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We can all relax...the zombie horde will be eliminated..
January 23, 2013 6:39 AM   Subscribe

"When we need taquitos, we run to Quick Trip" (slyt) Zombie defenders come to an Ace Hardware near you..

Jon Hurst, a young man in Georgia and former Ace Hardware employee has a plan for what to do when the impending Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. An avid Walking Dead fan, he realized that his job at a metro Atlanta Ace Hardware gave him an advantage for survival when the zombies started to attack. He made a 10 minute 'mockumentary' and posted it on you tube. It will air at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Ace Hardware was not amused and demanded that Mr. Hurst remove the video and when he refused, they fired him. Fans of the video have written an open letter to Ace.... (via)
posted by pearlybob (55 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn!! Happens every time. SMH
posted by pearlybob at 6:46 AM on January 23, 2013


"software on my computer needs an update" No it doesn't wtf is that?
posted by Max Power at 6:48 AM on January 23, 2013


What is 'SMH'?
posted by item at 7:01 AM on January 23, 2013


Seeing as how at least one Ace Hardware store explicitly has a Zombie Preparedness Center, I think corporate has overreacted more than a little here.

Also, the phrase "when the zombies come" is hard-coded into my brain from two long days of shooting to be associated with this song.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


If Lowes or Home Depot was smart, this guy would be making commercials for them about an hour ago.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:09 AM on January 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ah, Westlake Ace used to be an independent entity. This might get interesting.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:13 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


SMH = Shaking My Head. It is probably my least favorite newly minted internet acronym/shorthand.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got bored after three minutes. Why is this going to Sundance?
posted by starvingartist at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed the video immensely.

The trouble is that "Zombie Apocalypse" has troubling racial/class undertones. Although it seems cowardly, corporate is making the right move.
posted by Renoroc at 7:20 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was so pleasantly surprised when I found that metro Atlanta has QuikTrip. Mmm, taquitos.
posted by wierdo at 7:21 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


So the Zombie Preparedness Center has been around for well over a year and was, apparently, incredibly successful for them.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:31 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The trouble is that "Zombie Apocalypse" has troubling racial/class undertones.

I can see the class undertones, but are the racial ones anything but a corollary to the fact that in America today, race and class are closely intertwined?

And when The Walking Dead catches some flak for having too few non-white zombies, it seems like the problem might be multidimensional.
posted by Etrigan at 7:40 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


So is the guy in the black shirt the filmmaker? And if so, is he still working at Ace? Or was that an actor in this mockumentary?

I have to wonder what the big cheeses at Ace are going to think of certain parts and whether he keeps his job. I get it that it is all tongue-in-cheek, but you can be sure there will be somebody who will have an objection.
posted by lampshade at 7:41 AM on January 23, 2013


These aren't movie nerds whimsically planning for the zombie apocalypse. These are young gun/survivalist loons adding nods to their favorite tv show into their fantasizing about shooting things and blowing shit up.

I enjoy The Walking Dead, but these aren't so much my fellow fanboys as they are the kind of dudes cheerfully arguing for assault rifles and extended magazines elsewhere on the 'net.

All their talk of a world without "bitches or kids," just a panoply of improvised weapons for mutilating, practiced on retirement homes, but don't worry, "not on little kids" ... My first thought wasn't that they should hit the film festivals; it was that their guidance counselors and neighbors should monitor them closely...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:42 AM on January 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


Somebody get that kid an XBox 360 and a copy of Dead Rising. Stat.
posted by the painkiller at 7:44 AM on January 23, 2013


Exactly, DirtyOldTown. As soon as he said, "No bitches or kids. This is about survival.", my first thought was, "You aren't going to survive very long. Jerk."
posted by starvingartist at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


These aren't movie nerds whimsically planning for the zombie apocalypse. These are young gun/survivalist loons adding nods to their favorite tv show into their fantasizing about shooting things and blowing shit up.

Well, not all of them. There are plenty of people in Zombie Squad, for instance, who use the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for overall emergency preparedness. ZS spends a lot of time and effort trying to keep out the black-helicopter crowd.
posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or stuff like "bitches and kids" was said with tongue firmly in cheek. Everyone knows the first item in a real survivalist scenario is a harem of women to help repopulate the earth and make sandwiches.
posted by BeReasonable at 7:59 AM on January 23, 2013


There are two kind of Ace hardware store. Some are new and shiny and brightly lit and staffed only by people under 25. Do not go to this store; they do not know the answer to your question if you have one, and have never heard of the specific tool or fitting you're trying to find.

