Zombie Creep

I think I’ve sufficiently covered why I don’t like U.S. pop culture zombies.

1. They’re the same thing as vampires.

2. They’re the same thing as vampires.

3. Reanimated corpse that is going to bite you and turn you into something just like it? They’re the same thing as vampires.

4. They live off of the bodyparts of the living. Same thing as vampires.

5. They usually have much worse PR than vampires.

6. But now they’re totally stealing vampires’ glory!

Get this bullshit: Did zombies roam medieval Ireland? No they did not. Do you know why they did not? Because as true as it was that vampires didn’t exist until the 1500s, I’m willing to bet there were approximately zero Africans in Ireland in the 8th century. No Africans? No fucking zombies. And U.S. pop culture zombies? Pretty much came into existence with Night of the Living Dead or hell, maybe Frankenstein. But no earlier.

Because before Dracula, the scary undead things that stumbled around trying to eat you were fucking vampires. And before that, they were called other things. But not zombies.

Those men in Ireland? Some kind of revenants sure. Precursors to the vampires which would become the precursors to our vampires and zombies.

But certainly not zombies themselves.

Edited to add: I am looking at these Amish mug shots to calm myself down.

Odds & Ends

1. A great story about Gillian Welch.

2. I wrote about the book industry and music industry needing to pay more attention to each other’s problems for Pith. I now wish secretly that I were in charge of Google Music. I’d be sitting around rubbing my hands together being all “Upload your Metallica bootlegs, boys, and your homemade MP3s of all your Dot Records.” It’s probably the saddest thing about my life–that I am not a super villain.

It’s Embarrassing That We’re Still Studying Gulf War Syndrome This Way

Don’t get me wrong, I would have no problems with ongoing studies of what causes Gulf War Syndrome if we had been providing medical and psychological support for the folks who suffer from it all along. Then it’d be a matter of “Oh, man, we thought it was caused by x, but we need to run some more studies to see if it might be caused by y.” You know, responsibly refining our approach to treatment based on an ever-increasing knowledge pool.

But it’s been twenty years of claiming that people who suffer from Gulf War Syndrome are liars or con artists or delusional or attributing pre-existing conditions to their military service. Twenty years, people. It’s a non-partisan asshole issue. And it’s embarrassing. We ask people to risk their lives for our country and then, when their lives have demonstrably been risked, we call them liars.

I’m glad that people are still trying to figure out what causes Gulf War Syndrome and I am unsurprised that yet another study points to some kind of chemical agent–possibly sarin gas. But figuring out what’s going on in spite of years of calling folks crazy instead of figuring out what’s going on while trying to help sufferers is like the D- of supporting our troops. It’s not quite failing, but it sucks.