The Resistance Starts Now

Resistance is not futile. At this hour, it is essential. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo Credits: Getty Images, AP).

If you’ve read or perused this blog, chances are I’ve already telegraphed, to a large extent, my nerdy tendencies, but in case you needed any more evidence in this regard, here’s a reference that will buttress any suppositions you may have had. In the Star Trek universe, there exists a race of cybernetic beings rather uncreatively named the Borg. They seek not to advance politically or amass wealth, but to consume technology, as well as to, in the words of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard as the Borg alter-ego Locutus, assimilate other peoples into their collective so as to “raise” their “quality of life.” They hurtle through space in craft that resemble giant metal cubes. They are not aware of themselves as separate individuals, only as units within the collective. Perhaps most strikingly, the Borg do not like taking no for an answer. When not informing you of your imminent assimilation and subsequent loss of personhood, they are kindly explaining to you that “resistance is futile.”

While I, at the time, found the writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation to be some of the best on television, I still feel a lot of it holds up today. I say this perhaps in spite of the allegorical nature of the Borg, which is so readily apparent the full-sized U.S.S. Enterprise would be harder to miss. The Borg, in their monomaniacal pursuit of technological advancement and “cultural” assimilation, are a warning about the perils of collectivism and the pervasiveness of technology, carried to the extreme. The latter count, for one, is duly noted; take a look at any group of people waiting on line, for example, and note how many of them immediately take to their smartphones. On the former count, too, blindly following leadership in its various forms or adhering to cultural or societal norms risks agreement simply to avoid conflict or independent thought, not to mention the ascension of individuals to power who rely on authoritarianism and the conditions which lend themselves to their success. You probably know where I’m going with this. The Borg have a Borg queen. In the United States’ current political climate, we have Donald Trump, incoming President and would-be emperor.

As noted, the Borg collective confronts each species—and effective assimilation target—it meets with the idea “resistance is futile,” and once more making the comparison to today’s American politics, many people not entirely thrilled about a Trump presidency have taken to familiar standbys like “it is what it is” (death to that phrase, if you ask me) and “what can you do?” buying fully into the concept of top-down leadership. As others might argue, however, resistance is not only not futile, but mandatory at a time like this. Such explains the movements of Robert Reich and others which makes resisting Donald Trump their raison d’être. Reich, who founded Inequality Media, a non-profit organization designed to help educate the American public about how income and wealth inequality in this country has manifested and grown over time and what can be done to reverse this trend going forward, recently authored a video piece outlining an agenda for members of the resistance to combat the types of regressive reforms Trump is expected to enact during the first 100 days of his presidency. The following is my summation of the 12 points to this agenda—I hope you weren’t planning on going anywhere for a while—with some additional commentary regarding potential difficulties in successfully meeting the goals therein:

1. Contact your senators and representatives.

I know, I know—we’re always told this, but seriously, though—get in the habit of reaching out to your elected officials. As far as I am concerned, I feel fortunate as a New Jerseyan to have two U.S. Senators in Cory Booker and Bob Menendez who I believe share a number of the same positions on the issues as I do, and feel similarly about Representative Bill Pascrell in exemplifying some of the best values the Democrats have to offer. Others might not be as lucky to be so well represented, but this doesn’t mean we should take the good ones for granted, nor does it mean we should necessarily forsake those legislators who don’t seem as keen to oppose Donald Trump’s and the Republicans’ conservative agenda. Tell them to oppose it, though, and to oppose Trump’s awful appointees. These candidates for top positions in his Cabinet should be vetted and confirmed, not rubber-stamped.

2. March and demonstrate.

You’ve probably already heard about the Women’s March on Washington which is slated to occur the day after the Inauguration (January 21). Reich calls for additional marches in the following months, though, to reinforce the solidarity felt among those afraid for their families, their health, their rights and their safety, as well as that of people who were demonized and bullied throughout the election cycle. Blacks, immigrants, Latinos, the LGBTQIA community, Muslims, Native American Indians, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault, women—the list goes on. Some may decry these as the actions of a bunch of sore losers, or too little too late, or that they play identity politics to make groups feel better about themselves without effecting real change, or that they will do nothing to bridge the divide experienced between those who brand themselves as everyday Americans and the supposed liberal elites. There might be a kernel of truth in any number of these charges, but this doesn’t mean you can’t go to one of these marches and demonstrations as a casual observer and see what you can learn. It may not be for the exact right reasons, but from where I’m sitting or standing, anything organized in opposition to Donald Trump as President is for a good cause.