Go to the dusty cluttered one with the ancient lady at the checkout and the dude with a non-ironic mustache at the plumbing desk. Take note of the old guys who are too busy bullshitting with each other to ask if you need help finding anything. These people know what you're looking for, know where it's kept, and know why you could actually just get one of these over here at half the price. They are perfectly friendly if you only ask.

In case of zombie apocalypse, I'm going to hang out with the old guys. Sometimes one of them brings his black lab!
posted by echo target at 8:01 AM on January 23, 2013 [17 favorites]


pearlybob: " Ace Hardware employee has a plan for what to do when the impending Zombie Apocalypse is upon us"

Whaddya gonna do? Tell the zombies you don't know where the air compressors are?
posted by boo_radley at 8:01 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a person to has gone to Sundance for the last three years, has parents who run an Ace Hardware where I spent literally years being bored, and has at least thought about a zombie plan, I expected to enjoy this. Turned it off after "bitches and kids."
posted by stephennelson at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


I also didn't last long. Was "bitches" meant as whiners or weaklings rather than women? Because if I can't score during a zombie apocalypse then I certainly won't be enduring one with this dolt.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:10 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


If a dog bites a zombie, do he become zombie dog? Yes or no.
posted by Mister_A at 8:15 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a Judge John Hodgman that dealt with a fellow who had a scenario very much like this one. Hodgman pointed out that the guy wasn't very familiar with zombie movies, which aren't so much concerned with the survivalist element, but how those sorts of conditions changes people into something worse than zombies -- that after the zombie apocalypse, the most dangerous thing out there is selfish, amoral humans.

These employees aren't preparing to survive the apocalypse. They are preparing to be the worst part of it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:18 AM on January 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


You mean, INEVITABLE Zombie Apocalypse, don't you?
posted by Samizdata at 8:23 AM on January 23, 2013


While you fools fight over axes, I'm gonna stock up on Tyvek. Ain't no zombie gettin through that stuff.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:25 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am breeding cats which will turn into supercats, if I know science!
posted by Mister_A at 8:37 AM on January 23, 2013


I got bored after three minutes. Why is this going to Sundance?

Sundance is mostly populated by the undead these days.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:51 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mister_A's Dope-Ass Film Festival and Rassling Championships actually rejected this piece.
posted by Mister_A at 9:07 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not hard to see why the guy was fired. Besides the "bitches and kids" comment, check out the last 45 seconds or so, which includes this quote:

"There is so many stupid people in this town that come into this store, and they ask the most ridiculous questions or treat you like crap, so all you can really picture is how much you'd rather shoot them in the face when they're coming at you trying to bite you. It's either that or straight up murdering, and no one considers zombie killing murder, so if anyone's ever worked retail you know exactly what I'm talking about."
posted by mokin at 9:17 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, while the sentiment about working in retail is understood, it's a really really bad idea to have video of yourself posted on the internet indicating your urge to for shoot people.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:20 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The trouble is that "Zombie Apocalypse" has troubling racial/class undertones.

Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".
posted by KokuRyu at 9:31 AM on January 23, 2013


The trouble is that "Zombie Apocalypse" has troubling racial/class undertones.

I still don't believe this. I only hear about these supposed racial undertones from people who are warning us about them; I don't see or hear them in the words of the people who are indulging in zombie-apocalypse fantasies.

When I was young, our survival fantasies were all about making our way in a devastated post-nuclear wasteland, or about hiding out in the hills and taking pot-shots at Russian soldiers after they took over America. It was fun to scare ourselves by imagining what we'd do if it all broke down and we had to survive in a hostile world with no money, no support, just our wits. More than that, it was fun to let go of all the increasingly complex baggage of adult life and imagine that there was nothing more to worry about than survival. Crisis situations, terrible as the circumstances can be, often give people a brilliant sense of clarity and freedom to act decisively.

When I hear people talking about the zombie apocalypse it's just another face on the same old thing: let's imagine the world fell apart, and then let's imagine how we'd handle it. Zombies are just the excuse, and they're a great excuse since it means your opponents are monsters. You don't have to worry about all the complicated moral and political problems that come along with a guerrilla war against actual people.

Sure, the guy in the video says he wants to shoot his customers, and I'm sure he fantasizes about that, because his job probably sucks. I doubt that he really hates them, individually, and I even more doubt that he hates them for any particular racial or sociological reasons: he hates them, in the abstract, because they control his life. Listen to his monologue and what you hear is someone fantasizing about being freed to act, freed to take control of his environment and his life. What would it be like if this whole system that drives my life stopped existing, he asks, and me and my friends could just do what we wanted?
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:32 AM on January 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".

