Mark Reads ‘Feed’: Chapter 11

In the eleventh chapter of Feed, Georgia finally gets to interview Governor Tate. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.

Eleven

WELL, I DON’T LIKE GOVERNOR TATE. Is anyone surprised? NO ONE SHOULD BE. As a counter to this, I rather like Emily Ryman quite a bit. I would vote for Emily Ryman as president over Tate any day of the week. It’s almost like Grant is softening me up about by starting off chapter eleven with a pleasant interaction between the Mason siblings and Emily, only to have this totally crushed by Tate’s horrible nature.

I don’t doubt at this point that Peter Ryman is going to win the nomination by the Republican party. Tate doesn’t stand a chance, and we find out that Wagman has quit the race, so it’s pretty much confirmed as much as will be. It is sad, then, that Peter isn’t going to see his family for a long stretch of time. It’s sweet that the Ryman family uses Georgia’s no-nonsense portraits of Peter to feel closer to him, and I don’t think that’s something that Georgia expected of her writing. At the very least, it leaves Georgia in a good mood, which she will later need IN ORDER TO SURVIVE TATE.

I also felt like this brief chapter addressed the After the End Times team’s general style, especially in terms of what they wrote, as opposed to providing us more world-building. Coming off of Emily, I found it a necessary moment to stop and explain why they treat people the way they do. Georgia in particular tries to be fair in some respects. Even if she dislikes people she interviews, she upfront about these things. She admits them in her posts, displaying her own personal bias like a badge. When she can manage it, she’s not cruel for the sake of traffic or ratings. That being said, Georgia does admit that she’s not perfect, and it’s a moment I really respect. During her rant about “asshole” journalist, Grant has Georgia admit that her treatment of Wagman falls perfectly in line with the very assholes she is criticizing. Just because they are generally ethical, that doesn’t meant they’re perfect. And I love that.

Also:

[Buffy] spent the other half writing steamy porn about the senator’s aides…

BUFFY WRITES REAL-PERSON FANFICTION. Oh my god, it’s my least favorite-form of fic, BUT I CAN’T HELP BUT LAUGH AT THIS. Oh god, she’s the best. THE BEST.

I am also definitively stating that I don’t know who this random Wagman writer is, but he can’t be on the trifecta of perfect that is the After the End Times team. NOPE, DON’T RUIN THIS BEAUTIFUL GROUP. Thanks!

Let’s get to Governor Tate. I was actually nervous in anticipation of Georgia’s interview with him; I was actually worried that Grant would have something else happen in between and it would get shoved to the next chapter. No such luck! And it didn’t take long for Georgia to get right to it. Tate struck me as a man who believed his way was the only way, which is a sentiment echoed by Georgia in her blog post at the end. A lot of the language he uses is disturbingly imperialist and paternal. America needs a man! Because men have never fucked up anything for our country before! That’s the first difference I saw between Ryman and Tate: Tate wore his ego on his sleeve. It’s clear that he thinks highly of himself, but he takes it to a rather extreme level. His experience is the blueprint by which the country should be run. Because he has years of violent military experience, that means he is inherently the right choice. That’s not to say that this isn’t a good qualification; I think if Tate was running fifteen years earlier, when the threat of the infected was far more brutal and intense, I might consider what he has to say. But it seems as if he doesn’t want peace, as if he thrives on chaos and violence to maintain power.

Plus, as soon as a politician tells me what America is “based on,” I tune out 90% of the time. Yeah, I don’t care what a bunch of rich white dudes from a couple centuries ago thought the country should be like. Things change, people change, and they are not comparable time periods. Then Tate starts droning on about putting trust in God in order to take back Alaska, and I’m just done with him. What possible good would it create to fight a war and risk so many lives?

But Georgia really does hit the right mark when it concerns Tate’s idea of freedom. The man wants to force freedom in a way, to make his way of life the standard by which the entire country should follow. It’s especially telling that Tate’s beliefs have no exceptions. Look, everything has an exception. As soon as you reduce a situation to such concrete ends, you’re going to have people falling through the cracks. Where do they land? Does your extremism cover them? Tate’s position on providing assistance to “citizens in trouble or distress” is a great example of this. By taking a hardline stance on this, he’s creating a situation where exceptions die. To Tate, this is a perfectly acceptable reality, one that he believes is moral.

Georgia is right. Governor Tate is one scary dude.

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About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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