The stillness is palpable, or as the old cliché goes: It's Quiet. Too Quiet. My three comrades and I, armed with whatever weapons we could scavenge, venture forth into the strangely misty southern evening. Over the sound of crickets and frogs, a few dissonant notes can be heard from somewhere in the distance - plucked out on an old banjo. We cautiously make our way down the highway. There are abandoned vehicles everywhere - sports cars, tractor-trailers, SUVs, pick-up trucks ... our car would never make it through that mess, even if we found enough gas to fill it. Up ahead we can make out the silhouette of a low, flat building - it looks like an old motel. Maybe we can find a safe place to hole up there for the night.
Too late ... here comes one ... then three ... then an endless, mindless horde: it's like a town-hall meeting without walls.
We prepare to receive them ... guns loaded, axes in hand ... and their charge begins!
I shout my battle cry, "No one wants to kill your grandmother, and Obama was born in Hawaii!"
The mindless rage on the faces of our attackers is clear. They don't want to hear reason, they wish only to spread their fear.
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As you can probably guess, I've been playing Valve's Political Allegory Game, Left 4 Dead 2. It's a lot of fun and chock full of timely commentary about the current state of the Republican party.
First, there are the survivors, who represent moderates, whether non-aligned voters or the "thinking" part of the Republican party. This is the part that holds reasoned conservative opinions.
The mindless Infected, are, of course, the Fundamentalist Fringe: religious zealots, Birthers, Tea-baggers, unreasoned assholes who think that anyone who uses their brain rather than just mindlessly parrots the dictates of anointed conservative leaders, is un-American. These are the people who don't believe in science, and freak out at the slightest mention of birth control.
Some of the places in the game clearly represent facets of American society. For example, Liberty Mall represents Capitalism and the Theme Park represents the Mainstream Mass Media (i.e. Bread & Circuses, Reality Shows) that act as a distraction from cohesive political thought.
The Special Infected are opinion leaders within the conservative movement:
The Smoker is Dick Cheney, hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike. He tries to strangle political debate and leaves an evil cloud of noxious smoke behind him wherever he goes.
The Witch is Michelle Bachmann, who whines and cries all the time, but if you get her attention she becomes vicious and focused, and will attempt to tear apart anyone whose opinions with which she disagrees. (Also, she's genuinely fucking crazy.)
The Tank Represents FOX News*, the Juggernaut of Sanctioned Conservative Opinion , mindlessly destroying anyone in its path, whether a Democrat, Independent, or just the Wrong Kind of Conservative. -Oh! And the Clowns are obviously FOX News personalities such as Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck - entertaining the masses, while destroying their ability to function as thinking, reasoning beings.
Rush Limbaugh is the Boomer. Now, I'm not picking on Rush because of his weight - I'm a rather portly fellow myself. Rush is the Boomer because of the bile he spews all over everyone and everything around him. Also, when he takes damage, the mindless "Ditto-head" hordes are sure to be there, ready to attack anyone who dares question him.
Not all of the correlations are necessarily so obvious. Is Sarah Palin represented by the Jockey, riding the regular voter off into dangerous territory? Or is she better represented by the Spitter, because she spreads dangerous venom, leaving it in pools for the unwary traveler? Perhaps Joe Lieberman is the Jockey - riding whatever bandwagon he can for his own political and financial gain.
The Hunter & Charger are probably John Boehner and Joe Wilson, with their tendencies to charge in or jump on any insane justification they can find for their radical stances on important issues.
Regardless of who, specifically, is represented by what element within Left 4 Dead 2, the point is clear: there are a lot of zombies out there, spreading a lot of strange fears about what they believe to be the Liberal Agenda**, and if we don't watch out, they'll take first the whole Republican Party, and then possibly our whole nation, down the road to crazy-town with them.
Finally, is it just me, or does running around in New Orleans killing Zombies with a guitar fill anyone else with the urge to sing "Johnny B. Goode" at the top of their lungs? Should I seek help?
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*They report only what they think you need to hear, so you don't need (or have any independent ability) to decide.
** Near as I can tell, these people believe the Liberal Agenda is something like: Force every American student to serve on government-appointed death panels with atheist homosexuals married to animals whose mission is to kill Medicare recipients during a pagan ceremony while illegal Muslim Mexican immigrants laugh and eat falafel tacos.