Literature World War Z Discussion

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11:49:38 AM Mar 13th 2012
"The general implication that Max Brooks gives, is that those of us on the internet tend to drastically over-estimate the extent to which "New Media" had penetrated into the general population."

Which IMHO is right on the money. Hint: is Ron Paul President of the United States?

05:22:13 PM Jun 1st 2011
edited by roflcopteriii
Hey, quick question. I thought cells <i did /i> burst when frozen. The only articles that say otherwise I've found have been written by pro-cryonics/cryogenics 'experts' and are pretty fishy looking testimonies. Can someone give me a link or three to a reputable source that does mention it and, if not, can I axe that section where it says cells don't burst?
07:45:24 AM Jun 2nd 2011
As I understand it, they don't burst, but freezing causes whatever water's in the cells to crystalize, which cuts and damages the cells beyond repair.
09:13:47 AM Jun 2nd 2011
The trick is freezing them safely (and quickly enough) so that doesn't happen.
01:57:52 AM Apr 30th 2011
Five in the morning for me, but have people read Strazcynski's pass at the World War Z script?
05:17:26 PM Feb 14th 2011
Just out of curiosity, would someone mind explaning the potholes to me? Or why Dan Browned is a trope? I'm not trying to stir up trouble- I'm honestly curious. ^_~

11:07:14 PM Feb 14th 2011
edited by Hadri
If that's really how that entry is written it reeks of blogspot and needs to go. I'm pretty sure the You Fail Blank sections go into actual detail about these so at best the inclusion of "Dan Browned" should be a redirect to that section. As written it's so oblique I don't know if what it's referencing is something I can agree with or not.
08:58:50 AM Jan 18th 2011
There is plenty of discussion about what went wrong at Younkers over on the Just Bugs Me page, so how about a thread on what specifically we would do different?

1) Demolish the central section of the bridge.

No need to be delicate, just have the Air Force smash the hell out of the roadway. Manhattan is a loss, so there is no need to keep the bridge intact for refugees, and the Younkers plan never seemed to include a contingency for advancing, so a big gaping hole the advancing zombies can fall through, hopefully breaking their necks on the water below, can only be an asset. This step alone could potentially turn Younkers from a clusterfuck to a victory.

2) Napalm.

I'd like to see more of it. Sure, when they have already made it into rifle range a burning zombie is a liability, but if we go with point 1, they will never make it to rifle range. Additionally, since we know precisely where a massive concentration of them are, and where they are going, we know exactly where to drop the stuff.

3) Call on the B-52s.

Artillery is nice, but it really has nothing on a good old fashioned broad daylight saturation bombing, for raw ability to liquidate an area. Even though the zombies canonically are less vunerable to explosive force, the 52 brings enough to the field to still make it worthwhile, being capable of effectively demolishing square miles woth of area. See point 2 regarding the ease of targeting.

4) Stop dropping fuel-air bombs on our own people.

Seriously. While on the whole I can accept the Battle of Younkers as part of the narrative, the thermobaric being dropped on the skirmish line was a bona-fide Wall Banger, considering there was miles worth of valid targeting area where friendlies were not standing. See point 2.

10:12:37 AM Jan 18th 2011
...Or instead of writing all that here, you could go ahead and start that thread. On the forum.
01:38:08 PM Nov 24th 2010
edited by loracarol
Would Nelson Mandela hugging Redeker into insanity count as Care Bear Stare?
05:02:33 PM Nov 24th 2010
An accidental case, probably. I sincerely doubt Mandela wanted to snap his mind like a twig.
11:54:11 AM Nov 16th 2010
edited by Westrim
There is quite a kerfuffle about the Arab-Israeli Conflict entry. Hash it out here.
12:05:26 PM Nov 16th 2010
edited by dontcallmewave
as I said before:the implications are that orthodox jews are more unreasonable and violent than other people.If you look at the responses to my edits, it actually proves my point! I will qoute from some of the responses:
  • " the old men that refuse to serve in the military and such start it(the civil war)", Those "old men" (who btw deserve some respect!) would NEVER start a civil war!
  • "Who the hell else would (start a civil war) in that situation?" implying that only ultra-orthodox jews are crazy enough to do that.

and, if I may add, I know quite a bit about ultra-orthodox jews as I am one myself. I sincerely would like to know other peoples opinion on this matter
12:10:52 PM Nov 16th 2010
edited by Iaculus
Remind me, did the book itself specify that it was primarily the Orthodox Jewish population who triggered the civil war, as opposed to a general upsurge of paranoid, conservative elements upset about all the Arabs showing up?

