Considering The Walking Dead Triage Option

The always astute Joe Patti posted an intriguing article over at Butts In The Seats on 11/20/2012 that wonders about the value of liquidation bankruptcy on instituting new model type of change. Patti uses the ongoing Hostess liquidation saga in the face of employee’s refusing to take additional concessions in the wake of a series of cuts since 2004.

chop cutPatti speculates on the long term value of bankruptcy decisions; although they may appear to solve problems in the here and now, it may end up biting your organization in the ass down the road.

Have we trained people only to respond to dire predictions? Or perhaps they have trained us that they will only respond to appeals couched in those terms.

Bankruptcy and tales of woe really isn’t the most constructive way to develop a relationship and confidence from your community. It impacts credibility and people soon become inured to news of financial crises.

One of my genuine fears about the Season of Discontent and the rash of bankruptcies and extended work stoppages is the formation of a new attitude among a generation of arts managers, boards, and musicians who see these tools as some sort of new normal for labor relations.

Can you imagine any field capable of enduring boom and bust cycles based on that sort of attitude? It’s this sort of thinking that gets you thinking whether it wouldn’t be better for the entire field if situations where groups faced with a prolonged and bitter work stoppage and/or a questionable bankruptcy should jump right to liquidation. No muss, no fuss.

Think of it like the scene from the Season 3 premier of AMC’s The Walking Dead where [SPOILER ALERT] following a zombie bite to the ankle, Rick had to cut off Herschel’s leg in order to save him from turning into a zombie. It was far from pretty and certainly not an easy decision (especially since it had not been established as an effective solution), but it did save Herschel’s life.

So would the field, as a whole, benefit from adopting a similar strategy? Sure, there will be plenty of questions, second guessing, etc. but would it be better for the classical music body if the infected limb(s) were removed?

What do you think? Mull it over while watching that scene from The Walking Dead. Warning: not for the squeamish (seriously, this is an intense scene) and most definitely NSFW. You’ve been warned.

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20 Responses to Considering The Walking Dead Triage Option

  1. Aaron Andersen Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I stopped reading at spoiler alert, as I’m watching the Walking Dead on Netflix, and I’m only in season 2. Sorry. But I must say, bankruptcy is the farthest thing I can imagine from “no muss, no fuss.” If that’s a new normal, it sounds awful, and the stress of it will soon begin to outweigh most managers’ passion for the music. It would be like living in a near-constant state trauma, just like on Walking Dead.

    • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      That’s a beautiful analogy Aaron and I’d agree with you. The only distinction I’d make is the nu muss no fuss is related to liquidation as opposed to reorganiaaiton; the latter of which seems to currently be the preferred method. And I agree that the long term effects from an increase in the stream of reorganization bankruptcies will have a dreadful impact on the field as a whole.

      And I’m glad to know the spoiler alert in place did its job!

  2. Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Drew – great article. I am a fan of the ongoing WD television and graphic novel series.

    Here is another idea to chew on.

    In the graphic novel at the same point and time of this clip, the survivors are unaware of what causes the ‘zombie-ism.’ When the leg-chopping happens, it is a life-saving move because the prevailing thought was that zombie bites cause people to turn into brain-sucking psychopaths.

    In the TV series however, the troop already knows that ‘zombie-ism’ is something like a virus, that gets you after you die. In previous episodes the characters even discussed that fact.

    In this context, the leg-chopping is really unnecessary, and poor ole Herschel might have been just fine with a missing chunk left to heal on its own. Both my wife and I were puzzled by this paradox. Why didn’t they just clean the wound and wrap it up?

    The general point being that severe acts like this have context, and in Kirkman’s zombie mythology it gets played out two different ways.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall at the Twinkie factory.

    [Insert your metaphors here, while I slowly step back from the keyboard and slinking away…]

    • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      ***SPOILER ALERT***

      I believe that although everyone is infected; an actual bite hastens death and the subsequent transition.

      I’m not going to touch the Twinkie fly comment 🙂

      • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

        ***SPOILER ALERT***

        One character in Season One gets bit pretty good – Tdog – hides the wound and lives. I suppose any bite can get infected, but T-dog lived to be eaten another day.

        • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

          I don’t recall t-dog getting bit by a zombie in Season 1, do you remember which episode?

          • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

            Can’t remember. He gets wounded on his arm at some point.

            • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

              I think that was the beginning of Season 2; if so, he cut his arm on a car during a zombie attack but it wasn’t actually a zombie bite. He got a fever from the infection but that’s it. Good thing we’re staying on topic here 😉

          • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm #


            But T-Dog’s experiences since the apocalypse have slowly undermined his confidence, leaving him vulnerable and quick to flee. After being injured during a walker attack, T-Dog deliriously suggests to Dale that the two should just take the RV and abandon the others. Later, he apologizes, asserting that “I’m not a coward, and I’m not weak.”

          • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

            Think about Shane’s death too. Knifed dead, no bites. He gets up two minutes later…braaaaaiinssss…

            • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

              Right, everyone’s infected, but an actual Walker bite hastens death (and therefore the subsequent transformation).

        • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

          ***SPOILER ALERT***

          The catch phrase and twist of the graphic novel being “WE ARE THE WALKING DEAD”

          bwah hah haaaaa (diminished 7th chord) ….

          • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

            A more definitive source – Robert Kirkman wrote:

            The rule is: WHATEVER it is that causes the zombies, is something everyone already has. If you stub your toe, get an infection and die, you turn into a zombie, UNLESS your brain is damaged. If someone shoots you in the head and you die, you’re dead. A zombie bite kills you because of infection, or blood loss, not because of the zombie “virus.”


          • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

            Right – get bit in the jugular and it’s game over. If Charlie bites your finger, a little hydrogen peroxide and you might be OK.

            • Drew McManus Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

              I’m pretty sure anyone interested in orchestra discussion has probably tuned out by this point. Sorry folks.

  3. Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    ..oops, meant to say “step back from the keyboard and slink away.” 🙂

    • Bruce Hembd Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Sorry – to clarify:



      in the Kirkman zombie universe, bites from zombies do not necessarily turn people into zombies. Everyone is already infected with a zombie-virus of some kind, that does not activate until one’s death. It is the combination of death and the virus that causes the zombies.

  4. zdk9 Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    “Can you imagine any field capable of enduring boom and bust cycles based on that sort of attitude?”

    Maybe “enduring” is a stretch, but doesn’t that pretty well describe the airline industry post-deregulation?

    • MWnyc Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      Yes, the airline industry, and the stock markets, too.

      One thing that doesn’t get commented on enough is that we have a wave of orchestra crises like this one every time the stock market crashes (and for three or four years afterward, as the crash’s effects work their way through the endowment-draw system and the rich-people-contribute system).

      The problem is that we had two stock market crashes within a decade after the year 2000 – and nobody seems very hopeful that we can get the regulation in place that will keep it from happening again and again (like in the 1880s and ’90s).


  1. NYCO Would Have Benefitted From The Walking Dead Triage Option | Adaptistration - Thu, Oct 3, 2013

    […] of favoring liquidation over a prolonged and ugly demise back on 11/21/2012 in an article titled Considering The Walking Dead Triage Option (it’s a short post that even has video so do take the time to give it a read). If nothing […]

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