Left my *brain* in San Fransisco?
August 1, 2005 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Zombie flash mob in San Fransisco. Related blog entry and appropriate domain. [more inside]
posted by fatllama (93 comments total)

 
Contrast, compare.
posted by fatllama at 8:42 AM on August 1, 2005


Flash mobs. Are those things still around?
posted by keswick at 8:44 AM on August 1, 2005


That's Francisco, for God's sake, as in St. Francis.
posted by digaman at 8:48 AM on August 1, 2005


Favorite moments: A good time was had by all.
posted by fraying at 8:54 AM on August 1, 2005


Favorite moments:

The zombie in the yellow shirt, sans bra.
Yellow shirt is later ripped, while still being worn.

Woman with axe embedded in head.

Zombie in black leather jacket that looked like Dennis Leary.
posted by jmccorm at 9:06 AM on August 1, 2005


Flash mobs. Are those things still around?

No. They died a while ago. Oh, wait...
posted by dobbs at 9:08 AM on August 1, 2005


Romero LARPers?

The make-up suggests TromaLARPers, though.
posted by gramschmidt at 9:14 AM on August 1, 2005


  • The "why God? WHY?" look on the face of the gentleman with the Windex
  • The woman presenting a talk in the theater at the Apple store bravely soldiering on as the hoard approached.
A good time was had by all.


Except for the "mundane" working stiffs who were just trying to do their job until some messy, disruptive "digerati" came along and acted out n the name of "fun."
posted by keswick at 9:18 AM on August 1, 2005


keswick : "Except for the 'mundane' working stiffs who were just trying to do their job until some messy, disruptive 'digerati' came along and acted out n the name of 'fun.'"

I am outraged. Outraged, do you hear?!
posted by Bugbread at 9:26 AM on August 1, 2005


amusing, but really this is just a prank branded with that stupid blog-invented flash mob stamp to try and keep the fad from dying.
posted by angry modem at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2005


angry modem : "amusing, but really this is just a prank branded with that stupid blog-invented flash mob stamp to try and keep the fad from dying."

Really? I would have assumed it was just the most effective way to gather up a whole bunch of people for a prank. You need a mob for a prank, you don't know a billion people who can help you pull it off? You post bills around town, or make fliers, or put it on the internet. By definition, all of those are flash mobs, but it seems like the name is secondary to the prank, and the goal of the prank is having fun and "freaking out the norms" (or whathaveyou). I'd be seriously surprised if they decided to use an existing term (flash mob) instead of making up and then having to explain a new term ("We're trying to organize a UnGroup - that means 'group of people who don't necessarily know eachother' for a prank") just to keep the fad from dying. It seems more likely to me that it's because making up new terms for existing concepts minimizes the need for unnecessary "contentuodescription" (that means "describing the contents or concept of something")

Also known as "explanation", but I didn't want to be unhip by tying myself to a dying fad)
posted by Bugbread at 9:39 AM on August 1, 2005


That's Francisco, for God's sake

Eek. Twas before I had my coffee! Administrator, please hope me!
posted by fatllama at 9:42 AM on August 1, 2005


They're lucky they didn't encounter a flAsh Bruce Campbell.
posted by brain_drain at 9:42 AM on August 1, 2005


Is this MonkeyFilter? Because this has been done before, a few weeks back in Montréal...
posted by kika at 9:45 AM on August 1, 2005


fraying, I love you. The image of the zombies going "trains, traiiins" is just fucking amazing.

dobbs also scores with his comment.

This officially has my vote for best post of the day, without even seeing the rest. Not at all related to the fact that I wish I could have been there.
posted by livii at 9:45 AM on August 1, 2005


Something like this happened in Montreal a while ago. The Montreal one looks a little less parodic and a little more violent.
posted by painquale at 9:46 AM on August 1, 2005


A brilliant bit of street theatre, IMO, and one that anyone with a sense of humour could have a lot of fun with. There are times when you just need to go with the flow and enjoy the moment for what it is. One of those times is, surely, when a zombie mob sweeps down upon you, encouraging you to join their milling ranks.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on August 1, 2005


Flash mobs are so last year, and this one is so "pepsiblue". Did Universal Pictures and/or the theater chains pay y'all to advertise their product, or are y'all just "useful idiots"?

Remember that juror for one of the OJ Simpson trials who was removed for showing up in a homemade Star Trek uniform? That's what this "mob" reminds me of. And nobody paid her for her advertising either.
posted by davy at 10:24 AM on August 1, 2005


I suppose it was the USA's turn to make one
posted by cleverusername at 10:25 AM on August 1, 2005


davy : "Did Universal Pictures and/or the theater chains pay y'all to advertise their product, or are y'all just 'useful idiots'?"

Neither.
posted by Bugbread at 10:27 AM on August 1, 2005


Maybe Matt should rename this site Mediashillers.
posted by davy at 10:27 AM on August 1, 2005


me: "Did Universal Pictures and/or the theater chains pay y'all to advertise their product, or are y'all just 'useful idiots'?"

bugbread: "Neither."

Then it's so sad y'all volunteered to be exploited for free by a big corporation. It's also sad that you don't know that's stupid.
posted by davy at 10:34 AM on August 1, 2005


davy : "Then it's so sad y'all volunteered to be exploited for free by a big corporation. It's also sad that you don't know that's stupid."

It's sad that you think that.

