Rounding out Media Zombie Apocalypse Week were a Staten Island man who reportedly bit off part of an opponent’s ear during a pizza-shop dispute, a San Diegan who’s accused of biting off the tip of his cousin’s nose during a drunken argument, and an Iranian living in Sweden who allegedly sliced off and ate his wife’s lips due to her suspected infidelity.

OK, now I’m perspiring. That is quite a lot of cannibalism for one week.

It’s so much cannibalism, in fact, that a Centers for Disease Control spokesman felt compelled to email the Huffington Post and reassure the terrified American media-zombie public that the “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”

Whew! Glad that’s settled!

Yet in what is either some ill-advised attempt to address the Retarded American Populace in a way that they’d understand or a highly disturbing psy-ops attempt to induce mass panic, the CDC issued a comic book a year ago titled Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic as a “fun new way of teaching the importance of emergency preparedness.” Reassuring a jittery public, CDC Director Dr. Ali Khan writes, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.”

Suddenly I’m not feeling quite so reassured.

Cannibalism is often associated with individual psychotics such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert Fish, and Ed Gein, but it can become widespread during times of famine and social breakdown. It was reported in Jamestown during the early American colonial period, in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, in the Ukraine during the Soviets’ Holodomor, and in rural China during Mao’s Great Leap Forward.

But the idea of the flesh-eating undead roaming and pillaging the planet has permeated cultural lore throughout history and around the world, going all the way back to the Epic of Gilgamesh:

I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,
and will let the dead go up to eat the living!
And the dead will outnumber the living!

If there was indeed a Great Flood, perhaps we all still share some dim genetic memory of how hairy things got out “on the streets” back then. Combine that dim genetic memory with a few flesh-eating news stories and a largely brainless public, and you have a dangerous recipe for Mass Retarded Panic.

I suspect that most people”€”far more than are willing to admit it”€”sense that our civilization may be breaking down and that a brutally bloody resurgent atavism is only a whisper away. But what’s truly terrifying to me is that I suspect most people don’t get this queasy feeling due to any understanding of historical cycles or global finance, but from multiple viewings of zombie movies. And in the unlikely event that literal zombies were ever to materialize, I think they’ll be disappointed to discover that their victims have no brains left to eat.

 



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