The Visual Du Jour – The World: Urban and Crowded

At least, based on this graphic:

With the exception of the city-states (Monaco, Hong Kong), it is rather clear that population density in the selected countries can be extreme in urban areas.

One needs then to ask the reasons for such rapid and massive urbanization (which leads to Mike Davis’s Planet of Slums) as well as its consequences. How do cities cope, in term of infrastructure and urban development, with such increase in their population and such high densities? Often, not very well and one can see the ecological nightmares in shanty towns and other poverty-inflicted areas.

The question of the global urban poor is an essential one for development policies.

The Walking Dead… Where Black is The New Red Shirt

Because it seems to me that the series is on a “black dude of the week” theme.

So, first, of course, there was Morgan (and his son) who rescued Rick, freshly awaken from his coma and still in his hospital gown, if I remember correctly. Morgan and Duane had been surviving together, holed up in a house at night (with Morgan’s wife roaming around with the other walkers) and looking for supplies during the day. If you remember, Rick had left Morgan with a rifle and a walkie-talkie. Rick was supposed to get on it every day to let Morgan know where he was. Rick followed through for a while, but then, I guess, the writers kinda forgot all about it and mentions and references to Morgan disappeared.

Then, Rick joins the original group (where he gets reunited with Lori and Carl) and here was T-Dog. Poor T-Dog, a character that was just there, completely ignored, prone to blunders and clumsiness (dumping the key to release Merle from the roof), and with no storyline whatsoever attached to his character.

T-Dog lasted a couple of seasons, though, tagging along with the rest of the group with pretty much nothing to do and really no character development at all, especially considering the developments that were awarded to the character of Glenn. No love interest from one of Herschel’s daughter or one of the adult women in the group. Nope. Nothing. Only Dale seemed a bit interested in him. But then, Dale died. So, that was it for him. We knew he was toast.

At least they gave him a heroic death, sacrificing himself for Carol… See, Carol character is needed as substitute mother Rick’s baby, so, the writers can’t get rid of her. Also, she is kinda love interest for Daryl.

Moving on then, let’s hear it for Oscar. Oscar was one of the surviving inmates at the prison. When Rick and his merry band arrives, there is a battle. Most of the inmates are killed, only Oscar and creepy white guy.

Oscar steps in conveniently right after T-Dog’s death. But we don’t get to know much about Oscar because he gets drafted to the mission to Woodbury and he gets a heroic death, defending a group that had treated him like !@#$ so far.

So, so long Oscar, we hardly knew ya.

Next black guy, step right up! Enter Tyreese. Like T-Dog and Oscar before him, Tyreese is strong, bulky, the biggest guy in the group he is a part of. There was another big black guy in Oscar’s group of surviving inmates but he got dispatched in the conflict with Rick’s group.

 Tyreese also arrives at the prison with a small group of survivors, offering to join with Rick’s group. But Rick being a total douche-copter turns them out, so, they end up in Woodbury, pretty pissed off at Rick, and offering their services to The Governor. Good move, Rick.

After that, we lost track of the whole group. I’m sure we’ll see them again when the time comes for The Big Fight between Rick’s group and The Governor.

And then, it’s back to Morgan, whose son is now dead, and who has gone slowly insane with grief and solitude (it’s actually hilarious to see him accept mental health tips from Rick) but it’s just for one episode as Morgan refuses Rick’s offer to join his group.

So, who will be the next black guy of the week?? The writers don’t seem to think much about black characters beyond that there has to be one, he’s gotta be bulky… and that’s pretty much it. No character development, no specific plot, just be there and be black… and then die at some point.

Black guys are the Walking Dead equivalent of Star Trek’s red shirts. Disposable.

This post-apocalyptic world is a white man’s world. Black guys are just passing through.

Draw your own conclusions.