Web 2.0 Apocalypse
January 15, 2012 1:30 AM   Subscribe

The end of the world, in 14 days, according to Reddit.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia (188 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
There are images of burnt corpses, and corpses being eaten by dogs.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:41 AM on January 15, 2012


That was pretty cool.
posted by Ritchie at 1:44 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was great. There 6 letter strings in some of them are bit.ly downloads which contain more stuff. Looks like they discuss it in the reddit threads.
posted by markr at 1:50 AM on January 15, 2012


notbad.jpg
posted by Ad hominem at 1:55 AM on January 15, 2012


A nice touch: the URLs in the images work.
posted by EmGeeJay at 1:57 AM on January 15, 2012


That was good.
posted by Sailormom at 1:59 AM on January 15, 2012


I don't know why, even as zombie apocalypses are beyond cliche, seeing the imagery juxtaposed with "real" websites is oddly chilling and depressing.

This is what the World War Z film should be like, dammit. This is what the magic of zombies should be.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:07 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damn this was good. The details are awesome.
posted by june made him a gemini at 2:09 AM on January 15, 2012


Ha! Seems like it got Madagascar. Clearly, they weren't aiming for realism. *HRMPH*
posted by lemuring at 2:10 AM on January 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Less stupid then i expected. Anyway, I would hardly call this the 'end of the world', clearly Tim Tebow will save us in the end.
posted by delmoi at 2:14 AM on January 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like it, but I'm starting to have trouble with one of the central tropes of zombie horror. There's always the long lead in to people figuring out that the people who don't look so good and are biting people are, in fact, zombies. The whole concept of the blow to the head to kill takes days to figure out. Granted, this is fiction, but if I were to see someone, say, shambling at me, bleeding from the eyes, stumbling over their broken ankle, reaching at me with the stump of where their hand used to be, by this point, I know I have to hit it in the head. I also know I have to get the hell away from there, and find someplace truly safe to hide in. Safe does not include places where the first floor is made of floor to ceiling windows. Just, y'know, the common sense of fictional situations.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:17 AM on January 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


"but if I were to see someone, say, shambling at me, bleeding from the eyes, stumbling over their broken ankle, reaching at me with the stump of where their hand used to be..."

You havent seen 28 days later? Zombies don't shamble. They fucking run! And they screaming! And they have amazing aerobic capacity! Like super angry, rabid gym junkies.
posted by greenhornet at 2:23 AM on January 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


This was really neat. Thanks.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:24 AM on January 15, 2012


Right? At this point if someone looks even vaguely ill I give that fucker a wide birth. Nobody is going to be biting me.

You know how recently they created fast zombies to make them scarier, they need to make them smarter as well. Even fast zombies just run really fast at you. We need zombies that pretend to be the meter reader or something, catch you unawares.

I've never really shared Reddit's passion for zombies but that subreddit is actually pretty cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:26 AM on January 15, 2012


More like, I've never really shared this zeitgeist's passion for zombies.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:28 AM on January 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Good stuff. Reminds me of "Instruction for a fruit."
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:32 AM on January 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Whoa, that picture of the dogs eating the skeleton is crazy!
posted by mannequito at 2:40 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


On second thought, flash mobs and Halloween have doomed us all. More than likely, if most people saw a horde of zombies walking down the street, they'd assume it was some sort of viral ad.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:45 AM on January 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


@blackleotardfront

it was better than that, but i dont know if it's all that great

then again i am kind of burnt out on the whole "epistolary zombie" thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:47 AM on January 15, 2012


OK! Are we done with the obsession with bitey dead people yet?

No?

*sigh*

I give up.
posted by mephron at 2:51 AM on January 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


... they need to make them smarter as well.

It seemed to me that the zombies of the 21st century were drawn to posting on social media sites, so I guess the zombie genre still delivers a rich payload of somewhat obvious social commentary.
posted by Ritchie at 2:53 AM on January 15, 2012


Zombie infection starts the same way all bad things start, an Outlook meeting invite.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:56 AM on January 15, 2012 [21 favorites]


Zombies are the most unrealistic disease vector ever. Can we whack the whole idea on the head with a shovel already?
posted by Jehan at 3:04 AM on January 15, 2012


This was well done.

Just, y'know, the common sense of fictional situations.

But of course, that's the problem. If you really saw a person shambling at you, you'd think they were drunk or drugged or something. You'd avoid them, but you wouldn't actually IRL just lop their head off. Because an actual zombie apocalypse wouldn't occur to you, at least not in any serious way, because it's just, y'know, fiction.

More than likely, if most people saw a horde of zombies walking down the street, they'd assume it was some sort of viral ad.

See: Day 1.
posted by solotoro at 3:07 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was good - but the "Itchy…tasty" thing is a pretty clear Resident Evil reference - which just makes me think this is a viral/ad/ARG for a new game.

Quite why it's less good because of this is not massively clear to me.
posted by Jofus at 3:14 AM on January 15, 2012


Bub.
posted by Sailormom at 3:22 AM on January 15, 2012


This is similar to Prufrock451's Rome Sweet Rome, who got a big movie studio option deal out of the reddit story.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:47 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Immediately after I read through the reddit links, I went to the Guardian's website and saw this - Epidemic risk at Olympics targeted: 'Surveillance system' set up to alert medics to first signs of unusual diseases this summer

Gulp.
posted by knapah at 3:52 AM on January 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I backed out of a trip to England this year solely because of the Olympics gumming up the works.
posted by telstar at 4:07 AM on January 15, 2012


Oh, sorry. OlympicsTM.
posted by telstar at 4:09 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Zombies are the most unrealistic disease vector ever.
That's what makes it fun. It's shit scary, and unrealistic, but tweaks the fear of an unknown, unexpected outbreak of some kind.

