George Romero’s 1978 zombie flick Dawn of the Dead wasn’t a zombie movie;  it was a movie about commercialism and how we’d become slaves to objects. So much so that the very draw of the mall would bring the undead masses from natural modern instinct. Yes, not even death could stop you from wanting a new pair of Converse tennis shoes, polyester pants or Star Wars action figures.

Flash forward to the very sad news of days of rioting in London. Growing mobs attacking people and stealing all the electronics or clothes they can with no care of who gets hurt.  Just as Romero’s zombies are instinctively drawn to the place they were in life, today’s London rioters seem winched en-masse to those spots they’ve always been called, not caring if they render dead a man’s livelihood; simply giving into a feral need to sate their lust for brains the hottest of today’s items.

My original belief was that it was largely race-based. While it’s true that there are subversive elements in any group, it seems that the underlying core of even these elements, in modern times, could well-be a monster of our own making — an experiment gone awry.  What happens when society deems the nuclear family no longer important?  What generational lessons are lost?  What happens when kids  go through school and life without reprimand, because teachers can no longer teach-by-example that some actions are simply unacceptable in modern life?  Meanwhile, what arises when we pity those very groups and tell them they can move through life as such while being provided free food and healthcare while telling them they’re not truly alive unless they have the latest iPod or Toshiba laptop?

We don’t know whence Romero’s zombies came.  Other movies have the origin as either a military or corporate lab test-gone-wrong, while others are of our own ignorance or simply an act of nature.  It seems today’s rioting is a perfect storm of all.  That’s not to say  individuals are slow-and-stupid or the disease is incurable, but it’s not one given up easily. An easy life, we were never promised.

Zombie movies are often more than simple horror flicks meant to elicit fear or churn stomachs.  They can help us prepare for nearly any disaster (do you have one gallon of water per person per day stored? ).  But sometimes, they might also give us clues to the human experience.  Indeed, zombie stories aren’t necessarily scary because they are movies about monsters, but because they are a slightly distorted reflection of us.

Update:  A Huffington Post author makes a similar analogy of the riots being a zombie-attack-made-real, only differing in the cause of the outbreak.

Update II:  It’s interesting to see that a mere few months ago one hundred fifty zombies shambled through Leicestershire to raise awareness of the city’s unpreparedness for a zombie attack, only to  successfully repel one in the recent riots.

Watching the Tuscon Memorial with its festive crowd, school-sponsored Together We Thrive tee shirts, somber disciples and a revival-like President Obama reminded me very much of a song Judas sang in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The movie’s  Judas, one of the faithful twelve disciples, saw a change in the man he admired — from man, to man-god.  While the faithful probably wouldn’t agree this is what went down a couple-thousand plus years ago, it may just have happened in the past couple days:

Jesus Christ Superstar.1973 movie.
Heaven On Their Minds.

Lyrics by Tim Rice – Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

Judas:

My mind is clearer now
At last
All too well
I can see
Where we all
Soon will be
If you strip away
The myth
From the man
You will see
Where we all
Soon will be

Jesus!
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you
You really do believe
This talk of God is true

And all the good you’ve done
Will soon get swept away
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say

Listen Jesus
I don’t like what I see
All I ask is that you listen to me
And remember
I’ve been your right hand man all along
You have set them all on fire
They think they’ve found the new Messiah
And they’ll hurt you when they find they’re wrong

I remember when this whole thing began
No talk of God then, we called you a man
And believe me
My admiration for you hasn’t died
But every word you say today
Gets twisted ’round some other way
And they’ll hurt you if they think you’ve lied

Nazareth your famous son
Should have stayed a great unknown
Like his father carving wood
He’d have made good
Tables, chairs and oaken chests
Would have suited Jesus best
He’d have caused nobody harm
No one alarm

Listen Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don’t you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied
Have you forgotten how put down we are?
I am frightened by the crowd
For we are getting much too loud
And they’ll crush us if we go too far
If we go too far

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
But it’s sad to see our chances weakening with ev’ry hour
All your followers are blind
Too much heaven on their minds
It was beautiful, but now it’s sour
Yes it’s all gone sour
Ah — ah ah ah — ah

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
So come on, come on, He wont listen to me.
Ah — ah
Come on, listen, listen to me.
Come on and listen to me.
Ah — ah………………..

