May 18, 2006

Community Service Announcement: How to spot a zombie

Honestly how fucking hard is it to tell if someone is a zombie or not?

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Eats human flesh unsatiably - zombie
Can't speak, generally just moans - zombie
Very Ugly - zombie
Merely a decapitated head - zombie
Won't die when shot in the chest - zombie, possibly vampire
Has swords/knives/other weapons stuck in its bodies with no attempt to remove it - zombie
Bitten by one - zombie by default

Anyone suspected of being zombie gets shot. Any real friend would do it for you, repay the favour.

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I've watched a spate of Zombie movies lately (everyone loves a zombie move) - Shaun of the Dead (2nd time), Resident Evil's 1 & 2, 28 Days, the new Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead, and Paycheck (oh sorry, just Ben Affleck's brainless talent confusing me there).

In the starting credits montage to Dawn of the Dead - we are given the idea that all these zombies were being put into hospital, in Biohazard 2 they were being taken to the police station. Both times they tended to be mistaken for drunks and crackheads (which isn't that big of a mistake I guess). Now unruly drunks might occasionally bite their law-enforcing oppressors - but carnivorey is another thing entirely. Recent events in Germany have reinforced that worldwide opinion, while maybe slightly weakening, is still against the whole thing of eating each other. In America people can get shot by the law for brandishing mobiles, swearing at the wrong cop, wearing a dress (if your a man), or being black -- our hope lies that taking meaty chunks out of officer Jones' arms has the same leniency applied to it.

Then there's the treatment of zombie victims. Everybody knows basic zombie rules.1. Kill them through the head. 2. If you are bit - you are one of them.
Even on the basis of modern epidemiology its generally a good idea to quarantine a person wounded by someone apparently infected by a weird psychotic disease of unexplained nature. Zombies can be caused by all sorts of phenomena (in theory) - aliens, radioactivity, voodoo, witchcraft, -- but most modern films accept its likely to follow a more medical path - if its infectious, it falls under the category of disease. Even as a fictitious nightmare fit only for fiction - the zombie model of infection should be taken serious by health officials, but somehow I doubt it.

While zombies might be unrealistic - an unstoppable highly infectious, highly mobile disease outbreak occurring is not. Neither is a rapidly progressing breakdown in civil disorder. Modern governments to deal with both of these problems should they arise. Many modern models of national crisis involve people being evacuated and aggregated to safe areas, or otherwise staying in homes. How do you increase the safety of those not in the guarded safe areas and keep them informed? How do you prevent the accidental importation of infected peoples to safe areas without increasing civil disorder? Nightmare scenarios should provide basis for sane social policy.

So kids, write to your local governmental offices and ask if your area has a decent plan of action set up should a zombie outbreak occur in your peaceful area of the woods. Don't let it become all too late.



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