Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Is Tautology

“If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.”

-- Jesus of Nazareth, Book of John 5:31-32

The term “zombie” conjures up a variety of notions, many of them rooted more in prejudice and in superstition than in reality. For example, the stereotype is that the zombie craves brains, but the fact is that almost all zombies will feed on flesh and entrails as well. It has been well documented that many zombies, even when brains are readily available, will choose to dine first on a limb or on one of the intestines. A small but significant minority of zombies even prefers to go straight for bone marrow. Indeed, it is this variation of preference among zombies that allows them to work together so harmoniously and successfully as they swarm in to feed on the kill. Famous, after all, for their stubbornly antisocial tendencies, zombies are creatures rarely given to cooperative teamwork, and feeding frenzies would be forever devolving into outright brawls were each individual zombie always jockeying for access to the brains.

Another commonly held belief is that zombies, while capable of rudimentary reasoning, are emotionally bereft, incapable of such typical human sentiments as those which they all presumably experienced regularly prior to zombification. However, while it is true that zombies’ emotional responses are often dulled by all the senseless killing, it is also true that feelings (e.g., angry, wretched sadness, a burning but vague longing for vengeance) have frequently been observed as motivating factors in zombie behavior (to wit, Day of the Dead, the third installment of Professor Romero’s groundbreaking series of essays in zombie studies).

The sociological and psychological baggage that zombification carries is heavy, to be sure. Moreover, the cultural garb that goes into such baggage derives from many influences, and a comprehensive examination of societal attitudes toward zombies is far too vast and ambitious a project to enter into at present. Suffice it to say that the question of zombie identity and consciousness has as many answers as there are subjects being questioned on the matter.

However, while “zombie”’s connotations may be nebulous and/or complex, its denotation is uncomplicated and can be readily expressed with precision and clarity. From a scientific standpoint, the definition of a zombie is quite simple: a zombie is a human being that has died and whose corpse has been re-animated and whose death and re-animation both are the results of catastrophic human folly (instances of zombie-precipitating poor judgment on humanity’s part commonly include fallout from nuclear explosions and/or germ-warfare experiments gone awry). Of course, spiritual and ethical considerations will inform any thorough understanding of the world and its phenomena, but Jesus -- as a subject seen dispassionately and objectively, through the lens of pure science -- falls squarely within the ambit of “zombie”’s definition. And, scripture notwithstanding, where I come from we don’t worship and adore zombies. We shoot ‘em in the head with a fuckin’ shotgun so they don't start climbin’ in through all the goddamn windows.


  1. You are so right. I'll never look at a Jesus Cheeto the same way again.

  2. The Worm is a voice in the wilderness, yea, verily, I say unto thee.

  3. Nasty...that HR manager is gonna be doing paperwork all day long!

  4. One aspect of the whole zombie-jesus thing you may have neglected.

  5. Thank you; I'm going to try to pay more attention to life's silver linings. Sometimes I'm blinded by cynicism, and I fail to recognize the sweetness and the cuteness all around me.