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JamesSavik

Requiem: A preview

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Cats are immune to the virus that cause zombies.

They can sense a zombie from a mile away and will become agitated. Since the Rising, cats have become the must have pet. No telling how many survivors owe their lives to ferocious feline soldiers named Fluffy or Mr. Biscuits.

In fact, cats really hate zombies. It must be something about the way they smell.

Many cats will attack zombies and attempt to claw their eyes out.

One of the funniest damn things that you will ever see is a zombie with a pissed off cat on his head.

Cat are fast and agile. Zombies are slow and clumsy. It's a classic mismatch like a line-man with two broken legs trying to cover a wide-receiver.

If the zombie has advanced decay, a cat can take its head completely off.

angrycat.jpg < F-ing zombies piss me off.

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That cat is more than just pissed of at zombies, but also the world, and he looks like he's got the body mass to back up his irritation very effectively.

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I hope never to be mistaken for a zombie by a creature as pissed-off as that cat. Perhaps I should bathe more frequently in spite of our water shortage.

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< listen while reading

We heard the rumors and saw the weird stories on the Internet. To be perfectly honest we thought that it was the same sort of run of the mill insanity that had some people believing in aliens or outlandish conspiracy theories. We would have been caught completely by surprise just like everyone else if we had not had a break. The summer before the Great Panic, none of us had even heard of a zombie outside of a horror movie until one literally drove into town.

A pair of Vicksburg Police Officers were gassing up their cruiser at the Exxon just off of I-20 in Vicksburg when a man in a Volvo with Texas plates drove in and started filling up. The officers noticed that he was disheveled, nervous and looked like he hadn?t slept in days. As I-20 is often used by drug runners the first thing the cops thought was that he was using or running crystal meth. Then they heard the banging from inside the trunk.

The Vicksburg cops immediately took the man into custody. He told them that his wife was sick. She had been exposed to African Rabies and went nuts. He was taking her to a Emory University Hospital in Atlanta which was known for treating exotic tropical diseases.

It was the craziest story the cops had ever heard. All that they knew for sure was that they had a nut with his wife in the trunk. They threw him in the back of their cruiser and unlocked the trunk to rescue the damsel in distress.

One of them popped the trunk and the other crapped his pants. They took one look at the hog-tied zombie in the trunk of the car and called for backup. Turns out the woman had been a stewardess on an airliner traveling from Mexico City to the Dallas-Forth Worth airport. A Chinese national went nuts and they had to restrain him. She must have gotten bitten. It was one of the early outbreaks that the Feds were keeping quiet.

The paramedics treated her like a mental patient. They put her in an ambulance and took her and the husband to the emergency room at River Regions Medical Center. The staff there knew that there was something very wrong and sent them both to University Medical Center in Jackson.

riverregions.jpg

River Regions Medical Center, 2010

A convoy of police cars accompanied the ambulance to UMC in Jackson, a trip of about forty-five minutes. The doctors there were stunned. The patient?s vital signs were all flat-lines but her brain activity was all over the place. Worse still, the husband converted right there in front of their eyes. She had apparently bitten him when he was stuffing her in the trunk.

You have to understand- these were experienced professionals dealing with an unknown. They were able to handle the husband and wife without anyone getting bitten. Once they had two victims of the plague, the scientists went to work. It didn?t take them long to isolate the virus and put two and two together. They knew that what they were looking at was hell on earth.

This is where our story took a turn. Robbie Wilson, the Governor's oldest son was in his residency at UMC. He called his father, told him to drop what he was doing and get over to the hospital immediately.

UMC.jpg

University Medical Center, 2010.

Governor Wilson arrived at UMC in twenty minutes. He saw the two zombies and was filled in by the doctors. By this time the Chief of Epidemiology was on the case and painted a dire picture of how rapidly and exponentially such a virus could spread.

The Governor was still being briefed by UMC?s staff when the Feds came down like a hammer. They cited National Security and gave the Governor a spiel about national security and how this had to stay a secret or it would cause a panic. They made everyone sign a confidentiality agreement but Governor Wilson refused. He demanded to talk with someone higher on the food chain than ?that prick Harry Johnson?s goons? (Harold Johnson was the Director of the Justice Department at the time).

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Another exciting story from James' vision of the Apocalypse and its attendants.

Do you write down your nightmares James, or do you just daydream these scenarios?

No matter, Colin is right, we want more, please.

