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ZombieLaw studies zombies in law, politics and current events.

My failed “zombie” cognitive research, Part 1: imitating the classics

Hello ZombieLaw readers. Thank you for your readership. This post (and possibly the next few posts) is going to be quite a bit different. I have been working on various “zombie” research for years and failing so much. It’s finally time for me to quit on a portion of these efforts but I wanted to share the results with you all.

It’s been a very long road and some of the studies I tried are sort of interesting, but at this point none of them are particularly worth my time to continue. I’m not sure what that means for the future of this blog but the blog is a very different part of this project, and can still continue. However, in a larger sense it’s all sort of related so it will be interesting to see how my art develops.

None of this work I am going to report now has ever sparked the interest of my academic advisors. I’m done. I’m tired and burnt out. It’s not entirely the school’s fault, I was a difficult student, frequently bit the hand that fed me, my writing is disjointed and sometimes incomprehensible, I never liked formal academic style and clearly I still don’t get it. It’s ok. I think I’ll be happier without these zombies. But as I close off this time, let’s look back at some of my doomed efforts.

First, one of my early “zombie” cognition projects, I tried looking at the serial position effect. This is a classic of human memory that causes people to better remember words in the beginning and end of a list. Words in the middle of a list are more likely to be forgotten.

The word “zombie” seems a sticky word, and so I thought maybe it is more memorable than it should be. I put “zombie” in the middle of a list of words and the participants recall the words they remembered immediately at the end. I would need to do a lot more study to say for certain what is happening. Might need to try the word in other positions on the list and also test against other word options. In this study, the other words were selected from a database of word frequency in modern language but it’s possible that “zombie” had already become more frequent since the creation of that word frequency database. And also something is maybe going on with the word “reindeer” too. And some other irregularities. I tried a few iterations and these results happened:

After that study failed to spark my so-called advisor’s interest I moved next to exploring if there was something about the syllables themselves that made this word “zombie” special. I tried replicating the classic Bouba-Kiki experiments and replacing one of the words with “zombie” syllables. These results seemed to show that zombie could be perceived as either the round-shape or the pointy-shape depending on the contrast comparisons. Compared to Bouba or Kiki, “zombie” swings to the other.

In that table it says “right” and “left” but it means the first word of the comparison in the row heading. Notice a good repetition of the classic results for with Kiki being the sharp character and Bouba the rounded. The other versions show some of the effects of changing the -ie ending on zombie. Recall previous ZombieLaw posts made tangential reference to Bouba-Kiki research and possible syllable-effects: see “zombie linguistics scrabble dictionary” and “Noam Chomsky zombies! and why!“.

Who cares about shapes and word sounds? Not my so-called advisor. Round and sharp might be zombie false dichotomy and the effects are not clearly because of ambiguities in the sound-shape meaning (i.e. zom = rounded ; bie = sharp). Also zombie is a more familiar word than Bouba or Kiki. Who knows what it means? So I moved on…

I started asking people about their belief in zombies. Just a regular survey. I collected a bunch of participants on this survey via Amazon’s MTurk (which is how the previous studies were conducted too) and it seemed to show that the participants were more likely to think other people could be zombies if they also think they themselves might be a zombie. Duh? Too obvious, right? And the percentages of both were small so it’s not much of a finding.

There also seemed to be an age effect for affinity to zombies (based on likelihood of clicking an article with “zombie” in the headline title) but not a big difference in the ages. The average age of those with high zombie affinity was around 30 compared to about age 35 for those with lower affinities, but both groups with standard deviations larger than that difference. So again, not much of a finding. Also, that zombie-affinity variable (based on selecting headlines) also related to the question about whether other people might be zombies. Again this finding is somewhat obvious in that participants who prefer “zombie” headlines are also more inclined to be unsure about whether other people might be zombies. This doesn’t imply any actual effect of having these beliefs. Obviously an interest in zombies might increase the likelihood of considering the possibility that other people are zombies. It doesn’t mean these participants are processing any information differently. So again, not cognitive enough.

