Congressman attacks Zombies on the floor of US House
Today, April 18, 2012, Colorado Democrat Representative Jared Polis spoke about “zombie earmarks” in his speech from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The same Congressman also recently spoke out against SOPA: :
I first saw today’s zombie story as written by Jennifer Bendery at Huffington Post:
“Jared Polis, Democratic Lawmaker, Warns Of ‘Zombies’ In Transportation Bill” including a video link of Rep. Polis saying today:
Mr. Speaker, usually when something is killed, it stays dead, but just like a zombie movie, some earmarks refuse to die and return to life as wasteful deficit spending, that’s what happened with this Bill and what my simple common sense amendment corrects. This Congress was supposed to eliminate earmarks, but zombie earmarks from prior sessions keep appearing and reappearing, and my amendment corrects that. Republicans are taking earmarks from previous sessions and calling them something else. Is that our new spending plan?
Representative Polis continued to explain about the “Alabama porkway” and the “Canadian baconway”, as he discussed these “zombie earmarks” for “zombie highway” projects.
It’s almost like the Congressman was just begging to get mentioned on this blog Or more likely he is just hip to the internet trends and modern obsession with zombies and knew this would go viral. After all, this guy is as close as we have to an internet whiz-kid in Congress. I say this not only because of his SOPA position and that his Congressional site has a virtual avatar, but also according to Wikipedia, Representative Polis:
has founded a number of companies and is one of the 10 richest members of the United States Congress estimated to be worth at least $65.91 million. He founded American Information Systems, an internet access, web hosting and application service provider.
He, with his parents, also co-founded bluemountainarts.com, an online greeting card website, which he sold to Excite@Home three years later in a deal worth $780 million. In 1998, he launched the online florist company ProFlowers that expanded to become Provide Commerce, Inc., acquired in 2006 by Liberty Media Corporation.
Wikipedia also notes the Congressman’s substantial philanthropic work in education and that Rep. Polis is a notable milestone for minority politics in that he “is the first openly gay man elected to the House as a freshman and the first gay parent in Congress.”
This story further shows that zombies are deeply embedded in culture and very much as a metaphor in law and politics. Thomas Jefferson’s “dead hand of the past” is a live metaphor and strongly connected to past debts, wasteful and/or deficit spending and also not incidentally, to minority politics (of which I would consider both homosexual politics and internet politics). Consider Cyborg Theory and the potential for a Zombie Theory where “We are all Zombies”. Some of us have been hooked into the machine while others are being left out. The machine is also changing traditional notions of work and identity. Consider also the similarities for this proposed Critical Zombie Theory with the post-structuralist questions of Queer Theory with its phenomenological challenges to the idea of essential identities, questions of natural vs. unnatural, debates of free will and limits of choice, and social (de)constructivism.
And lest we think zombie was Polis’s only euphemism here, let’s remember that earmark already refers to pigs (or other herd animals). The machine were are all hooked to is a political beef-jerkery in which, of course the earmarks are zombies, recycled year after year, for voters who are also kinds of zombies, working, being taxed and paying for the earmarked economy, they are zombies, churning away in the Haitian sugar-mills, building highways to nowhere. All of law is just a bunch of Congressional earmarks packaged together. Earmarks is how you keep the pigs counted before you grind them to sausage. Which is how you make law in a corrupt democracy of apathetic unaware zombie citizens, right before they grind them to sausage too.
Also, as zombie-SOPA rises from the dead in the form of CISPA, we at ZombieLaw hope Representative Polis will be aggressive in fighting CISPA too.
And if you say “zombie” enough maybe they’ll tweet about it.
Tell Rep. Polis how much you liked his zombie reference on twitter @jaredpolis
and while you are there be sure to follow this wordpress blog ZombieLaw on Twitter is @LawZombie