If you really saw a person shambling at you, you'd think they were drunk or drugged
Have you seen Shaun of the Dead? It does a great job of portraying the "Ah, she's just drunk" concept which would probably be the initial reaction for most of us.
posted by Diag at 4:17 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


What I wouldn't give for a nice retro magical zombie. None of this virus bullshit, just an ambitious necromancer whose work gets out of control or something.
posted by GoingToShopping at 5:31 AM on January 15, 2012


According to Zombies of the World that's the English Foaming Zombie - Mortifera rabies londinium - noted for it's speed and ferocity.

/still vaguely surprised this isn't about SOPA.
posted by Artw at 5:37 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I too am really, really tired of this whole zombie thing, but I have to concede that was well put together.
posted by brennen at 5:45 AM on January 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


It was good - but the "Itchy…tasty" thing is a pretty clear Resident Evil reference - which just makes me think this is a viral/ad/ARG for a new game.

Capcom announced Resident Evil 6 recently, saying (again) that it would rethink the series. The idea of playing someone on the ground during the zombie-induced collapse of civilisation could be fun, sort of like the way bits of Metal Gear Solid 4 have you sneaking around a battlefield.
posted by permafrost at 5:47 AM on January 15, 2012


Not even a global zombie infection can kill Jersey Shore, apparently.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:50 AM on January 15, 2012


man hasn't RE been rethought enough

i liked the first four games why cant they do that again :(
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:57 AM on January 15, 2012


Will this internet fixation with zombies never end?
posted by crunchland at 6:06 AM on January 15, 2012


Good stuff. Reminds me of "Instruction for a fruit."

Wow, thanks for reminding me, went and re-read it all. Excellent story, sad ending though.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:17 AM on January 15, 2012


Meat bomb, the author has a new book out and is doing an insane ARG for it at youwillbecome.us , it's very much like Instructions For A Fruit.

Also the problem with any WWZ adaptation is that we already have the perfect one, the audio book version.
posted by The Whelk at 6:25 AM on January 15, 2012


That was amazing.
posted by Slinga at 6:33 AM on January 15, 2012


I would give up my apathetic atheism in a heartbeat to join the Tebow cult.
posted by codacorolla at 6:33 AM on January 15, 2012


I thought it was a countdown so I spoiled the ending :(
posted by muddgirl at 6:56 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a cute execution of a not-new idea, but my problem with the use of the zombie apocalypse as a sort of cognitive shorthand for "civilization-ending event" is that it takes all the teeth (if you'll excuse the pun) out of the actual apocalypse.

With the zombie apocalypse, you know who to shoot, and there's absolutely no moral reason not to. That shambling corpse might have once been your neighbor or your wife, but it's not anymore, and never will be again, and to save your own life and the lives of anyone else who's still alive, you can double-tap it (note we can even use the genderless pronoun "it!") and feel no remorse for your actions.

But when the real apocalypse comes, there will be no zombies. If you kill a person, they will just be a person that you killed. There will be no easy or obvious way to distinguish friend from foe; no way to know if your neighbors can be trusted not to kill you and take your food cache or short-wave radio, no way of being sure the man running up to you is trying to help, hinder, or murder you. There will be no absolution for the actions we'll feel compelled to take, for the crimes we'll commit in the name of survival.

When I lay awake nights with dread in my heart, thinking climate change or peak oil or mutated H1N1, wonder how it will all end, I can tell you right now I'm not worried about fucking zombies.
posted by pts at 6:59 AM on January 15, 2012 [51 favorites]


no way to know if your neighbors can be trusted not to kill you and take your food cache or short-wave radio, no way of being sure the man running up to you is trying to help, hinder, or murder you. There will be no absolution for the actions we'll feel compelled to take, for the crimes we'll commit in the name of survival.

But pts, this is addressed in nearly every zombie fiction ever. The main characters always pause after a particularly brutal act and then it's "OMG are they the real monsters here? . . . OR ARE WE?!?"
posted by Think_Long at 7:08 AM on January 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


What I wouldn't give for a nice retro magical zombie. None of this virus bullshit, just an ambitious necromancer whose work gets out of control or something.

Hail to the King, baby.
posted by scalefree at 7:08 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


There will be no easy or obvious way to distinguish friend from foe; no way to know if your neighbors can be trusted not to kill you and take your food cache or short-wave radio, no way of being sure the man running up to you is trying to help, hinder, or murder you. There will be no absolution for the actions we'll feel compelled to take, for the crimes we'll commit in the name of survival.

Yeah, Think_Long said it, but what you want, pts, sounds exactly like what good zombie fiction routinely delivers.
posted by mediareport at 7:11 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Addendum: I'm sure good zombie fiction does include what I'm talking about. My beef is with, as I said, the use of "zombie apocalypes" as a conversational and cognitive stand-in, among geeks, for "apocalypse of any kind."

Geeks love to talk about how ready for the zombie apocalypse they are.
posted by pts at 7:15 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Indeed - the zombies are the mutated H1N1 virus, or the climate change, or the peak oil. They are the implacable natural force in the face of which people climb over each other's corpses to escape the rising tide for a few minutes longer.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:21 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Strangely, the picture of the birds in day 2 was the creepiest picture in the whole thing for me... Shiver.
posted by gemmy at 7:23 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ahem.

Zombies are appealing because they are cheap, require no explanation, and can be adapted to any circumstance. They're the perfect trope for a locked box drama and lead to fun games of " wait how would you secure a tenth floor apartment?"
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM on January 15, 2012


That being said, it would be nice if one of these zombie apocalypse things focused more on the problem of rebuilding in the post gnawing monster world.

And if you like zombie stuff of all permutations the big paperback collection, The Living Dead is really good and contains no less than three genuinely terrifying stories.
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real horror of the whole "are they the monsters or are we?" thing is that we are not necessarily the only survivors, and the others will be conditioning themselves to act in a world without mercy or logic. And that's why the very first zombie apocalypse movie ever, Night of the Living Dead, ended with Ben getting shot by another zombie hunter who mistakes him for a zombie.
posted by localroger at 7:45 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


And that's why the very first zombie apocalypse movie ever, Night of the Living Dead, ended with Ben getting shot by another zombie hunter who mistakes him for a zombie.

