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Maureen Dowd Zombies

May 30, 2013

Here at ZombieLaw we very much enjoy the “zombies” in the NYTimes, and particularly enjoy the Op-Ed columnists (see previous zombies: Paul Krugman, David Brooks, and Gail Collins). Today the zombie Maureen Dowd.

zombie maureen dowd nytimes

Published May 21, 2013: “Serving Up Schlock“:

Networks still prefer to play it safe with likable characters, not darker ones like Tony Soprano, Walter White, Don Draper, Nicholas Brody and face-chewing zombies. Watching the derivative and uninspiring fare served up last week by the networks during their previews to woo advertisers, I was flummoxed at the lack of creativity and modernity. … “Resurrection” is about dead relatives popping up on the doorstep — zombies with better skin.

This was not Maureen Dowd’s first use of the word in her column but it seems a good excuse to list all her usages:

August 29, 2012: “Will They Decipher the Cipher?” referring to Republican National Convention:

there was the evening’s main course and future, Ryan, who brought the zombie convention alive with a zowie speech — building up Romney and tweaking him about what’s on his iPod, “which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators.”

August 2, 2011: “Washington Chain Saw Massacre” about the Tea Party:

Just as horror films moved from niche to mainstream in the late-’70s, with successes like “Halloween” and “Alien,” the Tea Party moved from niche to mainstream. … this strange, compelling and uncompromising new force epitomized “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and evoked comparisons to our most mythic creatures of the night. They were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country’s reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama.

March 18, 2006: “Valley Of The Rolls” about sleep-eating:

The scary news of zombie hordes of Ambien sleep-eaters follows fast upon the scary news of zombie hordes of Ambien sleep-drivers and zombie hordes of Ambien sleep-sirens. … If you don’t want to give up Ambien, doctors say, put chimes on your bedroom door. The tinkling may wake you up on the way to get a snack or take a drive to shoplift a new wardrobe for your fat zombie self.

March 15, 2006″ What’s Better? His Empty Suit or Her Baggage? about political humor:

There’s only one reason I continue to brave Washington’s dreary formal press dinners, which are so calcified they’re a bad cross between a zombie movie and those little Mexican Day of the Dead sculptures. I find it highly instructive to hear politicians make humor speeches.

September 7, 2005: “Haunted By Hesitation” about the W-Bush administration post-Katrina:

New Orleans’s literary lore and tourist lure was its fascination with the dead and undead, its lavish annual Halloween party, its famous above-ground cemeteries, its love of vampires and voodoo and zombies. But now that the city is decimated, reeking with unnecessary death and destruction, the restless spirits of New Orleans will haunt the White House.

April 13, 2005: Recline Yourself, Resign Yourself, You’re Through about baby boomers and nursing homes:

She was sent to a nursing home to recuperate. It was the third circle of gloom. Residents sat around, zombie-like, or slowly maneuvered in wheelchairs or with walkers. I suddenly understood why all of my mom’s friends who had gone into nursing homes had become listless and died soon after. The facility was depressing, with bad food and impersonal attendants who seemed inured to their surroundings.

June 15, 2003: “Hot Zombie Love” about the Stepford Wives remake, begins:

The leafy Connecticut towns of New Canaan and Norwalk are getting ready for the invasion of the body-snatched. The Stepford wives, those frilly minded, man-pleasing zombies who glided through suburban colonials and supermarkets three decades ago, are back — clutching casseroles with blue potholders and garden tools with white gloves. … As [the screenwriter] Mr. Rudnick slyly points out: ”Men and women are working in tandem to create the Stepford wife of tomorrow. Once the technology advances, there’ll be a Botox babe who runs on solar power.”

July 03, 2002: “Aloft on Bozoloft” is about the sales of anti-depressants and seems to underestimate the burgeoning growth in psycho-pharmaceutical industry:

Drug companies peddling to our Zombie Nation are now frantically trying to climb out of a marketing valley of the dolls, a slump in the pace of sales of their little bliss pills.

February 17, 2002: “Attack of The Calico Clones

a nightmarish vision of zombie calico clones creeping, limping and hissing down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Justice Department.

February 10, 2002″ “Pretty Poison“:

women have always sought to look younger and prettier and more fecund. According to Dr. Etcoff, men simply gravitate like zombies toward a ”maximally fertile woman, or at least one who looks that way.” Feminism was supposed to release women from the tyranny of the unnatural ideal. But the ideal is more unnatural than ever.

And before that, a set of Al Gore related zombies:

August 06, 2000: Liberties; What on Earth Were They Thinking?:

Mr. Gore is a supporting character, not a leading man. He’s bad box office. And we can only assume he hasn’t taken advantage of offers from worried directors like Steven Spielberg to help him improve his ‘‘I Walked With a Zombie’‘ speaking style.

March 24, 1999: “Liberties; Saving Private Gore“:

Mr. Gore’s supporters worry that he is too controlled and zombie-like.

December 03, 1997: “Liberties; Al Agonistes, Again” referring to Janet Reno(?):

All that garbage about soft money and hard money didn’t stick to Bill. He sold everything in the White House that wasn’t nailed down and got away with it. But me, I’ve got to worry about that zombie Attorney General checking into independent prosecutors. Finally she comes out of her daze and runs out of loopholes, just in time for my campaign?

Before that Anita Hill and Dan Quayle:

October 15, 1991: WASHINGTON MEMO: THE THOMAS NOMINATION; Republicans Gain in Battle By Getting Nasty Quickly about Anita Hill:

Professor Hill ended up fighting an octopus of charges: That she was an erotomaniac, that she was a ruthless careerist, that she was a disgruntled, vindictive woman, that she was insane and that she was a zombie-like pawn of liberal interest groups.

July 23, 1989: “The Education of Dan Quayle

Asked if there was anything about the new job he was afraid he might not be good at, he replies: ”I can’t think of anything.” The campaign image of Quayle as a political zombie amazed friends familiar with his tenacious streak.

And finally, [drum roll…] Maureen Dowd’s first NYTimes “zombie” that I find is 1985 (note: Dowd joined the Times in 1983):

April 1, 1985: IN ASSOCIATIONS’ ROSTERS ARE MANY MISMATCHES, a free association of association names:

how do the Zombies relate to the folks from the Institute for Reality Therapy?

Thank you to Maureen Dowd for continuing to help us answer that very question.


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