Saturday, October 13, 2012

Zombies Are Totally Real You Guys! The Internet Said So!

Everybody loves zombies, and I’m no exception. This Sunday, the third season of The Walking Dead begins on AMC, and I’m telling you, there had better be a lot more zombie action this season cause if I have to sit through another dozen episodes of “oh god why did I bang that creep repeatedly” and “WHAT ABOUT PRESERVING OUR HUMANITY?!?” and “I’m pissed off that the only guy with leadership experience is our leader,” then I’m going to be writing them some very stern letters. Everyone knows we don’t watch zombie fiction for the gripping interpersonal drama. Nor can I be the only one who wants to see little Carl get freakin’ eaten, already, and I mean in the worst, most torn-apart-limb-from-limb kinda way.

The little brat deserves it.

If the comment section of this article can be believed, there are actually lots of people out there who really believe that honest-to-goodness, reanimated corpse, flesh-eating zombies really exist, and that the government has been hiding their existence, and that a devastating zombie apocalypse is just around the corner. Take a look at some of these:

if you look up 1970 in florida there were boats full of zombies from cuba being dumped off florida a few hundred i think made it to the shores 57 people were biten 22 died ,, i think the a coast guard ship was over taken and the fzva agency had to go out there and clean up the ship and sink several other boats full of cuba zombies that was in 1970 , thanks castro they ran out of vombie vaccine during the embargo and they wouldnt accept help from the usa but they gave us fresh biten cuban for spite i guess thanks castro i guess that virus is common there in cuba ,i have my doubts it wasnt helped along ,
you know bio-warfare is a practicing college war games and little guinea pigs commoner get to play victim.
big mad scientist play roulette with peoples lives,

Not understanding the U.S. embargo of Cuba fail, and failure to recognize a parody website fail.

And, of course, the standard illiteracy fail.

Another comment reads:

             I just have to say that if zombies are not real then where does it come from??? 
Have a good think about it.
(More to think about)
If people can restart the hart after death then what’s to stop people from reprogramming  
the brain.

Hart. HART. Restart the HART.

Hart! ~ Bill Ebbesen

Another guy says,

I really thing it could happen just look at the madcow thing ppl eat the meat from a cow with mad cow they get all fucked up in the head . And just thing add up it’s going to happen and outbrake of infected ppl and ppl that eat ppl turn in to zOmbies after years of eat meat from ppl. It’s real and going to happen soon

And then some guy lets us know that his buddy’s uncle, who works at NASA, has assured him that “zombies are one of the top predators that can cause trouble on apocalyptic scale for man kind.” It goes on in this manner through four years’ worth of comments. I didn’t read them all. But hey, did you know Hitler used zombies in his takeover of Europe?

That casts the Blitz in a whole new light.

I guess that’s what happens when you’re foolish enough to Google “zombie outbreak” – you spend the next hour reading poorly written comment after poorly written comment about how zombies are real because they just make sense. Because it’s like mad cow, and we have to stop eating each other before it’s too late.
In all fairness, I’m pretty sure none of these commentators were Haitian or members of the Voodoo faith.  They’re just random idiots who can’t spell and who believe everything they read.

Legends of undead creatures coming back from the grave are pretty common all around the world. The Norse tradition gives us draugr, the animated bodies of the dead, who are super strong, capable of hulking out whenever they want, and smell of death. In Europe in the Middle Ages, people believed in revenants, evildoers who return from the dead and may or may not be vampires. The Chinese believe in jiang shi, the hopping zombie (or vampire).

Hopping could only improve these zombies.

Irish skeletons dating back to the 8th century were found interred with rocks in their mouths, which scientists take as a sign that the people who buried them were concerned about the possibility of zombification. Bodies from the time of the Black Death have been found with stones in their mouths, perhaps because it was thought that blocking the mouth prevented the spread of disease. From the 1500s on, shoving a rock into the mouth of a corpse was considered an effective treatment for vampirism. However, these bodies – two men, one middle-aged and the other in his 20s – predate these practices. Archeologist Chris Read thinks that the mouth may have been considered a gateway for the soul, and that stuffing a rock in there was meant to keep the soul from returning to the body, or alternatively, to keep ghosties out.

Rock beats ghostie.

Legends of flesh-eating zombies pop up even in mankind’s earliest written records, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian poem that’s 3,800 years old.

Zombies, as we understand them, first appeared in the 1968 Romero classic Night of the Living Dead. Many people insist that Haitian Voodoo witch doctors, or bokors, are capable of turning a person into a “real zombie” by feeding them a drug that contains tetrodotoxin, the stuff in pufferfish, combined with a mix of datura and other dissociative drugs. The victim goes into a death-like coma, then wakes up to find himself in a trance-like state, and under the total control of the bokor. Ethnobotanist Wade Davis investigated this phenomenon, and claims these drugs were used to keep Haitian Clairvius Narcisse in state of subservience for two years.

Criticism of Davis’s research has been plentiful. Counterarguments include:

  • The pufferfish toxin is very, very potent and will kill the shit out of you like so fast; it’d be all too easy for a Voodoo sorcerer to accidentally kill the person he meant to zombify and enslave.
  • If pufferfish toxin doesn’t kill a person outright, it gives them brain damage. A person dosed with this poison would be really good at drooling, shitting himself, and falling down, maybe not so good at farming sugar.
  • I guess you have to keep dosing the person, too, because Narcisse was able to escape his undead destiny when he missed his medicine. The bokor controlling him came down with a bad case of dead, the drugs wore off, and Narcisse was suddenly his old self once again (and not brain-damaged at all, it would appear).
  • It would be more expensive to feed, house and clothe “zombie” workers than it would to hire regular workers for, pardon the pun, slave wages.
  • No one has ever seen a crew of “zombies” working on a sugar plantation.

Not pictured: zombies.