Seeing as how it was a lone black survivor being shot by white police officers, I think there may have been some racial commentary there too.
posted by Ndwright at 8:19 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm annoyed by zombies and I STILL LOVED THIS. Great stuff!

Net-scale collaborative art FTW.
posted by fake at 8:22 AM on January 15, 2012


AAAARGH YOU ARE MAKING IT HARDER FOR ME TO HATE REDDIT
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:26 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good to see people will still be downloading Shrek spin-offs at the end of the world.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:32 AM on January 15, 2012


Okay, here's my take on the zombie popularity:
In a variety of ways, there is a consciousness that there are limits to human existence. It doesn't need to be plague, but rather the inevitable conflicts that occur because of overpopulation, income disparity, and decreasing sources of fuel and food.

As a result, the threatening end isn't world-wide nuclear war, or the idea that the noble human race will be threatened by aliens. It is a slow, shambling, entrance into what perhaps might be known at some point as the second dark ages.

That being said, I'm on team Fast Zombie. Remember that scene in 28 days later, when the protag comes across that that jerky, fast moving zombie in the church? Gah X 10. Fast zombies rule, is my point.
posted by angrycat at 8:42 AM on January 15, 2012


Seeing as how it was a lone black survivor being shot by white police officers, I think there may have been some racial commentary there too.

No. Ben was written white and the ending wasn't changed, though apparently Duane Jones did re-tool his dialogue.
posted by Roman Graves at 8:49 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Zombies are appealing because they are cheap, require no explanation, and can be adapted to any circumstance. They're the perfect trope for a locked box drama and lead to fun games of " wait how would you secure a tenth floor apartment?"

Except they always explain it. I mean, this one does. It's just so . . . trite. Meh.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:57 AM on January 15, 2012


So now are we done with zombies? Or will it take still more serious movies, funny movies, t-shirts, viral marketing, video games, themed parties, catchphrases, and collaborative internet fiction to finally kill this bloodied, undead horse of a trope?
posted by intendedeffect at 9:02 AM on January 15, 2012


they don't have to! I am fully prepared to accept a zombie narrative where the reason is 'cause zombies.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh and I'm well over zombies, but that was done in an interesting way...

I assume the people in these don't all go 'omg it's a zombie' straight away as zombies as a concept don't exist in their universe (see The Walking Dead)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:15 AM on January 15, 2012


It's not over until we go through the sparkling zombies phase, of course.
posted by Iosephus at 9:15 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


we're not using the z-word!
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Angsty sexed-up teengage zombies coming right up.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:22 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's fascinating seeing net culture used as a foil for storytelling. The screenshots from 4chan, piratebay, reddit, instant messenger.. These are the things I use every day, my milieu. And they're pretty much invisible in television, movies, heck even books. If there were a zombie apocalypse I'd experience it here, on Metafilter, and it's nice to see this story told via the medium I would experience it.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on January 15, 2012 [17 favorites]


Actually, I'm not an expert but woudn't angsty abstincedobsessed zombies be more like the sparkly vampires we speak?

Okay, described that way, I'd be tempted to read the Stephanie Miller zombie "romance" book - just for the laughs. And, of course, the BRAINS.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 AM on January 15, 2012


well a more traditional take on Zombies is that they're totally in the thrall of another person, devoid of free will, and that's like half of all romance plots right there.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would give up my apathetic atheism in a heartbeat to join the Tebow cult.

I, for one, was disappointed in the shortage of tweets and Facebook updates this weekend citing Tebow's loss as "proof" of God's ineffectualness and/or hatred of Denver.
posted by rokusan at 9:44 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Day 2 has a (putative) scanned newspaper page, in which the paragraph breaks are indicated with blank lines. Are there actually hardcopy newspapers that do that?
posted by stebulus at 9:44 AM on January 15, 2012


Angsty sexed-up teengage zombies coming right up.

Twiglurrrrgh?
posted by rokusan at 9:45 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I swear, if someone could mash together zombies and Bacon, we would see Internet Singularity.
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 AM on January 15, 2012


It's fascinating seeing net culture used as a foil for storytelling.

I liked how the infected themselves were still participating - trolling Chatroullette, posting video diaries to Youtube, chronicling their own awareness of their situation.
posted by muddgirl at 10:11 AM on January 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sexed-up zombies
posted by Tom-B at 10:21 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


While the parts of these pictures with actual bloody zombies were gruesome, I can't help but to think that the real horror was in the idea of a plague fast enough to wipe out modern civilization, shown in such a visceral way by using websites that are everyday and familiar to us. And really, I think we're getting to a point where we can have a zombie apocalypse without zombies- think about the parts of WWZ that focused on human violence and warfare, or The Walking Dead's current low-budget season focusing on human backstabbing. Even the new Resident Evil game turns zombies into mostly just obstacles or wild animals in a post-apocalyptic landscape- sure, they're dangerous, but the real enemy are human special forces commandos who can effortlessly grab the undead to use as bullet shields.

Think what was most compelling about Will Smith's adaptation of I Am Legend- the parts where the zombie-like vampires were invading his house, or the parts in the beginning where it's just Will with his dog wandering the abandoned streets of New York in complete solitude? Zombies are just the easiest way to bring you to that scenario.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:24 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, what this drives home for me is that it's likely that Snooki will survive a Zombie Apocalypse longer than I will, since her Corporate Masters have a vested interest in keeping her alive.

