Forbes interview of Mel Brooks by Todd Wilms, “Mel Brooks Talks Storytelling, Hollywood Friendships, And . . . Zombies?” includes a funny story about his son, Max Brooks, author of “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z”:
T: Did you ever feel a victim of your own success? Ya know, being ‘funny man Mel Brooks?’
M: Nah. You know, for a while maybe, but then I realized that it’s their problem, not mine. It is what you are expecting. Anne (Bancroft) and I would have people over for a dinner party and on the ride home they would say ‘Ya know, that Mel Brooks is just not that funny.’ Like they were expecting me to be ‘on’ all the time. Life is more challenging than that. Like there was this one time where my son Max as a teenager was trying to stir some stuff up and came down to a dinner party dressed in full SS regalia, all black with the boots and everything. I was a bit shocked as ya know, there were a bunch of Jews at the table, but Anne – without missing a beat – said ‘Max, epaulets, really? Isn’t that a bit much.’ The room just cracked up and she handled it beautifully. I was just embarrassed.
T: Max has made quite a name for himself, correct.
M: Max never disappoints. And I am not just talking about his work. He wrote The Zombie Survival Guide and then went on to write World War Z, which is being turned into a movie this summer with Brad Pitt. But I am talking about him as a son. As a person, he is just a nice, sweet supportive guy. He never disappoints as a son.
There is a great (relatively) new free game called “Candy Box” by Aniwey. It was recently reviewed by Gamasutra: “Why Candy Box became more social than ‘social games’“:
Candy Box is built on continually surprising players by rewarding patience and curiosity.
The “charming minimalism” belies the skillful game design. And what viral media game would be complete without a zombie? (there are also ghost, unicorns, rhinoceros and a cute Ascii dragon)
The zombie is in the Castle Keep quest but that quest has a randomize in it so that you don’t always go to the zombie room. I have been able to repeatedly kill the zombie by using an invulnerability potion and a fire scroll. After killing the zombie you pick up an amulet, but so far I have been unable to beat the dragon after the zombie. With help from a youtube tutorial I was able to learn to beat the dragon with invulnerability potions and seeds but I have yet to do so in the same run through as killing a zombie. According to Candy Box Wiki, the old amulet would triple candy
UPDATE: I just went back and did it — rolling in candies now, but no idea how to handle the Hell quest…
Courier-Journal: “‘Zombie debt’ part of $1.1 million in Louisville medical bills bought by Wall Street protesters” by Jere Downs (also in USAToday: “Occupy Wall Street group puts ‘zombie’ debt to rest” and “Occupy group kills ‘zombie’ debt“)
The article is about a group of Occupy Wall Street>/a> that has purchased over a million dollars in old debts, like a debt collection agency might, but with the intent to absolve rather than haunt the debtors.
And in Barrons: “Fannie, Freddie, Zombie” by Jim McTague – is a related problem but is mistitled because it’s about vampires:
Here’s the financial equivalent of the popular Twilight vampire franchise: Politicians are sucking the blood out of resurgent mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac … Alas, Fannie and Freddie have loss carry-forwards valued at about $60 billion. Left on their books, it’s counted as equity capital. The vampires in the administration and on Capitol Hill want Fannie and Freddie to transfer that credit to Treasury for use in deficit reduction. Treasury also continues to sweep capital out of both companies every quarter for its preferred dividends, keeping them weak. And they call this a conservatorship. I call it a vampire’s blood bank.
The vampires are feeding on the zombies? Recall Goldman Sachs is a Vampire Squid and GM/GMAC vampire contollers
Maybe if we could #Occupy the government, we could bail out the People, instead of funding banks by dismantling mortgage assistance. …?
From the end of last month in the American Lawyer Litigation Daily: “Is the Alien Tort a Zombie Doctrine? Andrew Pincus Responds” by Andrew Pincus:
The American Lawyer’s Michael Goldhaber wrote that the court had rendered the corporate alien tort “a zombie doctrine—not quite alive and not quite dead.”
But can a cause of action be killed, or even zombified, if it never existed in the first place?
Citing to “The Global Lawyer: The Zombification of the Corporate Alien Tort” by Michael D. Goldhaber
The Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C. § 1350; ATS, also called the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)) is a section of the United States Code that reads: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” This statute is notable for allowing U.S. courts to hear human-rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct committed outside the United States.
Carl Zimmer in NYTimes: “Marvels and a Few Mysteries in Cicadas’ 17 Years” is about the story buzzing around New York news all week regarding the coming storm of dormant insects that arise from underground once every 17 years to mate in the trees:
From North Carolina to Connecticut, billions of creatures with eyes the color of blood and bodies the color of coal are crawling out of the earth. … Those Clinton-era larvae then squirmed into the dirt and spent the next 17 years sucking fluid from tree roots. Now, at last, they are ready to produce the next generation.
They are called “Brood II” and Zimmer explains how this kind of mass burst helps them survive because there are not enough predators to kill them when they bust out in the billions. Still, there are surely ways humans in the anthropocene can disturb their development. What if one year they just don’t come? Is it always 17 years exactly? Biology is amazing.
