This is the first part of a new collection of some of this week’s “zombies”. There are two posts in this dump. I hope to also add a third post of explanation later. As always, there are more “zombies” @LawZombie on Twitter.
In the past few days there have been two viral media “zombie” news developments: PokemonGo and an outbreak of bad synthetic marijuana, called K2, in Brooklyn. Neither the idea of social media zombies or drug zombies is new. Nor is either’s association with youth culture or hipster Brooklyn culture, or augmented reality, fantasy worlds, being zoned out. Still there is some irony in the legal fake marijuana being more dangerous than the illegal natural plant product. And in public safety officials denigrating the popular activities of the public, as if the public is “stupid” instead of that stupidity being what they are to protect and serve. Both stories highlight a paradox of addictive behavior and questions of protecting people from themselves. Also the Streisand effect that insulting it may promote it. Although, maybe that’s somebody’s goal? The GPS data in PokemonGo will be a boon for law enforcement, and K2 Zombie has a lobbying group.
So in this first post, this week’s K2 zombies, and then in the next post, PokemonGo zombies. Both of these posts are simply collections of a lot of media links from the past few days. Either the title of the article has “zombie” or the text used “zombie”.
So let’s begin:
When NY1 visited this neighborhood earlier in the day, we found stumbling people bracing to hold themselves up at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway. Some residents call it Zombieland.
Thirty-three people were hospitalized from an apparent synthetic marijuana overdose Tuesday morning after they were discovered in and around a Bedford-Stuyvesant building, police said.
Authorities received a 911 call about men smoking marijuana at 362 Stockton St. around 9:38 a.m. and found “multiple [people] with an altered mental state,” according to an FDNY spokesman.
“It was like ‘The Walking Dead.’ A zombie scene,” said Brian Arthur, 38.
NYTimes: 33 Suspected of Overdosing on Synthetic Marijuana in Brooklyn (with video link):
There is a word that local residents and workers use to describe a group of drug users whose presence they say has grown around a busy Brooklyn transit hub: zombies. What was once a few familiar faces has turned into a tribe of strangers, walking around, staggering and looking lost, in the throes, it is believed, of the ill effects of K2, a synthetic drug that officials in New York have been working hard to eradicate.
Cops are corralling K2 users and forcing them into ambulances to make sure they’re not turning into “zombies” following the mass overdose in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, surveillance video captured near the corner of Broadway and Stockton Street during Wednesday’s outbreak shows the terrifying moment a family of tourists come face to face with one of the “zombies” who apparently overdosed.
And more from the NYPost, article originally titled: “I’m one of the 33 zombies who overdosed on k2” and later became: “I feel bad for scaring this family while I was high on K2” has interview with one of the victims, initials J.J.:
This tourist family turned down the wrong Brooklyn block — and came face-to-face with a K2 “zombie” overdosing on the synthetic weed, a new video shows.
The ‘zombie apocalypse’ has taken over Brooklyn with a mass of overdoses recorded in a single day all reportedly caused by the insidious synthetic drug K2. Users have been dubbed ‘stoned zombies’ after 33 people were admitted to hospital on Tuesday. Local authorities labelled the situation as “Zombieland.”
Stoned “zombies” have taken over a Brooklyn street with 33 overdoses recorded in a single day from the synthetic drug K2.
K2 users are left stumbling around. Others become violent, unpredictable and appear to be in a zombie-like state.
And, some explanation of the neurosciences:
MarijuanaTimes: “Massive K2 Overdose in New York Lands 33 in the Hospital“:
One witness recalled it to be “like a scene out of a zombie movie, a horrible scene,” when he spoke to the New York Times. Having seen it myself, synthetic cannabis is dangerous and the witness said he saw three people collapse, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. While synthetic cannabis does hit the same receptors in your brain as the real deal, it doesn’t treat them the same and the synthetic cannabinoids have not been tested on humans, so the effects are unpredictable and can (and likely will) change from batch to batch.
LiveScience: Why Does Synthetic Marijuana Make People Act Like Zombies? also available at CBSNews: “Why does synthetic marijuana make people act like zombies?“:
Other changes in mood, thinking and perception have been linked with synthetic cannabinoids. Their use has been associated with paranoia, which is an unreasonable distrust of others; anxiety; panic attacks; and psychotic episodes. Together, these mind-altering behaviors have been labeled as the “zombie effect,” according to K2/Zombie DC, a public-education campaign based in Washington, D.C., that uses zombie-themed messages to raise awareness among teens and parents of these drugs’ dangers.
