6mm-Minis

6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NOVELS: "World War Z" & Tripod's "Stockpiling Weaponry!"

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Hi All,

Before I share my brief review of the New York Times zombie best seller "World War Z" by Max Brooks, I'm going to share a far more entertaining Tripod music video / comedy skit. This Tripod skit nearly captures in roughly a minute and a half what all 342 pages of "World War Z" does. And the message boils down as thus:

1. Evil "NeoCons" have crippled the world, which makes us vulnerable to zombie invasion.
2. True "hippie-like progressives" can save the world with a proper Socialist ordering to society, multiculturalism, and a new nation-state in Israel called United Palestine... once all of the "NeoCons" have all been eaten by zombies...
3. War is bad and evil... unless dictators or Socialists start them.
4. Americans suck, white people suck, Christians suck... unless they are "multicultural progressives" who can denounce the troika of Western evil: whiteness, American "cowboy" capitalism, and the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of American Christianity.
5. The US military are a bunch of wasted, violent morons. All of them suffer from post traumatic battle syndrome, Vietnam flashbacks, or brush war jingoism.
6. And, oh yeah, Jews suck, but the only the religious and/or Zionist ones who don't want to be a part of "United Palestine."
7. And last but not least, the most important point:

"Bush sucks!"
"And is singlehandedly the cause...
...of ALL of the world's problems"

Well, maybe the Tripod song doesn't say all that, but I wanted something funny to share in an otherwise depressing book review. And unfortunately, the book isn't much more subtle than the seven points I've outlined above. Max Brooks had a political axe to grind when he wrote this book and while he avoids naming names, it's very clear what "lessons" he wanted to shove down our throats while making a quick buck off the zombie fad. Seriously, I bet they'll make a translation of this book mandatory reading at political reeducation AKA indoctrination camps in Communist China... it's just about that bad.

If you're a big fan of blaming America and its Presidents as the "root cause" of all evil in the world, or at least most of it... this book will probably be your cup of tea. If not, it will take so much effort to wade through the tripe that you'll probably quit reading the book long before you reach the end of it. I found it tiring after about page fifty... I've read mathematics text books that were less tiresome.

My one big compliment for Max Brooks is that he did some good research albeit through his "rose-coloured political glasses." The references to other nations and places capture a snapshot of those places that "feels right," even when he often gets them wrong. As I mentioned, he often mentions lots of foreign-language terms without ever really getting it right. I can't speak to all the places he mentions, but I can speak to many of the places I have lived or been such as his mention of the "ship yards" where old freighters are taken to be recycled into metal scrap. I think Max Brooks may have mistaken India for Pakistan, which is where most ships go to be broken down to recycled scrap. Small point, but it's symptomatic of most of the novel: "feels right," but is subtly off. Max Brook's zombies though are spot on and very consistently imagineered throughout the novel. He spent some time well creating his zombies, physical characteristics, behavior patterns, and all. Congratulations AKA Mazel Tov to him on that point... if only there were more.

And, probably the other major theme of the book, after anti-Americanism, is PESSIMISM. In Max Brook's apocalyptic fantasy, no one can get anything right until they begin to see the light of Socialism and new the "new societal ordering" that has, in reality, failed in every society that it has ever been tried in from the failed Communist States of the former USSR, to Red China, to Pol Pot's Cambodia, Mugabwe's tragedy of Zimbabwe, to Communist Vietnam, the gulags of North Korea, the prison state of Cuba, to the Bathist regimes in the Middle East and beyond. In the book, every kind of theme or meme whining about the shortcomings of Western society are trumpeted to the heavens: fundamentalist Christians, NRA "gun nuts," lazy Western white collar workers AKA management, NeoCons, a violent, corrupt military without enough ammo or common sense to "fight smart," and a whole laundry list of people and groups that "progressives" like Max Brooks blame for the ills of the world. Expect that theme to be repeated ad nauseum or maybe to put it a little more aptly: ad zombium.

OK. I've ranted enough...

The bottom line is that the book is mildly entertaining if you can get past the political messages that Max Brooks so obviously wants you to take away from this book.

Andy over at Little Lead Heroes wrote a much better review than I have. Check it out here:
http://www.littleleadheroes.com/archives/000733.html#000733

Have a great Sunday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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