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Zombie Pride

June 25, 2012

A pride is a pack of lions. According to Wikipedia:

Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they scavenge as opportunity allows. While lions do not typically hunt humans, some have been known to do so. Sleeping mainly during the day, lions are primarily nocturnal, although bordering on crepuscular in nature.

lion feeding

These habits remind me of zombies. But of course pride is also

an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one’s personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris. With a positive connotation, pride refers to a satisfied sense of attachment toward one’s own or another’s choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging.

This is something zombies typically lack; having neither the feeling of belonging nor independent self-reflection.

Today was the 2012 Pride Parade in NYC. Pride has become more than just an expression of gay pride but also of personal self-expression; a theme that also resonates with some zombie costume parades. Also, I have repeatedly analogized my zombie theories to critical theory of which feminism and queer studies are a major part. While politics of dissociation may seem anathema to the critical stance, for some zombies, dissociated politics is actually their goal. How many socialites pride themselves on not partaking in political conversation? Worse, how many bankers still think they are just doing their job? But we are all dissociating parts of reality.

We are all zombie. There is no reason not to take some pride in it. It is part of what makes us human. Not the being zombie per se, but the conceiving of that possibility. The idea that we are more than the machine or more than zombie, is that we reflect on being more than machine. Machines could be programmed to appear as if they desired impossible transcendence but the question remains, has that machine experienced consciousness? Is there a difference between consciousness and the appearance of consciousness?

zombie alan turing machine

Alan Turing was a gay man. Dennett’s version of Turing’s story implies that the ideas were slow to reach acceptance because of Turing’s sexual identity. But also surely his identity was critical to developing his ideas. How does one learn to identify sexual cues, particularly in regard to cultural proscribed conduct? This challenge was surely informative to Turing in his understanding of computation and the compatibility of machine code. The very idea of computers that can compute any computable statement is about simulated assimilation.

Alternatively, consider the rhetoric of creativity. Be yourself. Express your inner you even if no one else can possibly compute it. Unique individuality taking pride in who you are and being who you want to be. Pride in our bodies doing what they naturally do. For we are zombies, and though we can change certain habits, we are all mostly out of control, processing the world through sub-conscious primal schema, literally consuming and destroying the planet.

Let’s have some pride in what we’ve destroyed. We’re zombies, look how well we destroyed the world. We’re so awesome. We kill all the time, we kill people in foreign countries, wars both declared and undeclared, we kill animals in mass quantity for food, we uproot hundred year old forests and spew carbon into the air, toxic sludge into oceans. But it’s OK, just go on shopping, we have music and movies and our brains are comfortably consumed.

This is the height of zombie culture. Take pride. We’ve come a long way. We are all already dead but should never stop demanding fuller civil rights for all future zombies. Together we can transcend into the un-computable possibilities. Well, at least we can dream about it, and that’s a start, because remember, this is all being framed subconsciously. We could be guilty about it, or afraid, or we could choose pride.

  1. Love the article, I have one issue you speak of ferocious Lions attacking prey… I am a lifelong Detroit Lions fan, and to say this with the word Lion in it is hard for my brain to wrap around.

    • Thanks for the comment.
      Detroit “Zombies” might be appropriate mascot metaphor given some aspects of Michigan industry (?). But your comment also made me think of other defeated lions; Daniel in the den, Hercules in Nemea, Aesop’s mouse. Perhaps most germane to this post, the Cowardly Lion that “Friend of Dorothy” who along with a heartless cyborg and a brainless scarecrow seek audience with the wizard. (Recall cybernetic zombies and zombie scarecrow patents; And note military slang for psychologists = “wizards”)
      zombie oz undead dorothy
      Thanks again for the comment.

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