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Zombies on Parade

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What's with all the zombies?

There was the horrific recent tale of the Miami face-chewer's assault on a homeless man, of course, the attacker high on a line of mind-whacking, over-the-counter drugs nicknamed "bath salts," the packet sporting a label proclaiming "Cloud 9," despite inducing the zombie-like behavior.

It's like a bad Saturday Night Live spoof:  Zombie Salts -- for stupes who think methamphetamine use and production isn't quite poisonous, vicious, or destructive enough for users, innocent bystanders, the country and countryside, or for the people who get to clean up in their wake -- from hazmat crews to social services and medical workers!

There should be a matching update in horrific public service announcements, one to follow this new trend.  Instead of cracking that egg into a hot frying pan, perhaps one might catch the attention of zombie-users by showing a human brain being microwaved on high, blowing the door right off the oven.  Mind-blowing, right? Nah.  It'd probably only make this crud look too attractive.  Maybe a brain pierced, lanced, turning on a metal spit, over an open, blazing fire, perhaps periodically bathed in acid (the etching and disintegrating sort, not lysergic)...

You've probably seen the extended-series of booking photos taken of repeat meth offenders. The images bracket time, showing the life force being scraped and yanked from their bodies -- good thing we can't see their brains.  Users appear zombie-like, as if they've had the marrow sucked from inside all their bones as their bodily shells collapse.  It is shocking and stunning, even in our own jaded and over-exposed time.

Some actions simply beggar belief, even in our unfocused, distracted, and decliningly sad empire. Take the Missouri woman arrested at a Walmart recently:  she'd shoplifted some needed recipe ingredients, then proceeded to make meth right then and there, in a meth lab inside her purse, right inside the store.  The store had to be evacuated, and for something more than just the usual, Wet clean-up on Aisle Four.

That one has to be right up there -- or maybe down there -- with the two Miami dolts who took advantage of their city's still-fresh-in-mind jitters about that face-chewer's attack: Wearing an apparently bloodied shirt, one would sneak up and attack a person from behind while the other one filmed the panicked victims bolting away -- what the moronic duo dubbed "pranks."

Not to be outdone in bad taste and screwball behavior, a Nebraska company is milking the zombie parade and fevers, and its customers, for all they are worth, selling real ammunition labeled as being just for the undead:  Zombie Max rounds, all shapes and sizes.

(Go ahead, pinch yourself.  Yes, I know -- but it's still 2012, and here we are, it's all real, however surreal.)

The Centers for Disease Control had to get involved recently, to help stem the roaring tides of internet-rumor-hyper-mongering of a zombie apocalypse, probably spurred by a gruesome spike in real, worldwide news reports of cannibalism and ghastly crimes of many revolting natures.  The CDC actually felt the need to assure the public in statements that it knew of no virus or condition that would reanimate the dead.

While you hang or shake your head and laugh at the need for such an announcement, fans of ironic outcomes will appreciate and savor a salient fact:  The CDC itself had earlier issued promotional materials on surviving a -- wait for it -- zombie attack.

The CDC said those had only been tongue-in-cheek attempts, not at addressing cannibalism or zombies, but at luring in and tuning up new audiences for emergency preparedness messages, as a dry run for real emergencies.

This is getting far afield from the bits of lighthearted, feather-light, innocent fun and fluff first offered in zombie films, such as Bela Lugosi in 1932's "White Zombie," or 1941's "King of the Zombies."  George Romero came along and reanimated the zombie franchise with 1968's jolting, "Night of the Living Dead."   As intense as this iconic movie still is for many, it is now fairly weak stuff, given the inevitable advances in make-up, prosthetic appliances, special film effects, and more, along with the increasing willingness and fervor to drench eager audiences in blood and gore.

Protesters -- even Occupy -- get into the zombie parade, attracting attention and making their points with as much shock and awe as can be mustered.  At Christmas, for example, zombies lampoon and satirize the mindless consumption they see proliferating and spawning at the Yuletide season.

For a long while, voodoo and zombies have been rich feeding grounds, vast, enriching shoals of American entertainment:  movies, television shows, plays, video games, books, comics, rock bands, cereals, candies, and you-name-it, all of it in a mindful, major league of money-making all its very own.

Zombies are big business, so that means they're here to stay - endorsed, by implication, even by President Reagan, famously (or infamously) associated with the trickle-down his voodoo economics promised and never delivered, leaving us all to ask, "Now who's the zombie?"

Still, the scariest, most hair-raising, fearful thing in the world?  The most horrific, horrid, ghastly, and instinctively-repellent construct possible -- worse, even, than pandemics and plagues?

That would be Zombie Banks, of course -- these towering, teetering and tottering shells and husks, emptied of their contents and ballast by years of unbridled, unregulated greed and lust for riches, emptied by casino looting, customer coring, and CEO bleed-off and skimming.

Following the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 -- a key defensive mechanism put in place after the Great Depression to protect consumers and wall off wild speculation from routine banking -- Zombie Banks again became reanimated, transforming themselves back into the undead which scour, sour, and scar all living souls.

Zombie Banks hunger for fresh brains to reanimate new bailouts -- they demand fresh infusions of taxpayer cash, their prized sweetbreads, the sweetest lifeblood they know:  Profits and capitalism on the way up to benefit a few, and taxpayer-padded cushions and socialism on the way down at the expense of us all.

In a monumental "fail" for our society, these monstrous Zombie Banks are allowed to remain reanimated and unchained in our midst, too big to fail, never arrested, never chemically-sprayed in the face for expressing an opinion, never strip-searched, never having to make bail.  Just free to eat and gouge and gorge at The All-You-Can-Strangle Buffet.

They simply infect us all and wait for the collapse to occur, be it individual or nation, clawing mindlessly at every aspect of the Mandatory Participation Monetary System -- where no one escapes the rakings and wrath, where everyone is grabbed, flayed, and poleaxed at every point along the conveyor belt line, where no one ever gets out alive...

Just becomes one with the undead, too.

There are many gruesome details in news reports. To help aid your food retention and digestion, we've labeled the info links below:

Rated G:

Rated PG-13:

Rated "R" at least, one might hope:


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