Regular marijuana contains the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which can attach to receptors in the brain to activate the release of chemical messengers that can make people feel paranoid or anxious, he explained. But the marijuana plant also produces another compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD, which stops the brain from continuing to release these chemical messengers, he said. As a result, when people smoke pot, “CBD reduces the negative effects of THC,” D’Souza said. However, this is not the case when people use K2 or spice, he said. Although synthetic cannabinoids contain THC, they don’t contain CBD, so the release of chemical messengers in the brain goes unchecked, thus creating more undesirable effects, D’Souza speculated. When young people hear the term “synthetic marijuana” or “fake weed” to describe synthetic cannabinoid products, it gives them the false impression that spice or K2 will have effects similar to those of marijuana. “But there is a massive difference between spice and marijuana,” D’Souza said.
But see also, RawStory: “Here are 5 important ways ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ does not make people act like zombies”
What do you call a zombie that stops writing? Answer: a zombie.
A fascinating part of the fast-slow zombies debate might be whether they are the same creature; sometimes fast and sometimes slow or different sub-species. Time is relative to context.
Regrets and apologies to prior fans of this blawg. We had a good run 2012-2015. The tricklings of recent posts cannot hope to supplant a lack of exuberant overproduction characteristic in earlier years. Still, for continuing zombie law references, the Twitter feed: @LawZombie remains, semi-active, as a sort of zombie politics clipping service. There have been some highly interesting moments over the year and I do hope to one day comment on them.
The commentary previously provided by this blog has shifted attention away, but this project is not dead. Today for Pride NYC recall some terrible writing: ZombieLaw: “Zombie Pride” written four years ago in 2012, in which I wrote about lions (because they organize in “prides” and eat their prey like zombies) and about Alan Turing (a gay man who won the war for the British allies by inventing modern computers, read as: zombie algorithms.).
Why did I make a zombie portrait of Turing? I thought I only made those for people with “zombie” quotes, but that was an early post so apparently I hadn’t invented that rule yet. Oh, zombies and their zombie rules, but everyone forgets that rules are meant to be broken. Without rules, clear boundaries, it is impossible to think outside of them, outside the box. Rules presume their own violation. Contracts presume the possibility of breach and even with well drafted categories, the dichotomies are false; there will always be violations of the categorization schema. There will always be rule violators! The question is always, how should we treat violators.
The seeds of pride were hard fought battles. Fetishes, strangeness, queer hobbies and bloody consumption. Embrace desire. Give no fucks to the moral establishment. The hard lesson of pride’s history, the struggle continues precisely because the establishment continues. Even a reformed establishment is establishment. Order presumes another status of disorder.
History is non-linear. A joke may seem played out until it hits a new audience. Ideas at the margins and fringes of networks may take a long time, or many iterations in varied contexts, and the patterns of integration are uniquely irregular. But, when ideas fit, they takeover network spaces such that they may later appear to have been inevitable. Failures are not necessarily good reason to stop, but reason to try again.
Take pride in what you do and keep doing it. People will tell you that repetition expecting different results is a hallmark of insanity. They are (consciously or unconsciously) part of the establishment and if they can stop you from trying then their status quo is preserved. Things do change but not quickly, and then sometimes very quickly. Unfortunately, some heads get beat in every movement and that head might be yours.
It took a lot of people coming out and taking pride in who they are, and not being afraid to keep repeating their message, to accomplish what’s happened so far. Repetition is an essential myth. We are never really repeating anything. Every time the actor takes the stage it is a wholly new performance. Even a digital repetition encounters a new audience and takes new meaning.
Charles Pierce of Esquire has been calling Paul Ryan a “zombie-eyed granny starver” for a long time. I’ve tweeted the exact same quote from many (many!) of his articles (see this tweet search: lawzombie granny zombie esqpolitics). I thought the joke was getting rather old, and yet this week, Joy-Ann Reid retweeted it (regarding the gun control sit-in) and LawZombie got more retweets than maybe ever. I had seen it this joke for 4 years, but most people were just seeing it for the first time, and it resonated this week despite seemingly nothing to do with granny-starving now.