This is only "generally true" when the concern trolls come worrying about zombie fantasies. I see no evidence of it in the actual accounts of zombie-apocalypse fantasies.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:32 AM on January 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


Key and Peele: racist zombies
posted by angrycat at 9:35 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sometimes a zombie is just a zombie.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:36 AM on January 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".

Whaaaat. I have literally never heard of/thought of this and I am absolutely sure the same is for all of my zombie enthusiast friends. I have been into zombies for like 10 years now.

Where is this coming from? I ask entirely seriously. This is baffling to me.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:36 AM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


> Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".

Nope.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


If the Walking Dead is any indication, "zombie" is code for "white".
posted by blue_beetle at 9:44 AM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]



These employees aren't preparing to survive the apocalypse. They are preparing to be the worst part of it.

That's troubling punchline of this short. That and the clear belief that anything, including a violent apocalyptic scenario would be better than the deadening boredom of a dull retail job in big box Southern suburbia. I took this short as a dark joke at the expense of the kind of character who would welcome a zombie invasion in order to feel justified shooting old people and his customers in the face.

It made me think of some years back, in the OMG PEAK OIL days, when I would sit around at bars in my liberal college town and listen to waiters/guitar players/grad students/line cooks/copywriters/whatever wax poetic about various doomsday scenarios and how they would live hard off the land and become these tough, hard-nosed hero types. It seems worth noting that these conversations were almost always lead by men and most of the men having them had little to no real life experience with violence or deprivation. They were just bored and still young enough to imagine that their own stories would play out in rows of tidy comic book squares.

I remember getting so fed up with it--the unearned swagger, the hypothetical heroics, the barely concealed enthusiasm for catastrophe--and feeling that slightly woozy superstitious "Be careful what you wish for" shiver. Sometimes it seems like cataclysm can be a product of the collective will. Not the kind with zombies. The kind with humans and guns. And as someone who's always found most post-apocalyptic stories fundamentally effed-up, disturbing and unsatisfying for their "Let's explode the children's hospital. To hell with the poor, the handicapped, the elderly and infirm" sensibilities, I tend to think that people that wish for the end of the world are probably some of the saddest people around, if only because they don't recognize the enormous and unearned fortune of having never had to live through something like it.
posted by thivaia at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


The trouble is that "Zombie Apocalypse" has troubling racial/class undertones.

Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".


I can see the class undertones: "Ahh, the zombies (serfs) are rioting! Fortunately, this mall (castle | mansion) is defendable! It's a good thing that I am so accidentally well prepared by being a cop | soldier (tool of the system) or by preparing for something like this (black-helicopter whackadoo) via acquisition (rentier)!" And America tangles together class and race pretty efficiently.

But making the explicit statement that zombies are supposed to be substitutes for black people, to the degree that pod people were supposed to be substitutes for Communists, is pretty unsupportable.
posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Zombies WERE black. That a zombie could be white was a terrifying idea. They were the incarnation of Otherness, the hungry, implacable horde coming for your wimmins and your hard-earned consumer goodz, straight out of the Triangle Trade and into your spacious living areas.

But Roger Corman came along and smashed that trope to bits and good on him for doing so.

In the world after Night of the Living Dead, zombies have been deracinated. Now they're merely shorthand for People We'd Really Like To Shoot In The Head But Can't. Which, in 'Murrica, is basically the poor, because hey my car runs and the rent's paid so I must be middle-class, not like THOSE people lining up for hand-outs.

So get your hierarchy straight: zombies are the poor. Werewolves are the adolescents, all uncontrollable lusts and sudden, embarrassing hairiness. Vampires, though. Vampires are rich. They sit at the top of the food chain. They are immortal, powerful, seductive, and above all else rich rich rich.

Zombies mindlessly consume. Werewolves throw frightening tantrums. But vampires just want you to look over this contract before signing it please and thanks so much, sucker.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:04 AM on January 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


Argh. I meant, of course, George Romero, not Roger Corman.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:15 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]



Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".


One subset of zombie symbolism can be class/race, certainly. But the genre as a whole draws off a more vague sense that "other people" are the real danger in this life, that the unthinking, unfeeling hordes could ruin everything for all of us at any time. There are different ways to play out that fear, certainly.

But Romero's zombies, for instance, are just about archetypal at this point, and if anything his movies have a strong anti-racism bent to them, along with a harsh critique of capitalism.

