I saved one comment in February, my response to another comment on Perched on the Wheel of Time
. If it looks familiar, it's because I used the first two paragraphs in 'The Walking Dead' vs. 'Westworld' at the 2017 Saturn Awards
. As for last paragraph I wrote, I did ask at the liberal prepper groups if they participated in the SCA and if the archaic skills they practiced helped with their survivalism. A significant number of them said yes.
Me: @Armata: You were right to point to American popular culture for evidence that people are afraid that progress may be coming to a halt and soon, but the way you used your examples works against you with people who know television. In particular, your statement that "The most popular TV show right now is Game of Thrones, based on George RR Martin’s 'A Song of Fire and Ice' novels" requires closer examination. "Game of Thrones
" may be the most award-winning
drama on American television today with a record 39 Emmy Awards
over its run, but if by "most popular" you meant "most watched," it most assuredly is not. According to Indiewire
, it came in 38th among viewers of all ages and sixth among TV watchers aged 18-49 during the 2015-2016 season, the most recent in which the series aired.
The more popular show exemplifying Americans' anxiety about the end of progress is "The Walking Dead
," which came in fourth among all viewers and first among those aged 18-49, making it, not "Game of Thrones," the most watched show on cable with nearly twice as many viewers. That's a fast-collapse show, but the series is now in its seventh season and has finally reached the stage where most of the rubble has stopped bouncing, so the conflict driving the drama has become a struggle for power among groups of survivors, including a barbarian warband that ironically (or maybe not) sees itself as the "Saviors of Civilization," instead of a fight for survival against the undead. That written, "Game of Thrones" makes your point that "Winter is coming" and people are aware it may be approaching in the real world as well. It's just not as salient an example as you made it out to be.
On another note, I'm a member of several "liberal prepper" groups on Facebook. I'll ask the members if any of them participate in the SCA and, if so, whether their historical reenacting has given them any survival skills. Coincidentally enough, one of the communities of survivors in "The Walking Dead" grew up around a park where Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century crafts were recreated for visitors. In the series, that was an intentional choice for those survivors, not an accident.
Justin: Pinku-Sensei, agreed about The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I watched the first episode of the current season of the walking dead, and wow, that was some brutal stuff. If sufficient transcripts survive, no doubt that future historians will study that show. Game of Thrones is interesting too. "Winter is coming" is certainly appropriate. Of course, the whole theme was thought up by GRRM in the 90's - although who knows what GRRM thinks about industrial civilization. He's certainly a smart fellow.