I did think I found a gender effect in the first sample of this survey that I collected. It was a somewhat large sample for cognitive research with over 100 participants, but unfortunately, these gender effects failed to reappear in the subsequent sample. Damn you, Type 1 error (or perhaps some unknown sampling bias – sometimes MTurk is an amazing service to collect survey opinions, but then sometimes the samples are so wildly different for no apparent reason. Anyway, none of my replicated effects were of particular interest to my so-called advisor, and so I moved on again…

Eventually, I hit upon a study idea that would become my Master’s thesis… unfortunately, not the doctorate I had hoped. Oh well, sorry Mom… but that’s a story for future posts… stay tuned… nom nom….

Hardcover edition – “Zombie in the Federal Courts” – limited availability

The book “Zombie in the Federal Courts” was created for Kickstarter. It was a limited publishing run and there are only about two dozen extra copies of the hardbound edition.

zombie in the federal courts

Softcover copies have been readily available via Amazon and Createspace for a while, along with other book collections of some fun words in the law.

valentines day in the federal courtslabrador retriver federal courts and more…

Also great for stocking-stuffers, the limited edition zombie-brain USB, and also ZombieLaw Cafepress merchandise. Nom nom. Please buy my shit, it’s “craptastic”. Nom nom…

zombie brain usb keychain

secret cabal of pop tarts – my visit to SVA

So tonight I went to that panel at SVA:”“Zombie Formalism” and Other Recent Speculations in Abstraction“:

Moderated by artist and SVA faculty member Amy Wilson (BFA 1995 Fine Arts). Panelists include curator and art advisor for Levin Art Group Todd Levin, painter and art critic Walter Robinson and artist, writer and curator Ryan Steadman.

It was a really entertaining and informative panel. There was a lot of name dropping of artists I have never heard of but the overall themes of “zombie formalism” seem highly relevant to this blog, my art, and the culture of this country. Here are some of my notes and incorporated thoughts.

Undisputed, the zombie virus is money. The art world is not about art movements only market movements. Draining the possibility of myth, the terror of sublime.

It is the “triumph of shit”, “craptastic” collections of crap. Examining our own crap (recall zombie poop) – consider it a potential measure of health, but also obsession with any production from the self (see narcissism and selfies).

The zombies are the “exemplary sufferers” but it’s comedy. First time tragedy, second time farce? This is the continuing postmodern condition. Nothing original anymore, what was called pluralism in the 80s, art drained of political influence.

Hauntology – haunted by the past, evoking Derrida’s specters of Marx, with zombie formalism it appears as if the means of production are embedded in the product. The author vanishes. Retromania, super-hybrids, Process oriented – response to a market flooded with jingoist propaganda.

Greenberg to save culture.
Against interpretation” is nearly 50 years ago.

People want to hang their art in their home and still invite civilized guests.

Instagram censors anything a 13 years can’t see. This very much disturbs Todd Levin who thinks this is creating a filtered conception of modern art that turns everything into pop tart style or banned. Yet most people seem unaware that our communication platforms are not benign to content. Levin got banned from Instagram for posting esteemed art that looks awfully like child porn.

The new MoMa exhibit today “Forever Now” but how can we ever be out of our time? Except we are always out of our time when there is more than illusory content, when the author had an intent and made the object in the past for a communicative purpose, that communication had a time and good art travels to the future to pull the spectator back. In this way culture is asynchronously together. Yet it’s still possible to do color field abstractions and stand outside of time, to convey to the audience only the vapid magnificence in itself.

While the panel was going on, a new post at SFChronicle: “Mural veteran Andrew Schoultz’s paintings add layer to history” by Kimberly Chun, an artist’s response to zombie formalism?

That’s why they call it ‘zombie formalism’ — it’s devoid of content,” says Schoultz,

Back at the conference, Ryan Steadman thinks young people are used to the “crowded marketplace”, and it’s just attempts to market in a crowded space. He thinks young people better understand that world population is exponentially growing and expect lines for the bathroom. For Steadman it’s not a “secret cabal” creating zombie ideas, it’s people banging up against the same ideas across local and international influence. But consider recent Reuters data analysis of the Supreme Court: “The Echo Chamber: Elite Group Of Lawyers Receive Unprecedented Advantage At Supreme Court” suggesting there are 66 lawyers that seem to have cabal-like influence over the high Court. Is it legitimate help, or an insulating filter? In a crowded space is there any middle ground between oligarchy and a tragedy of the commons?