Cicada are harmless but they are disgusting and annoying. The biggest annoyance is the noise, but the next biggest annoyance is the mess; first they shed their larval exoskeleton and then the males scream all night trying to find females. And then they die dropping like giant flies, flapping helplessly on the ground, buzzing and bouncing hysterically if you try to touch them before they are completely dead. If you have pets, be careful. Some dogs and cats will want to toy or eat these nasty bugs. As disgusting as it might be, it’s probably not particularly harmful (see “Don’t Worry If Your Pet Eats Cicadas, American Verterinary Medical Association“) – and reaching into your dog’s mouth when they have ‘prey’ can actually be more dangerous. Overall you just want to stay away from these annoying bugs but of course there will be billions of them, so good luck with that.
Zimmer did not succumb to the temptation to use the word zombie. He’s used it before but maybe this time just seemed too easy. Compare:
The AP story, via FirstCoastNews: “Billions of cicadas coming to East Coast” quoted:
“It’s not like these hordes of cicadas suck blood or zombify people,” says May Berenbaum, a University of Illinois entomologist.
CBS News via WIBW: “Obnoxious Bugs Scheduled To Invade The East Coast“
If you live on the East Coast, fair warning, you’re about to be invaded, but it’s not the zombie apocalypse. It’s actually an invasion by billions of creatures coming back to life after being buried since the 1990s.
It’s funny how the media here seems to want to allude to the zombie meme but discount it. If ever there was a zombie swarm this would seem it, but the harmlessness is perhaps the key. These bugs are not dangerous, disgusting but not dangerous. Is “zombies” reserved for situations of danger only? These mindless buggers are going to swarm and make noise – they are a primordial flash mob meet up, trolls on 4chan.
Also this week, in Ars Technica, Wired Magazine: by Mark Piesing:
Humanity has often looked to the insect world for its technological metaphors, and now for digital inspiration
Swarms. Hive minds. The web*.
It can be hard to avoid talking about our digital culture without using insect metaphors.
Yet for new media theorist Jussi Parikka, it may be more than just a metaphor.
Recall connection of zombies to hackers and issues of identity and frauds and privacy and free expression. I am also reminded of Robert Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” and the alien arachnoid species “the Bugs”.
What other kind of 17 year cycles are out there hiding underground? Presumably this kind of thing happens in other parts of nature, maybe in economics and in cultural trends too. It reminds me of the booms and busts in digital startups and housing markets – lots of innovation all at once and the major predators can’t stop everyone – some are bound to succeed and they will frame the structure until the next generation.
See more ZombieLaw posts tagged insects
This is not a “zombie” story but “rot” seemed related enough to make a mention; The Guardian: “US air force strips 17 officers of power to launch nuclear missiles” by Dominic Rushe:
The US Air Force has stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to oversee nuclear missiles, after a string of failings that the group’s deputy commander said stemmed from “rot” within the ranks. … According to the email obtained by AP, Folds moved to discipline the crew after “such rot in the crew force” that a pattern of weapons safety rule violations, possible code compromises and other failings had arisen “all in the name of not inconveniencing yourselves”, Folds wrote.
Are these lazy zombies managing cold war era technology? Or were they falling asleep because there jobs are just no longer required? Speaking of the Air Force, recall “Nintendo Valor and F-35 Zombies“, and maybe, do we need people in the air force at all or one day can the Commander and Chief just operate the whole military from his personal computer?
“Yes Mr. President”
“drop a bomb on XYZ”
“You said “drop a bomb on chimpanzee” is that correct?”
Gizmodo: “Gaming League Employee Turns 14,000 Users Into Bitcoin-Mining Zombies” by Brian Barrett is about bitcoin harvesting off customer’s computers without them knowing.
Madison, Wisconsin, another hacked roadsign: “Zombies invade Madison (according to hacked roadwork sign)” by Rob Thomas
New Jersey: Op-Ed by Silvio Laccetti is about issues of mistaken death in credit records. The op-ed is entitled both “Once they’ve checked out, zombies can’t cash in” and “Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America“:
Zombies. They are everywhere, having multiple causes and origins. … Friends generally reacted with nervous laughter (like laughing about the existence of zombies before you see or become one). … How do you prove you exist? The philosophical standard, “I think, therefore I am,” becomes “I am, … I think” in zombie-speak. … there is the case of in-vitro zombieism, where a friend of mine had a credit report issued before he was even born. … Zombies beget zombie software, sucking dry our humanity.
Charlotte, NC: ” Police step up presence for Bank of America’s annual meeting” by Deon Roberts:
Reinvestment Partners organized a “zombie” parade in the afternoon. Participants, dressed as zombies, filed past the bank’s headquarters and handed out fliers on “zombie” foreclosures – a term for when a borrower and the lender have walked away from a property, leaving it in limbo.
Bank of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday, the bank said in a securities filing that it believes it has “substantially fulfilled” its obligations to help homeowners as part of last year’s national mortgage settlement.
The Atlantic: Matthew O’Brien writes “The Austerians Strike Back: Latvia Is the New Hope for Zombie Economics: Do not underestimate the power of bad ideas” :
Zombie ideas are much scarier than actual zombies. For one, zombie ideas are real. For another, nothing can kill them. Not even a bullet to the intellectual head … I’m getting zombie whiplash here…. But zombie ideas do not die, especially in the euro zone.