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Zombie pride. It’s not 2012 anymore.

June 26, 2016

What do you call a zombie that stops writing? Answer: a zombie.

A fascinating part of the fast-slow zombies debate might be whether they are the same creature; sometimes fast and sometimes slow or different sub-species. Time is relative to context.

Regrets and apologies to prior fans of this blawg. We had a good run 2012-2015. The tricklings of recent posts cannot hope to supplant a lack of exuberant overproduction characteristic in earlier years. Still, for continuing zombie law references, the Twitter feed: @LawZombie remains, semi-active, as a sort of zombie politics clipping service. There have been some highly interesting moments over the year and I do hope to one day comment on them.

The commentary previously provided by this blog has shifted attention away, but this project is not dead. Today for Pride NYC recall some terrible writing: ZombieLaw: “Zombie Pride” written four years ago in 2012, in which I wrote about lions (because they organize in “prides” and eat their prey like zombies) and about Alan Turing (a gay man who won the war for the British allies by inventing modern computers, read as: zombie algorithms.).

Why did I make a zombie portrait of Turing? I thought I only made those for people with “zombie” quotes, but that was an early post so apparently I hadn’t invented that rule yet. Oh, zombies and their zombie rules, but everyone forgets that rules are meant to be broken. Without rules, clear boundaries, it is impossible to think outside of them, outside the box. Rules presume their own violation. Contracts presume the possibility of breach and even with well drafted categories, the dichotomies are false; there will always be violations of the categorization schema. There will always be rule violators! The question is always, how should we treat violators.

The seeds of pride were hard fought battles. Fetishes, strangeness, queer hobbies and bloody consumption. Embrace desire. Give no fucks to the moral establishment. The hard lesson of pride’s history, the struggle continues precisely because the establishment continues. Even a reformed establishment is establishment. Order presumes another status of disorder.

History is non-linear. A joke may seem played out until it hits a new audience. Ideas at the margins and fringes of networks may take a long time, or many iterations in varied contexts, and the patterns of integration are uniquely irregular. But, when ideas fit, they takeover network spaces such that they may later appear to have been inevitable. Failures are not necessarily good reason to stop, but reason to try again.

Take pride in what you do and keep doing it. People will tell you that repetition expecting different results is a hallmark of insanity. They are (consciously or unconsciously) part of the establishment and if they can stop you from trying then their status quo is preserved. Things do change but not quickly, and then sometimes very quickly. Unfortunately, some heads get beat in every movement and that head might be yours.

It took a lot of people coming out and taking pride in who they are, and not being afraid to keep repeating their message, to accomplish what’s happened so far. Repetition is an essential myth. We are never really repeating anything. Every time the actor takes the stage it is a wholly new performance. Even a digital repetition encounters a new audience and takes new meaning.

Charles Pierce of Esquire has been calling Paul Ryan a “zombie-eyed granny starver” for a long time. I’ve tweeted the exact same quote from many (many!) of his articles (see this tweet search: lawzombie granny zombie esqpolitics). I thought the joke was getting rather old, and yet this week, Joy-Ann Reid retweeted it (regarding the gun control sit-in) and LawZombie got more retweets than maybe ever. I had seen it this joke for 4 years, but most people were just seeing it for the first time, and it resonated this week despite seemingly nothing to do with granny-starving now.

To conclude this post about pride and language that mentioned Alan Turing and Charles Pierce, I must note the other Charles Pierce, philosopher, “father of pragmatism”, whose middle name was Sanders (seriously, no joke! Sanders!), from Wikipedia, Charles Sanders Pierce (1839-1914), with an example of his “syllogism to illustrate the unreliability of traditional forms of logic”:

All Men are equal in their political rights.
Negroes are Men.
Therefore, negroes are equal in political rights to whites.

I’m not sure computers will ever grok that joke, but if you can, then you should realize it’s no joke. Pride 2016! Because it’s not 2012 anymore. That we continue to zombie toward fuller equality while retaining pride in our individual uniqueness – a paradox of liberty and the rules required to frame the box of order while thinking outside of it, that the fast and the slow are both zombies and that equality is not one law for the lion and the ox, it’s the wizard giving all the friends of Dorothy literally nothing, except all the feels.

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From → 2016, free expression

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