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Cinderella’s choices are made for corporate profit and political manipulation

July 14, 2015

AP: “See ya, Cinderella. Lily James is now a zombie slayer

The fairy-tale princess and zombie-killer have more in common than it might seem, James said.

“Both of them are so strong and independent and fierce,” she said. “And to get to play women like that is just so wonderful because it doesn’t always happen and they don’t always exist in film

Lily James from zombie Downton Abbey was at ComicCon to promote her upcoming movie is Zombie Pride and Prejudice. And if we inverse her colors she’s not only ready for the role of Z-Girl, she’s also making a pun on the “white-blue dress” meme (which I still believe was created as viral propaganda to promote the Cinderella movie release):

zombie cinderella lily james blue white gold black

All of this is part of an effort to revitalize the Disney princess as feminist heroine. See ET:”Is ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ the Feminist Zombie Movie We’ve Been Dreaming Of?” by John Boone. And recall ZombieLaw:”At midnight, Cinderella becomes a sexy zombie” discussing the trademark dispute over the product “Zombie Cinderella” because Disney insists it own all things Cinderella.

If Cinderella hires a divorce lawyer, can she keep her blue dress? See “An Open Letter to Cinderella: How to Divorce Prince Charming And Keep Some Money“, James J. Sexton is a NY divorce lawyer who has been writing funny letters to Disney Princesses on his law office blog and now a HuffPost column. He’s already written open letters to many of Disney’s Princesses: Jasmine, Ariel, and Snow.

Meanwhile, in politics, Jared Polis reminds us to focus on “The zombies of our political system

A corporation is no more a person than a zombie is. Corporations don’t have hopes and dreams. They don’t have free will, compassion, or a conscience. They can’t vote, they aren’t citizens, their hearts don’t beat, and they will never fall in love. They are financial entities formed by shareholders for the sole mission of pursuing profit; in fact their directors have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the company only pursues profits.

Corporations serve an important economic purpose, but they aren’t people.

Corporations… ya know, like Disney. More from Rep. Polis:

The Democracy for All Amendment is a proposed amendment to the Constitution that simply states that the government may distinguish between natural persons and corporations for the purposes of campaign finance laws, and that the government may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money in our election system.

YES. And not only about elections. The media is constantly filling our minds with loads of commercial crap and it’s not clear what is promoting what. Yes, politics are tainted with election money, but so is all our discourse. All of our stories are loaded with commercial speech framing our every thought. And some of us are seeing it in different colors.

Consider the new movie “Inside Out”, a Disney-Pixar production. Alva Noë has written an extensive review at NPR: “The Awkward Synthesis That Is ‘Inside Out’“:

I’m surprised that Docter and the brilliant creators at Pixar don’t seem to appreciate that that there is something downright terrifying about this nihilistic conception of ourselves as zombie puppets living in a confabulated universe.

See also “You Have to Be Conscious to Deny Consciousness, and Other Conundrums“:

Would you have a rational discussion with a zombie? Materialists are forced into the position of discussing philosophy and science with the walking dead, since under their terms we are all that. Unless rationality is a mindful concept — unless we are more than atoms in motion — that’s the logical result of denying mind and intelligence.

Some people worry about Dennett‘s dangerous ideas and Drezner’s concerns about apocalyptic thinking. More recently at Vice: “Why You Really Should Be Afraid of the Zombie Apocalypse” by Brian Merchant. I myself worry about movies that present the homunculus fallacy. Why teach kids that there are little people inside their heads? It’s fun to think it, and there is something that instinctively feels right about it as a way of explaining our own reasoning system particularly when indecisive and when we are torn between our emotions. The NYTimes Sunday Review says “Empathy Is Actually a Choice” (but is choice a choice?).

The classic cartoon imagery of the shoulder angel, derived directly from Marlowe’s Faust with the argument of the good and bad angel. See also, “Donald’s Better Self” (1938):

We’ve moved with Nietzsche well beyond good and evil and have expanded even beyond Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, but we’re still making Faustian bargains. And despite what the corporations want us to believe, there are not little people in our heads. There is no board of directors inside our heads deciding our consciousness.

The human body is a fundamentally different kind of corporation. Still an assembly of parts but not with this kind of intent. Our bodies cells are producing our experience of consciousness in response to stimuli. The experience of consciousness is an illusion produced by our bodies, and while it may feel like there are little people in our head, there are not. The people are outside our heads, they are around us, our family, friends and neighbors. Little people in your head may be a useful story for certain purposes, maybe to teach some self-control and some basic decision-making skills. Maybe to help them become better docile consumers?

Intent is a social construct. We assign it to ourselves as means of responsibility for our actions. There are not other little people pulling the strings. With corporations there are. Maybe they want us to think we are just like corporations so that we see that corporations are people too?

See also Dennett’s recent talk on responsible agency: “Is Free Will an Illusion? What Can Cognitive Science Tell Us?

And as Variety magazine’s Peter Debruge wrote of “Inside Out”:

A stunningly original concept that will not only delight and entertain the companys massive worldwide audience, but also promises to forever change the way people think about the way people think.

Change the way we think? Really?

Bill Bonner wants to know why we don’t honor Sam Walton with a statue? (remember ugly zombie statue of Lucille Ball?), Bonner has recently written: “Why Hillary Won’t Win the White House“:

Just look around Washington — or any major city for that matter. Do you find statues of Henry Ford? Where is the marble bust of Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin? Where is the pile honouring Sam Walton? Instead, you find plenty of granite spent to honour scallywags and scoundrels — Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR, to name just a few.

Zombies, you’ll recall, are people and institutions that live at the expense of others.

Are the modern American heroes the efficiency makers? Systematize labor, medicate the population, undercut prices, wipe-out small towns?

And of China and Greece:

These two troubles — one in Europe, the other in Asia — have a similar theme. They are skirmishes in what history may come to see as the Zombie Wars.

Breitbart too, wonders if it’s a zombie war: “Are We at the Beginning of a New Cyber War, Sparked by Greece?:

DDOS… the attacks, rudimentary as they are, could easily bring down U.S. corporates and government infrastructure which have struggled to keep up with the millions of computers attached to Chinese botnets (networks of ‘zombie’ computers) which are linked to the attacks.

Now that the Greece situation is cooling with more bailouts, will we remember the scare of market crashes in China and NYSE and United Airlines all on the same day? Urgently the DHS and White House Press took the news channels to tell us that it was not a “nefarious” or “malicious” actor. So what was it? A zombie?

In his next column (because I’ve been slow to blog), Bonner writes, “Don’t Feed the Debt Zombies“:

The hidden story — and the real story — is that these are all clashes, battles, and skirmishes in the Great Zombie War.… the way the news media tells the story you’d think the politicians were protecting workers from greedy employers. But it really just helps the zombie politicians keep the masses in line.

So, in conclusion, I’ve mentioned both Rep. Jared Polis and Bill Bonner many times in this ZombieLaw blog, and yet somehow they’ve never had a proper zombie portrait, so here’s to the Cinderella Men, be fierce, get that money out of politics (by returning to the gold standard? -hey, that’s not gold, it’s black!?):

zombie rep jared poliszombie bill bonner draus

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