Two years ago Mark Steyn had further discussed the topic of a Cold Civil War, first brought to light by The Hyacinth Girl. Basically, that we’re embroiled in a bloodless battle of ideologies; of how the United States of America should proceed forward.  Considering how very many people have exactly the opposite views on many topics, I’m inclined to believe the same.

I think file this FCC Net Neutrality ruling as a battle won by the other side in the “Cold Civil War”. John Fund lays out the timeline and background players pretty well.  He quotes Sean Treglia, a former program officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts:

“The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot,” he told his audience. He noted that “If Congress thought this was a Pew effort, it’d be worthless.”

Or also known as Astroturfing.  It seems it is grass-roots, but it’s not.

It also is why I’ve said for some time that we’re not ready for the Internet. I think I realized this when Firefly was canceled and a relatively small group seemed like a mass-movement and thus borne Serenity.  While it was a legitimately grass-roots movement, people just didn’t show up at the box office in numbers like those perceived.

The battle waivers, but I don’t believe it is yet lost.  If, dear readers, you are still able to read this and other similar blogs then the fight wages on.  FCC rules can be overturned. Still, it troubles me greatly that there will be a large group of people happy for this decision, for they fear big business and believe the answer is big government. Mr. Fund’s opinion editorial shows how devious men can use such a tool as the Internet  in ways in which we are not prepared.  Even if one ignores the Net Neutrality creator Robert McChesney’s  “ultimate goal” (and one shouldn’t), we might consider Ronald Reagan’s quote:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

Don't screw this up. You botched it after '94, so this is your second chance. Listen to conservatives, don't McCain us because you don't want to alienate your buddies on the "other side of the aisle." Don't become complacent, don't become corrupted. Be principled, be honest, don't make us regret voting for you this time. Show us the difference between parties. Make a difference. Stop this freakshow runaway train of Euro-socialism and actually fig … Read More

via the Hyacinth Girl

In a sad recent turn of events, a family in Tennessee lost their home due to a fire.  The twist on this story is that fire fighters refused to respond because the family had not paid their $75 annual fee to the city fire department for county coverage.  After initially refusing to respond, they eventually did to make sure the fire did not spread beyond the property’s perimeter.  They came, but still did nothing.

And now because the home owner decided to play Russian Roulette with his home,  those volunteer firefighters are being vilified for not helping.  The stories all read that firefighters stood idly by over $75;  that a mere $75 quibble ruined this family’s life.  But I ask:  When did we get to this point where home owners are alleviated of all responsibility?  Was there no cell phone, no cable or satellite, no movies or McDonald’s  that might be given up for a short time to scrape up that $75?  How was it they apparently offered to “pay anything” to the dispatcher for fire service, but couldn’t have paid $75 even the day before?

I have no idea where the property taxes of Obion County, TN go.  I presume they go to some services, such as 911 and State Troopers or county sheriffs.  Most likely, those services had previously been voted for by the residents of that county.   We can presume that the residents have never chosen to pay taxes for fire coverage; otherwise, there’d be no need for the yearly fee.  And, that fee would be mandatory — as in, “pay-the-state-or-lose-your-home mandatory”.

It actually shocks me when people claim themselves conservative and say that the fire department had a responsibility to put out the fire. This, coming from the same type who would probably complain about high taxes and government waste, or millions of taxpayer dollars going oversees for altruistic charity-like use.  This event is that in a microcosm.

My heart goes out to this family just as it would to anyone who makes poor choices in life.  Let’s just not forget whose choice it actually was.  If you play the game and the gun clicks five times, just remember who has his finger on the trigger.

