Political Resurrection: Easter Zombie Lich
Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. He is the editor of the politics blog The Dean’s Report and co-host of a new CNN podcast
His “zombie politicians” piece opens with a Ronald Reagan joke then explains:
Disgraced politicians never die. They’re like Jason from the “Friday the 13th” movies — you just can’t kill them. They keep coming at you like the political version of zombies.
The article mentions:
– “Former Ohio congressman Bob Ney” has a book
– “Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer” hosting TV.
– “Former Texas congressman Tom DeLay” dancing on TV.
– “former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich”, ran the circuit from television to Comic Cons before prison sentence.
– “South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is running to fill a recently vacated Congressional seat. ”
– “And don’t forget Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic Congressman from New York City” who tweeted himself out of a redistricting fight and is “at least considering a return to politics” (also known as raising money and buying pollsters).
Plenty of people don’t distinguish between whether a person is famous for good or bad reasons. All that matters is if a person has made it to that semi-exclusive club of celebritydom. After that, enough people will support the person to merit securing a book deal, being cast on a reality show and maybe run for office.
Recall from the movie “Three Amigos” – he’s infamous!
Look, I’m all for redemption and second chances. But I’m also aware that just like we saw with Jason in “Friday the 13th” movies, the longer he’s alive, the more damage he will do.
But also the more Box Office profits he can generate – and all out of one zombie idea with a generic face mask on it. Because Ideas don’t die. They are bulletproof. Transmitted by symbols and sustained by communities of interpretation. Is Jason fighting for past injustices against his mom? His own version of Batman? Because, we do not forget!
The symbols blend, mix, change meaning, take on multiple meanings, different meanings in different contexts, different meanings in the same contexts – overdetermined, undetermined metaphoric symbols structuring how we understand our world.
What does it mean to be alive and what does it mean to be dead? They are perhaps the ultimate symbols of community but what when (political) afterlife can be more powerful then it could ever be under the regulatory regimes of election law. How does this change the behavior of the living. — Also wonder what Zombie Jim DeMint is up to at the Heritage Foundation?
Are we all walking dead awaiting to be risen to a nobler kingdom, knowing we are all dead already? Mere cold calculating political-biological-machines awaiting the next arrival of a Lich King! If Jesus was a Lich, was Ben Kenobi? – No of course not he was a jedi (don’t mind meld me, bro!)
Of course “[y]our Liches are Different“, a classic TVTrope of modern narrative – the next great thing = the same old political hucksters – which is to say, of course they are different, everything is always different – everything old is new again – the “soul jar” is an horcrux container metaphor (see Lakoff embodied cognition) -like the “ghost in the machine” – a homunculus zombie myth!
The Lich monster type is attributable primarily to the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons. But the word is also attributable to a 1937 HP Lovecraft story and relates to other German words and Nordic history – The LychGate is an architectural structure related to burials at Churchyards (see also -gate suffix for every American political scandal since WaterGate).
The only mentions I find of federal court cases that use the word “lich” (as other than a person’s last name or acronym for Long Island College Hospital) are two references to the World of Warcraft second expansion pack, “Wrath of the Lich King”
“Are your children playing with Lucifer’s Testicles” -by Dr. Daniel Cameroon – this book title applies to Easter Egg hunts, but also to rolling dice games, and thus as metaphor for all games of chance. They don’t let prisoners play dungeons and dragons in part because of weapons and influence of dungeon masters in social politics. But the Bible is full of violence with medieval weapons, and pastors become as influential as dungeon masters. The difference is in whether authority is placed, for traditional religion it is in the texts alone, a higher narrative prevails, but for gamers there is fundamental role for uncertainty in chance.
Political gamers role their dice and take a chance then spin the narrative to make even the worst roles seem intentional. The memories of what we’ve lost will haunt us forever. But if you are not dead yet, then you are still alive, and the work continues…
Finally, please note that these type of zombie political resurrections are not the same as the politicians of last summer’s “zombie congress” who are those zombies still there, in Congress as zombies, living dead -[[ short election cycle makes zombies of us all ]]- — consider also the Sunday church as a once weekly social media hub for local news and gossip, contrast this once weekly update with the 24 hours nonstop daily news cycle. It’s just different forms of zombiedom and hard to distinguish the famous from the infamous.
(and also Games of Thrones is back tonight… Zombies from the North, games of chance in the South, “Where are my Dragons!!!”)