Viral Media: Hackers, Nazi Zombies RUN!
In a prank clearly designed to go internet viral, Jean Whitney at Chesterfield Patch.com reports: “‘Zombie Threat’ Hacked Onto Digital Road Sign In Chesterfield” about an electronic construction warning sign reprogrammed to read “Nazi Zombies! Run!!!”
The prank itself plays off two popular zombie memes: Nazi Zombies (as in video games but see also WW2 history) and Zombie Runs (gatherings and exercise apps). And, for the trifecta, Whitney’s article adds hacking, connecting a third zombie related theme to this story (recall zombie spambots). It’s not clear if the pranksters had to actually hack a computer password or if they just hacked with a bolt cutter but hacked will surely resonate well on the net.
Still, a commenter on the Patch.com site thinks the connection of zombies to Nazi’s is trivializing to the atrocities of Germany in WW2. The commenter thinks zombies aren’t real and so the connection makes nazi’s become unreal. But I think it’s the other way, we’ve already made Nazi’s unreal so now they connect to zombie. We’ve forgotten that most German people didn’t really know what was happening. That it is a gradual decline to horror but it also sorta just happened overnight (see change blindness), and we here in the US now are not all that much more humanely aware than they were. But we won the war, and to the victor go the “history” books and so we’ve sold this story of their evil, made Nazi’s into absolute political others, and forgotten that they were even real, forgotten that politics can turn so quickly and that so many can be blind to the change.