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Friday the 13th zombie roundup – Krugman Kernan and Batman

July 13, 2012

So the CNBC zombie economy rhetoric seems to be slowing but I fully expect it will arise again. And the Krugman Kernan squawk box squabble needs someone else to throw in – there were other hosts on that CNBC segment – but Sorkin is probably smart to stay out of it being that he works for both CNBC and NYTimes – and and who was the woman? I’m sure she’d prefer I don’t find out because I won’t have nice things to say about her questions. But it’s hard to tell if feelings are really hurt, these kinds of controversies are how academic economists make their living.

Meanwhile, did you know that Batman fought zombies in 1943. And the zombies were Japanese and looked like Cesar Romero’s Joker? (no relation to George Romero, right?) Japanese is so robot, Joker is so clown – recall ZombieLaw post: zombie, robot, clowns. This 1943 WW2 propaganda was already fighting mindless enemies created by fringe science and technology. Batman, a symbol of justice, fighting against mindless clowns. He probably also fought zombies on Scooby Doo cartoons. And of course, we know later Frank Miller’s Batman will question these dialectics; aren’t we all the mindless clowns, isn’t Batman excessive force invasion of privacy?

Also – BBC says, Putin wants to turn internet into a “zombie box” – which is also what some call the State controlled television broadcasting. This metaphor again links zombie to controls on speech and expression, much like American intellectual property concerns in zombie SOPA.. Some pirates are just trying to not be zombies. As Americans we pretend our media is so open, and that the Russians are the ones with zombie boxes, but our media is censoring an anti-Cheney movie and no doubt our police forces want a sonic Putin gun to stop the next Occupy event.

The moral dimensions are difficult to determine. Batman may be as perverted a human as the Joker. Who is the pirate and who is the zombie? Batman’s hyper-rational, never dying, unstoppable form of justice is like a form of zombie. His pal Superman is perhaps moreso, having more direct connection to Golem stories, whereas Batman is a more animalistic spirit. Ostensibly Batman (a definite 1%’er) resembles the vampire but are we really sure there’s such a difference – they are both fictional monsters being used as political metaphors – and recall Judge Posner’s 1995 court opinion where fraudulent corporations (the presumed vampires of most Occupy narratives) can become clean (in pari delicto) when the evil-doer is removed. Because corporations are people, and sometimes lots and lots of people, the same corporation is composed of both vampire and zombie parts (and maybe something left that’s still human). And it’s metonymy all the way down – so even the individual human biological body is also a corporation (literally a coporation of organ systems, which are a corporation of cells, etc). And so we too are ourselves vampires and zombies; krugmans and kernans; batmans and jokers; russian totalitarians and american democrats — and unicorns, we’re all unicorns!

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