The Last of Them
February 8th, 2023
I love fantasy literature, science fiction, television series, and movies with these subjects. Years ago, I read World War Z by Max Brooks and enjoyed the movie. Now, I have been watching the series The Last of Us. I am one of the few did not know it is based on a video game.
These days, I have read that there has been controversy among conservative groups in the United States due to one of the episodes of that TV series. In that chapter, there is a love relationship between two men. The reaction seemed unusual to me. There are numerous TV series in which there are homosexual relationships that do not cause that reaction. The country's most conservative and religious people are not interested in this thematic.
Something different happens with The Last of Us. It is a TV series that recovers many of the fundamental values of the most reactionary groups in this country. In each chapter, weapons are omnipresent. Its possession and use are justified, even for a minor.
The men fight with these weapons against zombies, people sick with fungus. Still, they also oppose the State that -taking advantage of the pandemic- established an authoritarian regime supported by the army.
The US arms industry must be pleased. There is a justification for the unreasonable sale of weapons in this country: to prepare for a zombie apocalypse and to combat the militarized State.
This conservative fantasy made me think of a comment by Paul Krugman regarding US federal government spending. Most of their money is for Medicare, Medicaid, and the armed forces: "the federal government is basically an insurance company with an army," Krugman says. There is no spending on actual public health (public hospitals and clinics), neither on a pension system nor other matters that are priorities in other wealthy countries. This is due to the fear of having a regulatory State, a strong State.
I think a strong State is still confused with an authoritarian State. Actually, states with weak institutions are often the most arbitrary.
If there was a scandal over a chapter of The Last of Us, it is because a brief story appeared that fractured the conservative paradise. I will continue to watch the series, although I know its ideological implications, just for fun.