Winner of This is the New Plan

Based on the votes yesterday, we have decided a winner!
The winner is….Jamie!
Jamie, email me at char(@)incaseofsurvival(.)com so we can figure out how to get you your e-book of This is the New Plan.
Thanks, everyone, for entering! I enjoyed all of the stories. (Now that the contest is over, you can all write your non-entry stories with those same ten words. Just post in the comments as per usual.)
 

Why minorities will survive the apocalypse

Young Fresh Multiracial Group - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys
Young Fresh Multiracial Group – Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys… Why you want a multiracial group of strangers giving the thumbs up stuck on your wall is beyond me; but you can have it for $33.99.

In most popular media about the apocalypse minorities are pretty much Red Shirts— there because someone needs to die so it might as well be them. This was highlighted in a PinkRayGun article recapping the season finale of Falling Skies.
The Black Dude Dies First is a well trodden trope in almost all mediums, especially the post-apocalyptic genre. Terra Nova did it. The Walking Dead has championed the token minority trope— but at least they get to live. However these tropes don’t take into account the stereotypes and facts that would actually keep minorities alive in apocalyptic times.

Black people are fast and carry guns

Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We're Afraid To Talk About ItIf Black people are faster than the rest of the people then they’re the most likely to get away. It’s like that saying/cartoon/adage[1. To be honest, I don’t know where it came from. It’s just a thing people say.]: You don’t need to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the other person running from the bear. In this case, “Bear” would be “Zombie.”
Congrats, Black people, all you have to do is live up to the hype and you won’t be the minority for long. And if all else fails, just whip out your standard issue gun and slow some folks down like our favorite Deputy Dickbag [2. SPOILER – I’m talking about Shane from The Walking Dead.].

Asians are smart and have super-human muscle memory.

Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers--and How You Can Too
While I might be in a minority of people still watching America’s Next Best Dance Crew, I’m sure if someone else had been watching they’d notice the disproportionately high number of Asians (then blacks and then Hispanics). It’s similar to the disproportionately high number or Asians in the Math, Science, and Engineering schools on college campuses.
These people[3. Yes, I see what I did there.], if they have the aptitude they’re assumed to have, will be able to out survive their majority friends. They’ll build lifesaving tech, and bust out some mind-bending dance/fighting moves to confound the enemy then scurry away through a tiny air vent that the more privileged and more obese can’t fit it.

Hispanics are shifty and travel in uncountable numbers

Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a PeopleSurprise, Bitches! Little Jose isn’t alone.
As soon as the bandits get comfortable confronting him, sixteen dudes with chains and bats start creeping slowly from around corners. What the What?!
If Hispanics truly travel in deep, secretive numbers as it’s suggested they do, they’ve got the element to surprise built into their social culture.
We saw it on season one of The Walking Dead, there was one little boy. Then five(ish) dudes that he ran to for safety. Then a community of, like, 67 people running a co-op as though it wasn’t the apocalypse at all… Okay.

Minorities expect the worst

Passing for what you are not--whether it is mulattos passing as white, Jews passing as Christian, or drag queens passing as women--can be a method of protection or self-defense. But it can also be a uniquely pleasurable experience, one that trades on the erotics of secrecy and revelation. It is precisely passing's radical playfulness, the way it asks us to reconsider our assumptions and forces our most cherished fantasies of identity to self-destruct, that is centrally addressed in Passing: Identity and Interpretation in Sexuality, Race, and Religion.Being a minority doesn’t just mean you have super powers, it also means you’re persecuted on some other make-believe shit.   Sometimes that’s in the form of actively being hunted. Sometimes that’s verbal assaults. Often that physical violence. In Carriers (2009) there’s a scene where a bunch of redneck thugs in a pick-up truck string up an Asian man with a sign that reads: Chinks brought it.
This constant persecution and threat of violence has bread a more cautious mindset into many minority cultures. Not simply, the choice to “stick with your own kind,” but a self-preservation instinct that identifies others as not only actual, but also statistical enemenies.
By default, if you’re The Black Guy you expect to be the first to go down. The Hispanic Guy should expect to not be trusted and eventually turned on. And the Asian can expect to die second because no one will get his back.
From Nazis to the Ku Klux Klan to the Westbro Baptist Church, rightness and facts have never been the first choice for those who prey on minorities. And consistency has never really been the first choice of wrirters portraying minorities.
Maybe one day the apocalypse will come and and everyone will flood the local ghettos (because that’s where you find people of color) in a desperate attempt to recruit a few good minorities into their party. Or, maybe, one day we’ll realize minorities aren’t this amalgas concept of “people of color” as much as they’re just people. Not embodiments of concepts, standards of measurement, and especially not cannon fodder.