I also respectfully but pointedly disagree with bitteroldpunk's assessment that the Romero zombies represent our frustrated desire to kill off the poor. I think you should watch some of those movies again. If anything, Romero has something of an ex-hippie's desire to find solidarity with the problems of poor and black Americans.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:17 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Consider this exchange from the original Dawn of the Dead:

Francine: What are they doing? Why do they come here?
Stephen: Some kind of instinct. Memory of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.


That's Romero taking the piss out of middle-class consumerism, not the poor.

I certainly don't disagree with the idea that fascination with zombies is tantamount to salivating over a potential race war to some folks. There seems to be more and more of that. But to say it's essential to zombie stories in general is off base, possibly nowhere more so than in the films of George Romero.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:28 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


These employees aren't preparing to survive the apocalypse. They are preparing to be the worst part of it.

Seriously. I have a friend who keeps going on how movies like the Road and shows like Walking Dead are exactly how things would be, like it's truth sent back from the future, but if you look at human history, things are actually pretty rosey even with a zombie thing. Sure, people fight, but what survives is people getting along. The lone "survivalist" lasts maybe a generation or a little longer, but tribes and other gatherings prosper. It's the same in the animal world, especially with prey animals who flock to survive as a group. It's not as interesting drama, but people like this won't really last long.

Generally speaking, "zombie" is code for "black".

I live in a small town, and overheard a conversation at another table, and when i heard "zombie" i perked up thinking they might be nerds i had similar interests in. Then i heard them saying the n-word over and over, and how zombies were the best thing since they can now talk about killing them all, and they weren't referring to zombies. The luster came off of zombies at that point for me, seeing these same types were the ones who go on about race wars and how much they look forward to them.
posted by usagizero at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, I agree, DirtyOldTown. Hard to watch Dawn of the Dead and not get that. But does that reading hold true for non-Romero zombie works? Maybe so, maybe not.

On preview: damn, usagizero. That's deeply fucked up.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:35 AM on January 23, 2013


Really, I didn't mean to derail an interesting (and relevant) avenue for this thread: that the kids in this video are emblematic of a growing subset of zombie fans who fetishize the idea of the zombie apocalypse as a chance to kill "all the right people." If that's the point y'all are making, I will not only step out of the way but say I completely agree. And re-reading bitteroldpunk's comment, I gather that was the point and I got it a little wrong.

Still--considering how many of our fellow nerds are non-racist, non-classist lovers of everything zombie--it bears mention that this is but one pernicious off-shoot of the more broad psychological underpinnings of zombie fiction: that stupid, awful people will be the end of us all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:41 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thivaia, I've dealt with the same people, utterly convinced that civilization is a plague, and that they could survive without it. I finally confronted one guy who said he could get along in the wilderness without technology, and bet him a thousand dollars that he couldn't survive a week in a wilderness area I chose. Pity he didn't take me up on it, because I was going to dump him naked in Death Valley in midsummer. No he wouldn't get a survival knife- that's technology. The last time I saw him, he was still pontificating about how civilization made people weak.
posted by happyroach at 11:11 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


These employees aren't preparing to survive the apocalypse. They are preparing to be the worst part of it.

The game DayZ has turned out to be a fairly accurate portrayal of this, with the players turning into something worse than the zombies. From several videos I watched on youtube, it looked kinda interesting - zombie apocalypse, scarce supplies, chance encounters with other survivors and the resulting decisions that each player has to make.

As it turns out, people team up into gangs of 3 to 4 people. They don't waste ammo on shooting zombies - they can just be outrun or avoided. If any other survivor approaches, they shoot on sight. These gangs save their ammo so that they can go hunt other survivors, kill them, and steal their gear.

I didn't play for long. It's too depressing.
posted by Diag at 1:54 PM on January 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, lot of folks not getting that this is a mockumentary, not a documentary. Once you consider that the entire thing is meant as mocking comedy, about half of all of the comments above become totally inapplicable.

Maybe we've all been playing the "what would I do in a Zombie Apocalypse" boredom game a little too much and too seriously if we're honestly critiquing the fake tone and fake attitudes of a comic video like this.
posted by Muddler at 4:05 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you saying the shotgun doesn't actually go up to 11?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:08 PM on January 23, 2013


Sometimes a zombie is just a zombie.

Sometimes a zombie is just a zombie enjoying a fine cigar.
posted by lampshade at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2013


Only if the cigar is brains.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:56 PM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Quiktrip strategy is brilliant.

For those who are unlucky and don't live near one, it's the king of kwik-e-marts... clean, safe, cheap, and full of crazy amounts of fountain and frozen drinks.

Oh, and the taquitos are indeed excellent.
posted by Old Man McKay at 9:56 PM on January 23, 2013


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