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the Zombie Apocalypse Metaphor

Do I think that a zombie apocalypse is inevitable or even likely?

No. There is no fact or corollary of fact that can make the animation of dead tissue a reality. Maybe some sociopathic genius/moron is cooking up a 28 Days Later style virus in a lab but animated zombies just aren't going to happen.

So what lessons can this genre teach us?

Modern humans have been on this planet for ~60,000 years. This is a mere fly spec in comparison to the earth's age of 4.5 billion years. We have not seen everything that our planet or the universe can throw at us. In fact we can only now begin to intelligently imagine what wild-cards the universe can drop on the table.

When we look at Zombie fiction, several major themes jump out at you.

  • There is no guarantee of survival
  • When the unexpected and the unexplained happen, expect people to react with confusion and panic
  • Just because you can't understand what is happening does not mean that it can't kill you
  • Civilization is a thin veneer that can be cracked as easily as turning off the electricity
  • If you hesitate or fail to act, a zombie will soon be eating your brains

In Max Brooks World War Z, the US government had the information for two full years and failed to act. This was because no one wanted to look stupid (those that did raise the alarm were transfered to Alaska) and the sitting President was afraid to lose the election. When things spiraled out of control, the election was the least of his worries.

Let's change the threat. Think of zombies as a metaphor for an exceptionally dangerous threat that we have never seen before. Perhaps it is a rogue artificial intelligence, a lethal virus or a comet nudged out of its trajectory by Jupiter's gravity: can we expect our leaders to recognize the threat and respond responsibly and effectively? That's not at all clear.

Look at the response the the Gulf Oil Spill. It has been a gold plated cluster f**k from the top down. We've got people citing environmental reasons for NOT blocking the oil from sensitive wetlands and causing an environmental catastrophe. Federal and state officials are locked in mortal combat over what to do and consequently nothing is being done. When Washington finally decided that there might be some political capital to be made by dumping on the oil companies, the president found out rather quickly that oil doesn't give a shit about presidential orders. All the kings horses and all the kings men can't cap that well.

In fact the federal response to the Gulf Oil Spill has been a lot like the Soviet response to the Chernobyl Disaster in 1986: first deny the problem, refuse foreign assistance and finally let the problem get completely out of hand. It is this very formula that could lead to severe consequences in the event of a disaster that challenges the imagination and makes politicians afraid to act.

I'm not expecting a Zombie Apocalypse anytime soon. What I do feel is inevitable that a global disaster or catastrophe that will threaten the survival of our civilization.

When we look at the geological record of our planet, we can see the record of comet impacts, super-volcanic eruptions, climate changes, mass extinctions and civilizations that just up and vanished.

It's not a question of IF, it's merely a question of WHEN.

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So true, James, so true. It is pretty obvious to me that we are barely better than cave people in our reactions to both others and natural occurrences. Sadly, we seem to be best at creating newer threats to our own existence than ever before. I suspect that, unlike in the past, at least some of us can see what we are doing (or not doing); but we can't change the course of things. I know that people will say that change begins with a single person making a single step, but that's a crock of hooey in that it doesn't matter how many single steps are taken by everyone on the planet, we aren't going to stop that well from gushing by that method, nor will we stop anything else. As long as we can't even stop screwing around and creating ever more people to add to the burden, and won't even try to reduce the increase in numbers, we are doomed to suffer our own demise at the 'hands' of our own loins.

There are lots of problems facing people around the world, but pretty much every darned one of them is due to our perpetual growth in numbers, and secondarily our demands. The latter though, is only a side-note, as we could reduce our demands to bare subsistence levels and still perish due to increases in our numbers. Instead of reviling same sex, humanity should be embracing it, as the only viable way to retain sexual pleasure whilst not destroying our own worldwide home.

Sorry. I guess my inner zombie got carried away there, derailing the discussion.

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Wonderful analysis, James.

And Trab's comments are well founded too.

Such intelligent remarks are most invigorating and welcome, to me anyway. :wink:

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Don't tell me poets aren't out ahead of the philosophers. This is from an April 20th 2009 posting on the Poet's Corner:

How Homosexuals Can Save Civilization

Perpetual rut: oh what a mixed blessing;

Once it begins, it grows without lessening!

It somehow controls us beyond understanding,

Thanks to its urging and constant demanding.

Originally intended to prolong our fine race,

It seems to have increased since we've fallen from grace.