I find that to be much more frightening than Zombies.
posted by anastasiav at 10:31 AM on January 15, 2012


The biggest trope I don't like in your zombie/end of the world movie is the "Gleeful Raiding The World's Goods"/ Finally I'm free of Bothersome people! double whammy. I'd be way more interested in the "So we're reasonably safe from zombies, how the hell do we have society now?" or the severely diminished population encounters the remaining material worth of the world - all the jewelry and designer clothes you want but no fresh food and rapidly decreasing medicine stocks.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


If nothing else social bonds will get way more important. Less Last Man On Earth, more barely federated tribes please.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on January 15, 2012


Maybe the twilight series can include a zombie faction and kill it for most people. I think of twilight as when vampire fiction jumped the shark.
posted by dibblda at 10:38 AM on January 15, 2012


vague complaint about zombies and people who love them. the end.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:41 AM on January 15, 2012


This is a cute execution of a not-new idea, but my problem with the use of the zombie apocalypse as a sort of cognitive shorthand for "civilization-ending event" is that it takes all the teeth (if you'll excuse the pun) out of the actual apocalypse.

Yes, I Am Tired Of Zombies. I peaked with Shaun Of The Dead. Now, when I see zombies in something, I immediately imagine how it would be better without them -- certainly fresher. And it's never that hard.

But then, when I really think about it, what I realize I'm most tired of are ALL these ultimately unimaginative catastrophic apocalypses. It's so easy to see shit burning down, going up in flames -- hell, it's every 12 year old boy's favorite day dream. I prefer the apocalypse that's actually happening -- the world shape-shifting before our eyes, sometimes virulently, sometimes beautifully, always strangely. And it's been going on since the 1940s, ever since the atom got split. "Total Change," as Marshall McLuhan said. Give up the death trip, folks. That's way too easy. Embrace the real apocalypse.

In this context, I love these Zombies.

And yeah, I do agree with this:

It's fascinating seeing net culture used as a foil for storytelling. The screenshots from 4chan, piratebay, reddit, instant messenger.. These are the things I use every day, my milieu. And they're pretty much invisible in television, movies, heck even books. If there were a zombie apocalypse I'd experience it here, on Metafilter, and it's nice to see this story told via the medium I would experience it.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on January 15


But if only we could use it for good ...
posted by philip-random at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2012


Fever gone but itchy.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:04 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Day 1097
posted by headless at 11:05 AM on January 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


As noted by many pundits, writers and scholars (esteemed and not so much) the modern zombie plague trope isn't actually about zombies, and it never has been.

The zombie in it's original Haitian Vodou incarnation (heh) is more of a drug and/or ritual induced homunculus, avatar or servitor. It's something someone does to a someone - or their corpse - to manufacture a servant to accomplish a task or be an agent of change. It's not a communicable viral plague. And this type of zombie may have some historical precedent. Get someone intoxicated enough on the right kind of readily available naturally occurring drugs and you can suggest all sorts of things and maybe even get them to do some really spooky stuff - or simply just dance in an orgiastic frenzy.

Modern zombies actually do thematically share a lot of traits with both the vampire and werewolf tropes - apparently life after death, disease spreading through biting or bodily fluids, the concepts that these non-human things could be any one of us - "What do you think you're running from!? The sickness is inside of you!"

It's no small coincidence the modern zombie trope usually involves apocalyptic scenarios where looting is not just common, but expected and tacitly encouraged.

It's the seduction of abandonment, to cast aside the civil contract, to give in to your ego and simply take whatever it is that you really want without the guilt of ethics or morality. Sex, money, power, material wealth - everyone's deepest, darkest fantasies given not only the freedom to roam but the imperative to exist, to have no choice but to give in to them, to be absolved of responsibility for them.

It's also not a coincidence that many of these things readily map to our everyday reality - the same obsessions with money, sex and power that drive cults, or greedy businesses and so much more. Which also maps to our desire to tear it all down and build it anew.

It's no coincidence that we view these flaws about ourselves indirectly through the occulted lens of apocalyptic fiction, because directly facing them or acknowledging the frequent darkness of secret desires is often too terrifying to bear.

The trope isn't going anywhere any time soon. It may change faces and stop being actually about zombies but it'll rise again. The same trope has already been mapped to extra-terrestrials, computers and technology, robots/androids.

"Others that are really us cause existential crisis. World (or parts of it) burns. Probably rebuild anew from the ashes."
posted by loquacious at 11:26 AM on January 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's okay, everyone. The day the Mayan calendar restarts this year is the day that the zombie genre ends- courtesy of Brad Pitt.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:37 AM on January 15, 2012


Every time I think I've had enough of zombies, I get pulled back in again! Oh, you!
posted by cazoo at 11:41 AM on January 15, 2012


I think the "why don't they realize it's zombies??" critics are missing a big part of the story. Notice all the "official stories" that come out? Like 3 simultaneous gas leaks, etc? Most people aren't encountering zombies. They just know something is going on and they are being lied to by the authorities.
posted by DU at 11:46 AM on January 15, 2012


But if only we could use it for good ...

We can get lupus_yonderboy and some of the other people from the Bruce Sterling thread to make a sexy speculative Web 2.0 apocalypse collage about peak oil. Oh wait it's kinda been done before.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:46 AM on January 15, 2012


I've wondered a few times if you could't get some fresh spin on the genre by making it somewhat sci-fied. What about some kind of nanobot that kills, then reanimates people but isn't either smart enough or powerful enough to spread by anything more than sustained direct contact, or make the reanimates much better than stupefied drunks? Perhaps as a future weapon in wars, mainly for its horrifying psych impact? I know it probably makes little sense, but hey, that's why I don't write fiction for a living. If someone can figure a way to make the idea work, be my guest.
posted by Iosephus at 11:48 AM on January 15, 2012


Iosephus, may I direct you to the Doctor Who story "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances"?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:04 PM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


What the genre needs is to build slower. If something like a zombie virus occurred, it would more likely slowly and surely overwhelm international efforts to suppress and cure it, and it would be more public and well-discussed. It could take years for the situation to deteriorate. I'd like to see what photoshoppers and writers could do with that time-line, Day 1 to Day 875, but it's not as fun as instant destruction I guess.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:05 PM on January 15, 2012


One interesting thing about this Web 2.0 Apocalypse is that the authorities seemed to know what was going on almost immediately, and were attempting containment as early as Day 3. If there ever was a real life viral apocalypse, I don't think any big organization would spring into action that fast. More likely there'd be some worried emails going back and forth for a few days between scientists, then a collective "Oh shit!" moment as researchers in different places simultaneously reached the same conclusions - but by that point the zombies would already be banging on their doors. The government wouldn't have time to do more than evacuate and save a few thousand people here or there by hiding out in bomb shelters or whatnot. And even that would depend upon how fast some of them accepted the crazy messages they were getting from the CDC.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:08 PM on January 15, 2012


I don't think any big organization would spring into action that fast.