For us folks whose knowledge extends only to the content of the links, though, where does Universal Pictures come in? What product are we shilling? And how are we being exploited by them for finding this amusing?
posted by Bugbread at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2005


Er, sorry, it looks like I was able to answer questions 1 and 2 above. Apparently a new zombie movie is coming out soon. 'Course, that doesn't affect us folks who live in areas where movies take years to come out, so it isn't particularly stupid, sad, or idiotic for us to enjoy it, any more than being amused by coffee commercials from India would make you stupid, sad, or idiotic.

That said, what makes you think this was PepsiBlue?
posted by Bugbread at 10:51 AM on August 1, 2005


I am outraged. Outraged, do you hear?!

Look, if some douchebag in ratty dirty clothes came along and dripped red food dye and corn syrup all over a glass staircase I just windexed, I'd be freakin' pissed. <internet tough guy> I'd probably shoot him in head and claim I thought he was a real zombie </internet tough guy>
posted by keswick at 10:56 AM on August 1, 2005


True, of course. I guess I was just tweaked at the use of "digerati" to mean "people with a computer and an internet connection", and "fun" being in quotes (as if it weren't actually fun, but so-called fun).
posted by Bugbread at 10:58 AM on August 1, 2005


"i'm sorry."
posted by keswick at 11:16 AM on August 1, 2005


What the hell are you going on about, davy? I know Land of the Dead came out a month or so ago, I already went to see it. If there are others coming out, I had no idea. Given that nothing in the links suggests any of these zombies had links to zombie movies, why do you assume there's any shilling going on? Zombies existed before movies, and have transcended movies. Condemning this when nowhere does a single participant acknowledge a particular movie connection is just totally bizarre. What, are you afraid some people participating or observing are going to go buy a DVD of a zombie movie? If they pick a Romero, more power to them. I hardly think that constitutes shilling, though.

I do have to agree with keswick that dripping all over the clean staircase was rude.
posted by livii at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2005


So you're telling me these working stiffs get paid a salary, and not by the hour? That is, they're not going to make *more* money cleaning it up later? Hmmmm.

davy: when did you stop thinking for yourself? Also, it seems you're saying "y'all" a lot more after that linguistics thread where it got the official A-OK. That said, we must be so deeply immersed in evil muck that we can be corporate shills without mentioning an evil corporation anywhere at all!

Then again, I can see how dripping on the staircase was sort of rude.
posted by hototogisu at 11:36 AM on August 1, 2005


Look, it's perfectly obvious from the photos which movie series inspired it, like you know which movie franchise the kid in the Darth Vader mask is referring to: those are clearly Romero's "Living Dead" zombies, not say Haitian-style ones or Crowleyan elementals, so there was no need to acknowledge any single movie of a series of half a dozen. The vast majority of the flash mob's audience would have known that too, and I bet some of them wondered if this was an "official" publicity stunt or just a wildcat action by a bunch of silly fans.

I'm not saying it's "evil" or that the participants should be lined up and shot, I'm just saying it's sad. To put it in terms I'm sure most Mefite zombies would recognize, it's clearly not "thinking outside the box".

You've heard of Disneyland and Disney World? You've heard that they pay people to run around in Mickey Mouse costumes? Now quick, do you need to know which particular Mickey Mouse movie is being referred to in any given instance to grasp the context? If you saw people traipsing around in your town dressed up in Mickey, Goofy and Donald Duck costumes, what would you think? Now, tell me quickly how this differs.

As it is, if Universal were more like Microsoft or McDonald's they might sue the flashmobbers for copyright infringement, and were I on the jury I'd have to vote for the plaintiff.
posted by davy at 11:56 AM on August 1, 2005


Zombies versus LARPers in Montreal last month was amazing and super fun.

Flash mob zombies with shitty makeup are not so amazing and not super fun.

Accidentally breaking a window in McDonalds during a spontaneous dance party was super fun.

Menacing the Apple employees did not look so super fun.

Beautiful half-clothed Quebecois hipsters were super fun.

Fat dreadlocked attention-whore hippies that need bras are not so fun.
posted by car_bomb at 11:58 AM on August 1, 2005


those are clearly Romero's "Living Dead" zombies

No they aren't. They're Return of the Living Dead zombies (maybe they're interested in the upcoming sequels). You can tell because they're looking for braaaaiiinnns. Everyone knows that Romero zombies prefer offal. Get it straight, folks!
posted by 김치 at 12:04 PM on August 1, 2005


Because lots of movies have tall guys all in black plastic armor with very distinctive black plastic helmets? Oh, I'm thinking of Space Balls, surely there could be no other? Bad example.

When you say they look like Romero's zombies you actually mean that they look like most mainstream movie zombies? Seen Shaun of the Dead lately? That's what they look like to me.

A cursory glance at the internets suggest that Romero's flick is showing at two theaters in Santa Clara county, and no where else (via SFGate). I'm sure it's showing somehwere, and this is a last ditch promotional effort, er...come off it already.

I don't know if this qualifies as "thinking outside the box" or not, but I've certainly never heard of a zombie flash-mob before--it actually sounds like good fun. Here's to more ridiculous street theater!

Now, tell me quickly how this differs.
Well, the payment thing. The corporate shill thing. Actually, it's completely different. Next?
posted by hototogisu at 12:11 PM on August 1, 2005


"They're Return of the Living Dead zombies"

Whatever. They're from the same franchise: the originals in the first one didn't have so much dripping red stuff. And this particular flash mob is reminiscent of "Dawn of the Dead" , which takes place in a shopping mall.

