A Treatise on Recent Zombie Activity
As much as I would like this to be a formal, well thought out and supported document dealing with the recent, alleged, zombie activity in North America, I’m afraid I cannot support my thoughts with facts and evidence. Therefore this text should be considered opinion and conjecture, or, perhaps if the reader is in a generous mood, a theory.
The news has been rife with face-eaters, brain eaters and other sorts of cannibalistic treats to delight even the most doubtful Toms that we are nigh on the brink of a full-fledged zombie outbreak. Feel free to take a quick break from reading this to catch up on the news if you are unaware of such things, there are slightly too many incidents for me to go into each of them at length; I will strive to hit the high points.
The most flagrant attack took place in Miami, where one Rudy Eugene, aged 31, ate the face off of a 65-year-old homeless man on a bike path. The explanation of this was that both men were indulging in a cocktail of drugs commonly referred to as ‘bath salts’ due, not to their wonderful ability to soften your skin and sooth your troubles away in a hot tub of water, like Calgon, but to their resemblance to the afore named product. Bathsalts are a potent mix that include hallucinogens and can bring about a complete and total disassociation with reality (as we know it) to their users.
Then there is the case of Otty Sanchez of San Antonio, who beheaded her infant and ate part of his brain and took a nibble as his feet at well, in this case no drugs have been mentioned yet, but I’m sure the entire story hasn’t been revealed yet.
The questions that come to my mind about these ‘real life’ events are many, the first is ‘Can we trust the news we are getting?’ then ‘Is there a cover up?’ and if so, by whom? In our increasingly paternalistic society where the government is taking over more and more of our the burden of care of our own people a cover up is exactly how such an outbreak would be handled. The last thing society needs at such a critical time is for wide spread panic to further fray the weak threads of our ‘economic recovery’, after all if people are hunkered down in their homes they are not going to work and without work, well, things just spiral out of control until we are all living in caves again.
News wise, let’s make a basic assumption that we are getting the story as investigated by the reporters. There are too many agencies reporting the details and while it is true that most outlets merely pick up and run with a story, they don’t do their own investigations anymore, the cases above have been reported by several news agencies. So then it comes down to government censorship, is the government controlling the media and locking down the information? That could be debated endlessly and I’ll leave that for others to decide, for my purposes I am going to hypothesize that government influence is minimal at this point. First because there are eyewitness accounts of the face eating (and video), if the government wanted this story to be suppressed the witnesses would not have been interviewed and quoted about what they saw. Second is the complete lack of any ‘official’ state or federal commentary on the attacks. There is no attempt to reassure the public that these are rare incidents, instead local authorities are investigating and doing all the commentary themselves, not raising the issue to a higher, more widespread problem. This, of course, leads us to believe that they are isolated incidents.
This is not to say a cover up is not in the works, the subtlest approach would be to have the local authorities blame the problems on fringe elements – a new drug or a mental condition, for example. This places the perpetrators firmly into familiar territory and allows the muggles to comfort themselves with the knowledge things are well in hand and that they should go to work today and not bunker up.
As a strategy this would work well for containing a smaller outbreak, for the majority of us Miami and San Antonio are far away and there is nothing going on in our neck of the woods. If a rash of cannibalistic incidents occur things will get more difficult. For the moment I’m content to treat these as what they are reported as; isolated incidents.
Still the question lingers, what the hell is up with this cannibalistic behavior? Eating each other is an almost universal social taboo, so what is overcoming our millennium of resistance? Could it be that the rise of zombies as an apocalyptic harbinger of doom has seeped so far into our brains that they’ve become the ‘crazy’ of choice for those few who will go insane at some point anyway? Are we destined to have more of these attacks simply because of this popularity? If so, that is indeed something to be concerned about.
As a form of insanity succumbing to zombism, without any vector of disease/virus/super serum, would be difficult to catch and appealing to the insane (speaking hypothetically). Why appealing? Think of the ease of deadening your mind, limiting your thoughts to simply eating. It’s a shut down, you simply let your higher functions go and wander around eating people until some nice police officer shoots you six or seven times. Can’t do it? Tell me about your drive in, or about your shift putting widgets together or about processing those policies all morning on your computer… It is almost a guarantee that there is some aspect of your life you are not ‘all there’ for mentally. Many are the times I’ve found myself at work thinking about the drive in and remembering absolutely nothing about it. Becoming a zombie means wandering off on that same path and not coming back. Drugs and insanity might make taking that walk just a little easier and when the people get onto that path who knows what their subconscious is going to do. But hey, we’ve got this social awareness of flesh eaters inundating our lives now don’t we?
I’ll be watching the news in the next few weeks and months with a keen eye to see if this trend continues. In particular I will be waiting to see if there are any group incidents. If that starts happening, well, then it might be time to close the doors of the bunker. There’s always room for one more my friends, just don’t show up empty handed or hungry for long pork.