There's an implication that the government is aware of Z before the outbreak. I read that part as being more like the spread of the superflu in Stephen King's the Stand than the zombie trope, which as others have observed originally didn't involve communicability at all.
posted by localroger at 12:11 PM on January 15, 2012


I've wondered a few times if you could't get some fresh spin on the genre by making it somewhat sci-fied. What about some kind of nanobot that kills, then reanimates people but isn't either smart enough or powerful enough to spread by anything more than sustained direct contact, or make the reanimates much better than stupefied drunks?

I was going to make a crack about how the singularity is the next zombie apocalypse. Take a look at Robopocalypse (or don't, because it was bad). It's pretty much "World War Z with robots."

(As a fan of AI fic, I kind of dread the day when the singularity really does become the new meme--just because I think there are loads more interesting stories with robots that could be told. But ah well.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2012


I still have the occasional 28 Days/Weeks Later-related nightmare, but I loved this.
posted by jokeefe at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2012


If anybody is interested here's a kind of 28 Days Later zombie apocalypse without zombies movie that is really good: The Signal
posted by P.o.B. at 1:17 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


that sounds pretty interesting P.o.B., surprised I haven't heard of it. thanks for recommending.
posted by mannequito at 1:36 PM on January 15, 2012


You really have to wonder about our society when people have fantasies like this.
posted by crunchland at 1:49 PM on January 15, 2012


By the way, a human bite injury is one of the hardest injuries to treat. Please go to the emergency room if it ever does happen, regardless of whether it is from a zombie or not.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:59 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hobo, zombie, same thing...
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on January 15, 2012


from what ive seen both the youwillbecome.us and fruit instructions thing seem to have a kind of weird complex about societal change

it isn't straight up sublimated racism like a lot of lovecraft's stuff but it does have a weird reactionary bent that leaves a bad taste in my mouth

shades of "the crossing"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:13 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure about the biology of it (could parts retain their infecting ability over time and duress) but I think I've got the ultimate blend of terror/horror. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the dirty bomb, also known as the z-bomb. Extremists of whatever stripe you choose load bombs with teeth, blood, bits of zombies they've culled, with the embedded teeth then infecting the injured.*

Or, of course, putting a bomb vest on a zombie. Now, sure there's the whole "germs and viruses can't survive outside of a proper habitat" to deal with, but this is zombies! Of course their infection is hardier than most, simply because it's already dead!

*this does not imply tht I'm a big fan of films that hype terror threats, or the general culture of fear that we've endured for the last decade or so. I'm just using our most popular boogeymen and mixing them together.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:24 PM on January 15, 2012


Well, lets be clear here: The laws of thermodynamics do not apply, because it's to all intensive purposes magic, so any "biology" is at best metaphor.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on January 15, 2012


forgot to say: it's like the whole point is "oh no everybody is changing in weird ways i don't like, oh god i am alone and alienated". to me it seems lowercase-c conservative and antisocial. i don't know enough about the author's history to guess why those are what they are, but the whole "smart zombie"/"zombie hive mind" conceit gives me a bad feeling.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:35 PM on January 15, 2012


So was the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers about Communists, or McCarthyism, or both?
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on January 15, 2012


Yeah I don't know where you're getting that, the conceit behind a instructions is " wait, what if the body snatchers are right and we really would be happier with them?"
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on January 15, 2012


And as far as I can tell the concept behind Liminal States/Youwillbecome.us are immortal, immoral capitalists taking over the world
posted by The Whelk at 2:44 PM on January 15, 2012


i thought that was ironic like in "Rhinoceros"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:44 PM on January 15, 2012


Considering that the military wins but does so by sterilizing the earth and greedily thinks about holding other countries for ransom, I don't think we're supposed to have a totally good impression of the winners.
posted by The Whelk at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2012


That was pretty cool!
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:52 PM on January 15, 2012


One of the more recent zombie-ish series, Mira Grant's 'Newsflesh' trilogy, is basically about a viral accident causing the zombie-like creatures to come into existance in a world where zombie fiction exists, and George Romero is practically sainted because his movies (and those that came after) taught people how to kill them. There's also a lot of stuff that goes on about social structures, the fact that the coverups destroyed the traditional news sources, and that due to the nature of the changing factor, there's blood tests for your 'viral load' everywhere.

So you can get interesting stories about things like this without the "Living Dead" blargh of 'well that never was in popular culture here' handwave.
posted by mephron at 2:54 PM on January 15, 2012


I like all end-of-the-world stuff and think it is probably by favourite genre or sub-genre. Just picked up Level 7 by Roshwald, but I think my favourite is probably Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. The Purple Cloud by Shiel and One by Conrad Williams are great as well, and of course Day of the Triffids is a classic and World War Z is brilliant fun. The Sheep Look Up was sadly prescient too. Anybody got some other recommendations?
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:55 PM on January 15, 2012


How much do you like Ballard? The Drowned World still gives me creeps. The Wind Up Girl gave me bad daydreams about monoculture GM crops.
posted by The Whelk at 2:58 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, love Ballard, all of his stuff is great, and The Drought is one of my favourites. I've heard of Wind-Up Girl, will check it out!
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2012


Earth ABides is generally considered to be the inspiration for The Stand but a lot more crapsack and " well I guess well just forage for cans until we die then." but not as psychotic ally depressing as say, The Road, just kind of resigned.
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked the humorous small touches, almost Onion-like, like the news story near the end of day 13 (Spoiler?):

Red Wine is no treatment for Z3, experts claim.
Data falsified, but demand only rises despite research findings.

posted by formless at 3:12 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought the LiveJasmin bit was startling. It was a reminder that, yes, the Internet is for porn, and that, yes, even when the "obvious" sites are down, information has a way of leaking out in strange ways.

