Trololo to nowhere: 1000th ZombieLaw post – nominate this blog and buy a book!
According to the WordPress statistics for this site, this is my 1000th post on this blog. I have no way to confirm that so we’ll have to trust WordPress. Thank you to my readers. I am really not sure why I keep doing this project but your retweets really do keep me warm at night, metaphorically.
If you enjoy this blog, please consider nominating it for recognition in this year’s ABA Journal Blawg 100. PLEASE!!! It was a truly high honor to be included in their 2012 list and it would really mean a lot to me if ZombieLaw was re-included on that list.
I’m not holding my breath, 2012 was a peak year for zombies. Still, 2014 has seen many exciting uses of the word in law and politics. There have been many mentions from legislators in Congress and state governments (Florida emergency gun carry bill, NY abandoned property bill, and in one week: a “zombie” Senator, two “zombie” Congressmen and Bill Clinton “walking dead”.).
This blog can get disorganized as I chase the zombies into nearly every corner of the media world. But, as the ABA writes:
There is no specific criteria that a blogger can meet to be guaranteed a spot on the Blawg 100. And we think our list would suffer if there were. A blog’s whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, and a blog that never fails to post that daily update, has a beautiful design and an unwavering topical focus can very often have less of an impact than another blog that is less consistent on all fronts.
It’s funny because on the one hand ZombieLaw has an “unwavering topical focus” but because of the diverse usage of “zombie” this blog covers an very extensive array of topics. I ignore most of the news about movies and television and video games except when they seem significant for the culture. Still, there seem no end of the legal and political topics that this word connects to, for example: real estate, criminal, medications, social security, banking, hacking, protests, corporations, politics, economics and belief-systems generally.
This site would surely benefit from a social media designer and brand consultant. ZombieLaw suffers from a variety of brand problems, many of which were intentional choices to evoke a “zombie” blog aesthetic; zombie eschew individuality. But, as I reach this 1000th post it occurs to me that individuality is unavoidable. Existence precedes the essence but essence reifies through existence.
The internet is a giant language game but it is also content driven. See Digital Journal: “Op-Ed: How good content can improve your company’s brand” by Elizabeth Brown
Content should never read as if written by zombie grotesques trapped in an office cubicle.
Consider this recent report from Popular Science: “Associated Press Will Use Robots to Write Articles” by Francie Diep. Doesn’t robot journalism sound a bit “zombie grotesques”? Recall the word “grotesque” from “Winesburg, Ohio” (AmLit Zombies), to refer to anyone who focuses their life on a single truth; it becomes a falsehood.
Recall “zombie lies“, a favorite phrase of NYTimes columnist and CUNY Professor Paul Krugman. And last Friday, Bill Maher ranted about “Zombie Lies” on his show “Real Time” (see video clip from HBO via MediaIte: “Maher: GOP, Fox Refuse to Stop Telling ‘Zombie Lies’ About Obama” by Josh Feldman). Who knows what’s real anymore; it’s popular so it’s real?
See also Slate: “The Real Difference Between Robots and Human Journalists Isn’t Writing Ability” by Will Oremus:
it still takes a human to situate those sorts of insights in the context of broader trends, current controversies, and ongoing narratives.
Recently I have been tweeting more “zombie” quotes than I have time to write blog entries. So if you are not following the @LawZombie twitter feed you are missing a considerable portion of my current zombie hunting efforts. I do try to blog what I feel is important but I can’t keep up with the sheer volume of interesting “zombie” references and so tweeting quotes is better than nothing … right? Sometimes I wish I had an algorithm that could tweet the quotes for me, but I do still exercise a fair degree of choice when I decide which quotes seem worthy of tweeting. I am not exactly sure how I decide which stories I am most motivated to write about.
Also, if I could make a zombie portrait for every writer who uses the word I would, but there is nowhere near enough time for that. I never imagined zombie portraits would become such an important part of this blog, but many people seem to really enjoy them. I have compiled most of the ZombieLaw zombie portraits on a Pinterest page.
Some people find this form of satire art to be offensive trolling. There is a fine line between critical commentary and useless speech, as we have seen recently with the zombie Obama Presidential Library float at the July 4th parade in Nebraska. I haven’t had time to write a blog about that incident yet, but I plan to because offensive symbols and free expression are important zombie themes (and racism).
Federal Judge Richard G. Kopf is also from Nebraska. He writes the blog Hercules and the Umpire and has come under fire for his blogging. At Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy: “A judge who should heed his own advice” by Jonathan Adler, quotes UC Irvine’s Rick Hasen:
Look, blogging is not for everyone, and I respectfully suggest that Judge Kopf either stop blogging or retire from the bench.
Thankfully Judge Kopf has not succumb to his critics and his thoughts continue to see light of internet. He posted a response entitled: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” (with footnote about the uncertain attribution of that quote to Plato) in which the Judge notes:
A federal district judge from another district encouraged me to “keep it up” but “tone it down.”
I hate that expression because tone refers to color and anyone telling you to change your tone is effectively telling you to change your color. This offends me as an artist but also strikes me as akin to racism. The tone of my communication is my cultural legacy. A toned down zombie just looks tired, sick or drugged. Federal judges should not fear a fuller expression of their personal tone; that is the reason we give them lifetime tenure, we want them to feel free to speak freely, all the better that we understand their rationale so that we can lobby our legislatures to write laws that they will understand. Judge Kopf’s rationale:
The implicit assumption of the thoughtful lawyer who wrote me is that mystery and mythology are better for the legal profession and the judiciary than transparency, particularly when the transparency revealed is raw.
Hercules is myth, zombies are myth, robots are myth, law is myth, and yet they are all real. Their realities beg for expression and the fact that they are myth is best served by not hiding that fact. Law professors play “hide the ball” for pedagogic purpose, judges shouldn’t. Judges should be honest.
But see “Essay: Hide the Ball” by Pierre Schlag:
for those who are engaged in “doing law,” it is important to maintain at least the appearance of confidence and conviction, the trappings of belief.
once the facade is dropped, the bewildering array of possible legal meanings can prompt an interesting question: Just what are these authoritative legal sources that can serve as hosts to such a wide assortment of conflicting legal meanings? Just what are they?
And that is precisely it, we should want to know just who are these federal judges. So as long as we are talking about Federal Judges and robots, let’s shout out to Judge Evan J. Wallach of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit who is also an expert in the law of autonomous machines for war and 21st century chivalry. War machines (nano-drones?) that will be programmed so that they cannot possibly commit war crimes; robo-cops that will only injure their targets and then transfomers-convert-themselves into medical transportation for the prisoners. Plus with real-time reporting so the Associated Press robot journalists can immediately push out the
propaganda official facts.
Official fact: This blog has reached 1000 posts.
Or maybe I should just quit blogging now and apply for a job at “Six Flags: Calling all zombies!,” Brett Bodner explains the Six Flags amusement park is hiring 200 actors to portray zombies for this year’s upcoming Fright Fest.
Better yet, you could all buy a Zombie Law casebook? In honor of this 1000th post I have reduced the price substantially (price drop from $66.00 to $39.99 – price drop already visible on the CreateSpace page, should update at Amazon soon). It’s a big book full of real U.S. case law of the word “zombie”, organized by theme.
There are also still Zombie-Brain USB Flash Drives available. Again to honor this 1000th post I’ve dropped the price (was 19.99 now 13.99). It’s summer in the city and zombie needs some spending cash… keep me warm at night, support this ZombieLaw art , buy a book! (and retweet!)
it’s been a roller coaster —
THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED READING!
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