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So this is what falling off a cliff feels like

January 1, 2013

Imagine Wile E. Coyote running off the edge of a cliff, there is no problem until he looks down. So, for the moment it appears the U.S. Congress has run off the cliff – it’s Jan 1 so the Bush Tax Cuts have expired, right? But they say there is a deal, Senate passed something – does that mean we aren’t over a cliff? Does any of this matter? Or is all just bizarre and irrelevant language of Washington? (See CNN “5 things to know about the fiscal cliff“)

Washington Post: “Animals have their own languages, author says; parasites turn hosts into zombies” by Maggie Fazeli Fard combines two recent research works – a book by Con Slobodchikoff about animal movements are discourse and the very recent research published in Journal of Experimental Biology about parasites controlling insect behavior. The combined effect highlights something ZombieLaw has repeatedly claimed: Language is a virus that effects human behavior.

Consider also this article in TulsaWorld: “Our Geek Future: Mind-controlled technology” by Michael Dambold about technology to allow thought alone to trigger action. But what is thought without language? Will these technologies teach us to think without words or should we think of these technologies as giving us new words that are infecting us?

Aren’t we already “mental zombies who spend hours staring at screens”, as mentioned by reader of Kip Howard who wrote in to Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the Newtown Shootings.

On the same topic a letter in the Spokesman Review by Paul Carpenter argues against new gun laws but instead “Enforce existing laws” – But then Carpenter concludes with reference to violent video games (suggesting we don’t need gun regulation we may need more video game regulation?):

You can sit at the bus stop with your new iPhone and kill zombies with guns. Then under the Christmas tree there’s a collection of games like Grand Theft Auto, Assassins Creed and Warfare. More ways to maim and kill; all for the kids.

Recall the zombie undead role in the ruling of Judge Posner that video games be considered speech protected under the first amendment. In the American Amusement case about the game “House of the Dead 2”.

And speaking of enforcing existing laws, is the Senate supposed to pass a budget?>?? But “progress” is a tricky word. See CityWatchLA: “LA Politics: Fed Up With Change for Changes Sake? Welcome to” by Ron Kaye:

Frankly, I’m fed up with politicians telling me, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” when they really mean you better not get in the way of them serving some special interest at the public expense.

I’m dismayed at seeing young people with Skullcandy in their ears, fiddling with an iPad mini while groping to answer their smart phone. Are they zombies programmed by unknown forces somewhere out in cyberspace?

I’ve had it up to here with “progress.” Who needs a $100-billion bullet train? Are bigger, smaller, brighter, lighter, faster, sleeker really better? Do we really need same-day delivery of every product we buy?

Call me a Luddite, call me an old fogey, but I’ve decided to make a stand, to make my No. 1 New Year’s resolution the launching of a new movement —

Contrast with KJ Mullins op-ed in DigitalJournal “Op-Ed: Are we a zombie culture?” about the increasing killing of journalists, the Occupy movement and a new Canadian movement called Idle No More:

Are the ones in charge of the world wanting a zombie culture? Not being able to think is the key to being a zombie along with having no voice. How far from our society is that a reality?


Those who think differently are rounded up and quarantined behind bars. Silence is the key to keeping the masses behaving like good little masses should.

and even in North America:

the masses are still being handled with care. Those who shout out that there is something wrong are viewed as being wrong.


The one percenters still run the world in the way they want while protest marches dwindle.
What does this have to do with zombies or a zombie culture? For many who were on the outside looking in saw a bunch of ‘kids’ who were protesting for the sake of protesting. These ‘kids’ appeared to be following the directives of a few like mindless sheep. They may have been shouting for change but their voices were drowned out when no one was really sure of what the actual changes were. In the end the message was not clear and too varied.


What does Occupy, Idle No More and the killing of journalists have in common? Silence.


The masses move around with no clear message, no true voice and the powers that be continue to pull the puppet strings and thus the zombie culture is achieved.

Finally, consider some New Years resolutions from David Sirota at Salon:

Stop pretending Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News are important


Without a reaction, their noise just dissipates into the ether, at best getting a relatively tiny handful of already-convinced zombies to nod along with them. That means when I react to them in any way – whether publicly in my writing, or privately in my interpersonal conversations — I’m not really doing a civic service, even if I am criticizing them and debunking their lies. On the contrary, no matter how I react, the act of reacting unto itself is actually giving them what they need

Sirota frames it as an issue of “carnival barkers who have absolutely no credibility.” – recall relation of zombies to clowns and also to issues of credibility.

Sirota also resolves to “Stop expecting facts to make a difference to my opponents … For the sake of my sanity, I will no longer expect facts — no matter how demonstrably true — to matter at all to committed right wingers.”

But personally I really don’t think it’s just the right-wingers. We are all part of this zombie culture and we are all being mind-controlled by our own experiences. Sirota’s suggestions just add to the silence. Instead we should resolve to really listen to each other and try to hear without being offended.

I just hope nobody looks down. It’s not the kids’ fault that the emperor never had any clothes. We are all Thelma and Louise.

From → Occupy, politics

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