3. Uphold sanctuary cities and states.

The applicability of this item may vary depending on your proximity to an international border, but the sentiment behind it may well hold true no matter where you hang your proverbial hat. In my home state, the mayors of Newark, Jersey City, Union City and other municipalities have affirmed their city’s commitment to not detaining undocumented immigrants per ICE’s request unless accompanied by a judge’s order. Republicans have made the horror stories particularly salient in recent years, but allowing people to be held for the mere purpose of possible deportation, especially those who have been in this country for some time and have contributed to their communities and economies, seems like a waste of municipal, county and state law enforcement when immigration is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, if not an example of overreach on the part of the U.S. government officials. Reich urges non-cooperation on the part of we the people, and without probable cause, this would appear to be a just cause.

4. Boycott Trump real estate, hotels and brands.

Done. Of course, this is easy for me, as I don’t make it a habit to support Donald Trump financially if I can. Also helping matters: as a discerning shopper, I try to avoid products and services that are effectively likened to hot garbage, which is apparently the level of quality of Trump’s new hotel in Washington, D.C. What Robert Reich proposes, meanwhile, is a bit more difficult: boycott those retailers that carry Trump products, even if you don’t plan to purchase those individual items. Especially when Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is considered, the list of stores and retailers to potentially stop frequenting contains some significant names, and it includes the likes of Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, Kmart, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom,, Sears, TJ Maxx and Walmart. These are some big-deal companies, no doubt, so it would take some effort to avoid some or all of them (a yet more expansive list can be found at Still, it can be done, and what’s more, the official site for #GrabYourWallet offers a script/template you can follow when contacting these companies’ customer service departments and representatives. Sorry, Ivanka. I’ll pass on your various handbags.

5. Write letters & op-eds to the editor of your local newspaper.

Reich encourages you to pen these types of pieces to help communicate the dangers and fallacies of a Donald Trump presidency, including that agenda of his for the first 100 days, and to maintain a steady flow of these arguments. That’s right—keep ’em coming! Like Krabby Patties off of Spongebob’s grill! Yes, I’m an adult!

6. Contribute daily to social media with truthful, up-to-date facts and actions relevant to the movement to resisting Trump.

You know—keep reminding people of how shitty Donald Trump’s behavior and intended policies are.

7. Contribute to opposition groups.

Robert Reich offers a few suggestions, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Common Cause, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Economic Policy Institute, and, of course, Inequality Media, but you’re free to donate to the organization of your choice which you believe stands for the kinds of values Trump, his cronies, and other conservative Republicans won’t defend. You know, like, maybe Planned Parenthood, which the GOP aims to de-fund at the federal level, because they apparently think they should be able to tell women what to do with their own bodies. These kinds of organizations.

8. Make #ResistTrump visible.

Arm bands, bumper stickers, lapel pins—if it’s got #ResistTrump on it so people can see, you’re good to go. I’m not exactly the most craftsy person myself, so I sympathize with you on this point, but as of yet, online merchandise for “the Resistance” seems fairly sparse, and not for nothing, ugly. So, for now, you might just have to bite the bullet and start a DIY project or make friends with someone who’s good at creating things like the aforementioned items. Maybe bake them some cupcakes to sweeten the deal (or, yes, buy those, too).

9. Get involved with and promote progressive politics at the local and state levels.

Reich has a few major suggestions regarding topics to address, such as environmental reform, progressive tax reform, higher minimum wages, stopping gerrymandering, and helping to put an end to mass incarceration, but again, pick a cause and run wild with it. Certainly, the ability of workers to form and promote unions is something worthy of defense, despite Republicans’ and corporations’ attempts to weaken the bargaining power of these trade associations. Wherever rights are being abrogated, resources are being misused, or justice is proving not-so-blind, there’s an issue to get behind and a reason to get involved.

