Friday, 2 May 2014
Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Woops!, Yellow Peril and Zymurgy
W is for Woops!, a FOX sitcom from 1992 about survivors of nuclear war. Apparently audiences didn't find nuclear war very funny because the show was cancelled before it completed its first season. It got terrible ratings and TV Guide named it the 43rd worst TV show ever. Number one was Jerry Springer, which is its own sort of apocalypse.
As much as I love the genre, I totally missed this show. Did anyone ever see Woops!? Was it as bad as they say?
Y is for Yellow Peril. This refers to the traditional fear of Asians in the United States. It started when Chinese immigrants first started coming to the U.S. in large numbers in the mid-nineteenth century. During the 1930s and 40s the fear switched to the Japanese and now it's gone back to the Chinese.
Yellow Peril is a major theme in much early post-apocalyptic fiction, with hordes of heartless, inscrutable Asians swarming onto the democratic shores of White America to turn it into a feudal hellhole. Sadly, it's been a theme in politics too, and led to the infamous Japanese internment camps during WWII. I'm playing with the Yellow Peril theme a bit in my Toxic World series, with hints that tensions between East and West are at least partly responsible for the fall of civilization. Who was more responsible for those tensions is another question.
And for Z we have. . .zymurgy! Ha! I bet you thought I was going to pick zombies, didn't you? Zymurgy is the process of brewing alcohol. Of course that's not going to die with the fall of civilization. In fact, people will need a drink more than ever!