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Sideshow Bob ants cockroaches Asian carp

March 14, 2014

Last Sunday’s new episode of The Simpsons was episode SABF07 entitled: “The Man Who Grew Too Much” – here’s the script, and the video will be available for streaming at Fox , details on wikipedia and simpsonswiki

But beware, I have DNA in me from Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, better known as zombie ant fungus!

– And we’re scared of that because?

What I am saying is, I could be tipped into a murderous rage by the slightest provocation.

The episode begins with Lisa worried about issues of GMO food, first she is against it, rallies the townsfolk at the school auditorium, and then does her research and decides she’s in favor of them. Then it’s discovered that Sideshow Bob is running the MONSANTO-like company.

At A.V. Club, Dennis Perkins writes:

delivery of “zombie ant fungus!” is one for the Sideshow Bob highlight reel.

Speaking of zombie ant fungus, here’s a wonderful BBCWorldwide video:

But remember, as Alex Wild explained, it’s upside-down! (which is still a legitimate perspective!)

In other zombie insects, see “UC RIVERSIDE: Brainiac facts you didn’t know” by Richard K. De Atley, about zombie neuroscience at this UC campus, including (amongst other brain reports):

Zombie Cockroaches

The emerald jewel wasp stings a cockroach with a mind-controlling venom that makes the roach compliant … Grad student Ryan Arvidson is studying the biochemistry of the wasp’s venom.

ZombieLaw has previously mentioned cyborg cockroaches in North Carolina State. It’s going to be really scary when they combine these two research projects and the machines are using both electrical and biochemical interfaces. The Matrix here we come, but first control of the smaller creatures.

Some people mistakenly believe that zombifying parasites only exist in insects. But they’re in mammals too, see VSU Spectator: “Zombies, a reality” by Ivey Ingalls-Rubin, reporting on a variety of zombie parasites including:

the parasite Toxoplasmosa gondii. This bug infects rats, and can only propagate inside the intestines of a cat. This parasite reprograms the rats’ brain to be attracted to cats. That’s right; the rat gets itself eaten all for the sake of the parasite without even knowing it.

Ingalls-Rubin defines the term:

The definition of zombification is an organism controlling the mental state of another, and driving it to act as if it has no will of its’ own. This phenomenon is actually fairly common.
… If you define zombies however, as reanimated corpses then the probability is much less likely.

With humans, we need to also consider language as the parasite. Ideas, advertising, memes, these propagate through humans and they drive humans to engage in responsive behaviors. Can stories can be parasitic? This is again the issue of Dennett’s dangerous memes and Drezner’s dangers of apocalyptic thinking. And again, the problem is how to identify the dangerous memes before the future comes.

After the anthropocene , new normals will make old fears seem absurd. How will we understand the fear of genetically modified food, in a future when there is no natural food left? Are we already in that future? Humanity has already altered this planet inexorably.

Remember “zombies” also as invasive species, see CanadaNow: Ontario lawmakers take on the dreaded Asian carp” by Sean Lennox:

Asian carp have been known to revive while on ice when believed to be dead. Known popularly as zombie fish, Asian carp have no North American predators and devour huge numbers of native fish.

When I was young the Simpsons were considered dangerous. “Don’t have a cow, Man” and “Eat my shorts” were radical and contentious. Now it’s mainstream, a prerequisite for understanding large swathes of more recent culture. When the invasive species wins, they become the natives.

And now Sideshow Bob has gills.

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