An audience member asked if it is possible to be a young abstract artist and not fall into this category of zombie formalism? Is it just denigration of the young?

Another audience member says market formalism is indicative of “I can’t breathe” political culture and an absence of a focus on “living”.

A female audience member wonders about overwhelming male power structure. Response: nothing sells like the female body.

Zombie formalism negates the artist’s subjective experience, and will therefore wash away minority voices (the erasure of voice is the erasure of minority voice? consider zombie anonymous) but Robinson responds: “turn it up”. He actually said that the entire world of female artists is about playing to male cliches so:

“Gal up.”
Get to work. Get a day job.
Or would you put a plastic bag over head rather than get a day job?
1% with a target on your back.
Who told all these artists they could make a living at their art anyway?

Moderator Amy Wilson thinks we are all screwed. She wonders if zombie formalism is cynical or optimistic naivete? I wonder if that’s not sometimes the same perspective.

Maybe we are finally coming to terms with the fact that the avant-garde is just one more niche and maybe not even the most advanced? I mean, duh.

It’s like the trailer for this coming season of HBO’s “Girls”. David Mamet’s daughter says:

I don’t understand why nobody tells you how bad it’s going to be in the real world.

And Brian William’s daughter (aka Peter Pan) says:

Yeah they do, it’s pretty much all they every ever tell you.

We need a new metaphysics to resolve this aporia.

Walter Robinson likes sex. An unanswered audience shoutout wonders if he pays for that too. Top dollar if it’s not zombie formalistic? More intriguingly, his aesthetic desires have shifted toward what he cannot have; he said he used to paint girls, now he paints cheeseburgers.

He didn’t say why he gave up cheeseburgers, but perhaps it’s the plight of the vegan zombie, cannot haz cheeseburger, it’s zombie flesh and curdled torture. Recall Professor Drezner‘s “Girls” as a metaphor for international politics, and consider that we live in an age of extremely skewed and filtered speech. Robinson thinks “Homeland” made him want to bomb Pakistan.

It’s not just instagram terms of service. The standards of the 13 year old pop tarts have kept our national discourse at the level of a middle school dance (all the blues on one side of the gym, all the reds on the other, nobody knowing how to talk to the other side). Levin seems to really believe that so goes Instagram so goes the art world. Personally I prefer the horny 14 year olds of Imgur, but his point is strong. We need a public society that can comfortably explore the realities of 4chan. It’s not about liking it, it’s about giving fringe ideas a space to flourish.

All the world is a crap circus and we are but flies on the wall, consuming a feast.

And see more ZombieLaw tag: Art

zombie formalism sva

More zombie art! George Pfau!!!

Artist George Pfau is a zombie expressionist. Here is his expressions from a talk he gave this past summer at BAASICS.5: Monsters based on his thesis from California College of Arts in San Francisco.

This blog has referred to George Pfau on many previous occasions. He is perhaps my only fan. He’s taken me to lunch, he’s shown my book people, getting me some press with him and his zombie efforts continue to impress. He is a rising star in the young zombie scholarly art community.

I particularly like this talk. His pacing keeps the tone academicly serious, aided also by the black backdrop and his excellent oil painting pedestaled to his left. The talk hits most of the major points of modern zombie memes as they were last summer, and also displays some of his drawings. I’ve seen some of these before on his website and yet, particularly the very simple one of dotted body outlines, became much more profound by this explanation about bodies and their edge surfaces.

Early on he mentions “grotesque” (recall previously about grotesque in American Literature, particularly Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”). Note also Pfau’s mention of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and of zombie dancing, and how that added synchronicity to the zombies (also a sort of synthesized digital lockstep?). Notice his reference to the blurring between groups and individuals which he links to the difference between losing a body part and dying. This is the difference of us and them, of parts and whole.

Where is the whole? Is there a hole in the whole? Consider Zombie French Theory. And more recently, the French philosopher of science Bruno Latour has argued we need a re-conceptualization of the meaning of wholes. Our language is faulty. We see ourselves as separate from our environment. But such cleavages are artificial, socially constructed.

