Monday February 22, 2016

The Coming Zombie Apocalypse

Listen to Full Episode 54:00

Zombies are zeitgeist --  shuffling, moaning metaphors for all our apocalyptic fears. It's so easy to imagine the end of the world: climate change, economic collapse, wildfire, pandemics. Some say it's too late. Some say the apocalypse started with colonization.  Garth Mullins, with Lisa Hale, asks why it's so hard to imagine any alternative to catastrophe. Can't we resist? **This episode originally aired October 27, 2015.

The Coming Zombie Apocalypse - Garth Mullins

Undead broadcaster Garth Mullins

Native Studies scholar Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy explains that Indigenous peoples have been facing the apocalypse for generations. For her nation, colonization was the end of the world and she sees parallels in The Walking Dead TV show. 

Afrofuturist sci-fi writer Nalo Hopkinson says that for people of colour, the apocalypse is already here, with unemployment, marginalization and deadly police violence. 

But why is it so hard to imagine any alternative to the End - any fundamental change? Is it too late? Can we resist? 

Complex systems theorist Brad Werner has run models on possible future scenarios. He asks: "are we F&*ked?" and looks at how resistance can slow down the destruction of the planet.  

So many have dreamed of changing the world. Now they're just trying to survive its end. Megan Adam is a community activist, working for social justice, but she has an escape plan in case that doesn't work out. 

And Thea Munster identifies with the undead. It's the heavily armed survivors she fears. So she started Zombie Walks, to unite the horde. 

East Vancouver comedian Charlie Demers and I both feel torn between paralyzing despair and cautious optimism. He talks about Thatcher's notion that there is no such thing as society and how we must rebuild one. 

This is not so much a show about zombies. Rather it's about how we survive and resist in a precarious world, where the apocalypse is mainstream and real change is marginalized.   

Follow Garth Mullins on twitter @garthmullins and Lisa Hale @lisa_hale. Check out East Van Calling podcast for longer interviews with some of the guests and our Tumblr for images. 

Music by: Jacob Dryden, Garth Mullins and Kai Paulson