10. Abolish the Electoral College.

That’s right—you abolish it, all by yourself! OK, so one person by his or her lonesome isn’t going to dismantle the Electoral College, but lending your support and voice to the movement to supplant our wacky present electoral system in favor of the popular vote can only help. I’ve written at length about my feelings about the Electoral College, and if the electors won’t stand in the way of a tyrant in the making like Donald Trump, we may as well just do away with the damn thing. The likes of South Dakota and Wyoming be damned!

11. Reach out to independents and Trump supporters.

I know—this may seem like the last thing you want to do right now on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, but hear me out. And hear them out, assuming you can stand it. Especially for those voters who went for Barack Obama in 2012 only to turn around and cast their ballot for Donald Trump in 2016, ask them what about Trump’s agenda they find so appealing. If Democrats are to make any headway in taking back the House and the Senate, as well as governorships and seats in local legislatures, they’re going to have to win back the support of independents, working-class Americans and others who have lost faith in the Democratic Party. The Dems may not have burned these bridges, but they need to act fast to repair them in time for the midterms in 2018 and the presidential election in 2020.


No, seriously. Here’s where you can choose your own political adventure. Reich doesn’t offer much in this regard by design, but does suggest you meet with family and friends to discuss what you can do to put your own spin on the Resistance. I don’t know—maybe wear a silly hat when you do it? Hey, give me a break—I’m still working on my own #12!

Before the election, some prospective voters were wondering whether or not we should just vote for Donald Trump , blow up the political system as we know it, and rebuild our democracy in a more progressive way. I was not among this lot, and while I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, I didn’t choose Trump either, my reasoning being that I didn’t trust him with the fate of our country any more than I would trust a pack of hungry coyotes to watch over a small kitten. As you well know and are coming to grips with, the American people chose the orange-skinned one to lead our nation for the next four years. I believe they chose poorly. Regardless of whether or not Donald Trump’s election would theoretically be better for the country because it would hasten some sort of revolution, the reality is that Trump is set to lead our nation until 2020 or his impeachment—whichever comes first. Thus, out of necessity, a resistance must be formed, grown and maintained. Resistance, in this case, is not futile. It is essential. Resistance against hate. Resistance against tyranny and scaremongering. Resistance against bullying and ganging up on people online and offline. Resistance against the dissolution of fact and the erosion of ethics. Resistance against a political party and a system which puts the corporation and wealth above empathy and other hallmarks of humanity. Resistance against a world that allows a man to lie, cheat, deceive and steal his way to personal success. Resistance against that which we know is clearly wrong.

The Resistance starts now. Are you in?

Bring on the Apocalypse?

Slate’s Trump Apocalypse Watch, at full Four Horsemen. (Illustration Credit: Slate; Photo Credits: Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons)

A lot of people worried about the eventual outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election—and by proxy, the fate of the country and of the free world—have contemplated all sorts of doom-and-gloom scenarios should Donald Trump, despite his best efforts, actually win this damn thing. The publication Slate has even taken to measuring Trump’s likelihood of winning amid their tracking of his more reprehensible moments, gauging this probability in the form of zero to four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as part of a daily Trump Apocalypse Watch. This is a joking allusion to the end of the world as we know it, but some folks are legitimately concerned that Donald Trump in a position of immense power could lead to World War III, a nuclear holocaust, or some other Earth-shattering event.

It’s not an entirely unreasonable prediction either, given Trump’s apparent nonchalance in, say, arming Japan with nuclear weapons, a country devastated in World War II from the dropping of two atomic bombs, to scare a nearby threat like North Korea. Or the revelation during the Republican presidential debates that Trump had no idea what the nuclear triad is, which was a pretty disturbing revelation for a man who might be given the proverbial keys to the castle if all goes poorly. Then again, there are warnings from outside America that nuclear war is a threat should Donald Trump not win, specifically from the person of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian lawmaker, nationalist, and ally of Vladimir Putin. Of course, both he and Donald Trump are known to be blowhards, but in a weird way, some might find comfort in the notion we’re f**ked no matter how we might slice it.