I followed the 9/11 attacks on Slashdot, for crying out loud.
posted by SPrintF at 3:23 PM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It just occurred to me that LARPers with easy access to chainmail and swords, during a zombie apocalypse, would fare a hell of lot better than most.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:33 PM on January 15, 2012


The torrents list with Cheerleader Eats Boyfriend ( Not XXX) was a nice bit of dark humor
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on January 15, 2012


I also liked the Alex Jones "I have been lied to all my life."
posted by muddgirl at 3:40 PM on January 15, 2012


Yeah, as mentioned, the people who got infected but aren't zombies yet, hitting up Facebook and twitter and sort of running out the clock until they become zombie ( and try to kil themselves before the infection takes hold and it doesn't work, aaaah!) is a really interesting angle I havent really seen before.
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on January 15, 2012


Love the fact that "Puss in Boots" being one of the most popular torrents is a sure sign of the End Times.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:58 PM on January 15, 2012


how about a zombie story about marketing where they get hit with the poison meme and start mentioning ZomCo Products, casually referencing and namedropping at first, but then it deteriorates until they are just wandering around groaning ZomCo Products slogans and if people listen, the meme infects them too

boardroom scene where the evil execs are discussing the record profits and one of them is a little too enthusiastic about the product
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:03 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


any similarity to that one bit in demolished man or parts of "the space merchants" is purely coincidental
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:06 PM on January 15, 2012


I was thinking more the iPhone episode of Futurama.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on January 15, 2012


What about some kind of nanobot that kills, then reanimates people but isn't either smart enough or powerful enough to spread by anything more than sustained direct contact, or make the reanimates much better than stupefied drunks? Perhaps as a future weapon in wars, mainly for its horrifying psych impact?

I almost wrote this story, nearly exactly as is. It was going to be called "Seed" or something similar. The idea was that a disgruntled nanotechnology nerd is working on a weaponized nanobot virus but ends up releasing the "seed" instead, a virus that transforms people into "smart matter" and more or less bestows a Singularity-like technological immortality and/or Godhood. They can pass as themselves or other people, but since they're basically a self-programming nanotech smart cloud they can also be, well, anything. A starship. A plant. A rock. They can make diamond from raw carbon in their hands and all sorts of Singularity-friendly magic.

The only caveat was that the virus or seed didn't spread indiscriminately. You had to choose to pass it to someone - but they didn't necessarily have to consent.

So it would spread slowly and through social networks, and wasn't a totally obvious zombie plague. Weird shit just starts happening all over the place. A bridge disappears, only to be replaced by something fantastic overnight or in the blink of an eye. Random art weirdos become apocalyptic graffiti artists, adrenalin junkies are hurling themselves from the tops of buildings or into volcanoes as pranks, misanthropes are purposefully "infecting" outright crazy people to revel in the chaos and everything goes pear shaped in a hurry.

I stopped writing it because it was very, very bad. I opened with an utterly insufferable Mary Sue - the disgruntled nerd. I couldn't find any good conflict or struggle beyond the usual Frankenstein and zombie tropes. It was all bad wish fulfillment and masturbatory Singularity porn, with what amounted to (literally) sparkly techno zombies, or the hive-minded and bodied "grays" from the end of Spielbergs A.I. - and I discovered I didn't want to write that book.

I wanted to actually explore the nooks and crannies of the concept of a "Singularity" like that where people suddenly became godlike assemblages/clouds of tiny, atom-hacking machines - but the more I followed that path the more it was difficult to justify or invent any real, useful conflict - in part because of my bad writing and plot mechanics - but also in part because of the precepts and assumptions of the so-called "Singularity", which is in essence a technocrats heaven and utopia filled with machines of loving grace and so on, ad nauseam.
posted by loquacious at 4:08 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blood Music is pretty cool - basically a bioligical, The Thing like singularity.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blood Music is pretty much Bear's best, though I still want to check out Hull Zero Three because it sounds basically like it's System Shock.

Also this is my regular thing where I gently suggest that Mefi's own Charles Stross writes a full-length Colder War novel.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:22 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm actually kind of cool on his other stuff, and hated Darwin's Radio, so yeah.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2012


Yeah that Darwin (trilogy?) was dire. Started out really interesting through. Same with Eon...I loved it but at about the 300 page mark I was all "Wait, nothing is happening in this book." The original Rama is pretty much the be-all and end-all of BDO fiction though, I think.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:28 PM on January 15, 2012


/physically restrains self to avoid talking about old, aborted reverse zombie story

The singularity is a lot more interesting or scary (or both) because it's actually plausible, unlike the totally fictional zombies. At some point smart things (people, computers, cyborgs, whatever) are going to start making themselves smarter through technology, and so on ad infinitum. At some point regular humans are going to face a future where we've become the dimwitted cousins of a new form of life. What happens then is the really fascinating question.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:46 PM on January 15, 2012


All other BDOs are mere shadows, except maybe the Monolith or any of the junk left lying around by Lovecraft's critters.

