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Opinion: The Zombies of Arlington

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Last year the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a document called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.” Not even Mitt Romney would slash funding for such a life-or-death program. The agency’s director, Rear Admiral Dr. Ali S. Khan, said, “You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this.”

The Department of Homeland Security recently warned that “The zombies are coming!” Not even Paul Ryan would cut the budget for such a playful department. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted a seminar to alert the public about impending attacks by ravenous zombies, which is more oomph than they put into prepping for Katrina.

In San Diego, a new presidential candidate crawled into the race, going by the name of A. Zombie, along with his running mate, Noah Pulse, with the platform of getting Dish TV to pick-up AMC in order to bring The Walking Dead — a show about grisly mutilation, raw carnage, remorseless death and graphic cannibalism — into everybody’s living room. Candidate Zombie will lose the race since, unlike Obama and Romney, he’s not bankrolled by ‘zombie banks’ – those mausoleums of what Marx called, “dead labor, that vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” There is lots of killer sucking going on between labor and capital.

Zombie mania has infested the country. Fans of the undead organize ‘zombie walks’ where mobs of devotees adorn themselves with gruesome makeup and lurch through city streets, and yet you can’t get two people together to protest drone warfare. Entrepreneurs are trying to build a zombie theme park called ‘Z World’ in Detroit’s rotting neighborhoods where patrons would be chased by zombies through decayed infrastructure in attempt to bring Motor City’s tool-and-die economy back from the grave.

Recently the putrescent flesh-eaters chewed their way into academia. At Columbia College Chicago, students are achieving enlightenment thanks to a course called ‘Zombies in Popular Media.’ Students at Michigan State can become intellectually empowered and aesthetically inspired by a course in zombie-onslaught survival. Georgia Tech, University of Baltimore, Texas Tech and Rice University all offer courses on the living dead that probably draw larger audiences than a course on Jane Austen, unless that course requires a reading of the recently-published “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

It goes without saying that the brain-munchers have utterly ravaged the movie industry. A short list of titles proves that Tocqueville was dead wrong in claiming that America lacks artistic refinement; titles like Zombie Strippers, Zombies of Mass Destruction, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Ninjas vs. Zombies, Santa Claus vs. The Zombies, Death Metal Zombies, Attack of the Vegan Zombies, Redneck Zombies, Zombie A-Hole and other such Oscar nominees.

There’s a subcategory of zombie flicks called “Underwater Nazi Zombie Movies;” so many movies about aquatic Nazi zombies that an entire subcategory was needed. In Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary,” zombie pets return from the grave more foamy and mangy than ever. (Imagine if Stephen King’s Cujo was buried there.) The possibilities are endless, and the public’s rabid hunger for ‘gorno’ is insatiable.

Given the sheer scale of the zombie industry, along with America’s nationwide necrophilia, and the government’s proclivity for using the ‘zombie apocalypse’ motif in its programs, Washington could provide a stimulus to resurrect our dead economy by making zombie movies, much like how the New Deal’s Federal Writer’s Project funded the arts. Congress could spur employment by casting the nation’s poor people— or as Obama calls them, “folks who are striving to get into the middle class” — as extras, thus transforming the “useless eaters,” as Kissinger would call them, into useful eaters of brains.

Since zombie films tend to add a splash of superficial political commentary to their schlocky plots, they could start with a thriller called “The Zombies of Arlington.”

Arlington National Cemetery has over 400,000 bodies buried within its gates, which gives it tremendous zombie potential. Many of the interred died in unnecessary wars that were sold to a trusting citizenry by lying officials. Suppose dead soldiers rose from their graves to eat those liars. After all, political revenge is a better motive for explaining why zombies are suddenly scuffling around and jonesing for brains than the usual throw-away explanations, such as a viral outbreak, an unseen contagion, or the more scientifically plausible explanation, Hell got too full.

Section 60 of Arlington contains burial grounds reserved for those who died in the Iraq War – a war based on a conspiracy of skullduggery from a cabal of top officials. One could envision a horde of dead soldiers bursting from the ground and eating their way up the chain of command, devouring John Negroponte, George Tenet, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney and Bush, despite his meager stash of brains. Zombies could storm the halls of Capitol Hill, eating their way through long lines of oil lobbyists until they arrive at the doors of senators and representatives who voted for the Iraq War, and then eat them too, ripping flesh and flinging body parts on both sides of the aisle.

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