Speaking of the apocalypse and taking solace in our imminent destruction, the end-of-the-world motif seems to be a prevalent one in today’s popular media. The Walking Dead, a show so successful its spin-off is set to air its third season in 2017, is nearing its Season 7 premiere. Earlier this year, Independence Day: Resurgence threatened the Earth once more with alien invasion—and movie critics promptly alerted audiences with roundly negative reviews. Alternative rockers R.E.M., apparently, have long been predicting the apocalypse, and perhaps most disturbingly, seem to be perfectly accepting of such an outcome. I’m sure you can readily come up with any number of examples yourself, but suffice it to say there are plenty of ways in which creative types in and out of Hollywood have envisioned our demise at the hands of some awesome force. A listing of some of the theoretical means of humanity’s destruction:

Alien invasion

As movies like Independence Day and stories like H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds have suggested, intelligent life exists elsewhere than just Earth, and upon reaching our skies, extraterrestrials have one idea in mind: enslaving the human race and taking over the planet. According to this theory, the invaders, undoubtedly possessing superior technology by which to get to our solar system in the first place, are able to use their ships and weapons to abduct, zap and otherwise put a hurting on humankind.

I personally have two problems with this kind of story. First of all, it’s perhaps a little cynical to assume that beings from another galaxy would necessarily want to colonize us and tear shit up. First contact, as envisioned in the Star Trek universe, depicts a far more diplomatic set of circumstances, and as a viewer of a number of episodes of The Next Generation, I appreciate how deep the writing is in creating a world that is a mirror of ours and yet distinct and rich with interpersonal and political relationships. In other words, it wouldn’t be a given that visitors from beyond would be hostile. In addition, and maybe here I’m being too cynical, but perhaps would-be usurpers of our planet, upon seeing what havoc we’ve wrought in an environmental sense, might just think twice about taking over our little blue orb. Um, no, that’s OK, Earthlings. You keep your world. The polar ice caps have already started melting. It’s damaged goods now.

Global pandemic

It’s all fun and games until some super-virus overruns the planet, leading to martial law, quarantine zones and the breakdown of the kind of order to which we are accustomed. Take your pick as to what kind of disease threatens to ravage the Earth’s population. There’s the sort faced in Outbreak, in which a deadly airborne virus brought into the States by a smuggled African monkey causes a panic to ensue. A variation of the theme is found in the world of 28 Days Later, where some sort of blood rage virus spreads like wildfire across the world’s regions and turns people into bloodthirsty savages. So, um, it’s sort of like the behavior observed at Trump rallies. Blindness, Contagion, Quarantine—if there’s a way to decimate our numbers via infection, movies and TV will find a way to do it.

That plots involving the threat of a bug powerful enough to bring Earth to its knees are relatively frequent suggests an underlying belief that such a scenario could unfold in the real world. Indeed, according to a 2006 TED Talk with Larry Brilliant, nine out of 10 epidemiologists (yes, apparently that’s a thing) believe a pandemic is “fairly likely” in their children’s or grandchildren’s time, owing to factors such as global population size, the centralization of life on much of our planet, and our increased interconnection and ability to travel considerable distances in a short amount of time (and spread germs all along the way). Add to this the notion that there are “superbugs” in parts of the world that are resistant to most, if not all, antibiotics, and you have a potentially worrisome situation on your hands. I’m not saying we should all be getting bomb shelters or bubbles ready preemptively, but it’s something to think about. Oh, and lighten up on the hand sanitizer, would you? There is such a thing as too much, especially when it might be contributing to anti-microbial resistance. I know—you just bought that family-size bottle of Purell, too.

Natural disaster

As Robert Frost wrote in his iconic poem “Fire and Ice”:

Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Frost’s poetic voice, speaking metaphorically, envisions the world ending by fire (desire) or ice (hate), but in terms of disaster movies, this could manifest more literally in cascades of fire and lava (e.g. Dante’s Peak, Volcano) or severe ice storms and freezing (e.g. The Day After Tomorrow). Then again, there are always those apocalyptic visions which recall popular diluvian myth (e.g. Waterworld) or, well, death by sharknado (hey, it could happen!). I’m not sure what to make of the apparent appeal of these types of films. Filmmakers, and by proxy, movie audiences, evidently have a hard-on for watching monuments like the Statue of Liberty get torn asunder, or quite simply, witnessing the raw power of nature, even when taken to absurd extremes.

