There is a manifestation of societal problems hiding right in plain sight. Time and time again, I get ready to turn into a parking spot at a busy grocery store only to find a shopping cart in the middle of the spot. Then, after being frustrated by the lack of consideration people have shown fellow shoppers in the parking lot, I need to navigate my way inside. Once, inside, it is more of the same, except the carts are now mobile. An invention that was created to make transporting groceries easier has become a symbol of discourteousness.
There are strategically placed cart corrals placed all over the parking lot. However, this isn't enough convenience for some people. This speaks to the self-centered, narcissistic society that we have become. In these cart abandoners' minds, once they are done with the cart, that is the end of its story. The cart doesn't go on to be used by other people. It doesn't take up parking space if it is not put away properly. It is not a burden that someone else has to chase down and put away. Out of sight, out of mind.
Inside grocery stores, there are customers that should not be wielding a shopping cart. Some people dart straight for something they randomly see like a mosquito chasing a bug-zapper, without taking into account that there are other people trying to travel through the aisles as well. The worst enablers of this behavior are sample carts. These lead to a feasting gridlock. Then there are the people that are focused on their phones. These wonderful people stop in the middle of the aisle, blocking others. Sometimes they turn around the corner of an aisle blindly, ready to run into whatever or whomever awaits them. It scares me to think about what these people are like when they are driving a car.
People need to start having more consideration for others if our society is going to function. Shopping carts etiquette is the perfect poster child for this problem. On one occasion, I remember grabbing a few stray carts and giving them to the girl that was working in the parking lot on a 105 degree day. She was so grateful, she acted like she was Lois Lane and I was Superman. Taking care of a shopping cart should make people look at you like you're Clark Kent, not Superman.
Despite only featuring two characters and not featuring zombies for a majority of the episode, "Still" was an emotionally charged installment of The Walking Dead. The viewers were treated to a look at the current situation of Darryl and Beth, as well as insight into both characters.
Darryl continued on with his disconnected, bitter attitude that he displayed in the episode "Inmates." He was staying silent, but continuing to fight to survive. It seemed at the beginning of the episode that he had decided to just stay in the woods indefinitely and stew in his misery. However, he leaves the woods when Beth decides she is going to have her first alcoholic drink.
The first place they found was a country club. The inside was creepy. It included walkers hanging by their necks and weird labels on corpses. This was the moment in the episode that the two were in the most danger. Darryl ended up taking on walkers with a golf club, which was kind of comical. However, the mood soon changed as Darryl repeatedly bashed a walker with a the golf club long after the walker had died.This set the tone for the rest of the episode.
With nothing but peach schnapps in the country club, Darryl and Beth moved on. They were able to find an old still house filled with moonshine. As they played a drinking game, learning more about each other, Darryl finally became unhinged and we saw how horrible of a drunk he was. Darryl berated and bullied Beth, acting like more of a threat to her than any walker. However, he finally showed where his attitude was stemming from.
Darryl had not necessarily lost hope, he just felt inadequate. He blamed himself for Hershel's death and The Governor's attack on the prison. He saw himself as a redneck loser that was basically a lackey for his older brother. Beth reassured him that he was not inadequate and talked about the change in herself as well. At the end, they burned down the still house together to symbolically destroy the past and look to the future.
"Still" was an excellent example of character driven storytelling. It showed that Darryl and Beth have more in common than just happening to end up together when they were running away. They are two characters that have grown into better, stronger people after the outbreak. Darryl is no longer the follower redneck "nothing." he once was. People depend on him and respect him. Beth is no longer the suicidal victim she once was. She is now a survivor and trying to make the most out of whatever life she now has. It's too bad it took a zombie apocalypse for them to grow.
When I first saw a sign that said "Express Lane: About 15 Items" I was blown away by the word "About." I know that this me making a mountain out of a mole hill, but get out your hiking gear and climb.
There are several issues that this sign brings up for me. The first one is that basically this is a waving of the metaphorical white flag for the Express Lane. This store is saying, "You don't care about the rules of the Express Lane and we are sick of fighting it!" What is "About 15?" Is it 14? 30? What are the expectations now?
The second issue this brings up is the fact that the customers no longer have any obligation to math outside of very subjective estimation. Kindergartners use manipulatives such as blocks in order to learn to count. Isn't this essentially the same concept when it comes to counting grocery items? Are we really at a point in society where it is too much to ask to have consumers employ kindergarten math concepts?
This sign indicates that the following 3 step process is too complicated for the average shopper:
1. Start counting the things in your cart
2. If you stop at or before 15, go in the Express Lane
3. If you get to 16, go into a lane that is not the Express Lane
Honestly, I've always had an issue with the "Express Lane" in general. This grievance is not with the idea of it, but the enforcement of it. Maybe other people have personal anecdotes that differ, but I have never actually seen the laws of an Express Lane enforced at a grocery store. If this is the case, why even waste the time to have a Faux Express Lane?
The latest episode of The Walking Dead "Claimed" was a fantastic hour of television. The episode featured some of the great slow burn suspense that audiences have become accustomed to from The Walking Dead. It also brought some new characters into the fold that comic book readers are familiar with.
We got to see the actual reunion of Michonne with Rick and Carl that was inferred in the mid-season premiere "After." The trio was making due in the abandoned house until they could plot their next move. Michonne urged Rick to rest while she went out looking for supplies with Carl. This seemed to serve two purposes: to help Carl make a human connection and to let a beaten down Rick heal.