Thanks for backing me up, by the way.
posted by davy at 12:18 PM on August 1, 2005


Downtown SF = shopping mall?
posted by hototogisu at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2005


...I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they probably did this for FUN.
Not to promote a movie or "shill" for somebody, but because it's pretty fun to dress up like a zombie and roam around. It looks fun. An amusing time can be had by all.
Millions of porn movies feature orgies, but that's not going to keep me from having one.
posted by 235w103 at 12:28 PM on August 1, 2005


keswick : "'i'm sorry.'"

Heehee.

davy : "Now quick, do you need to know which particular Mickey Mouse movie is being referred to in any given instance to grasp the context?"

Nah, because Disney is the only company that produces Mickey Mouse movies. There are a lot lot lot lot lot lot lot of companies that produce zombie movies. And, yeah, zombie movies where the zombies look like that (sunken eye sockets, gray skin, and lumbering gait was popularized by Romero, but he isn't the only one who depicts zombies like that.) Saying that zombies which fit that popular mold are therefore Romero zombies is like saying that people who dress up like Sailor Moon are obviously shilling for Disney, since the whole big-eye thing in anime comes from imitation of Disney eye styles.

davy : "If you saw people traipsing around in your town dressed up in Mickey, Goofy and Donald Duck costumes, what would you think? Now, tell me quickly how this differs. "

As above. Zombies are not proprietary property, unlike Mickey, Goofy, and Donald Duck. Last summer I saw people running around town in generic dog, cat, and mouse costumes (yeah, Japan had some fucked up fashion last year), but I never thought "Ah, sad idiotic shills for MGM, with their Spike, Tom, and Jerry costumes".

davy : "As it is, if Universal were more like Microsoft or McDonald's they might sue the flashmobbers for copyright infringement, and were I on the jury I'd have to vote for the plaintiff."

Er...what copyright would they be violating?

And 김치 nails it. If they're hungering for brains, they aren't Romero zombies, they're Dan O'Bannon zombies. In which case, I'd especially like to see Universal sue them for copyright, because if O'Bannon had the rights to "Braaaains", then it's an MGM intellectual property, and we could see them fight it out. Or, you know, if you can't actually identify what IP is being violated, then there's always the possibility that there isn't any IP being violated.

davy : "And this particular flash mob is reminiscent of 'Dawn of the Dead' , which takes place in a shopping mall."

Well, yeah. Considering that zombies have appeared in the streets, in malls, in military bases, underwater(zombie vs. shark!!), and pretty much anywhere else humans happen to be, it would be pretty hard to schedule a flash zombie mob in a place unreminiscent of anything. Skydiving zombie flash mobs would probably be hella fun, but hard to tell from regular skydiving flash mobs. Plus, having a bunch of planes fly into the same area is a sure recipe for turning "skydiving zombie flash mobs" into "conventional dead bodies plummeting from sky mobs"
posted by Bugbread at 12:31 PM on August 1, 2005


davy, I don't want to distract you but please consider that the photographer seems to be one of our own, with significant credibility in my opinion. This is a fluff post, not a shill.
posted by fatllama at 12:31 PM on August 1, 2005


I thought it might be inspired by the various Cheapass Games zombie themes...
posted by five fresh fish at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2005


Devilbunny needs brains!
posted by hototogisu at 12:34 PM on August 1, 2005


you naysayers are descendants of the old fucks crying in the streets about the Beatles rooftop concert... "i just, oh, oh my,i just cant beleive they are disrupting business! its just, oh oh god, oh my"

welcome to old fartdom; enjoy your value size
posted by Satapher at 12:35 PM on August 1, 2005


Looked like fun, if I was a SFer, I would have gone in an *instant*
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:35 PM on August 1, 2005


Remember that juror for one of the OJ Simpson trials who was removed for showing up in a homemade Star Trek uniform?

Actually, it was for the Whitewater trial. She's featured prominently in the documentary, Trekkies.

/pendant
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on August 1, 2005


"They're Return of the Living Dead zombies"

Whatever. They're from the same franchise


Nope. Romero had nothing to do with Return of the Living Dead. That was Dan O'Bannon (thanks bugbread!). They're like, totally different types of zombies, duuuuude!

Romero zombies: O'Bannon zombies Now, if you're gonna insist in tellin' me that a bunch of zombies pictured at eatbrains.com and talking on their cell phones are shilling for a Romero movie that (sadly) had already disappeared from theatres weeks ago, then to you sir, I say: balderdash. poppycock. rubbish.
posted by 김치 at 1:07 PM on August 1, 2005


zombie flash mobs = great
normal healthy participants sans bra = great
"traaaiinnns" = great
"genius braaaains" = great
smearing substances on windows and dripping on the staircase = not so great

I hope some of the zombies at least offered to help clean up.
posted by mrbill at 1:41 PM on August 1, 2005


davy : "Did Universal Pictures and/or the theater chains pay y'all to advertise their product, or are y'all just 'useful idiots'?"

Must you find EVERYTHING to be corporate influenced and/or evil? I mean, this is "evil", but not because of any sort of shilling going on. I hate to break up your perception of reality, but people actually do go out and have fun without having any sort of corporate shilling involved. Especially given that squidlist seems to have been involved heavily and they are a SF mainstay for off-the-wall outdoor theater.

