It started in Maryland, where a 21-year-old student was found to have eaten the brains and heart of his victim. Or did it start in New Jersey, with the man who caught a double-tap to the head after hauling out his own intestines and throwing them at police? Then again, some say it began in Florida when Randy Eugene was seen chewing the face off some homeless guy – for eighteen minutes no less. In many respects, the debate as to where it all began is irrelevant now; all that matters is that it has begun. And now there can be no going back.
This is the big one. The greatest threat to mankind’s survival since global warming, terrorism and sunbeds were invented. I’m talking, of course, about the Zombie Apocalypse. That’s right – the muthafuckin ZA.
When Zombies Go Wrong
The first signs that something was amiss – and by amiss read ‘horribly wrong’ – appeared in the US over Memorial Weekend (or ‘the weekend’ as we like to call it in the UK). Out of nowhere, a spate of macabre crimes began to surface all across America. Barbaric acts of torture, murder and cannibalism were being committed in a series of random incidents that nevertheless shared one thing in common – the perpetrators were all zombies.
Zombies Go Apocalyptic
In Miami, 31-year-old Randy Eugene began tearing off his clothes as he lurched across the Macarthur Causeway. Upon reaching the other side of the road, he spotted his victim – a homeless man resting in the shade – and unflinchingly subjected him to the same treatment. After removing the hobo’s clothing, Eugene proceeded to follow suit with the man’s face, tearing off strips of flesh with his teeth. Horrified onlookers watched helplessly as the man dubbed the Miami Zombie subjected his victim to an assault that lasted for EIGHTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES. When five-oh finally showed up and fired off a shot at the zombie, Eugene paused only to growl at the cop before resuming his meal. It took another three bullets to eventually put a halt to the frenzied attack, which had lasted for EIGHTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES.
In Baltimore, student Alexander Kinyua killed his roommate and hid his head and hands in a washtub in a basement of the house – but not before sampling his victim’s heart and brains. Kinyua was busted by his own brother, who discovered a human head and hands stashed inside metal tins, hidden under a blanket in the laundry room. The body was later discovered in a trash container outside a church a few blocks away.
In New Jersey, 43-year-old Wayne Carter (not that Wayne Carter) barricaded himself into his home and awaited the arrival of police. When cops showed up, they tried pepper spraying Carter to subdue him but it had no effect. Instead, the enraged man began cutting off pieces of his own flesh before tearing out his intestines and hurling them at the cops. The self-consuming zombie was eventually restrained and is currently critical in hospital.
Canadian Kitten Killers
Meanwhile, over the border, things were getting equally messy thanks to the efforts of the Vacuum Kitten Killer. Bisexual pornstar-cum-zombie Luka Magnotta (no, I’m not making this shit up) is currently on the run after slaying a man and posting his body parts to the offices of various Canadian political parties. The Liberals received a hand, while a foot went to the Conservatives (a left and a right respectively, one assumes). The vic’s torso, meanwhile, was jammed in a suitcase and thrown into the trash at the Montreal apartment where Magnotta lived. Overcome by a smell of rotting fish, residents opened the suitcase to discover maggots pouring out of the gaping neck stump. Ever the performer, Magnotta – it transpired – had filmed himself dismembering the corpse and posted the video online (the fetchingly-named ‘1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick’. It can also be found here, if that last link’s not working. Just saying.)
This zombie got attitude. Oh, and the ‘Vacuum Kitten Killer’ epithet? That’s on account of Magnotta’s alleged penchant for “killing kittens by drowning and asphyxiation and then using the carcasses in sexual acts.”
This bizarre series of events may read like a bad movie script, but this is no fake-ass horror flick – this shit’s for real. Real lives have been lost here, and by all accounts, there could be many more fatalities before this epidemic blows over. Make no mistake, things are going to get worse before they get better; already there are signs that the contagion has spread to Europe, with the Vacuum Kitten Killer spotted in Paris. (Update: he’s now been arrested in Berlin, while China has also been indulging in a spot of zombie face-eating.) Last week it was a man in Miami having his flesh chewed by a snarling zombie – tomorrow it could be a mum from Morningside.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Internet Zombie Keyboard Warriors
Of course, anyone can trawl the web for a handful of ‘zombie’ stories and weave them into some sort of ‘OMG Grab Some Canned Goods and a Shotgun and Head to the Basement!’-type narrative. Indeed, it would be easy to write the whole thing off as the paranoid ramblings of the zombiesphere (that part of the internet fixated with all things zombie-esque.) There’s just one trouble with that theory however: the bizarre incidents don’t just end there. Oh no – this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since news broke of the Miami Zombie, a wave of equally unsettling stories have been flooding in faster than internet bloggers can document them.
When it’s not spreading rumours of the death of Kim Jong-un or speculating about the contents of Kim Kardashian’s cervix, the internet likes to put its collective wisdom to good use – by devising wild zombie apocalypse theories. Only this time around, there would appear to be a prima facie case.