I will note, also, that religious disputes, especially those as entrenched as in the Middle East, are a powerful force for violence. Palestine doesn't have the monopoly on fanatics.
12:27:12 PM Nov 16th 2010
edited by dontcallmewave
I have the book in front of me and I will quote from it:
  • (page 44 starting around the 5th line)"They believed that rebuilding a shorter wall... no matter what backlash might occur from their own religious right"
  • (a few lines later:) "the majority of the rebels came from the ranks of the Ultra-Orthodox..."
(italics mine)
12:45:08 PM Nov 16th 2010
Right then. Thing is, the Arab-Israeli Conflict has had a religious flavour to it since its beginning, Jew versus Muslim, with religious leaders on both sides inciting further tensions. In an ideological war, those who adhere most strongly to the ideologies in question will stake the most in the conflict. This is a given.

Put it this way. Who would you have more grounds to oppose? People who have stated their enmity to your state, or people who have stated their enmity to your state and your religion?
12:49:54 PM Nov 16th 2010
edited by MrDeath
You're being far too defensive.

Just because you are a self-identified ultraorthodox Jew doesn't mean you speak for all of them, nor does it mean you speak for what they would all do in a zombie apocalypse when their government does a complete and total 180 from what they've been doing for the entirety of the country's existance. That's the sort of situation where you really can't predict how any group of people is going to act.

When I said "Who the hell else would..." I was referring to ultra-orthodox people in general, not jews in particular being the only ones "crazy enough;" I should have been more specific about that point. The more hardline someone is on any issue, the more likely they are to get violent about it, as opposed to people who are more moderate.

The rest of the book is filled with people of every other race and creed doing irrational, crazy things in response to the zombie apocalypse. The book isn't singling out orthodox Jews. The whole point of the book is that this sort of thing would radically change everything and that people would freak right the hell out.
02:14:53 PM Nov 16th 2010
Iaculus: so what you are saying is that religious people in general are more irrational than none-religous ones?
03:34:37 PM Nov 16th 2010
I reread the passage myself. Combining my own knowledge and taking in good faith that Max Brooks is not wholely ignorant about Israel, it is not implausible to me that conservative Israelis would resist the government's best intentions if it meant conceding any ground to the Palestinians. the scene may be a commentary on modern Israel, but I think it's mostly supposed to show some ironic symmetry in the face of the zombie threat.

Can we please cut down the entry if it's going to cause trouble? The bare facts are that the zombie outbreak caused a civil war in Israel, in universe. That's it. We don't need to point out one person's interpretation of that as Unfortunate Implications if we're not going to discuss it further. That's the realm of opinion on the work itself and belongs on the Headscratchers page.
08:52:21 PM Nov 16th 2010
@Wave: Irrational? Not exactly. They just have more to defend. More to defend means taking greater lengths to defend something if you perceive it to be under threat.

It's a logical thought process. The Palestinian Arabs have declared war against our religion. They have stated their intent to drive us into the sea hundreds of times before. And now we're letting them into the country. Guys... I think we might be in trouble here.

The irrationality here is of the ordinary, human sort - they have so much invested in the conflict that it takes them a while to figure out that the rules of the game have irrevocably changed. It's the same for devoted believers in any ideology, religious or otherwise. After spending a lot of time thinking in one particular way, it can be difficult to adjust your standpoints.
08:00:11 AM Nov 17th 2010
Like I said before, please feel free to discuss this on Headscratchers as much as you want. There's no point in getting offended at a work of fiction and then dragging the rest of us around on one small edit that carries none of the context of where you're coming from on this.
09:17:20 AM Nov 17th 2010
10:21:22 AM Nov 17th 2010
edited by dontcallmewave
I wasnt overly that offended about this, but I have often seen far less offensive things than this linked to Unfortunate Implications without igniting a whole storm.
10:37:37 AM Nov 17th 2010
edited by Hadri
That's the fault of poor editors overusing the pothole to Unfortunate Implications on this wiki. I bet it experiences a fair amount of trope decay because of this.
10:38:06 AM Nov 17th 2010
Having actually been in Israel myself, I can tell you that the idea of the Charedi Jews in Israel rising up against perceived contamination by the Arabs is entirely believable. As it is, they're a very outlier population who are ideologically very conservative, don't serve in the military, are largely concentrated in Jerusalem itself, and who are politically outspoken.
11:16:03 AM Nov 17th 2010
At this point Unfortunate Implications seems to be all trope decay. Instead of using it to mean "The author was unknowingly and accidentally insensative about this point," it's been warped into, "HOW DARE THE AUTHOR SAY SOMETHING BAD ABOUT [Insert any possible combination of sex/race/ethnicity/religion/personal practices/opinions/anything really] HE MUST BE A RACIST BIGOT!"
01:23:00 PM Nov 17th 2010
edited by dontcallmewave
Let me just state that I was not complaining about a book that I dont like, as a matter of fact, World War Z is one of my favorite books ever!
02:27:57 PM Nov 18th 2010
Regarding Unfortunate Implications - and three persistent tropers don't want to believe that Unfortunate Implications can ever be Trope Decay. Look at But Not Too Black, for God's sake...