Artificial cleavage? Consider the new comedy from Above Average: “Ghost Tits“?. Identities always includes the word “tities”; zombie tits? Yes, and astronaut fish and other weird animals, see last year’s “Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals” by Becky Crew, which is now more readily available under the newer title “Zombie Birds, Astronaut Fish, and Other Weird Animals“. Because “tits” was an unacceptable word? Is that because it’s a derogatory word for the female breast or because that particular body part is culturally taboo?

How did we get here? Oh yea, cleavages, and identities, and because I was thinking about bodies and differences and French. Oh the French and their artisanal tongues, wait did I just write “anal tongues”… oh, this isn’t getting better… sorry George, I didn’t mean to turn your talk obscene. Though, recall another young zombie scholar Dr. Bradley Voytek, Ph.D. recently referenced obscenities law to explain the neuroscience of consciousness.

The word “zombie” is itself questionably obscene, against the moral standards for bodily display – that Victorian urge to demand that insides be kept inside. But the style of independent gorefest movies traditionally overlaps with the sexploitation genre, and “prurient interests” are arousal of bodily desires, perhaps not necessarily obviously sexual because sublimated into something else. While we’re still being French, let’s think also of Deleuze‘s “body without organs”, that we are desire-making machines, and the plateaus can go on forever. We can discard the Lacanian name of the Father and become our own Artaud – yes, toads. Ancient voodoo toads. Lick the toad. Lick it. Become “my own grandpa!“, leap like Nijinski.

This is what it means to be young zombie. A parade of references, disjointed category spaces, art expressed through academia, academia expressed through art, homonyms and verisimilitudes, surface structures, a multiplicity of voices, Bahktinian novels with too many authors, with turtles all the way down, singing “Too many cooks” by Adult Swim’s Casper Kelly.

Recall prior attribution to Zombie Millennials but this label has been misplaced (as most zombie false dichotomy category labels are). It’s too easy to assume abstract generational differences when everything is all repetition through oddly connected social networks and time moves at different paces. Zombie ideas flow in a bricolage of memes, faster and faster, some impossible to kill only because they keep reappearing so fast, others insidiously slow but impossible to disprove.

At times it can seem as all our identities are, is but a type of bodily resistance. Eventually the bubbles go pop but the ideas are bulletproof. Viva la resistance. Viva young zombie. Like young money (recall Nicki Minaj be chillin with a zombie and more recently been chillin at SNL where WWZ zombie survivalist Max Brooks got himself fired), the young zombie is part of the old zombie, still talking about the question of the real zombie, because we can’t break free from the slavery of the mind, and the oppression of the minority.

Same as it ever was, cause hey cuz, it never was. Nothing but a dream moment in a Bergsonian ‘duration’. But a Hegelian “nothing”, so ya know, that’s some thing. And the Titan with one blinded eye screamed, “the nothing is eating my brain” but it was actually James Joyce’s Ulysses (as translated by zombie Marcel Proust).

What is zombie formalism?

A google search for “formalism” tells me it is a noun defined as:

1. excessive adherence to prescribed forms.

2. a description of something in formal mathematical or logical terms.

It refers to art, literature, math, philosophy and law, and there are Wikipedia pages about each of those. Legal formalism is defined by Wikipedia as:

Legal formalism is a legal positivist view in philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While Jeremy Bentham’s legal positivism can be seen as appertaining to the legislature, legal formalism appertains to the Judge; that is, formalism does not (as positivism does) suggest that the substantive justice of a law is irrelevant, but rather, that in a democracy, that is a question for the legislature to address, not the Judge.

And maybe that would be ideal, if our legislatures weren’t so terribly deadlocked.

We need judges to step out from the formal logic and be human, nay be Hercules. Recall the blog by Federal Judge Richard Kopf, “Hercules and the Umpire“. The umpire is a formalist, but the law also needs heroes.

Consider the recent case of Riley v. California in which the Supreme Court found a Constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches of smart phone data. In that case the legislature of California passed a bill to do the same thing, but Governor Jerry Brown refused to sign it because:

“Courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizures protections.”

From 2011, EFF: “Governor Brown Vetoes Warrant Protection for Cell Phones” by Trevor Timm. Law professor Orin Kerr is quoted for his disagreement. But this is the political climate of our times, and if the political process will not adequately protect us, then we need judges who will. Like the modern artists, we seem to have forgotten that law is not merely formalized abstraction, it’s people.