There was another story of Bear's I liked - a conspiracy with mind control goop where the bad guys had Stalin still alive in a big jar. IIRC it barely had a plot but had some great moments.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on January 15, 2012


Yeah, Blood Music is one of my favorites. It's incredibly inventive, nicely visualized and really brain-bending... and not just a little gross and icky. Parts of that book are outright repulsive and wake known terrors - since we are, indeed, swimming in microbes. I'd imagine that book would give a germaphobe the screaming phantods. I actually wrote Greg Bear about that one because it's rare I read a book that hits me so hard and the author is still alive and/or available to contact online. (Unlike, say, Le Guin whom I would also email but cannot - but I don't fault at all for not answering direct emails, much less reading them. She'd be swamped, as she explains gently on her site and requests only snail mail or contact through her agent.)

Blood Music is also not a small amount of inspiration for the (only marginally original) story I outlined above, just mixed with Diamond Age and others, really.
posted by loquacious at 4:55 PM on January 15, 2012


Everyone who I didn't like, liked Darwin's Radio, so I avoided it.

The lynchpin of MY aborted zombie-thing was after the zombies had been reduced to an occasional menace no fascistic state set it self up cause there still so much STUFF around and so few people that only the places that controlled really vital stuff or luxuries, but the expectation was if you didn't like one particular group you just moved on to another place cause you weren't being actively hunted anymore and settlements of any size where far apart. Even in Manhattan the basic unit of social organization was The Building, which was run like a town, and only up to the 7th floor and depending on the Building they had a Mayor, a Supervisor or General Council. Straight out military dictatorships where rare and short lived. I stopped it cause it wasn't going anywhere and got kind of Noble Savage-y, but I took a lot form Earth Abides, in that it really could be worse and people band together into communities instinctively but they don't have to be top-down and hierarchical.
posted by The Whelk at 4:57 PM on January 15, 2012


"...a conspiracy with mind control goop where the bad guys had Stalin still alive in a big jar."

Vitals.

I love his more science fictiony stuff, like Eon or Moving Mars.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:59 PM on January 15, 2012


(also a friend I respect called it "Hunter Gatherers in Haute Couture cause two of the main characters where fashion nerds before The End and wore ridiculous high-end fashion all the time and that was such a perfect take-down of the idea that I just stopped)
posted by The Whelk at 5:00 PM on January 15, 2012


Well that saves me an Ask.

A story I did recently, where the post-apoc Lake Baikal is the Baikal Rift, a deep pit in the earth full of mutant bacteria spewing noxious gases, may owe a tiny debt to it.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on January 15, 2012


The singularity is a lot more interesting or scary (or both) because it's actually plausible, unlike the totally fictional zombies.

Oh, hey, wow, way to come along and do a massive caterwauling hangover poo of truth into our tiny little espressos of fun.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:02 PM on January 15, 2012


It's also way more recent than I would have guessed - I guess he keeps knocking them out.
posted by Artw at 5:03 PM on January 15, 2012


TBH I think the "more plausible than zombies" aspect of the transhuman singularity where we all become uploads on a computronium substrate is a bit over-rated...
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, tumid dahlia, the zombie discussion will continue, just like zombie stories. Nothing can stop them!
posted by Kevin Street at 5:07 PM on January 15, 2012


This is true...the Metafilter Zombie Love Story book is due any day now!
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:09 PM on January 15, 2012


Soft as a zombie's touch......
posted by The Whelk at 5:17 PM on January 15, 2012


I'm actually curious about this since people seem to be enjoying it more than they expect to, but zombies visually scare the crap out of me, to an almost phobic extent. I looked at the first couple and decided looking at any more would give me nightmares for weeks. Is it late enough in the thread that someone can spoil it for those of us who really don't want to look at zombies? How does it progress and end? Or are the visuals really required to appreciate the story?

I'm really, really looking forward to zombies not being a "thing" anymore. I feel like I'm shut out of half of pop culture right now because even thinking about a shambling humanoid groaning and coming towards me makes me want to puke in fear.
posted by troublesome at 5:17 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, tumid dahlia, the zombie discussion will continue, just like zombie stories. Nothing can stop them!
posted by muddgirl at 5:20 PM on January 15, 2012


Al-Jazeera gets the story straight first, natch.
posted by BinGregory at 5:39 PM on January 15, 2012


loqucious: I couldn't find any good conflict or struggle beyond the usual Frankenstein and zombie tropes.

You weren't letting yourself go far enough. Stop worrying what other people will think about it and just write. Worked for me.
posted by localroger at 6:20 PM on January 15, 2012


Is it late enough in the thread that someone can spoil it for those of us who really don't want to look at zombies? How does it progress and end? Or are the visuals really required to appreciate the story?

There's not much of a narrative, it's really all just clippings from well known websites that show all the different facets of how each site would react to a zombie apocalypse in progress. There's not a lot of actual zombies, just a lot of images about their effects that make it more viscerally real, of car crashes, tanks in urban areas, huddled masses being relocated, that sort of thing. It's the attention to detail with the visuals & choice of photos to match each story that sells it. None of it looks staged because it isn't. It's all real news photos of assorted disasters taken out of context & repurposed to fit the zombie apocalypse storyline. Even the few actual zombies look to be people who've suffered some real traumatic injury that left them bruised on a large part of their body instead of an actor in makeup. Which is what I think they are.

That's the best I can do without breaking it down image by image.
posted by scalefree at 6:35 PM on January 15, 2012


Are you allowed to be phobic of imaginary things?
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:08 PM on January 15, 2012


*sigh* It's nice to read about zombies. It's such an escape from the reality which is: we'll have to solve our problems through hard work, sacrifice and patience. There won't be a Big Change to our world. Just painfully slow changes.
posted by hot_monster at 7:35 PM on January 15, 2012


loquacious, the premise of your story made me think of Brian Aldiss' Let's Be Frank. I wonder if that would fit into the zombie genre.
posted by Alnedra at 7:37 PM on January 15, 2012


Back in the year 2000, they played a horrible VCD at my guest house called 28 Days. Two years later I heard there was a new movie out called 28 Days Later, and I thought "I can't believe they came out with a sequel to that crappy Melrose Place after-school special...".
But the sequel turned out to be much better! And since I saw nary a hair of Sandra Bullock acting drunk in it, I assume her character didn't survive the rage virus. Knowing that's what the future holds makes the first movie a better experience in retrospect (kind of the opposite of the all-for-naught Alien3/Aliens thing).
posted by blueberry at 11:06 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is where I usually point to the Marxist analysis that says zombies and vampires both represent bourgeois class fears - zombies are the proletarian mob, vampires are the extorting aristocrats.
posted by imperium at 6:42 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you allowed to be phobic of imaginary things?