Announcement:

On tuesday I will be liveblogging the ridiculous Black Sheep, at around 3pm GMT. So acquire your copies, and come join me.
 
Consider this post not only an announcement but the testing of the live-blog software before we go live.
 
Testing, testing.
 
OK, Worked it out. What you need to do on tuesday is to refresh the page fairly often in order to read the liveblog. Join in with your reactions in the comments.
[liveblog]

So, I don't know what day it is.

Mental health and emotional well being are about more than being depressed or not being depressed, being sick or not being sick.
Sometimes it’s just about being in balance and taking care of your self– more than physically.

Apparently today is Thursday. Has been all day. Unfortunately it took me until about 5:00pm to fully come to terms with this. I don’t know how or why, but I seem to have skipped a day and lost track of time.
I was there, at work actually, for all of these days. I think.
I even looked at my calendar last night and thought I’d placed things in the wrong days because I was convinced yesterday was Tuesday. I was convinced that my calendar was wrong and I didn’t have any appointments today so I could use this spare time to prep for my Thursday meetings.
Oh, today is Thursday?! Well… Now, I have a 10am meeting, a post or two to write, and a looming deadline tomorrow.
While I can’t give any insight as to how or why this happens I think either I had a stroke and didn’t realize it or Char isn’t the only one suffering from being disorganized. And Ann isn’t the only one suffering from sleep deprivation.
Taking care of self and making the time to make sure you’re in a healthy, sane space will make present and post-apocalyptic life safe and bearable.
Normally everything is a joke to me. But today I was concerned. How had I be going so hard that I didn’t know what day it was? Why couldn’t I remember where I disconnected from the functional basics of daily life?
We’ve talked about mental health and morale here before. And while I’m not a medical professional or a patient, as a person, I can — sometimes not soon enough– recognize my own signs of damage.
For instance: I should know what day it is. I shouldn’t feel sad about waking up. I shouldn’t feel overwhelmed at the thought of adding buying toilet paper to my to-do list.
Mental health and emotional well-being are about more than being depressed or not being depressed, being sick or not being sick.
Sometimes it’s just about being in balance and taking care of yourself– more than physically.
Check out this checklist from Lisa Kift Therapy of some questions you should ask yourself every once in a while.

There is no right or wrong with this checklist but can hopefully guide you either celebrate the great place you’re in or to consider further work around sensitive areas.

So now I know today is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday and I have to take the time to sit down and honestly ask myself how I’m doing sometimes.
Then, if I don’t like those answers I owe it to myself and my family to course correct.

Meta-Post: Writer-Type Announcements.

Now, this isn’t strictly speaking apocalyptic, but if you like my writing style and you want to read my opinions about games, gaming and the games industry, you could do worse than pop over to PlanetIvy.com now and again, as I now write for them. My first post can be found here, and trust me, there are more where that’s coming from.
Planet Ivy like gonzo-style journalism and opinionated people, so if you like those things too you’ll fit right in.
I hope to see you over there!

What would a zombie attack look like in your neighbourhood?

UK market comparison website confused.com have a cute little answer for you on that question. [1. I have not been paid to write this article, though if confused.com want to shove me £50 I won’t complain.]
Their Home Sweet Zombie mini-vid takes your address and uses it with images from googlemaps to simulate a zombie assault on your neaighbourhood. It’d be nice if there were a greater variety of zombie attacks to increase replayability, but you can’t have everything in this life, and perhaps expecting a lot of variety from an advert is a bit much. Still, it would be nice to see it go even further than a film on the website.
It’s cute and fun, rather than terrifying and serious, but it’ss till a fun way to spend a few minutes – and you can send zombies to your friends. While you’re on the website you can get a quote for any kind of insurance you could wish – except Zombies. More insurance companies should consider Apocalypse insurance as an option – I’d buy it. And come on, even if a situation occurred that meant they had to pay out, the chances of an infrastructure that would FORCE them to existing is pretty slim. Guaranteed money, I reckon. Maybe I should set some up… what do you say, for just £2.50 a month, I’ll insure you against all kinds of apocalypse (robots not included). (Payout require both parties to survive the apocalypse. Depending on apocalypse type, payout may be converted into a similar value in food, barter, armour or space in a survival compound)
Any way, if work is boring you this friday afternoon, or you’re trying to ignore a partner or housemate, give it a try here.

This week in the real world, part 2

So you may have noticed that my post today is late. By a lot. There’s a reason for that: we got possession of our new house today. Now personally, I think that’s an okay reason to get a post up late.
I was up late last night packing up the rental apartment (and not getting anywhere near done). Today we were packing up the rest of our crap, moving crap from one place to another, and waiting for the Internet guy to set everything up.
Because when you move into your new house, the first thing you need to do is set up your Internet. Obviously.
Continue reading “This week in the real world, part 2”