In the case of a global “superstorm” or great flood, meanwhile, there is a subtext which invokes the ever-present threat of global warming—unless you are a member of the GOP. Should we regard these fictional cataclysmic events as a portent of what faces our planet should we fail to heed Mother Nature’s stern warnings? A call to action for the preservation of our natural resources and of what’s left of the Earth’s atmosphere? Hmm, this is Hollywood we’re talking about here. Perhaps I’ve overthought this. I’ll shut up and watch the destruction, slack-jawed, now.

Plant uprising

SPOILER ALERT: this was what was behind everyone killing themselves in The Happening. Now I’ve saved you the trouble of having to watch this terrible M. Night Shyamalan offering. (Side note: if you’re familiar with the premise of the film, which element requires the greater suspension of disbelief—the flora of the Earth releasing neurotoxins in an attempt to rid the planet of destructive human beings, or Mark Wahlberg playing a high school science teacher? Discuss.)

Robot uprising

Maximum Overdrive: chilling prelude to our future, or chillingly bad piece of cinema? Both, perhaps? Stephen King’s one and only directorial feature is not the only work of art (and I’m being generous here) that imagines a world in which the machines have become self-aware, have taken umbrage to being used as tools by humans, and have reversed the script to enslave our race and become our overlords. Battlestar Galactica, Dune, I, Robot, The Matrix, Terminator—take your pick as to which parable of the dangers of artificial intelligence gone awry you find most appealing. With Isaac Asimov’s work in particular, the Three Laws of Robotics are proposed to bring about a set of conditions whereby machines afforded some degree of artificial intelligence could disobey the orders given them by humans or even harm individual humans for the sake of the greater good. Of course, this presumes a robot would be able to discern what is good for humanity and what is not, a task that is made difficult by virtue of “humanity” being an abstract concept. If it’s hard for us as emotional beings to decide, it’s enough to make a robot explode.

Lest we think that this is all much ado about nothing, and that the architects of artificial intelligence would be keen enough to limit robots’ capabilities or otherwise install a failsafe so they could be stopped should they try to take over the world, numerous prominent figures in the science and technology communities have warned of the potential perils of an effective AI coup, including Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. (Pshaw! Like they know anything!) It’s a tricky topic indeed, for while the benefits of artificial intelligence are manifold, expansion without the requisite safeguards is risky. Sure, it sounds like a remote possibility now, but don’t come crying to me when you’re eating Tasty Wheat aboard the Nebuchadnezzar!

Rogue asteroid

With the all comings and goings of bodies and particles in our galaxy, it would seem a matter of time or a byproduct of the law of averages that some hunk of burning rock would find its way into Earth’s atmosphere—and not just your run-of-the-mill meteor either. We’re talking some Deep Impact or Armageddon shit here. It’s a scary notion, and one that is particularly frightening if we stop to consider just how bad the acting in Armageddon actually was. In theory, we have the technology to avoid an extinction-level event from a near-Earth object, be it using nuclear weaponry to divert a celestial body, a sizable enough spacecraft to draw away an astronomical threat through the force of gravity, or by some other means.

Still, much depends on scientists’ ability to spot an asteroid or meteor on a collision course with the planet. Recall the near-miss that occurred in 2013 when an asteroid blew up in the sky in 2013 over Chelyabinsk, Siberia, Russia—and relatively speaking, that one was small. Even if we watch the skies constantly, there is the real possibility we could end up like the dinosaurs based on some hot rock the universe slingshots our way. And unless B.D. Wong and the rest of his staff can bring us back à la Jurassic Park, we’d be in a heaping help of trouble. Hold on to your butts, Planet Earth.

Zombie apocalypse

Ah, yes. The zombie apocalypse. This may be highly correlative with the occurrence of a global pandemic (how else to explain the zombification of the majority of the Earth’s population?), but here, we’re concerned with the end result that manifests in hordes of people—well, at least they were people—shuffling from place to place, looking for human or other flesh on which to feed. They have no emotion. They have no desire—other than, of course, their lust for your brains, and even that would appear to be mere impulse, mediated by whatever force is keeping them alive. So, yeah, like I said, just think of your average Trump rally. OK, OK, I’ll stop using that joke. Trump supporters have brains and emotions. It just so happens the candidate they support may not have a soul, but that’s another story.