I think this pretty much destroys your credibility as for what the supposed evils caused by corporations are... you have sucesfully cried wolf at something absolutely ridiculous (there is one zombie movie playing 40 miles away in Santa Clara) and proven that you have no perspective WHATSOEVER.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2005


Give it up Davy. The zombies depicted were the modern western zombie story concept - a generic mash of hollywood and books and games. If you think there is only one source of the brain eating zombie concept these days, you're living in a cave. No IP was involved. No shilling was involved (as demonstrated by the fact that even the zombie enthusiests here cannot agree on which zombie movie is the closest to the flash mob - probably because individuals in the flash mob each had their own idea of what a zombie is).

Undead zombies are part of our culture. They are not property.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:56 PM on August 1, 2005


Undead zombies seeking braaaains is especially part of the net/geek culture. Braaaaains has been an in-joke for ever and a day.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:11 PM on August 1, 2005


Again, I'm not saying the corporation put the Mefite zombies up to it: they didn't have to because the Mefites are so steeped in the corporate media. Nor did I say that the Mefites were consciously shilling the corporation's benefit: they were simply imitating characters from a series of movies. This is why I said it's "sad": nobody has to pay them to remind people of a corporate product -- it's as if a bunch of folks decided to dress up like Pepsi bottles. If you're going to argue with me at least pay some frigging attention to what I actually say.

As to which particular kind of zonbie, again, they're FROM THE SAME "Living Dead" SERIES -- the differences are like those of the Batmobile from one Batman movie in the same series to the next. Getting errantly pedantic about these small permutations only proves my point, which is "It's sad that you people are so steeped in corporate 'culture.'"

As for the rest, I get tired of repeating myself (starting with "As I said already....") so before y'all keep this thread going I suggest y'all first go back over my comments to see what I've already addressed. And if you want me to re-enact Monty Python's "Argument Clinic" routine you're going to have to pay me first.

And yes, from the photos looked like this "flash mob" took place inside that shopping mall in downtown San Francisco across from the Powell Street cable car turnaround. If it didn't, if the outside of San Francisco is starting to look like the inside of a shopping mall, then clearly I was right to move to Kentucky.

It's too bad though that nobody's brought up the obvious "defense": when "Mefite" "hipsters" do it it's automagically "ironic", "parodic" and "hip". I bet y'all could stand on a replica sound stage and imitate, word for word and gesture for gesture, any commercial you like and it would become "off-the-wall theater" simply because YOU did it. And why should you bother to "draw anything free-hand" when y'all can be "artistic" just by "coloring inside the lines"? Shame on me for not paying due homage to your "brilliance"!

So when are y'all gonna get made up like old men and "bust a move" just like in the Six Flags commercials? That would be, like, so "original", y'know!
posted by davy at 3:17 PM on August 1, 2005


the Mefites are so steeped in the corporate media

And, do I assume correctly that you, too, are so steeped -- as per your references to Monty Python's "Argument Clinic" and Six Flags commercials? After all, those are the products of entertainment companies.
posted by ericb at 3:27 PM on August 1, 2005


Shit, there goes Halloween - since any representation of a "witch" must surely be inspired by "Bewitched," any of a "dentist" by "Crest" toothpaste, any T.P.'ing of a front lawn tree by "Scott" toilet paper!
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on August 1, 2005


These zombies were mefites? Who are you again? At what point does the fact that *you* know the truth cease being a rationally held opinion and become a religion?

Now these "hipsters" are imitating characters from a series of movies? Not one specific movie? Which is it again? How does imitating a series of characters from a series of movies made by a series of corporations and a series of directors sum to anything remotely resembling "QED"?

This didn't take place in a mall, it took place downtown. It doesn't look like a mall, it looks like outside. It looks like outside because it was outside. Either that, or malls are looking suspiciously pastoral of late--I'll have to go to a mall, check out a chain bookstore and eat at a Quizno's, though...you know, just to be sure.

In defense of the hipsters I live with, you've never actually *met* one have you? 'Cause that coloring-in-the-lines paragraph makes absolutely no sense.

Finally, at what point do you simply dissolve into self-parody? Friend, this parrot is dead.
posted by hototogisu at 3:31 PM on August 1, 2005


davy : "This is why I said it's 'sad': nobody has to pay them to remind people of a corporate product"

Whether it reminds someone of a corporate product or not, (and whether that is sad or not) really comes down to a case by case basis, though. If I put a box in my living room, and a guy walks in and says "Cool! A crate, inside a room! Doom! ID Software rocks!", then it's not me that's sad, it's him. If I run around in a Pepsi bottle talking about how great Pepsi is, and reminding people of Pepsi, then it's me that's sad (and kinda spooky). And if people dress up like a facet of pop culture that has started out as a folk belief, got modified by a company, and then freed itself again from that company (unlike Pepsi or Mickey Mouse, zombies don't remind me of any specific company. They remind me of some movies, made by different companies, and some games, made by different companies, and some drawings by friends in high school, not made by any companies, and junior high school kids on Halloween, not made by any companies, and spooky shortstories, some published by companies, and some not published by companies)...if people dress up like that, it's not sad that some people are reminded of a corporate product, nor is it sad that people are reminding them of a corporate product, because it's in the middle.

