Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So, it's come to this...

Morning, freaks!

Here's a fascinating piece of news-worthy material!

From How to survive a zombie apocalypse

Yep. That's right. I said "From". Zombies. Whoo-boy.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Naturally, upon first seeing this headline I simply had to investigate further. What possible worldly reason could CNN have for putting together a piece on surviving a zombie apocalypse? Certainly the varied reports of zombified ants, as well as other various critters (Google it, I'm not making this up), are cause for some alarm. But a sensationalized headline on one of America's most trusted news-sources about how to survive an actual zombie apocalypse? Have things really gotten that bad?

The answer, of course, is a resounding "Yes. They have."

But not for the reasons you're expecting. Calm your quaking knees, and pull yourself back from the window ledge. Hordes of the Undead are in fact not rushing down your door as you read this. Nay, a far more insidious force is at work here. And that is "respected" news outlets being hi-jacked by American commercialism.

Now you're probably asking, "But what do Zombies have to do with commercialism?" And the answer is - absolutely nothing. Yet at the same time, everything. Here's the story.

The CNN story begins by reporting on a memo released from the Center for Disease Control in May of this year, a tongue-in-cheek survival supplies guide list for outlasting the undead. The CDC released a very practical, no-nonsense guide, complete with a history of zombies going beyond their inflated image due to cinema all the way back to their roots in Haitian voodoo lore. As far as the recommended supplies go, the CDC make very sensible suggestions, from a healthy stock of water to necessary medications to the holiest of holies in all survival kits - duct tape. The CDC even goes as far as to note that many of the items listed are also quite useful in the event of a natural disaster, as many people learned from the hurricane season that pummeled the north east this summer.

The site continues by encouraging you and your family to come up with an emergency plan, to ensure you will be prepared for any possibility in this Sci-Fi End of Days scenario. But, as I said in the opening here, it was CNN that led me to this CDC post. And the CNN story was, as they say, "A horse of a different color."

The CNN version goes a little something like this. They open just below the headline with a dramatic still from the popular TV series "The Walking Dead", along with a link to the original CDC page. They then rattle off a few of the more practical items from the CDC list, artfully forgetting to mention the fact that the CDC directly states on its website that their cautions are easily applicable to more real world disaster scenarios. CNN then makes a gaudy runway display of a series of items from various "Zombie-themed" wishlists. Sacrificing the grounded application of the CDC's report for the frenzied hunt for flash and ratings, CNN parades a series of images of various "Zombie-security tools", most of which appear to have been taken from the wet dreams of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

While some of the items undoubtedly would come in handy in a pinch, like the Anti-Riot Helmet from Rothco (priced at a modest $61.99), others border on the absurd. Such as the Skull Faced Mask from ZANheadgear. Even the article admits that the piece serves no practical value beyond "looking cool", but throws in the extra selling point that these frightening grim reaper masks are used by U.S. soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan, touting "if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you and the zombies."

My favorite part of the piece is the fact that the author simply couldn't resist throwing in the reminder that the premiere of the second season of "The Walking Dead" was coming up next week, and that Halloween is right around the corner as well. A nice reminder that you have no reason to leave your homes, unless of course it is to go out and spend money on a bunch of shit you don't need.

So congratulations CNN, for turning what started as a good-hearted jab from the CDC into a fully fleshed commercial for companies making instruments that have no application off the battlefield other than the possibility of a zombie infestation. I mean sweet Christ, one of these items is a full body riot-suit, and is made by a company called Damascus Protective Gear. And at the "Get-it-now" price of $545.95, can you really afford to say no?

Just in case you're curious to educate yourself in a meaningful fashion on the reality of Zombies, steer yourself away from CNN and go check out this web series from, an episode of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia where Hamilton takes an in-depth look into the frighteningly real world of Zombies, unadulterated from the influences of western fiction. I've posted the official trailer here, which will take you to the full documentary should you wish to investigate further.

Enjoy The Ride. Love ya.

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