Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cultural Zombies.

Zombies are getting more and more popular - movies, games, TV series, and mass-gatherings.

This weekend, 3000 zombies turned up to shuffle around Brighton, for no particular reason.

Zombies are also turning up at the various Occupy camps.

All of this is prompting folk that think that way to suggest that the popularity of zombies is an expression of something deeper in society, much as the popularity of alien invasion themes in the 1950s and 60s was an expression of the fear of Reds under the bed.

Dr Leaning, of Winchester University said, "We're living through the hardest economic times in most young people's memories...maybe zombies speak to austerity Britain in a way other monsters don't."

Nick Pearce, director of the left-leaning think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), put some more flesh on the bones of the theory.

"Even before the global economic crisis we saw young, unskilled young men finding it much harder to get a foothold in the labour market," he told the BBC, "and since the crisis we've seen a rocketing of youth unemployment."

"There is something in the idea that if you can't see a future, if you don't have a sense of progress for yourself personally, then you are stuck in the present tense, and this would lend itself to the notion of a kind of recurrent nightmare of repeatedly being a living-dead."

Me, I have a different slant on the phenomenon.

It's not economic, it's the way a lot of people interact with the rest of the world - it's easy to think, as you sit and type into the aether, that you are the last real, emotional human left on the planet - communicating purely through digital fonts robs so much expression from our communications that it is easy to think that everybody else out there has been zombified.

There's also a fear there - with pandemic scare stories continually cropping up in the media, zombie plagues make more "sense" than vampires, ghosts or aliens. Zombies tend not to be re-animated corpses any more, but people who have been changed by some malevolent microbe released by an uncaring capitalist entity, or by humans meddling in what they ought not (I Am Legend being an excellent example).

Whichever interpretation you go with, it not a good reflection on the world today.

I think I'll stick to Making.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The End...?

It's October 22nd.

The world did not end yesterday.

I was going to post something sarcastic, but then I found the following in a newsletter from Randy Cassingham's THIS is TRUE. He said it much better than I could, so read, enjoy, then go subscribe to his newsletter yourself.


WHAT, YOU DIDN'T NOTICE?! The world ended today. It did too! Because some jackass said "The Bible Guarantees It!" you KNOW it happened. Because, you know, it was guaranteed! By the Bible!

I refer, of course, to Harold Camping. His prediction of "rapture" on May 21 flopped when nothing happened. I ran the story in TRUE, and in a blog post titled "The End of the World: 2011 Edition". When nothing happened, Camping retorted "IT DID TOO!" (which may be a slight paraphrase): May 21 really was Judgment Day, he insisted, and God has done all the reckoning He needed to (despite Camping preaching that the world WOULD, in no uncertain terms, end May 21 in a giant Earthquake; God apparently decided to be much more subtle).

Camping's own employees didn't buy it, by the way: "I don't believe in any of this stuff that's going on," a Family Radio receptionist at their Oakland headquarters told CNN in May, "and I plan on being here next week." But, she said, some co-workers did actually blow their life savings on nice cars or vacations in anticipation of the world (nay: the entire universe!) ending, because, you know, God would want them to have a nice ride to Armageddon. The receptionist noted that "about 80%" of Camping's own workforce didn't believe his prediction, and admitted that the calendar she keeps had lots of appointments scheduled for well after the supposed Armageddon.

So why did Camping change it to today? Apparently He (God, not Camping) needed to process a bunch of paperwork, which would take a few months, and the world will really, Really, REALLY end October 21. And this time he means it!

Yet YOU didn't even notice you're dead now. That just shows how observant you are!

Well of COURSE Camping is a whackjob. You know that as well as I do. My point is that he was able to convince scads of followers to quit their jobs and blow their life savings on spreading his message of the end of the world. Repent! Hurry! Time's almost up! Of course few listened to the gullible fools who now are jobless and broke in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Yet still, millions of people -- let's call them "lesser fools" -- STILL LISTEN to Camping's radio stations and the horribly errant words of a false prophet.

And why does THAT matter? I've actually heard people say that since the world is ending, we don't need to take care of it. OK, so Armageddon didn't happen THIS time (or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or the time before that, or [repeat literally hundreds of times!]), but SURELY it's coming really, really soon, so why worry about pollution, or climate change, or dumping old tires in streams, or living in a way that's sustainable for our children, their children, and the generations to come? They'd rather think that God made the world that we could screw up His creation. This makes Biblical sense (or even common sense!) The bottom line becomes: if God *doesn't* destroy the world, WE will. Yeah, surely THAT is what God would want for his creation!

So my contention, as stated in my tagline on the first story on Camping, is that those who believe this garbage are fools, and "every rational person on Earth" knows it. It takes a pretty big ego to think the world will end in your lifetime.

But hey, don't worry: when I said it's the end of the world "2011 edition", you can count on another prediction in 3... 2... 1....


Subscribe to Randy's newsletter by clicking here.

If you were at all offended by what I quoted above, then that is an even greater reason for you to subscribe.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Want to be a millionaire?

I just an email.  It's a new, and slightly sick twist
on the age-old African banking scam.

Feel free to try and collect it yourself...

Dear Beloved,

I am Mrs.Annick Ahmar and i have been suffering from
ovarian cancer disease and the doctor says that i have
just two days to leave. I am from (eastern Province)
Russian but base in wets Africa Burkina Faso since
eight years ago as a business woman dealing with gold

Now that i am about to end the race like this, without
any family members and no child. i have $3Million US
Dollars in Africa Development Bank (ADB) Burkina Faso
which i instructed the bank to give it to St Andrews
Missionary Home in Burkina Faso .

But my mind is not at rest because i am writing this
letter now through the help of my computer beside my
sick bed. i also have $4.5Million US Dollars at Ecobank
here in Burkina Faso and i instructed the bank to transfer
the money to the foreigner that will apply to the bank
after i have gone that they should release the fund to
you, but you will assure me that you will take 50% of
the money and give 50% to the motherlessbabyhomes, charity
homes. In your country for my heart to rest. YOU HAVE TO

yours fairly friend
Thanks from
Madam Annick Ahmar.