Now we can barely remember our aim

To control our own destiny, once sex is our game.

When inserting Part A to another's Part B

Our pleasure takes over without referee,

And instead of tending to selective breeding

We become only intent on continual seeding.

Thus it behooves us, in saving the race

To identify B Parts that breed no disgrace.

Boy to boy bonding, girl to girl love

Will insure our redemption by heaven above.

And guarantee food enough, plus adequate space

So our descendants (more properly paced)

Will have room to grow and to find their true pair:

Though this time around breeders get the ten percent share.

-James Merkin

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Don't tell me poets aren't out ahead of the philosophers.

Sorry James, but poetry and philosophy are intricately, inextricably and infinitely, linked.

Every poet is a philosopher, and every poem contains a philosophy.

There is no competition between poetry and philosophy, none between poets and philosophers, only between philosophies, and poetic forms.

Poetry is the language of the philosopher, often concealed in prose, but poetic none the less. Everything from the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt to the latest pop, rap, song is a poem expressing a philosophy, an attitude of, for, or about life.

The moment you have uttered, even silently to yourself some idea, some philosophy, you will have sewn the seeds of a poem that will contain the fruit of that philosophical thinking.

That is why it is so important to realise that poetry is the expression of the artist who seeks the answers to life, some may call such a man a philosopher, others call him a poet, but he is in fact simply, an artist of life. There is no higher calling.

:wink:

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There are lots of problems facing people around the world, but pretty much every darned one of them is due to our perpetual growth in numbers, and secondarily our demands. The latter though, is only a side-note, as we could reduce our demands to bare subsistence levels and still perish due to increases in our numbers. Instead of reviling same sex, humanity should be embracing it, as the only viable way to retain sexual pleasure whilst not destroying our own worldwide home.

Sorry. I guess my inner zombie got carried away there, derailing the discussion.

Perhaps, as the world seems to have, and always had, a natural rhythm to it, this is why it seems that gays are in a period of ascension at the moment.

Nature provides for this, too. In times of hunger, times when food is in short supply for them, frogs change their sexuality, continue to breed, but produce less baby frogs (OK, tadpoles for you purists.)

Is that happening on a larger, or higher level, scale?

C

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I guess if we were frogs that might work out, but we are not. My understanding is that humans almost invariably produce MORE children in areas of greatest need (i.e. hunger) and fewer when things are 'good'. (I recognize that these additional children most often die.) This more closely matches plants, since they tend to bloom more when under stress, than when living a comfortable life.

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Perhaps, as the world seems to have, and always had, a natural rhythm to it, this is why it seems that gays are in a period of ascension at the moment.

Nature provides for this, too. In times of hunger, times when food is in short supply for them, frogs change their sexuality, continue to breed, but produce less baby frogs (OK, tadpoles for you purists.)

Is that happening on a larger, or higher level, scale?

C

A revealing, informative and disturbing look at the 'scale' or, if you will, the 'cycle of life,' including modern human civilisation, is shown in the film Collapse.

This film made by the director of Yes Men is basically an illustrated interview with investigative journalist, Michael Ruppert, but rather than try to review the movie, I encourage you to go see it for yourself, or at least look at the trailer

.

You will find many points about what is happening, discussed in this movie. I found myself remembering many of his predictions echoing those of local, then young, seers back in the 70s when it became clear that Love, Peace and Music were not enough while the worship of money was the determining influence in our Western cultures.

It's a tough if fascinating watch, but you will begin to see this man's vision and predictions reveal why Obama is somewhat helpless, why Western civilisation and by extension the human race, is facing Collapse.

You don't have to agree with Michael Ruppert, but you do owe it to yourself to be disturbed by his passion and insight.

Google:- Collapse Michael Ruppert - for more.

Oh, and he has an answer for those who claim he is just a conspiracy theorist: "I don't deal in conspiracy theory, I deal in conspiracy fact."

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I guess if we were frogs that might work out, but we are not. My understanding is that humans almost invariably produce MORE children in areas of greatest need (i.e. hunger) and fewer when things are 'good'. (I recognize that these additional children most often die.) This more closely matches plants, since they tend to bloom more when under stress, than when living a comfortable life.

China has one answer. They mandate only two kids per family.

It seems draconian to me, but then, if we're doomed if we don't do something about overpopulation, it becomes a pill easier to swallow.

C

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