If you look at a garden variety zombie and think "Romero!", then, hey, you either like Romero a lot, or don't like zombie stuff much in general. If you look and think "Romero! Universal Pictures! Corporate domination!", then there is more sadness on your side of the hastily nailed barn door than there is on the zombie side.

davy : "As to which particular kind of zombie, again, they're FROM THE SAME 'Living Dead' SERIES -- the differences are like those of the Batmobile from one Batman movie in the same series to the next. Getting errantly pedantic about these small permutations only proves my point"

Your point was that we were shilling for Universal. We rebuffed that, by pointing out that: the zombie image is pretty divorced from any individual company, but if one were to be pedantic enough to try to assign these zombies to a company (as you did), it might not even be Universal. The fact that A) we can agree that your assignment of company is wrong, but B) can't quite agree what company assignment is correct, is a good sign that there isn't a particular company involved. Claiming now that your point wasn't that we were shills for some company by enjoying a cultural icon, but shills for corporate culture in general, is changing your point. It's like saying, "Helium is lighter than hydrogen" "Er, no, hydrogen is lighter than helium" "The fact that you're pedantically arguing about which is lighter proves my point, that they're light!"

davy : "It's too bad though that nobody's brought up the obvious 'defense': when 'Mefite' 'hipsters' do it it's automagically 'ironic', 'parodic' and 'hip'."

That's because it's a lousy defense. Dumb shit done by mefite hipsters is dumb shit. Dumb shit done by non-mefite non-hipsters is dumb shit. Fun stuff done by mefite hipsters is fun stuff. Fun stuff done by non-mefite non-hipsters is fun stuff. You're now countering us with an argument that you wish we would have used, because it was a stupid argument. But it sure isn't an effective counter, because we didn't say it.

But when it comes to sucking corporate cock, this post is far more of a bukkake-fest. Fun gathering of people imitating a cultural meme that was influenced but neither defined nor limited by movies, versus "I've got to purchase this corporate product"? C'mon, davy.
posted by Bugbread at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2005


(Er, clarification: I don't really think you're sucking the corporate cock by liking the New Yorker. I just mean that, if you consider taking any joy from anything related to any corporation or corporations to be somehow being an idiotic tool of the corporate culture, then your post is far, far, far more egregious than this one. Personally, I enjoy some non-Dogme movies, and I enjoy some non-vanity-press-published books, and I enjoy computers, the parts of which are pretty much all made by corporations, some smaller than others, so I don't consider any liking of anything related to any companies whatsoever to be somehow sad or idiotic. And, for the same reason, I don't think your enjoyment of the New Yorker or its cartoons is in any way sad or idiotic)
posted by Bugbread at 3:44 PM on August 1, 2005


You just had to bring bukkake into this, didn't you?
posted by hototogisu at 3:45 PM on August 1, 2005


davy writes "Did Universal Pictures and/or the theater chains pay y'all to advertise their product, or are y'all just 'useful idiots'?"

... I'm not saying the corporation put the Mefite zombies up to it


So what if they all dressed as ninjas or pirates (or Ninja Pirates)? Would they unwillingly be shilling for movies like Pirates of the Carribean or films with ninjas like Batman Begins?

Here was I thinking ninjas and pirates and zombies could be funny and cool and the whole time it was just corporate brainwashing.
posted by Edame at 3:46 PM on August 1, 2005


uh...Caribbean
posted by Edame at 3:49 PM on August 1, 2005


Edame : "Here was I thinking ninjas and pirates and zombies could be funny and cool and the whole time it was just corporate brainwashing."

You only bring up brainwashing because you're so steeped in corporate culture that you automatically bring up references to Clockwork Orange. How much are Warner Brothers and the Kubrick paying you? Or are you just a sad idiot for using the word "brainwashing"?
posted by Bugbread at 3:51 PM on August 1, 2005


(Sorry "the Kubrick" → "the Kubrick Estate")
posted by Bugbread at 3:53 PM on August 1, 2005


It's funnier as a malevolent idea rather than a financial institution...
posted by hototogisu at 3:56 PM on August 1, 2005


As to which particular kind of zonbie, again, they're FROM THE SAME "Living Dead" SERIES -- the differences are like those of the Batmobile from one Batman movie in the same series to the next.

So, by your reasoning, Rocky V and Million Dollar Baby are from the same series, because they're both about boxing, even though they're financially and artistically unrelated?
posted by 김치 at 3:59 PM on August 1, 2005


bugbread writes "You only bring up brainwashing because you're so steeped in corporate culture that you automatically bring up references to Clockwork Orange. How much are Warner Brothers and the Kubrick paying you? Or are you just a sad idiot for using the word 'brainwashing'?"

I can't talk about it anymore it's giving me a headache.
posted by Edame at 4:02 PM on August 1, 2005


김치 : "So, by your reasoning, Rocky V and Million Dollar Baby are from the same series, because they're both about boxing, even though they're financially and artistically unrelated?"

Hold on there, 김, now you're being a little unfair: while produced by different companies and made by different writers/directors, they aren't entirely unrelated. Return of the Living Dead does accept, within the context of the film, the story of Night of the Living Dead as having actually happened. They're not totally unrelated (though, interestingly, while they share a similar name in English, the Japanese titles are different: Night of the Living Dead is "Night of the Living Dead" (ナイト・オブ・ザ・リビング・デッド), while Return of the Living Dead is "Battalion" (バタリアン)).

Edame "I can't talk about it anymore it's giving me a headache."

A headache, you say?
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 PM on August 1, 2005


My bad: if the intent was to be just like "O'Bannon zombies" then I was wrong, it was a different series, a rip off of Romero's originals by MGM/UA. Which is doubly sad: copying a copycat. And yes, I made this factual misstatement because no, I haven't seen, let alone read up on, every zombie movie of the past 40 years, because I have no need to be so, oh, 'steeped in corporate culture'. (Again: thank you for backing me up, and even using my mistake to do it!)