Like I said - Brooks, a Jew [not sure if he's orthodox] makes it very, very clear that's ultranational, ultraconversative right-wingers who don't like Palestinians. Hell, I'm surprised no one's complained about the Palestinian interviewed who was initially a wanna-be terrorist!
03:29:45 PM May 14th 2011
This Troper is very closely related to the subgect at hand, having lived in Israel most of her life. As she understands this part of the story, it wasn't so much the offer to take in the palestinians that drove the Ultra Orthodox over the edge, it was the governement's decision to leave everything beyond the 1967 border lines out of israel's perimeter wall, which means that many holy places and most UO settlements are forsaken to the mercy of the undead hordes. That, btw, includes Jerusalem.

This was actually blatantly stated in the text, but maybe not clear enough for those who don't have an understanding of the '67 borderline. It wasn't the Unfortunate Implications side of things Brooks was showing, it was the blindness and rage that are caused when people have their most important places in the world- religiously and personally- taken away from them.
05:23:14 AM Jul 13th 2010
Would a more accurate statement be anti-tank kinetic darts are worth fuck all against zombie hordes. I'd imagine getting hit by an anti-tank weapon would turn a single zombie into puree.
05:49:08 AM Jul 13th 2010
That's what I thought the intent of the passage in the book was.
05:15:22 PM Aug 4th 2010
Against hordes it is next to useless, and against single zombies it is effective but wasteful.
05:26:18 PM Aug 11th 2010
Anti-tank kinetic darts are able to hit a sand dune three miles away, go through 12 feet of sand, come out the other end, and destroy a tank made out of steel and titanium.

APFSDS rounds would draw lines through hordes.
02:41:47 AM Aug 12th 2010
Okay, but do the math and I still find it plausible that an artillery barrage limited to a few thousand shells versus literally a million zombies would not have significant stopping power once they ran out of ammunition.
09:00:16 PM Aug 12th 2010
Yeah I agree. But we don't have just an artillery battery with a few thousand shells. We have multiple artillery companies, each with a few thousand shells.

Aircraft, too. A single A-10 is able to obliterate huge tracts of land with a single strafing run. Behold:

And that's just one strafe. It is capable of about three. Along with its main gun, it can carry sixteen thousand pounds of bombs. Again, this is just one A-10. That can land, and refuel and refit in about an hour.

Apache helicopters carry 1,200 30mm autocannon rounds, as well as up to 76 70mm Hydra rockets.

Infantry is no push-over, either. The saying, "It takes a million bullets to kill one man" is only partially true - the recent middle-eastern conflict has seen the number go down to 250,000 bullets per enemy combatant killed. Soldiers are really used to firing a lot of rounds, and all modern militaries are able to supply them quickly and efficiently, with heavy lifters such as the Chinook and the Osprey.
10:48:32 AM Aug 17th 2010
Yonkers was a media event, not a well planned operation. Much of the chapter was devoted to how unprepared the military forces in Yonkers actually were. In the time it took for there to be enough zombies for such an engagement to take place, the US military would have been weakened and distracted by the Great Panic.

That means the logistics of putting the full power of the military behind the force at Yonkers may have been impossible; and it wasn't supposed to be an extended battle in the first place. My interpretation of the chapter is that very few soldiers were actually present at Yonkers; there were planes, helicopters, and tanks there too put on a show for the cameras, but not very many of them, and neither they nor the infantry were equipped to carry on a battle for hours. That's the whole reason why Yonkers was a failure.

During the counterattack, trying to bomb the zombie hordes out of existence was ruled too expensive and imprecise.

The whole idea is that modern military might is inefficient against a zombie outbreak, to keep exactly the solution you're proposing occurring on the way to the fridge. It's an acceptable Hand Wave, one that makes the drama of the book more interesting.
03:25:11 PM Aug 17th 2010
edited by TecumsehSherman
It is near impossible to make a media event war nowadays. Combat units are so intertwined that you cannot send in the infantry without sending in support units, that's just the way the chain works.

Also, just because you are fighting zombies doesn't mean you suddenly go against protocol, and start doing everything contrary to what centuries of experience tell you.

But the book would not have worked if everything was even remotely realistic. The Z's would have just been a nuisance - three chapters detailing the utter massacre of the hordes, then the rest of the book about how to clean up the mess. It'd been a bore-fest.
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