Mass news reports last week of an impending “Zombie Apocalypse” proved that while the apocalypse may not have arrived quite yet, there are plenty of zombies waiting for it to happen.
Zombies, you see, eat human flesh, and though one need not be “undead” to be a cannibal, many of the glass-eyed living dead who devour zombie movies and zombie video games seem to assume that anyone who eats human flesh is a zombie. What might one call such dead-eyed husks of human beings? It would be inaccurate to label them the “walking dead”—they’re more like the “sitting dead.”
To be fair, last week’s news yielded a bumper crop of masticated human flesh:
Over Memorial Day Weekend, a Haitian man who’s being called the Miami Zombie was shot dead by police after refusing to cease and desist eating the face of his 65-year-old homeless victim. Police had arrived at the end of a nearly 20-minute public assault under bright Florida sunshine during which the perpetrator, Rudy Eugene, was able to gnaw away at an estimated three-quarters of Ronald Poppo’s face. (If you don’t want to see what that looks like, don’t say you haven’t been warned.) In what is easily the most unfortunate use of the verb “to face” in world history, one news report says that Poppo “faces months, if not years, of recovery.”
With zero evidence (blood tests reportedly will take weeks to process), Eugene’s attack was blamed on illicit ingestion of mind-altering bath salts. His girlfriend, who declined to be identified, speculates that he fell victim to a voodoo curse. “He was a good kid,” said his mother, begging to differ. “He was no zombie.”
An icy Canadian space fag named Luka Rocco Magnotta is now believed to be on the lam in Europe after allegedly murdering, dismembering, and eating his gay lover while filming it all and then posting it online. Magnotta had gained notoriety months ago for posting a video showing a python killing and consuming a kitten. “I’ll be back—and this time the victims won’t be animals,” Magnotta is suspected to have warned London’s Sun newspaper via email. “Once you kill, and taste blood, it’s impossible to stop.”
In Baltimore last week, 21-year-old Alexander Kinyua—out on bail from an earlier incident in May where he allegedly cracked someone in the skull with a baseball bat and blinded them in one eye—reportedly confessed to police that not only had he murdered his roommate, he also ate part of his victim’s brain and heart. Kinyua once hosted a podcast he called Warrior Syndicate Radio and posed in war paint for a promotional photo. His Facebook page contains a creepily prescient poll from May 17 where the most popular answer to his inquiry about the best “METHODS TO COUNTER THE DESTRUCTION…OF THE BLACK FAMILY” was “STOP EATING PEOPLE BRO.”
Although he technically didn’t eat any human flesh, a New Jersey man who looks almost exactly like comedian Dave Chappelle added an extra splash of gruesomeness after reportedly stabbing himself dozens of times and hurling scraps of his bloody intestines at a SWAT team that was trying to arrest him.
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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