And bugbread, I have never, and never will, dress up like a person in a New Yorker cartoon and run around spouting their tag lines. That, you see, is the difference between "taking joy in a corporate product", which in contemporary America is unavoidable given that everything is corporate-owned (like Rage Against the Machine, those "communist" Sony employees), and "coloring inside inside the lines" like, oh, dressing up like a zombie from a movie.

I'm still waiting for that "original" Six Flags commercial "parody". Or will y'all wait for the O'Bannon "homage" to come out and ape that?

Anyway. I predict this thread will last for at least half a dozen more posts, without any further comment from me, as the Heathers Mefites line up to demonstrate their kewlness to me and especially each other by disagreeing with me; maybe I'll check back in the morning.
posted by davy at 4:16 PM on August 1, 2005


Since you've failed to actually prove any of your salient points (or even offer any reasonable evidence), and blatantly ignored most of the posts in this thread, we can only conclude that TDDL was dead on, and only halfway into the thread at that.
posted by hototogisu at 4:26 PM on August 1, 2005


So when are y'all gonna get made up like old men and "bust a move" just like in the Six Flags commercials? That would be, like, so "original", y'know!

While there is no doubt that if I saw a (real) zombie, he would suffer the same fate as Mr. Six, at least when I beat the zombie in the head I would feel a little bit sad.
posted by stifford at 4:45 PM on August 1, 2005


Return of the Living Dead does accept, within the context of the film, the story of Night of the Living Dead as having actually happened.

bugbread, of course, at the beginning, Frank tells Freddy that NotLD was in fact, based on a true story, but that they changed the details -- those details including some that I mentioned here.

But those two series don't even scratched the surface of the zombie genre! I wonder which of the thousands of writers, directors, and actors is the evil corporate mastermind behind us poor stooges thinking zombies are cool? Which of the dozens of studios could it be? Is it George Romero himself? Maybe the same George Romero who filmed Night of the Living Dead in the countryside of his hometown Pitssburgh using friends and family as cast and crew, who later signed away the rights to the film? Or maybe the George Romero who refused to cut Day of the Dead to get an R rating, thereby prompting the studio to cut half of his budget? Or maybe the George Romero who couldn't get funding for LAnd of the Dead for most of the last decade? Truly, Romero and his creative offspring are the very exemplars of corporate culture! Thanks for deprogramming me, davy!
posted by 김치 at 4:48 PM on August 1, 2005


davy : "And bugbread, I have never, and never will, dress up like a person in a New Yorker cartoon and run around spouting their tag lines. That, you see, is the difference between 'taking joy in a corporate product', which in contemporary America is unavoidable given that everything is corporate-owned (like Rage Against the Machine, those 'communist' Sony employees), and 'coloring inside inside the lines' like, oh, dressing up like a zombie from a movie."

Hmm...I'd have to say that you are "coloring inside inside the lines" more than these folks were. They're imitating a cultural meme that is related to, but not synonymous with, a corporate product. You were directly advertising a corporate product.

davy : "My bad: if the intent was to be just like 'O'Bannon zombies' then I was wrong, it was a different series, a rip off of Romero's originals by MGM/UA."

You're right. If, in fact, the intent was to be just like O'Bannon zombies, then it was a different series. However, I posit that the intent wasn't to be just like O'Bannon zombies. It was to be like the general image of zombies, which was influenced, but not defined by, films such as Return of the Living Dead, in the same way that someone who does a painting or drawing using dots is probably influenced by, but not defined by, Seurat. So, it's a mishmash of lots of different elements of popular conceptions of zombies, one of the obvious ones (braaaaains) being an O'Bannon one.

Zombies are no longer owned by a studio. They have become part of the popular culture. Attacking someone for imitating a zombie as being a corporate lackey is like attacking someone for drawing Santa as fat instead of skinny is being a Coca-Cola lackey (as Coca-Cola is the company that popularized the fat-Santa image), or attacking someone for singing "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer" as being a Montgomery Ward's lackey (since Montgomery Wards invented Rudolph). There may be good reasons to dislike Santa or Rudolph, but Coca-Cola and Montgomery Wards aren't those reasons. Most people don't even know that they are company creations. They don't associate them with companies. They have lost their history of corporate roots and taken on a cultural relevance of their own (unlike, for example, Mickey Mouse, which is a recognizable and indisputable symbol for Disney).

So, the same with the zombies. Some people who like zombie movies go "Brains? That's O'Bannon, not Romero". But for most people, "Brains" is just what zombies say. Zombies aren't seen as a product of Hollywood, but a cultural icon which has been flavored by movies, just as time machines are not seen as icons of HG Wells but as fictional devices used in corporate entertainment, non-corporate daydreams, and crackpot inventors' goals.

For that matter, the fact that I wear pants instead of a skirt is probably, if you trace it back far enough, the result of some clever advertising scheme by someone yonks and yonks ago, but I don't consider men wearing pants to be glaring example of sad idiotic pawns of corporate culture. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving is probably some clever company scheme, but I don't look at folks who eat Turkey and say "corporate sheep". Corporate culture can suck, and suck bad, but it doesn't leave a toxic taint that remains forever, no matter what happens.

davy : "I haven't seen, let alone read up on, every zombie movie of the past 40 years, because I have no need to be so, oh, 'steeped in corporate culture'."

Nor have I. In fact, I can't think of anything I've done because of a need to be steeped in corporate culture. I can't think of anyone I've ever met who has done something out of need to be steeped in corporate culture. I'm not quite sure what you're getting at.

davy : "I'm still waiting for that 'original' Six Flags commercial 'parody'. Or will y'all wait for the O'Bannon 'homage' to come out and ape that?"