Zombies from “The Walking Dead,” or Trump rally? You be the judge. (Photo retrieved from

It helps that “zombie” starts with a Z, all but guaranteeing any discourse on the zombie apocalypse would come last in a compendium of the various ways human life on this planet may cease to be. This notwithstanding, I would be wont to talk about the zombie apocalypse as my ultimate entry anyway, owing to the massive popularity of this genre. As noted, there are a slew of movies that have been released and continue to be made, ensuring simulated blood, brains and guts will continue to be spilled for the foreseeable future, not to mention The Walking Dead and its spin-off series once more, as well as zombie fiction in the literary sense. Heck, there are even periodic “zombie walk” events throughout the country, including an annual walk of some prominence in my home state. And I’m sure the living dead will be a go-to costume choice this Halloween. The abstract concept of the zombie is a cultural icon in the United States.

But why exactly? After enumerating potential causes of human extinction, and outlining just some of the ways our apparent collective zombie fetish has been realized, this is my fundamental question. After all, zombies are not the sexiest of mythological creatures to be found in popular lore. Vampires, before or perhaps even after they drain you of blood, play a seduction game. If the True Blood series, based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series penned by Charlaine Harris, is any indication, when vampires are not primarily motivated by blood lust, they’re guided by, well, plain old lust. Zombies, meanwhile, don’t really have a sex drive. It’s all stagger, bite, rinse, repeat. Besides, even if there were to be a situation by which to be intimate with a representative of the undead, and not merely to be graphic, but there would be concerns about decomposition or failures of the zombie’s anatomical integrity during the act. Not to mention questions of what could qualify as “consent” in that case. Do zombies have rights as reanimated people? In the absence of courts, does this pondering about civil liberties even have merit? These are the kinds of things I think about. Late at night. By myself. All alone.

Ahem, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Nicholas Barber, writing for BBC News, in 2014 authored a piece on why zombies are so gosh darn marketable these days, and traced the origins of modern-day zombie lore and the spiritual genesis of works like Night of the Living Dead, the godfather, if you will, of the zombie flick, and World War Z, based on the book by Max Brooks, which had a big opening at the box office. As Brooks and George Romero would explain, there is a psychic and metaphorical dimension to the threat of a zombie apocalypse. Think about the context of each creative work. Romero remarked about his breakthrough film that its screenplay was crafted within the framework of “a good deal of anger, mostly that the Sixties didn’t work.” This is to say that conformity to societal norms, aspired to without reason and with a mind to utterly destroy those elements which do not fit neatly into overall puzzle, is a dangerous force. Flash forward to the 2010’s, and Max Brooks echoes many of the same sentiments. As he is quoted in Barber’s essay:

We’re living in very uncertain times. People have a lot of anxiety about the future. They’re constantly being battered with these very scary, very global catastrophes. I think a lot of people think the system is breaking down and just like the 1970s, people need a ‘safe place’ to explore their apocalyptic worries. They can’t read stories about real plagues or nuclear war. That’s too scary. That’ll make them turn away. Zombie stories give people the opportunity to witness the end of the world they’ve been secretly wondering about while, at the same time, allowing themselves to sleep at night because the catalyst of that end is fictional.

Indeed, the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse, logistically speaking, is fairly low, which lends itself to zombie stories being part of an escapist horror sub-genre. I do tend to sympathize with the notion that fear about an uncertain future and vague notions about humanity’s destructive capabilities do probably factor into the connection so many of us have with The Walking Dead et al. By the same token, though, I think a smaller but not insignificant cadre of followers of zombie fiction appreciate it not from a sense of overwhelming dread and having to watch like a rubbernecker looking at a car crash, but more as individuals secretly wishing for it to happen. You probably have one or more people you know convinced he or she could not only survive, but thrive, in the zombie apocalypse.

I tend to think this is easier said than done, and that a certain degree of underestimation of the danger zombies present is inherent in this line of thinking, and/or an overestimation of one’s personal abilities. In isolation, the living dead, because of their slow rate of motion, singularity of purpose leading to lack of nuance in strategy, and their corporeal instability, are theoretically easy to resist. When hordes of the undead rain down on you, however, the sheer mass of decaying flesh and gnashing teeth substantially increase the probability one stands to be bit and infected, or otherwise dismembered by the crowd. It’s as with bees or wasps. One bee? Barring a moderate to severe allergy, not a problem, even if you do happen to get stung. Should you upset the whole hive, however? Now it’s a bigger deal.