Meanwhile in terms of art, at Wikipedia:

In art history, formalism is the study of art by analyzing and comparing form and style—the way objects are made and their purely visual aspects. In painting formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape, texture, and other perceptual aspects rather than iconography or the historical and social context. At its extreme, formalism in art history posits that everything necessary to comprehending a work of art is contained within the work of art.

Tonight at the School of Visual Arts: ““Zombie Formalism” and Other Recent Speculations in Abstraction

A panel discussion addressing the newest iterations of non-objective art and the trends that have emerged in abstraction as well as the numerous stylistic changes abstraction has gone through since Kandinsky first practiced it over a century ago. Panelists also discuss the recent resurgence of interest in abstract art for both young artists and art collectors. Moderated by artist and SVA faculty member Amy Wilson (BFA 1995 Fine Arts). Panelists include curator and art advisor for Levin Art Group Todd Levin, painter and art critic Walter Robinson and artist, writer and curator Ryan Steadman. Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies.

See also Wikipedia on Abstraction (art). In the visual arts:

it refers to art unconcerned with the literal depiction of things from the visible world—it can, however, refer to an object or image which has been distilled from the real world, or indeed, another work of art.

Recall Walter Robinson and the art term “Zombie Formalism” from the prior ZombieLaw post: “Zombie Art World: surrealism, realism, formalism, conceptualism, ART!” and see more ZombieLaw: Art

zombie walter robinson

See also SFAQ: “Who’s Afraid of the New Abstraction?“, Alex Bacon in conversation with Jarrett Earnest, described by Painter’s Table as:

Alex Bacon and Jarrett Earnest discuss current trends in abstract painting, and the labels “crapstraction” and “zombie formalism.”

And more recently ArtNet: “Have Art Fairs Destroyed Art? Zombie Abstraction and Dumb Painting Ruled in Miami” by Christian Viveros-Fauné:

the latest iteration of Art Basel in Miami Beach … featured lots of shiny surfaces, stacks of joke paintings, and enough zombie abstraction to inspire several remakes of World War Z.

Consider also in connection to robots and employment automation. In Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Automation could be the real zombie invasion” by Jacob Greber, linking to his article in Financial Review: ““Up to 500,000 jobs threatened by rise of robots, artificial intelligence: report“. And see Telegraph: “Parents will wave off children to school in driverless cars, says minister” by Georgia Graham, suggesting we could replace school bus drivers with robots but that hacking could be the “key barrier”:

Ms Perry said there were legitimate concerns in Government that the cars could be hacked by cyber criminals, but that people should think of driverless cars as “assisted technology” not “zombie robot taxis”.

Remember when Mitt Romney insulted school bus drivers too? Wouldn’t thank them for helping the kids get A’s, because they are just zombie taxi drivers, right? Because driving the school bus route isn’t an art, it’s just automaticity?

But, no! Even if the system is formalist, it’s still people! But of course, what’s a person. Consider again, the case of Tommy the chimpanzee, for whom the Nonhuman Rights group is trying to secure personhood and get out of a slave cage. Formally, not a person, but there has to be more to it. We can be legal formalists and say Tommy is not a person because the law has never done that before or we can realize that there is a larger purpose to law, not a Natural Law from a higher power, but a natural law from the natural purpose of law. Law can be more than formal and we need judges who believe.

Modern conceptions of law are increasingly formalist. The prevailing idea that the formalism keeps the system stable, keep markets orderly flow. And I suspect it’s similar for the art world. Consider quotes from a 1988 Yale law review article, “Formalism” by Frederick Schauer, cited by the Wikipedia on legal formalism, noting a “contemporary aversion to formalism”, and intending to “rescue formalism from conceptual banishment”. That was over 25 years ago, it seems maybe we’ve gone too far, missing some of the spirit.

zombie brain usb keychain

Finally, if you are interested in some of my own art, which I do think is somewhat of a formalist abstraction, see the collection of ZombieLaw zombie portraits. Then please consider buying a book or ZombieLaw Cafepress merchandise and also consider my non-zombie Cafepress merchandise too. After all Zombie Christmas is coming.