Well, apparently, we aren't the caricatures you want to believe that we are, so you're either going to wait forever, or realize that your characterization might be flawed.

davy : "I predict this thread will last for at least half a dozen more posts, without any further comment from me, as the Heathers Mefites line up to demonstrate their kewlness to me"

I wasn't aware anyone was trying to do that. Let me disabuse you of any preconception you have about me, at least: I don't think I'm "kewl", so I won't try to demonstrate my "kewlness". I'm just trying to explain to you that your association of "zombie" and "corporate culture" is not necessarily a reflection of reality, but of your view of reality. I doubt you'll agree, but the least I can do is explain my side of things.

davy : "I predict this thread will last for at least half a dozen more posts"

Davy, you've seen my bad habit of adding postscripts. Half a dozen seems to be lowballing it.
posted by Bugbread at 4:49 PM on August 1, 2005


김치 : "bugbread, of course, at the beginning, Frank tells Freddy that NotLD was in fact, based on a true story, but that they changed the details -- those details including some that I mentioned here.

"But those two series don't even scratched the surface of the zombie genre! "


Of course. I'm just a stickler for detail, and your phrase "artistically unrelated" was a bit inaccurate. The rest of what you said all stands.

(Note: this is comment 5. Only one more to reach half a dozen!)
posted by Bugbread at 4:53 PM on August 1, 2005


Menacing the Apple employees did not look so super fun.
We were invited to the store.

Yes you are rippin on fellow MeFites
Him = Him

I don't know where this shilling bullshit comes in, seems to always comes from just a bunch "sit-on-your-ass-do-nothings." "unless there is money involved there is no way anyone would get off the couch and have fun." yeesh... Cacophonists don't need corporations to have fun.

Would they unwillingly be shilling for movies like Pirates of the Carribean {sic}

The same folks who helped put on the Zombie Flash mob did a Pirate Water Battle in the pedal boats of Stow Lake located in GG park the next day. Someone gonna accuse us of shilling for Pirate of the Caribbean now?

Milton Rand Kalman
Veteran Cacophonist, Disliker of Loud Mouth Pricks
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:51 PM on August 1, 2005


ps. Davy, you're a jerk.

We weren't shilling so just apologize and move on to the next thread.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:54 PM on August 1, 2005


Flash mob zombies with shitty makeup are not so amazing and not super fun.

Some of the 'shitty' makeup as you call it was do to Zombication along the way. Plants in street clothes were setup along the route, in cafes and stores, when the zombie mob came by they were to flash a secret hand symbol (sideway peace sign), as we didn't know who they were. Zombies would surround, 'eat brains', basically 'zombie pile' them and hastly apply makeup in the 'huddle" and they would then join the mob.

Calling it flash mob is just a bit silly and catchphrasey, what this should be called is guerilla theater. Does that clear up anything for anyone?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:05 PM on August 1, 2005


I'll make it a half-dozen and satisfy Davy at the same time:

I'd have gleefully participated in the Zombie Mob, and I've never seen a zombie movie in my life, didn't know there were different types of zombies, am astounded there are people who take the genre seriously enough to know anything about it, and have never associated zombies with corporations in any way.

I have played Lord of the Fries, though, laughed my ass off at the vegetarian zombie joke ("Graaaaaains"), remember a bit where Calvin (& Hobbes) did a zombie bit, and think it'd be wicked cool to stagger about all zombie-like for a day, "infecting" willing participants, attracting lots of attention, and ending up drinking beers with my fellow zombies at the end of the day.

Sometimes fun is just fun.

Kinda like Seattle's pirate day this past weekend. I could have a boatload of fun with that bit of dressup and silly stunting, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:08 PM on August 1, 2005


(Just remembered another zombie: Michael Jackson, in one of his videos. And I think I was a Hallowe'en zombie once or twice, too. Oh, and there's ol' Reg (Reginald), the zombie policeman in Ankh-Morpork. He's a hoot.

Lots of zombies out there. Most of them have been quite amusing.)

posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM on August 1, 2005


Zombies would surround, 'eat brains', basically 'zombie pile' them and hastly apply makeup in the 'huddle" and they would then join the mob.

Awesome.
posted by fatllama at 6:13 PM on August 1, 2005


Oh Slim is the same guy who helped put on Paul Reubens Day

It's San Francisco, we do costumes.


Milton Rand Kalman
Still recovering from getting up at 6am to be the only the 20th person in line the SF Opera costume sale
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:23 PM on August 1, 2005


and have never associated zombies with corporations in any way.

You have obviously never worked for a corporation then.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:25 PM on August 1, 2005


Davie Zombie:
Some People's Zombie = hollywood shilling?

PurplePorpois Zombie (why oh why did I choose a screen name with the initials pp?):

Zombie = many adolescent summer afternoons spent in generally dark and mildewing basements pretending to slay zombies who go "braaaaiiiiiiiinnns."

I hate "hipsters." From visual cues, I'm inclined to think that this zombiemob is participated by just regular dorks, with whom I subscribe, rather than a specialized kind of dork who think that they're "cool" (and have the disposable income to keep up appearances).

/Davy pileup; yes, I have crappy reflexes
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:01 PM on August 1, 2005


MiltonRandKalman writes "The same folks who helped put on the Zombie Flash mob did a Pirate Water Battle in the pedal boats of Stow Lake located in GG park the next day."

five fresh fish writes "Kinda like Seattle's pirate day this past weekend."

