A Not Terribly Brief Review of 28 Weeks Later

In the wake of the catastrophe on the Isle of Dogs, this committee strongly feels that some important lessons need to be learned about effectively containing the so-called “Rage” virus and its victims, the “Infected.” Simply put, this disaster brought to light an alarming number of strategic deficiencies in the US Army’s approach, deficiencies that must be addressed if Great Britain is ever to be successfully re-inhabited or if other similar outbreaks are to be managed.

First, intra-service communication was appalling, and can be blamed as the immediate cause of the disaster. Our investigation has revealed that the “Patient Zero” for the second-wave outbreak was a survivor who had been recently brought into the safe zone who was, in short order, identified as a non-affected carrier of the virus, directly analogous to Typhoid Mary from over a century earlier. She was, in short, both incredibly valuable and incredibly dangerous. Multiple armed guards should have been with her around the clock; instead, the only security in place was a single locked door to which civilian contractors had the key. She infected a single person — her husband who, predictably, kissed her upon learning she was alive — who then set in motion the chain reaction that led to horrific carnage. Literally for want of a single bullet, over 15,000 lives could have been saved.

Second, procedures for containing the likely inevitable recurrence of the Rage Virus were revealed to be inadequate to the point of incompetence. All the civilians were relocated to a single shelter — a hastily converted “car park,” to use the parlance of the nearly extinct British — where the surprise appearance of a single Infected would prove catastrophic, which is precisely what happened. Furthermore, the safety measures in place were defeated by a single Infected victim. This utter failure to provide even rudimentary security from a predictable threat is simply unconscionable, and led directly to a staggering death toll and quite possibly the end of England as a social entity. If the persons or persons responsible for this disgraceful lapse in judgement survived the events of that night and have not yet taken their own lives, a firing squad seems the only sensible response.

In the event that future infection zones are targeted for re-settlement, this failure hammers home the grotesque inadequacy of establishing a single emergency shelter. The best solution would be for individual homes/living quarters to be fortified to stand as shelters of their own; while expensive, fortifying a civilian structure to stand against unarmed assailants is a challenge that can be met, no matter how numerous or angry those assailants are. This would permit civilians to get to a safe place in a fraction of the time a single shelter requires, comes with the facilities needed to survive a lengthy stay cut-off from outside assistance already built-in, and eliminates the possibility for a single security failure to lead to genocide. While homes are being fortified, multiple smaller shelters should be established as an interim solution.

Third, the civilian population should be kept appraised of security emergencies while they are happening. At this point it can safely be assumed that any Britons who survived the initial outbreak are well-versed in crisis management. Herding them into a garage with no indication of what’s happening and then turning off the lights would be an unacceptable way to corral maximum-security prisoners into a shelter, let alone a population of civilians.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, the so-called “Code Red” protocol failed to meet every stated aim, and did so in a way that will stain the US Army’s reputation in a way unmatched in modern history save for events of premeditated genocide carried out by the likes of the Schutzstaffel or the Khmer Rouge. Commanders on the ground interpreted the last-resort order to fire upon the infected with no regard to civilian casualties as an order to actively hunt and kill friendly civilians, even when the civilians in question were exhibiting no signs of infection and were under no immediate threat of being infected. Mass insubordination should have been expected. Indeed, this committee was alarmed that the breakdown in discipline and chain of command was not even more prevalent than it was, as the Code Red protocol had devolved into what any reasonable tribunal would immediately classify as a war crime punishable by death. These men, women, and children had entrusted the US Armed Forces with their lives. It will likely be several generations before another foreign civilian populace does so again except at gunpoint. Should, God forbid, the Rage virus appear on American shores, we should expect American citizens to regard the military with an extreme and highly justified degree of skepticism and trepidation, which will only complicate containment efforts.

And despite the draconian measures taken, containment failed. A sizable number of “Infected,” despite possessing only rudimentary problem solving skills and exhibiting extraordinarily predictable behavior and threat response patterns, escaped into London, making any efforts to repopulate within the next six months even more dangerous than they already are.

The abject and utterly predictable failure in London will haunt the US Armed Forces for a long time, as well it should. May God forgive us, and have mercy upon our souls.

A Brief Review of Guardians of the Galaxy

Dear DC Comics,

How’s it going, fellas? Look, we know making movies based off of comic books ain’t easy. Shoot, you know that better than anybody! I mean, you have some of the iconic characters at your disposal, including the first and most successful superhero of the modern era, and you still struggle to make decent movies out of them when neither Christopher Nolen nor Richard Donner are directing. Sure, that Zack Snyder fella has his charms, but let’s be honest — watch his Man of Steel back-to-back with Donner’s Superman from 1978, and tell us which one you’d actually wanna watch a second time.

I’m not gonna say we’ve got this thing licked over on our end. But we figured, maybe, just for the hell of it, while you’re floundering around trying to find a way to make people interested in characters they’ve known since they were children and try to fish a story worth telling out of damn near a century of material, we’d give some of our C-listers center stage. You know, a bunch of characters that make most of our die-hards go “Wait, who?” But no superheros this time; we’re gonna take a stab at space opera, a genre that’s awesome in theory but generally tends to fall into one of two categories in practice: Star Wars Original Trilogy, and Bitter Disappointment. Also, two of our main characters are going to be a violent, smart-alecky talking CGI raccoon, and his best friend, a CGI tree who can only say his own name. And then we’ll round out the cast with a sitcom goofball, a professional wrestler, and a hot chick.

And … hey, whaddya know? The resulting movie is FACE-MELTINGLY AWESOME. It ain’t easy making a movie that hits this balance of dazzling and exciting visuals, playful comedy, and emotional impact — we just make it look that way. Not to brag, but Guardians of the Galaxy is a rollicking fun time, an absolute blast, and easily one of our best movies so far. And we both know that’s saying something.

What can we say? We felt like we had to raise our own bar. Christ knows you weren’t going to. From here on out, Internet smart-asses are going to compare the emotional depth of your characters’ relationships to the friendship between a cartoon fucking raccoon and a cartoon fucking tree, and will sincerely find yours wanting.

Your move. Assuming you want to pretend you’re still in the game.

Sincerely,
— Marvel

PS: If we can put together a Black Widow movie before you give Wonder Woman her own star turn? Seppuku. It never completely goes out of style. Just saying.