To conclude this post about pride and language that mentioned Alan Turing and Charles Pierce, I must note the other Charles Pierce, philosopher, “father of pragmatism”, whose middle name was Sanders (seriously, no joke! Sanders!), from Wikipedia, Charles Sanders Pierce (1839-1914), with an example of his “syllogism to illustrate the unreliability of traditional forms of logic”:
All Men are equal in their political rights.
Negroes are Men.
Therefore, negroes are equal in political rights to whites.
I’m not sure computers will ever grok that joke, but if you can, then you should realize it’s no joke. Pride 2016! Because it’s not 2012 anymore. That we continue to zombie toward fuller equality while retaining pride in our individual uniqueness – a paradox of liberty and the rules required to frame the box of order while thinking outside of it, that the fast and the slow are both zombies and that equality is not one law for the lion and the ox, it’s the wizard giving all the friends of Dorothy literally nothing, except all the feels.
First, let me apologize for being remiss in updating this blog. There are a number of very significant political “zombies” from the past few weeks and I will write about those soon. If you are reading the @Lawzombie Twitter feed then you are already up to date on those but I do owe those politicians some zombie portraits.
However, today I would like to take a moment to comment on last night’s GOP debate, and first about a commercial that aired repeatedly during it; the trailer for the upcoming Ron Howard movie “In the Heart of the Sea“. This movie is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick published in 2000. It is about the real-life story of a whaling voyage that was also the basis for Herman Melville’s 1851 classic “Moby Dick“.
Now there are many versions of this trailer online but the version that aired repeatedly last night during the GOP debates on FoxBusiness was a version of the final trailer cut to a 30-second spot, which asks:
“Monsters are they real?”
This tagline made me laugh for lots of reasons. First, zombies are they real? Second, what’s real? Is this the real story of Moby Dick? Was Moby Dick real? Was it a pun on all the real dicks on stage last night? Is the irony that even this real-life story is not really, real, or is the irony that Moby Dick really was real and we killed them all.
Are the real zombies those with Cotard’s syndrome, or parasite-infected insects, or hacked computer botnets? OR are the real zombies the fiction, the George Romero characters and those from “Walking Dead”? When fiction has the power to shape reality, what is real? Is global warming real? Is the war on Christmas real? Is reality real?
Who are the real presidential candidates? The frontrunners both have “real” in their twitter names, does that make them real? Let’s look closer at last night’s debate transcript:
Governor Kasich: “as the governor of Ohio I have to deal with real challenges”
Governor Kasich: “the real jobs come in the downstream, not in the upstream, but in the downstream.”
Governor Bush: “That’s not how the real world works.”
Governor Bush: “My worry is that the real economy has been hurt by the vast overreach of the Obama administration.”
Does that word mean what they think it means? Is it anything more than reinforcing their subjective confidence?
Also maybe we should note “real estate”:
Senator Cruz: “we had loose money, we had an asset bubble, it drove up the price of real estate”
Fiorina: “Government created the problem of a real estate boom.”
What is real estate? What is property? Would there be any property rights at all without the Hobbesian “Leviathan” of government to enforce those supposed rights?
Senator Paul: “I want a government really, really small, so small you can barely see it. “
So would it really be there at all? How could there be any property rights at all without a strong government to protect them? Which leads to the debate between Senators Paul and Rubio about whether it is conservative to add a trillion dollars to military spending.
Trump: “I want to do something really special. I want to make our country greater than it’s ever been.”
Great like Moby Dick? Big and massive and real! Real like Jesus? Because whether the book is historical or fictional doesn’t matter, it’s the story that matters. Recall there is a leviathan in the Bible too.
However, in the tale of the whaleship Essex, in “In the Heart of the Sea”, the ship wrecks in South America, and the surviving crew may have resorted to cannibalism. Because after all, this really is a zombie blog.
Recall the story of Derrick Murray, supposed L.A. Zombie of Evansville, who threatened police on the internet, and caused the police to embarrass themselves when they flash-banged his neighbor. Then Judge Posner’s 7th Circuit opinion called those cops “Keystone Kops” and that week they arrested Murray for murder?! Well now, those murder charges have been dropped.
