First, let me apologize for being remiss in updating this blog. There are a number of very significant political “zombies” from the past few weeks and I will write about those soon. If you are reading the @Lawzombie Twitter feed then you are already up to date on those but I do owe those politicians some zombie portraits.
However, today I would like to take a moment to comment on last night’s GOP debate, and first about a commercial that aired repeatedly during it; the trailer for the upcoming Ron Howard movie “In the Heart of the Sea“. This movie is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick published in 2000. It is about the real-life story of a whaling voyage that was also the basis for Herman Melville’s 1851 classic “Moby Dick“.
Now there are many versions of this trailer online but the version that aired repeatedly last night during the GOP debates on FoxBusiness was a version of the final trailer cut to a 30-second spot, which asks:
“Monsters are they real?”
This tagline made me laugh for lots of reasons. First, zombies are they real? Second, what’s real? Is this the real story of Moby Dick? Was Moby Dick real? Was it a pun on all the real dicks on stage last night? Is the irony that even this real-life story is not really, real, or is the irony that Moby Dick really was real and we killed them all.
Are the real zombies those with Cotard’s syndrome, or parasite-infected insects, or hacked computer botnets? OR are the real zombies the fiction, the George Romero characters and those from “Walking Dead”? When fiction has the power to shape reality, what is real? Is global warming real? Is the war on Christmas real? Is reality real?
Who are the real presidential candidates? The frontrunners both have “real” in their twitter names, does that make them real? Let’s look closer at last night’s debate transcript:
Governor Kasich: “as the governor of Ohio I have to deal with real challenges”
Governor Kasich: “the real jobs come in the downstream, not in the upstream, but in the downstream.”
Governor Bush: “That’s not how the real world works.”
Governor Bush: “My worry is that the real economy has been hurt by the vast overreach of the Obama administration.”
Does that word mean what they think it means? Is it anything more than reinforcing their subjective confidence?
Also maybe we should note “real estate”:
Senator Cruz: “we had loose money, we had an asset bubble, it drove up the price of real estate”
Fiorina: “Government created the problem of a real estate boom.”
What is real estate? What is property? Would there be any property rights at all without the Hobbesian “Leviathan” of government to enforce those supposed rights?
Senator Paul: “I want a government really, really small, so small you can barely see it. “
So would it really be there at all? How could there be any property rights at all without a strong government to protect them? Which leads to the debate between Senators Paul and Rubio about whether it is conservative to add a trillion dollars to military spending.
Trump: “I want to do something really special. I want to make our country greater than it’s ever been.”
Great like Moby Dick? Big and massive and real! Real like Jesus? Because whether the book is historical or fictional doesn’t matter, it’s the story that matters. Recall there is a leviathan in the Bible too.
However, in the tale of the whaleship Essex, in “In the Heart of the Sea”, the ship wrecks in South America, and the surviving crew may have resorted to cannibalism. Because after all, this really is a zombie blog.