And don’t forget zombie-brain USB – because formalism vs. realism is sort of similar to debates about mind-body phenomenology (is meaning in the structure of the texts, or in the reader? not to mention any intent of a so-called author). But remember, using USB drives from strangers can be dangerous, zombie cyber hackers are everywhere (taking advantage of computers formalism to do what wasn’t intended).

49ers zombie football

Mercury News: “The 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh era is over: After losing to the Raiders, everything’s just an epilogue… and an end-game” by Tim Kawakami:

That was not the real Jim Harbaugh out there on the 49ers sideline on Sunday and those were the shadow 49ers alongside him.

These were the diminished zombie versions–drained out, desiccated down and crumbled into pieces.

The column is syndicated by many news sites, note particularly at Detroit News running with the headline: “49ers are zombies, Jim Harbaugh is dead in San Francisco

See also SFgate: “Fittingly, offensive ineptitude all but extinguishes 49ers’ playoff hopes” by Eric Branch:

That became painfully evident after the 49ers’ season-long weak spot – their offense – continued its zombie act against a defense that was one week removed from being humiliated in a 52-0 loss to quarterback Shaun Hill, running back Tre Mason and the rest of the Rams.

And for this holiday season from the, resin zombies figurines:

This picture of Jim Harbaugh is also hosted by Mercury News:

Here’s zombie portraits of these two sports journalists who saw value in this word, you’ve been zombified:

kawakami zombie 49ers
zombie 49ers eric branch

See more from ZombieLaw tags: Football or Sports

***UPDATE: Late addition to this post, Bloomberg just posted: “NFL Television Ratings Rise 3% as Zombies Go on Midseason Break” by Erik Matuszewski:

Even with the zombie competition, the NFL has thrived on Sunday nights.

The past four weeks, the Monday night NFL game on ESPN was eclipsed by “The Walking Dead” for the biggest cable network audience of the week. With zombies not returning until the week after the Feb. 1 Super Bowl, that streak probably ends this week …

spoiler city – peter pan twitterverse christmas

Last Sunday (not yesterday, the week before), AMC faced backlash when it tweeted about it’s own show, “The Walking Dead”. Now a week later, so I think it’s safe to tweet about it? I don’t know, but Beth is dead and AMC told it’s fans on Twitter before the show even aired in California. Some viewers were upset (but don’t they know that tweeting their upset only further propagated the information and so they themselves then became the tweeter that spoiled for their friends). What a dumb world we live in.

See tweet from @WalkingDead_AMC:

#RIPBeth #TheWalkingDead

And response from @brianna256 simply “FUCK YOU”

See also Media Post: “When Fictional TV Characters Die, Fans Shed Real Tears” by Adam Buckman:

Spoiler alert: Beth Greene was not a real person.

But characters ARE real! Just like the zombies are real. If they weren’t real what is it we be talking about? Fictional existence is real. It doesn’t even have to exist in reality to be real. Real is a feeling.

Now it’s still possible to keep an entertainment secret (unless like Sony you get hacked) but once it airs in New York is it possible to keep it from the viewers in California? Should it be? I want something like AEREO so we can stop pretending that we aren’t all living in the same airwaves, part of the same cloud. Alas, SCOTUS killed that dream and Congress is too deadlocked to set up any new mandatory licensing schemes, so we have to wait. In the meantime, the media still wants to control information in both time and space.

Maybe this whole RIPBeth stunt was really an accident or maybe it was a media ploy to point out the absurdity? Twitter is often used to stir up controversy and it’s often impossible to tell which are paid marketing accounts. Clearly, AMC has a vested interest in spoiling the show for viewers who don’t watch live because they want to encourage live viewership; appointment television gets the ratings so that advertisers will pay. Still, they want the west coast viewers too, so this problem is not going away.

Consider also the Twitter response to “Peter Pan”, see Washington Post: “‘Peter Pan Live!’ flies clear of Twitter’s crocodile jaws” by Hank Stuever:

was far more entertaining and certainly more endurable than its zombie predecessor, last year’s “The Sound of Music Live!”

The early reviews were positive in part because Twitter didn’t get as much hate-watchers as they expected. Of course, Twitter was a little busy Thursday night with the mass protests. Is it coincidence that Brian Williams controls the news division and the news of no indictments created protests just in time to shadow his daughter’s weak musical? And why was it weak? Well, because despite being a great story, it’s never been a great musical. Also, the casting: nepotism and old farts. That was a political message.