TristateHomepage: Defense Attorney: Breedlove Murder Case ‘Tarnishes Everyone Involved’“:
For nearly two months, the three men were being held in jail as their defense attorneys publicly complained about a lack of information from the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office.
14news: “Charges dropped against 3 suspects in Breedlove murder” posted by Sean Edmondson and by Jess Raatz and Jessica Schmidt:
Bobby John’s attorney and Murray’s attorney believe there was never any proof.
Two of the suspects, Bobby John Handegard and Bobby Michael Handegard, were released from jail on Friday afternoon.
Derrick Murray, is still in jail on a federal hold related to another case.
That federal charge is for marijuana. See from August in Evansville Courier Press: “Defense: Nothing linking Murray to Breedlove shooting” by Mark Wilson:
Murray was on federal supervised release from a 2012 charge of making Internet threats against Evansville police. He was arrested after a probation officer found “evidence of criminal activity” on his cell phone, according to court records. As a result, he also faces a separate felony charge of dealing marijuana.
Still time to register for Asheville’s attempt to break the record for linked tubers, MountainXpress: “Zombie Float returns to Asheville this Saturday” by Hayley Benton:
Though 548 zombie-participants were officially counted in last year’s Tube-ocalypse Zombie Float, that number was 87 short of what was needed to break the record for linked tubers. The current record, 634 people, is held by the Harley Owners Group Taiwan Chapter, breaking the previous record, 620, from tubers on the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., in 2013.
Pre-registration and a signed waiver form for the float are required and can be found at ashevillezombiefloat.com. The deadline to register is Friday, Aug. 28
Meanwhile this Saturday in Louisville, Courier Journal: Bloody Saturday as Zombies Attack Louisville” by Kirby Adams:
Did you realize Louisville is home to the largest and oldest annual zombie walk in the world? The 2015 Zombie Attack takes place Saturday in its usual spot — The Highlands.
Unfortunately, the Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, New Jersey Zombie Walk is CANCELLED, best explained by the headlines:
NJ: “Organizer puts New Jersey Zombie Walk to rest, citing costs and size” by Rob Spahr
NYPost: “Asbury Park now too gentrified for popular ‘Zombie Walk’” by Associated Press
NJ105: “Coolest images of the Asbury Park Zombie Walk we’ve seen (RIP)” by Louis C. Hochman
NJ105: “Asbury Park Zombie Walk is dead. Will you mourn it?” by Matthew White
Of course, recall last year’s San Diego Comic Con zombie walk was hit by a car, driven by a deaf driver. He’s awaiting trial — having lost the preliminary hearing in early June, see Fox5: “Deaf driver in ‘Zombie Walk’ collision to stand trial“:
Matthew Pocci, 47, faces three years in state prison if convicted.
Following the preliminary hearing, the judge ruled that enough evidence was presented for Pocci to stand trial. He will be back in court June 24 for arraignment.
And then on June 24, Fox5: “Trial date set for driver accused of ‘Zombie Walk’ crash” by Sandra Phillips:
An Oct. 13 trial date was set Wednesday for a deaf motorist accused of driving his car through a crowd watching the “Zombie Walk” parade during last summer’s Comic-Con convention, seriously injuring one woman.
That kind of thing must increase the insurance costs for events like the walk in Asbury Park, but what if they had a more formal political cause? Where can we convene safely to protest and march against our government? This is a first amendment right!!? (I guess linking together and filling up a river is as good an idea as any I’ve got.)
Meanwhile, some zombie walks zombie on, this weekend:
Sacramento Bee: “Zombies to terrorize R Street for 15th year” by Janet Vitt:
The 15th Annual Sacramento Zombie Walk won’t even wait until dark. It takes place 4-11 p.m. Saturday… dead walk begins at 7:30 p.m. and will move along R Street. www.facebook.com, http://trashfilmorgy.com
Salt Lake City will once again look like the set of a zombie apocalypse movie on Sunday, August 30, 2015, as Utah’s undead participate in the eighth annual Zombie Walk sponsored by Salt Lake Comic Con
Salt Lake Comic Con
SLC Zombie Walk Facebook Event
SLC Zombie Walk page
Why zombie walks in August? It’s simple, the Christmas season begins before Thanksgiving so Halloween begins now:
[UPDATE: the Toronto Zombie Walk Funeral is also this weekend, see calendar at CBC.ca]