Zombie Cliche Lookout: Centralized Control
It seems like characters in zombie stories like the idea of strong, central leadership. Look nor further than The Walking Dead, where the group of survivors – almost instantly – vests an insane amount of power into Rick. This happens fairly early in the story, long before Rick does anything to really prove his abilities, but the group of survivors craves the idea of safety the comes with a strong, confident person in charge.
That’s all well and good while the leader is doing the right thing and keeping the group safe and whole. But what happens when he starts making bad calls? Or let’s the power go to his head? Suddenly the simple solution turns into a nightmare, and the longer it goes on, that harder it is to stop. Eventually, the only way to remove the person on top is through assassination, and that leaves a power vacuum that will likely only be filled after lots of other infighting, backstabbing, and politicking. The group’s progress, whatever it might be, stagnates; all the while the zombies continue to hunt.
About this Episode:
One reason I don’t want the group of survivors in Bricks of the Dead to have a “leader” is that I think that having a leader tends to shift the focus of the story onto that person. From the start, I envisioned Bricks of the Dead as an ensemble cast, suddenly having a main character just doesn’t appeal to me.
Okay everyone, we’re back. I’ve recovered from my surgery, but now I’m suffering through whatever the hell it is my son had. Yay. However, I’m planning to have content all week, especially since next week is Christmas and – aside from a special Christmas comic – I fully intend to be lazy.
Discussion Question: Tyranny of the Majority
While fictional characters in stories might like the idea of a leader making all the decisions, people in real life might be a little different, especially if the de facto leader starts making decisions they don’t quite agree with. Of course, a democracy can be just as dangerous. A good leader will be able to make tough choices, when when a majority is required to come to that same conclusion, can you count on 51% of your group to get behind it?
What sort of decisions would you have a hard time trusting to a group during the zombie apocalypse?