Besides this reality—if I may even use such a word—there is also the psychological and emotional realization that comes with most of who and what you love being gone, not to mention the bleakness of a post-apocalyptic world and the unending drone of swaths of zombies moaning and dragging along the Earth. I recently had a conversation with someone about whether or not we would survive the zombie apocalypse, and both of us were less than optimistic about our fates. I submitted that physically, my general awkwardness and state of being woefully out of shape would likely doom me, but the person with whom I shared this dialog opined that she wouldn’t be able to stand the grimness of it all, and would probably end things on her terms in that event. So, for all of you folks jazzed up about the end of the world, um, consider it might not end up as all that it’s cracked up to be.

Moreover, still concerning the mindset of those who invite the apocalypse, perhaps there is also some yearning for a simpler existence, and arguments about the virtues of a simpler existence versus the rewards of being able to live in a world replete with amenities are duly noted here. In the zombie apocalypse, there are no cell phones. There are no work deadlines. There is no waiting in line at the DMV. Your only obligations are to stay alive and to keep as many people in your camp alive as long as possible. Bleak? Sure. But there’s also a clarity and singularity of purpose in this scenario. Get the zombies before they get you. And who are you anyway in this new post-apocalyptic world? Well, that’s up to you, isn’t it? Before the apocalypse, you were a mild-mannered retail worker. After the apocalypse? You’re one of the world’s foremost zombie killers! Shit, yeah! I can see the appeal. It’s a chance to start over again, in a world that itself is starting over in a strange way. It’s a chance to go back. A chance to make America great again.

Wait, what? We started with Donald Trump causing the apocalypse, and now we’ve come full circle in discussing why people might wish for the end of the world as a means of a rebirth of sorts? What’s the connection here? Among the Trump supporters who haven’t been duped by the real estate magnate into believing he can fix the economy because he has lied, cheated and stolen his way through his career and celebrity, there are those who are taken with his notion of bringing this country back to a “better” time. Looking back through the right glasses, things tend to appear that much rosier. Back then, life was simpler. As in the zombie apocalypse, there were no smart phones. There was no such thing as ISIS. There was no Black Lives Matter. No one talked about climate change. Men were men, women were women—there was none of this “transgender” nonsense. Life was, well, simpler. Wasn’t it?

See, that’s the thing about nostalgia. At the very heart of the word, it’s bittersweet. There is the return home—the nóst—represented by our desire to return to a happier time full of success and one that makes us feel at ease, but then also the algia, the pains of realization that we will never get back to that revered age. With Donald Trump and his supporters, there is a sense of nostalgia for a quieter time when people didn’t talk about their feelings, or have facts and figures at their fingertips. When political correctness wasn’t a necessity. When more people spoke English. When white folks didn’t feel like they had to apologize for that fact, and nobody railed about “institutional racism” and privilege. It was better then, right?

Better for whom, exactly? For everyone who waxes poetic about the “good old days,” consider that a lot of the problems we face in 2016 were there decades ago. We just talked about them less or hid them more. And the world we once knew? Like an Earth populated by the walking dead, it’s not coming back. It’s changing. People are changing. Their bodies, their faces, their minds. It’s scary. Change often is. But there’s a choice to be made. You can stubbornly stand against the tidal waves of change and hope not to be knocked over, or you can get on board the boat of togetherness and ride those waves to shore. Either way, it’s a rocky journey, but I believe there’s a right and a wrong “side” to be on, if you will. And I, for one, would rather be on the boat than rooted on the shore trying to push those waves back from where they came.

If Donald Trump does somehow become President of the United States, the world would, in all likelihood, not end, but it stands to put us on a dangerous track of mindless conformity for the sake of some vague nationalist agenda. Like the zombies of popular lore, we’d be ambling along, on a drive to consume everything in our path. AMERICA IS #1! F**K THEM FOREIGNERS! LET’S BLOW THE SHIT OUT OF THOSE AY-RABS! Sure, we might not be thirsting for literal human brains, but I’m sure George A. Romero, for one, has seen this movie before.