The MSM (aka the redundant media) may have been slow to connect the zombie slayings, but the internet (aka the de facto media) has tackled the phenomenon in its usual nuanced manner – head on. To grasp the internet’s collective consciousness – to analyse its psyche and monitor its digital pulse – you have to look beyond the vapid self-shots and ‘trending articles’ that clog up social media, eschewing them for something rawer – Pastebin.
From Defacing Websites to Defacing People
Pastebin is a simple text repository where hackers, lurkers and trolls – as well as many fine upstanding members of society – can dump data for the benefit of like-minded individuals. It’s Facebook, but without all the bad coding, invasive cookies, blatant privacy issues and annoying invitations. Actually, scrap that – it’s nothing like Facebook whatsoever. It’s Pastebin, and it’s a beautiful thing, resplendent in all its stripped-down ASCII art glory.
As a society, we’re obsessed with zombies. It used to be Harry Potter, and then it was vampires, but these days it’s all about the ZA. Zombies have permeated every aspect of our culture and have even infiltrated government agencies. It’s now reached the stage where we:
- Play video games in which we have to defeat Nazi zombies
- Devise government contingency plans to prepare us for the onset of the ZA
- Download mobile apps that compel us to keep fit by outrunning zombies
- Create detailed maps that will enable us to survive the ZA
- Purchase survival gear from hardware stores and dedicated Zombie Apocalypse outlets
Everyone loves zombies. Kids; adults; men; women – even women who are normally averse to all things creepy can’t help but love the ZA. Zombies may be the stuff that nightmares and chimeras are made of, but we love those lumbering freaks if only because they enable womankind to transmogrify into raging zombie sluts under the guise of ‘fancy dress’, and when pretty girls become pretty zombies, there can only be one winner – society.
In 2012, if you’re not a zombie or a zombiephile, you may as well be dead, in which case you are essentially a zombie. It’s a vicious, face-eating circle in which the only winners can be zombies. Amidst all the hysteria, some observers have pointed out that the ZA may be nothing more than a handful of grisly crimes being perpetrated by humans against humans. After all, there’s no such thing as zombies, right?
Of course not – that’s impossible. The Miami Zombie isn’t really a zombie, and yet…what is he? Come to think of it, what is the technical definition of a zombie? It could be argued that Randy Eugene is just some mentally-ill guy, but when you’re on the sharp end of a skin-tearing assault – FOR EIGHTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES – it sure feels like the ZA’s hitting you square in the puss. Let’s not argue over semantics.
Human, zombie, dead, undead or otherwise – whatever way you interpret it, this shit’s for real.
So we’ve established that the ZA is unequivocally happening – now all that’s left to do is establish why. If we can get to the root of this conundrum, perhaps we can engineer a solution and prevent the zombies from taking over. Perhaps there’s still time.
The official line being put forward is that Eugene was off his face on bath salts when he went full zombie. Bath salts? Yeah, bath salts. We’re not talking about the sort of scented crystals you’d crumble into the tub after a hard day fighting zombies however – no, these crystals are more likely to be snorted off a key in the middle of a crowded dance floor. That’s because we’re talking about mephedrone aka plant food aka ‘Holy shit, I can’t believe I just wasted forty quid on that shit and I don’t even feel a…oh-my-god-I’m-so-high-right-now-let’s-fuck-for-hours-with-my-limp-dick!’
Yeah, those bath salts.
Drugs are Bad, M’Kay?
According to one alarmist article, “The emerging bath salts drug can apparently turn a person into a cannibal or render them a zombie. According to the Miami police, the bath salts drug may have induced the cannibal attack that got Rudy Eugene, 31, to eat a man’s face…these are a new type of powdered designer drug taken orally, by injection, or inhaled…bath salt users are generally unresponsive to sedatives like valium. Once the medication begins to wear off, the user reverts back to a psychotic state that can last for days…Designer drugs like bath salts never really go away.”
So is that it – are Rudy Eugene and his fellow zombie slayers nothing more than deranged drug addicts? (Since writing this article, another alleged bath salts story has emerged, once again involving zombie face-biting.) Could it be that the perpetrators of these crimes were all tripping balls? If so, were the DEA, the FDA, successive governments, the police and ‘you can talk to’ FRANK right all along – will recreational drugs turn us into zombies?
To be Frank, No
As this Gawker article reports, “police found no drugs at the scene, and Eugene’s autopsy reportedly revealed nothing out of the ordinary.”
So if Eugene wasn’t on bath salts, why are police and press claiming that he was? This whole BS affair reeks of, well, BS. Could it be that the zombie apocalypse is actually a government psyop designed to scare us off mephedrone?
Step 1. Feed industrial quantities of drugs to vulnerable test subjects.
Step 2. Set them loose with orders to kill.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Profit.
Of course, there’d be no need to scare us off drone if the government had left us in peace to do coke in the first place. If the Navy and Marines were to stop intercepting all those bales of Columbian marching powder destined for these shores, cocaine might drop to a sensible price and we’d have no need to liven up crap parties by bombing Rizlas rammed with plant food. I don’t want to take drone and chew the face off my fellow man, but damn, it is so irresistibly affordable these days, don’t you find?