Update:

One edit, I want to say that perhaps a means for a homeowner to have his house saved at cost of the department’s services.  Aside from any other complexities (ie, what if they save an uncontracted home without the owner’s permission), I believe we shouldn’t judge them for not moving along with the paradigm shift of American thought.  We once were a very individualistic country — that we could count on no one but ourselves — and have changed our beliefs so that we believe (many do, anyway) that the government is responsible for our care-taking.

Which sucks.

For their big announcement today, the Democrats released their new logo–which is surprisingly plain:

At first blush, this makes no sense and seems like a bad choice.  But, the message is more subtle than their dear leader’s own words:

Yes.  D is for drive.  Actually, (D) is for overdrive.  That’s right:  they’re not just driving, but they’re doing it more efficiently as they cruise down the road in the highest, fastest and least gasoline using gear.   I have no doubt this is what they were going for, and that we’ll be hearing more of the “D moves us forward” types of jokes again soon.

Considering they’ve had the keys since 2006 and are rushing Thelma and Louise-like toward a cliff, I think I agree more with a commenter at the democrats.org website; of what (D) stands for:

‘That looks like a graphic of the grade “D” with a circle around it. Terrible.’

Terrible, indeed.  And perhaps too high.

Update:   A visual.

Last month, Arizona passed a law to handle their illegal alien problem.

Today Maryland Governor O’Malley signed into law something that could “affect millions”.

The laws are similar in that they:

  • Affect specific groups
  • Are safety-related
  • Cannot be applied unless the person is already suspected of breaking another law (lawful contact)
  • Are within each state’s sovereign right to enact

Maryland’s law?  Limiting cell phone use while driving.

Yeah, they really are similar when broken down.  Arizona’s is not about race any more than Maryland’s law is about targeting cell phone users (and their particular demographics).  Can we leave AZ alone now?

Just doesn’t get better than this:

Hat-tip: Libertas Film Magazine

On April 14th, 2009 Anderson Cooper and others helped put the meme of “teabagging” out into the aether as an insulting shorthand for tea party protests.  The term, of course, is of a sexual nature (not safe for work)  and it was meant to solely to ridicule tea partiers.   In the last  year, I’ve mused aloud about the term and the difference between a “bagger” and a “baggee”.

So on this anniversary of the term being put into the mainstream, we take it back:

Part of me wishes we could take the high road and ignore it, but the rules seemed to have changed — and they were written by a man named Alinsky.

I’m not a fan of Political Correctness.  If PC were a Tweeter, I’d unfollow her.  If PC were a Facebooker, I’d unfriend him.  It has its roots in the heart, an emotional organ which should be in-balance with our brains.  But like so many’s reproductive organs, they seem to take on a brain of their own; overriding our grey matter and making us render choices not in our best interests.

Take this discussion on Why Modern Video Game Armies Lack Female Troops.  The game makers rightly say adding a woman adds a lot of work into a game.  Men and women don’t run, walk, roll, or sit the same. Their bodies tend to be different.  Not to mention these are video games, where a smaller body frame  might make for a smaller (and unfair) target.  3D game models are built that way because we’re built that way.

So I read through the comments, and see a lot of high ideals of needing more women in war games for better role models and a higher gender representation. How it’s all more important than this feature, or that cool idea.  I think it’s fantastic.

Well, my heart thinks its fantastic.  Of course I want a woman to Be All You Can Be.  The women who serve in today’s military in non-combat (but often dangerous) roles are doing a wonderful service to their country.  If I’m ever blessed with a daughter, I’d hope she would be able to become who she wishes to become.  As long as she can pass the requirements without the standards being lowered then I’d want her to be able to apply.

But there’s something different with warfare.  I realize odds are highly unlikely of the doomsday alien-destruction scenarios such as in the games Halo and Gears of War; two series that introduce female warrior characters in parts.  I can’t help but wonder if such were to happen (from alien or earthling) and women were fighting:  From whence would the future generations come?

In such dystopia is there room for women to fight if they so-choose?  Or are we all equally doomed?

E’s a Twitterer!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.