Heather Havrilesky’s “Reductive Dichotomy, Based on Monsters”
Heather Havrilesky is a former TV critic for Salon.com, author of a memoir called Disaster Preparedness (ironic title considering the connection of zombies to disaster planning), and author of at least two interesting NyTimes contributions (see below).
One of her NYTimes pieces, “Steve Jobs: Vampire. Bill Gates: Zombie.“, was a riff for Halloween 2011 listing a bunch of “Famous Examples of Zombies And Vampires”:
Stephen King: Vampire. J.R.R. Tolkien: Zombie.
Sean Parker: Vampire. Mark Zuckerberg: Zombie.
Sid Vicious: Vampire. Bono: Zombie.
Steve Jobs: Vampire. Bill Gates: Zombie.
“Six Feet Under”: Vampires. “The Sopranos”: Zombies.
New York: Vampires. Washington: Zombies.
A-Rod: Vampire. Jeter: Zombie.
Twitter: Vampires. Facebook: Zombies.
She claims “It’s Useful to Frame the World Through A Reductive Dichotomy, Based on Monsters”
Some Famous (If Unlikely) Vampire-Zombie Teams
Dick Cheney (vampire) and Karl Rove (zombie)
John Lennon (vampire) and Paul McCartney (zombie)
Johnny Carson (vampire) and Ed McMahon (zombie)
Michael Jordan (vampire) and Scottie Pippen (zombie)
George Lucas (vampire) and Steven Spielberg (zombie)
Jay-Z (vampire) and Beyoncé (zombie)
Marx (vampire) and Engels (zombie)
Famous Vampires Who Mistakenly Think They’re Zombies
Famous Zombies Who Mistakenly Think They’re Vampires
The Olsen twins
I like the idea of Zombie Charlie Sheen (tiger blood!). I will also note the recurrence of Zombie Karl Rove and Zombie Newt Gingrich in yesterday’s radical blog “Dissident Voice” post entitled “Deadly Discourse: How Intolerance Poisons Our Well” – writing also of cyber-bullying (see anonymous cybernetic zombie) and the “effects of our toxic emotional environment” on children and mentally unstable:
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network and numerous publications give platforms to political zombies like Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, to rouse the faithful and enflame opponents.
And speaking of toxic environments for children, Havrilesky also wrote an earlier Nytimes piece that was a modern review of the movie Kramer v Kramer and how different that family’s divorce and child raising situation would be perceived by a modern audience (she thinks it would be panned).
I wonder if being a child of divorce (and other potentially toxic social settings) can lead to autistic-like emphasis on reductive dichotomies. And what is it about monster characters that allows them to transcend dualist reductionism?