This production was brought to us by Walmart featuring the actress from the Teenage Witch (and her real husband), so that we don’t even think that maybe the actor from “Blackish” is her husband? In the other version of the ad they seem together, but this version made sure we were clear about her family (laten racism but it’s her “real” husband so it’s not racism, right? it’s just real, right?) But the one token black Lost Boy is barely blackish.

Peter Pan’s costume was colored exactly like a nug of weed, because that’s what they were smoking when they created that acid trip Neverland with trees made of wedding bouquets (is that why Peter is always forgetting stuff? – flying?).
allison williams peter pan marijuana weed colors costume

See also the Inquisitr: “NBC’s ‘Peter Pan Live!’ Not So Magical?“:

The Twitterverse was anticipating a complete flop for “Peter Pan Live!” after last year’s zombie-like production of NBC’s “The Sound of Music.”

Weirdest episode of HBO‘s “Girls“, ever. And did Captain Hook get that watch in the war (see “Pulp Fiction”)? Did he have to bring it back tucked up in his ass and that’s why he’s pissed that Peter fed it to the crock?

This musical was as political a subtext as last year’s “Sound of Music”. Last year, it was Tea Party vampire Bill fleeing from the imposition of federal power. It was totally a message about Affordable Care Act. They had to join the church so that Von Trapp didn’t have to pay his employees health insurance as required by the federal power. This year it’s girls run off with girls who want to be boys to go fight old men who can’t barely stand up. It’s about silly childish unreality and delusions of youth. Captain Hook’s evil is obscured by Walken’s performance and Pan is maybe the villain?

Investor Place: “Surprise! WMT Is No Longer a Zombie” by James Brumley about the stock price of Walmart Stores Inc. (main sponsor of “Peter Pan”). Of course, this is really all about selling stuff. Imported stuff. Cheap stuff. Warehouses full of it. After all, it’s zombie Christmas.

Aleteia: “Why Write Christmas Carols in the Zombie Era?” by Joseph Bottum:

I’ve been writing Christmas songs over the past few years, and maybe for much the same reason that AMC fills the airwaves with its zombie-apocalypse television show “The Walking Dead”

If meaning comes only from us — if meaning arrives only via the human outlook on the world — then there is nothing meaningful in itself.

Throw in a few zombies, however, and you’ve got a world, for screenwriters and viewers, that thrums with all the deep meaning of the apocalypse and the end of days.

I find the mad festival of Christmas an answer of joyous unselfconsciousness

And see CraveOnline: “No, Seriously… ‘Die Hard’ is a Real Christmas Movie“:

“Vampire movies” can have vampire heroes or villains. “Zombie movies” simply have zombies in them, don’t they? “Christmas movies” can simply include Christmas as a prominent backdrop.

True that. Like zombies (and Beth), Christmas is real, whether we believe in it or not. And “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie! Is it also a zombie movie because he just won’t die?

Share your Christmas with Syracuse: “Send us photos of your crazy holiday lights, decorations” By Katrina Tulloch:

your blow-up sleigh, zombie Santa balloon and fake snow might be cool

And in NJ: “Zombie Santa invades Smithville; you’d better watch out!” by Peter Genovese:

Zombies seem to be everywhere these days

We are talking, of course, about Zombie Santa.

Mike Spagnola, co-owner of The Underground in Historic Smithville and Mr. Zombie Santa himself.

Meanwhile, AMC confirms “Preacher TV pilot ordered by AMC” by Zaharia Bogdan — ooh I’m excited for those characters to become real for more people. That story is F’ing crazy, but let’s not spoil it yet. Honestly I’m sort of more interested to know which musical NBC will try next year, has anyone hacked that information yet? C’mon spoiler city, spoil something good.

Or maybe you are too busy debating whether the chokehold is real? Or if this police state is real? Twitter present a new opportunity for the world to come together and debate our political structures, get organized and motivate like minds. Maybe Peter Pan was the moment we stop hate watching and get out in the streets. Let’s hope the next musical teaches us to vote. We could tell your legislators to create licensing for internet television and we can go back to hate-watching the same shows at the same time.


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