The transformation of Michonne's character has been interesting to watch. She gave more insight to her past as she opened up to Carl. This allowed Carl to finally acknowledge some of his feelings he has been bottling up. The scene where Michonne discovered the kids' room was extremely sad and intense.
Rick seemed to finally get an opportunity to just rest and heal up. However, things are never easy when Rick is involved. He was soon involved in one of the most anxiety ridden scenes the audience has witnessed in a while. The writers decided refused to let Rick or the audience rest easy as Rick found himself stuck under a bed hoping that some random men would not find him. Eventually, in order to escape, Rick had to strangle a man. It showed that when it comes down to it, Rick is ready to survive at all costs. These scenes were very well executed.
Finally, the show gave a proper introduction to the new characters. Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene were on a journey to Washington based on the belief that Eugene knows how to cure the outbreak. However, when Glenn wakes up to find himself on this journey with them, it does not go over well. Glenn is set on finding Maggie, whether it kills him or not. The new characters will probably serve the future story-line well, but the scene with the fist fight and Eugene firing the machine gun into the truck was kind of silly. This was probably the one weakness of this episode.
Overall, this was a fantastic episode. It revealed more information about the characters and built suspense. There are several story-lines now open as the plot moves forward.
Over the years I have seen several different signs in public restrooms. These signs have never had an impact on me until recently. While stopping at a gas station on a road trip, I saw a sign in the restroom that illustrated what to do with your toilet paper after using it. If that wasn't clear enough, it also illustrated what not to do.
The existence of this sign made me ponder several things. First off, we all know that if there is a sign posted in public, then there had to have been an inciting incident to warrant it. That realization spawns several questions. Are the people that have inspired the posting of this sign voting? Are they raising kids? Is this sign intended for kids? If so, where are the kids' parents? Shouldn't they be the ones that teach their kids this important lesson? Shouldn't they be with their kids in a public restroom if their kids are not old enough to understand how to dispose of toilet paper?
If there was one thing I thought even the most primitive minded human could decipher it is that used toilet paper does not go on the floor. Apparently this is the society that we now live in. You are living among people that need a sign with visual aids to know that they do not just throw toilet paper on the floor. This means that a sect of society has decided to be more advanced than monkeys when it comes to post defecating cleansing, but not when it comes to randomly throwing feces.
The latest episode of The Walking Dead "Inmates" was a decent episode, but not as well constructed as last week's "After." The use of multiple stories and intersecting timelines did not seem necessary to enhance the plot. The viewer did however, get several key questions answered and the plot was moved forward well.
The biggest question that was answered was the fate of Judith. Comic book readers were left wondering if the television counterpart was going to really stay true to the source material and kill off baby Judith. This episode revealed that Tyreese did in fact have Judith safe and sound. However, the writers pushed the buttons of comic book readers a little more by insinuating that Lizzy might in fact suffocate her when she was trying to keep Judith's cries from attracting walkers. This was a disturbing scene due to the fact that Lizzy is obviously off. One criticism of this story-line is that although the "Where's Carol?" question was answered, Carol's return was very anticlimactic.
A strong point of the episode was the scene with bus. It was intense as Maggie sifted through the Woodbury resident turned walkers on the bus looking for Glenn. There was genuine moment of "There is no way they would kill off Glenn...is there?" when Maggie found the walker on the ground that had hair similar to Glenn's.
When looking at the different story-lines, it is puzzling why there was such little time given to Darryl and Beth. The only thing that could possibly be gleamed from their scenes is that it seems Darryl is taking some steps back and becoming more callous.
The ending was exciting for comic book readers as Abraham made his debut on the television show. This gives promise to some major plot movement over the course of the next couple of weeks.
The Season 4 mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, "Too Far Gone." was unforgettable. The show has probably never reached the intensity that it did at the end of that episode and it left us with many questions to stew on in anticipation of the second half of the season.
"After" was an amazing return and gave the show a psychological thriller feel. Readers of the comic book had an idea of what to expect concerning Rick and Carl post showdown with the Governor. However, the scenes concerning Carl out on his own were very suspenseful and took the viewer on a journey of emotions towards him.
At first, Carl was an annoying brat. Acting like he did not need Rick and could handle himself. As the episode went on, there were several close calls that Carl survived and he seemed to get more arrogant every time rather than receiving them as a wake up call. It turned out that the one thing he could not handle was killing his dad, zombie or not. When Carl breaks down trying to shoot Rick, who he thinks has died, it instantly takes the animosity the viewer has towards him away and makes it clear that he is just a normal teenager. This fact was touched upon when Carl becomes happy looking at the video games for a moment as well.
The scenes with Michonne were also very memorable. Michonne's dream melding her old life and current life was an amazing visual. It gave juxtaposition for both the setting and her character before and after the outbreak. It was also nice to see Michonne talking to her dead boyfriend, which is a major part of her character in the comic book. With Michonne eventually snapping back into her survival mindset and persona, she is able to track down Rick and Carl leading to the first smile on Rick's face in a while.
It looks like next week's episode will focus on the other characters' current circumstances. This is when The Walking Dead is at its best.The show has gotten it right this season as it has been structured on focused, character driven episodes and has slowly panned out to have the individual stories intersect.