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Zombies – it’s the eyes

January 28, 2013

Setting “The Right Tone for a Sensitive Zombie” is a challenge described in NYTimes by Mekado Murphy:

How many scars should line the faces of the undead? How blue (or purple or pale) should their lips and skin be? How much blood is too much blood?

What the article doesn’t say (but the embedded picture from “Warm Bodies” makes obvious) is that so much is about the eyes.

zombie eyes

ZombieLaw has previously discussed “The gaze of the zombie” – about psychoanalytic gaze and the human predisposition to focus on eye-like (and face-like) structures.

Recall also “zombie-eyed granny-starving gators” – In Florida they are killing pythons, Gator Boys wrestle gators with crazy eyes and Esquire’s Charles Pierce keeps writing that Congressman Paul Ryan is a zombie-eyed-granny-starver.

Consider the brain area of the Fusiform gyrus believed to be responsible for facial recognition (more particularly in the Fusiform face area). Individuals with damage to this area of the brain may have a condition called prosopagnosia or face blindness and/or possibly object agnosia. Brain damaged individuals literally see differently.

Note from NY Daily News: “Hillary Clinton’s double vision likely the result of a damaged cranial nerve, say doctors” by Heidi Evans, Celeste Katz AND Tina Moore:

Hillary Clinton is likely suffering from double vision because she damaged her 6th cranial nerve in a fall a month ago, experts said.


The 6th cranial nerve, also called the abducens nerve, is responsible for contracting the eye muscle to turn out the eye. The inability of an eye to turn outward results in double vision.

Recall ZombieLaw dared to question the credibility of Secretary Clinton metaphors about (Fox News correspondent Justin Fishel’s questioning and) the falling on her head inability to testify, now testifying with “double vision”! Really you can’t make this stuff up (right?). She’s having difficulty looking “outward”. Does that mean she is looking inward? It seems the Benghazi attack (er- the blood clot) left her with a concussion, some lingering vision complications, but also a stylish coiffe of highlights, curls and hipster glasses, and no major political scratches. Bravo Hil, now get off the Hill, take a nap and we’ll see you in the election ’16 news cycle which begins… now (because we have difficulty living in the present).

Speaking of living in the futuristic past, an old zombie movie, remastered, direct to DVD, reviewed in NYTimes: “Living Large and Living Dead” by Dave Kehr about Bela Lugosi’s “White Zombie” (juxtaposed with “Our Man Flynt”.)

Lugosi’s burning gaze, as the camera dollies in to isolate his eyes in anticipation of Sergio Leone’s gigantic close-ups.

Compare that sexual energy to Heather Wilhelm’s description of HBO’s postmodern “navel-gazing”; “Girls” as navel-gazing generation? See ZombieLaw Rebuttal to Heather Wilhelm’s Zombie “Girls”. ZombieLaw has also made many previous references to the classic Bela Lugosi movie “White Zombie”. Consider again its context of Haitian sugar workers and the oppression by the white capitalists, ultimately overtaken by the middle manager voodoo zombie master, while distracted trying to excite the beautiful woman he has zombied. The free version available on the internet is surely not the quality of the newly remastered, but it’s worth a watch.

Other Related ZombieLaw: Their Eyes Were Watching Zombies #cut4bieber/ – This was about “There Eyes were Watching God” and self-cutting but mentions “eyes”. What do you “watch” whom to do you “look” to?

Note also a connection to autism and the tendency of some austistics to avoid looking other people in the eyes. And consider in comparison to celebrity contracts that prohibit staff from looking at their eyes. I think everyone agrees that (at least sometimes) eye contact can be uncomfortable – and some people seem more sensitive to it.

If neuroscience is to be believed then maybe it is all brain difference. Recall ZombieLaw mentions of anonosognosia (blindness to one’s own condition) and Wernicke’s Amygdala (a parody of our frightened nation unable to speak).

Let’s conclude with the statement of Hillary Clinton from her opening remarks in Senate testimony about Benghazi:

Any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact: Since 1988, there have been 19 Accountability Review Boards investigating attacks on American diplomats and their facilities.

Note again the sobering connection of zombies to alcohol but also:

Concerns about terrorism and instability in North Africa are not new. Indeed they have been a top priority for our entire national security team.

Rest assured,

after Benghazi, we accelerated a diplomatic campaign to increase pressure on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups across the region.

So I think “The Whole World Is Watching” must be a zombie lie. All we are watching is Downton Abbey (related to zombies by Variety, Brian Lowry and mentioned by Kerr in the above mentioned NYTimes review of upcoming DVDs). Barely anyone seemed to notice the desecration of shrines in Timbuktu or when the French liberated the city. Any zombie analysis must begin with the intoxicating fact that Americans care more about Sybil than about class oppression (compare Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Django” to the lovable Mr. Carson):

django downton abbey stephen carson

Notice also that this post is largely about middle management in the role of master of the zombies. Forgive them, it is perhaps a brain condition causing oppression blindness. It is hard to see oppression, harder still to take any resistance to it.

uncle toms abbey downton

Finally, recall Zombie Theory of Defense from Wilkinson v Hedgpeth, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139011:

there is a little more to being a zombie than having droopy eyes.

… and more to politics than the merely “clear-eyed” perspective.

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