed to get some good discussion.

Bo

Let me know what you want to read about next. I was hoping that the first aid entry would get more feedback in that regard.

Dave

I think something gear-related would probably be best. People love stuff. It’s a good way to get into a topic by showing and talking about the cool shit that tends to go along with it.

Bo

I have two ham radios I can show, and maybe elaborate on what I wrote above. I can also write a bit about FRS/GMRS radios (since everyone seems to love them). I do not yet have CB or MURS radios (and have little interest in the latter).

Let me see what I can put together over the weekend. There is a homemade antenna called the “backpacker’s delight” that I have been using for about a year and a half now that I really like. I can share the hows and whys along with some basic radio stuff.

Greg

Once again I find myself amazed by my ignorance of the subject! Thanks for these info Bo, I would love to read something a bit more comprehensive on the radio topic. Just one suggestion though, you’ve used a couple of acronyms that you did not explain.. I get the overall meaning from the context but it’d be great to have these spelled out.

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Bo

PTT is “Push To Talk”, the transmission button on the handset or HT body
HT is a “Handie Talkie”, actually a Motorola trademark, but now used to describe any low-powered handheld radio (five watts or less).
TX is radio-speak for a transmission. Ham operators use a lot of two and three-letter abbreviations going back to the Morse code days.
TMI is “too much information”, more net-speak or chat-speak than ham. 😉
FRS is “Family Radio Service”, an unlicensed band from 462 and 467 MHz. By law the radios using this band are one-half watt or less (the low-power can be a benefit)
GMRS or “General Mobile Radio Service” is a licensed band similar to FRS. These have slightly more power and range (still around three miles, real-world). Despite requiring a license, the FCC tends not to investigate people that do not interfere with licensed operators, mostly businesses.
WCS is a “Worst-case Scenario”, like a SHTF event, but when your plans go sideways.
VHF is “very high frequency”, in this context around 145 MHz, 2-meter radios with a real-life range of about 90 miles, depending on power, antenna, weather, sunspot activity, and luck.
MURS it “Multi-Use Radio Service”, an unlicensed band similar to CB. I have no experience with MURS.

One of these days Dave will make another tab on the Extra menu called “Zombie Glossary”, or something like that, where we can add all of our TEOTWAWKI acronyms and verbiage.

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Dave

You help me built it, Bo, and I’ll absolutely add an acronym/abbreviation list.

It’d be awesome mix of LEGO and survival terms.

Bo

The glossary is now in Dave’s able hands. I didn’t add “TMI”, though. Maybe he will. 😉

Bo

It’s that idiot Rick that won’t get off the PTT button.

When I run across that situation, I change frequencies.

That’s another point. You need to have a band plan with your group. For instance, in my radio group we have about for set frequencies. We know that if one doesn’t work due too much traffic or radio doubling (folks trying to talk at the same time) we can just go to the second, third, and so on.

When the Schumer has hit the fan, and all hell is breaking loose around you, remember that talking on the radio is like talking on a party line. Anyone can listen in. What we should have learned from Rick, above, but didn’t because he’s retarded, is to keep the radio on only at prearranged times throughout the day. Mix it up, don’t listen for traffic at the top and bottom of the hour. Your adversaries will be expecting that. Listen in at say twenty passed the hour and twenty till. Just transmit your message. Listen for a reply. Then turn it off. Save your batteries.

If you have an operations center with steady juice, whether rechargeable batteries on a car alternator, solar, or generator, set up as many different radios as you can. VHF and HF ham, plus a CB, GMRS base station, and a police scanner will do you well. You never know what you can hear.

Also remember that the antenna is the most variable factor in radio comms. If you want to increase the effectiveness of your radio, adding a better antenna is more efficient than adding power. After that, a pre-amp can increase receptive strength. In my experience it’s both more difficult and more beneficial to listen than to talk. That is, I can boos my radio to fifty watts and blast everyone out; but it won’t improve my radio’s reception.

Radio communications is something that a lot of preppers miss out on, some by oversight, some because they think it’s too difficult. Some just get jaded and think they can go it alone. Don’t take comms for granted. Right now we have internet and cell phones. When the power goes out, all of that goes away; and feelings of isolation will set in. With a simple 2-meter radio I can get local news and information. With a high-frequency radio one can get information from around the world on similar power. That’s not an exaggeration or hyperbole.

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