The other conspiracy theory doing the rounds is that the ZA is an elaborate government ploy to distract the masses while the 1% plunder our savings, erode our civil liberties and trample on our freedom of speech. While the world faps over the arrival of the zombie apocalypse and Britain celebrates the Jubilee Weekend (or ‘the weekend’ as they like to call it in the US), a sinister dynasty of oligarchs, politicians and financiers meets in secret to plot their dastardly deeds. That the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference should fall at the height of zombie mania is merely a coincidence of course…right?
— j4lyn (@J4LYN) June 1, 2012
Is the ZA an elaborate distraction, and if so, from what? And if the ZA is an elaborate distraction, then by writing about it, am I helping to solve the problem, or am I becoming a part of it? And more to the point, if I was to end every paragraph with a rhetorical question, would it make me a better-looking and more talented Carrie Bradshaw?
I can’t answer that last question – that’s why it’s rhetorical – but I do believe I can solve the mystery of the ZA. The zombie apocalypse has nothing to do with bath salts or BSE or rabies or any of the other diseases that have been suggested – including zombie disease, a condition which induces – that’s right – zombie-like symptoms. Nor is the ZA the work of an elaborate trolling campaign by shady government agencies. (Unless I’m writing this blog as one of them, in which case you most certainly are being trolled. Again.)
Could the ZA be a viral marketing campaign from the producers of World War Z, to generate interest in their forthcoming zombie flick? Killing a bunch of innocent people by eating their flesh, brains and intestines is the sort of behaviour that movie bosses would readily sanction. (After all, these guys’ morals are so skewed they equate pirating a movie with stealing a car, FFS.) Zombie torture and cannibalism is certainly within their capabilities, but I think we can discount that theory on this occasion – it’s far too imaginative for Hollywood.
Just Hurry Up and Get to the Point
So here’s a thought…
What if the catalyst that kickstarted the zombie apocalypse was not actual zombies – real-life marauding zombies from outer space or wherever the hell they spawn – but us, humanity? Did we crave the ZA so badly that it actually came to be?
Woah, that’s crazy talk! We can’t just conjure up zombies IRL because we wish for them to exist, any more than we can conjure up Satan or God or any other mythical creature.
Actually, I think we can.
I believe we can and we have created zombies, just as we’ve created many other forms of horror in the past. Take ‘the school shootings game’, as popularised by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Before Columbine, people didn’t shoot up schools; it was kinda frowned upon. Once Harris and Klebold had demonstrated the sort of mischief that could be wreaked with a pair of pump-actions, however, every kid who’d ever been dissed in the lunch line was spitting bullets instead of goth poetry. Pretty soon, disaffected kids all over America were competing for the first-person shooter high score (single or two-player mode).
The result? Total carnage – and some impressive high scores to boot. (Impressive in the negative sense of the word, I stress.)
Before Columbine, school shootings were merely an idea, one that would surface every decade or so before being slapped down. Post Columbine, school shootings were the answer to everything.
Sent to detention? Shoot up your school.
Picked last at football? Shoot up your school.
Someone shot up your school? Shoot up your school.
School shootings became a meme; a fad; the done way to settle disputes. The world has thankfully moved on from the days of Columbine and Virginia Tech however – it’s no longer considered de rigueur to rock up on campus packing a Tec-9. No, in 2012, bullets are out and biting is in.
Hate the homeless? Eat someone’s face off.
Bored of your roommate? Eat someone’s face off.
Dude shot up your school? Eat someone’s face off.
As problem-solving solutions go, zombification sounds pretty retarded, but not as retarded as, say, shooting up your school.
So if zombie face-hugging is the order of the day, how do we halt this contagion? How do we prevent more loners and nut-jobs from taking the easy way out and sinking their incisors into their victims for EIGHTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES in order to catch a clip from five-oh? If we’re not careful, we’ll reach the stage where even scheme neds are settling their disputes with chewing instead of chibbing.
Thanks to our zombie obsession, manifested via countless books, films, apps and games, we relentlessly flogged the idea of the ZA. Now that it’s here, we’re gonna have to deal with the threat as if it were being perpetrated by real zombies. After all, if it lurches like a zombie, growls like a zombie and eats like a zombie, odds are it’s not gonna halt in its tracks for anything less than a double-tap to the head.
The moral of this story? Be careful what you wish for. There was once a time, not so long ago, when the prospect of a zombie apocalypse seemed so appealing. Now that it’s here, the only thing for it is to grab some canned goods and a shotgun and head to the basement.
POSTSCRIPT: Remember that poor homeless guy who had his face ripped off by the Miami Zombie? Oh, he lived. Remarkable, isn’t it, that there could be a happy ending to this grim story.
POST-POSTSCRIPT: Though in saying that, you really don’t want to see the vic’s injuries – not unless you’re a fiendishly sick and twisted individual. A frenzied attack to the face – for EIGHTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES no less – is never going to be pretty. You have been warned. The zombie apocalypse: it’s all fun and games until someone chews your face off.
NSFS: Warning, the above link is not safe for your soul
“The next time you’re accosted by a charity mugger in the street, hand this to them. It might just save your life.”
“The American government would like to keep us in the dark, feeding us redacted information while they throat-fuck our civil liberties.”