Best kind of phobia, in many ways.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:15 AM on January 16, 2012


"Zombies symbolize like *this* and vampires symbolize like *this*" stuff always gives me hives. It's that classic lumpers v. splitters thing again, I guess. The lines are always blurrier than the "Vampires are monsters of the right; zombies are monsters of the left" folks try to get you to believe. Always good for a hip-sounding column, though.
posted by mediareport at 7:48 AM on January 16, 2012


Zombies are an excuse to have gory imagery of heads being blown open and cannibalism. It is its own reward that doesn't require a zeitgeist for legitimacy.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on January 16, 2012


A vampire ain't nothing but a sex-perv zombie in a tuxedo.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on January 16, 2012


Wait but what's a werewolf then? Or does it depend on if we're talking pre- or post-Teen Wolf?
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 AM on January 16, 2012


Puberty golem.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on January 16, 2012


Werewolves are, depending on who is writing them, the dirty, reckless, working classes/puberty metaphor/ People who go crazy/drunk/abusive but are usually calm.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on January 16, 2012


my favorite movie monster currently is tetsuo iron man
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:18 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also lesbians, that's a big one these days I'm told.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on January 16, 2012


God that second Ginger Snaps movie was terrible amiright?
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2012


The one set in the 19th century? Or Jennifer's Body?
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:15 PM on January 16, 2012


Waittaminute, what about mummies?
posted by muddgirl at 1:27 PM on January 16, 2012


Pretty much just specialized territorial zombies with, curiously, no braaaaaains.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2012


No no no they all have tragic pasts cause they doomed Kings and such.
posted by The Whelk at 2:23 PM on January 16, 2012


Mummies are closer to Ghosts in that regard. They need backstory. A mummy without a backstory is just zombie jerky.
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2012


Mummies are just zombies wrapped in cloth. It's kind of funny how people think the zombie thing is recent, but there has been a spate of mummy movies since the '30's.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:18 PM on January 16, 2012


Sure, the locals *say* they have a backstory, but at the end of the day it's all murrrrrrrrrr! And *smash* and probably a bit of nomnomnom on the side..
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think mummy-hood is infectious, though. The whole "the next mummy could be YOUR WIFE" is pretty important to the zombie mythos.
posted by muddgirl at 3:28 PM on January 16, 2012


TBH possession and cursed artifacts probably make for a better time as far as the cod-Egyptian mileu goes.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on January 16, 2012


Dignified zombie kings don't waste their time infecting others. They're usually just looking for something, and people keep getting in the way.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:50 PM on January 16, 2012


Those are Litches and they are rare.
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on January 16, 2012


I meant as in - a dead king who is a zombie.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:16 PM on January 16, 2012


Liches are kind of like the nerdy westernized zombie (you know, before the apocalyptic westernized zombie). In Haiti, maybe you've got enough book-learning to turn a couple corpses into slaves to work your field. But if you're a nerd, you can sacrifice looks (such as they are) for eternal life and command an army of undead.
posted by muddgirl at 4:52 PM on January 16, 2012


I call Nerd Litch King Of Scilon Valley.
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on January 16, 2012


ZomGygax rules the night.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on January 16, 2012


The current idea of a zombie is largely a pop culture version.
The "power" of Vodou, and the ability to turn someone undead, existed because of the belief in Vodou. The fact that it was a drug induced state didn't become apparent until the mid 80's. Before that it's not a stretch to imagine that if a friend was buried and they popped up in my village shambling around I probably would've conclude they were a zombie.
D&D included, I think we can all agree zombie is somewhat an amorphous term, but certainly applies to mummies.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:41 PM on January 16, 2012


I don't think mummy-hood is infectious, though.

"Inca Mummy Girl" (Buffy S02E04) is kind of an exception.
posted by stebulus at 6:40 PM on January 16, 2012


I love zombies. Remind me to go out and buy a nice sword. And maybe an axe.

We should build a secret Metafilter bunker somewhere so we Mefites all survive the zombie apocalypse.

Ad hominem: "I give that fucker a wide birth"

While that was a lovely mental image, I think you meant berth, my friend.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:51 PM on January 16, 2012


Mummies don't nomnomnom, they strangle your head off.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:29 PM on January 16, 2012


Gygax awaits alone in his modest ranch home a'dreaming.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure David Morse was behind the whole thing.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:20 PM on January 18, 2012


Oh, also:

IndigoRain: "We should build a secret Metafilter bunker somewhere so we Mefites all survive the zombie apocalypse.
"

This has already been gamed out pretty much.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:06 PM on January 20, 2012


We should build a secret Metafilter bunker somewhere so we Mefites all survive the zombie apocalypse.

You didn't get the notice? Oh. Well this is awkward.
posted by scalefree at 8:30 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


But pts, this is addressed in nearly every zombie fiction ever. The main characters always pause after a particularly brutal act and then it's "OMG are they the real monsters here? . . . OR ARE WE?!?"

Reminds me of a choice bit of graffiti conversation from one of the Left 4 Dead games:

WE ARE THE REAL MONSTERS
You are a real MORON
No, that's the zombies.
I D I O T
I think it's them stupid
HOPE YOU ARE DEAD NOW
Moron.
Have you been outside JACKASS!!
I miss the internet.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:16 PM on January 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


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