Archive for August 29th, 2013

Poor Choices

Don’t miss Christopher Orlet’s succinct observations on the subject, which sum to the conclusion: “We know what it takes to be successful in America. What we can never know is how to make people want to be successful.”

(Kevin Williamson has complementary points to make, at another scale.)

August 29, 2013admin 10 Comments »
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Abstract Horror (Part 1a)

Zack

Zombies lower the tone, in innumerable ways. Socio-biological decay is their natural element, carrying life towards a zero-degree affectivity, without neutralizing a now-repulsive animation. They exist to be slaughtered — in retaliation — which in turn furthers their descent through the pulp-Darwinism of entertainment media, to the depths of senselessness where victory is all-but-assured. As the world comes apart into dynamic slime, popular horror is increasingly infested with zombies.

When envisaged as a military antagonist at the global scale, Max Brooks calls ‘them’ Zack (amongst other things). If ‘Charlie’ abbreviates ‘Victor Charlie’ as a casual jargon noun for the Viet Cong, how is ‘Zack’ derived? Brooks offers no specific answer. It seems at least plausible that ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ is the term that undergoes compression. In any case, ‘Zack’ is name with a future, providing a concise collective — or dense — noun for a monstrous syndrome that looms beyond the historical horizon.

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August 29, 2013admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror , Zombie

Quote notes (#23)

Zonbi Diaspora schematizes the ‘evolution’ of the zombie, noting that beyond its ‘Haitian Folkloric’ definition:

The next and ostensibly “revolutionary” stage occurs after the release of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) which introduced, in spectacular fashion, the Apocalyptic Cannibal zombie. This version of the figure is so radically different from its predecessors that it is more like a fundamental bifurcation point (or species-break) within the complex. No longer a remotely controlled agent-without-autonomy, like the Haitian Folkloric and Classical Cinematic zombies, the Apocalyptic Cannibal zombie gains a new and massively insurrectionary force (in representational terms at least). There are many differences between the AC zombie and its predecessors but one of the most important is that in this form it becomes an (almost) entirely fictional entity (i.e. there is no assumed ‘real’ zombie lurking in the basement of a mad mesmerist or labouring mindlessly for a bokor on some Haitian plantation). As such its social and political meanings become less a way of rehearsing conflicting world views, “uncanny” belief systems or inter-cultural epistemes than a way of representing the terminal ends of “humanity” (or the human being as species).

(By the time we reach Max Brooks, this phase and even its ‘Post-Millennial’ successor — in which the theme of contagion is accentuated — have been resiliently consolidated as cultural tradition.)

August 29, 2013admin 1 Comment »
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