Does anyone have links to pics?
posted by Edame at 12:36 AM on August 2, 2005


five fresh fish : "I've never seen a zombie movie in my life, didn't know there were different types of zombies, am astounded there are people who take the genre seriously enough to know anything about it"

I'm astounded that you've never seen a single zombie movie (not that I think it's weird or wrong or anything, it's just that people normally, somehow, sometime, see a zombie movie, even if they aren't fans of the genre, especially when you consider zombie movies that aren't the typical ones (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Shaun of the Dead)).

I'm a little surprised that you didn't know there were different kinds of zombies, but I suspect it's just that you knew but never thought about it: Haitian voodoo zombies are quite different from walking dead brain-eating zombies. Not knowing subdivisions past that, though, isn't so surprising.

And I'm a little surprised that you are astounded that there are people who take the genre seriously enough to know anything about it. C'mon, you're a net-savvy guy. There are people who take everything seriously enough to know little differences. That said, you seem to be assuming that folks who know the differences are therefore folks who take the genre seriously. I know the difference between Haitian, Romero, and O'Bannon style zombies, but not because I take the genre seriously. Haitian zombies I know about from some TV show that discussed them (actual science and history behind them, which I do find interesting), and O'Bannon vs. Romero merely because I always assumed (untinged by corporate culture) that zombies just plain said "braaaains", that it was part of their schtick, until I saw the original Night of the Living Dead and noticed a conspicuous absence of brain-eating and brain-chanting. It stuck out because it clashed with my culturally absorbed image of zombies, not because I took it particularly seriously.

But, man, if you want to see some people discuss zombies hardcore, google for any forums with the names "Dario Argento", "Fulci", and "Romero".
posted by Bugbread at 5:04 AM on August 2, 2005


I predict this thread will last for at least half a dozen more posts, without any further comment from me

Lame! Laaaaaaaame!
posted by quantumetric at 9:23 AM on August 2, 2005


Confidential to previous posters who found the zombies disruption / dirtying of the Apple store uncalled for: Apple store employees, having seen the Zombie mob shamble around the corner opposite them, actually tracked us down shortly thereafter (and several blocks away) and made a special request for a Zombie visitation.

That is to say, we were invited.

Also, regarding accusations of corporate shilling... Er... WTF?

I guess you had to be there, or be more immersed in SF freek / Cacophony culture, but this event was held apropos of nothing, and promoted nothing (except, perhaps, creative, DIY transgression performance) Which, although it may not be obvious from still photos, was excessively apparent to anyone who witnessed the zombies in person. Our loose coagulation (and there were a ROT of zombies) was simply too chaotic, unkempt and DUMB to have been mistaken, even momentarily, for anything bankrolled by contemporary corporate, capitalist, consensus reality.

Lastly, I will concede that the term "Flash Mob" is well and truly dead. But zombies? Zombies are forever.
posted by sfslim at 12:46 PM on August 2, 2005


Edame, here are some linky-dinks for Pyrate battle pictures.

Avast, ahoy, ARRRRggg and enjoy!
posted by sfslim at 12:53 PM on August 2, 2005


To those gracious people* who ranted in defense of the apple store and it's employees:

Not only were we invited to the apple store as sfslim stated but we were granted several smiles and laughter from customer and employee alike. And as our invasion drew to a close, many in the store applauded our shenanigans.

*whom I have no doubt are avid labor rights organizers who bus their own tables at restuarants, leave exorbinant tips, never litter or leave their garbage behind in a movie theaters, and are never ever rude.
posted by headlouse at 6:00 PM on August 2, 2005


Well, this is late, but I just want to give a big fuck you to sfslim and headlouse for being such pricks in their posts. Um, there was no context that you were invited into the Apple store. The one eyewitness account in the thread suggested the Apple employee cleaning the stairs was unhappy to get blood on his stairs. We can't read your minds. And so we concluded that despite the cool event, you'd been jerks about that. And I still think the event was cool, but your posts here make me think you're both total losers.

And great fucking strawman, headlouse, because we could never worry about one issue without also being passionate about every possibly-related issue - rudeness? - ever. Thanks! I'd never known that!
posted by livii at 8:22 PM on August 2, 2005


I love teh int0rnets!

I kiss you!
posted by sfslim at 11:15 PM on August 2, 2005


Chill, livii. You are the only one who concluded they were jerks. Don't try to shift blame on the rest of us. It's rude.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:31 PM on August 2, 2005


five fresh fish : "Chill, livii. You are the only one who concluded they were jerks. Don't try to shift blame on the rest of us. It's rude."

Chill, fff. Livii wasn't the only one who concluded that they were jerks. So did keswick, car_bomb, and I. Don't try to shift the blame all onto livii. It's rude.
posted by Bugbread at 4:18 AM on August 3, 2005


I just want to give a big fuck you to sfslim

Huh? I don't see where sfslim was rude at all (at least not until livii's egregious insult). It looks like he was just trying to clarify.

I can't believe that someone is writing fuck you in a silly post about zombies. Please confine that to the politics, religion, and technology posts. Thanks.
posted by 김치 at 8:52 AM on August 3, 2005


Whoops. I only searched for Apple references subsequent to livii's post.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 AM on August 3, 2005


I'm a jerk. But I don't care what anyone thinks of my behavior when it comes to sticking up for friends.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:02 PM on August 3, 2005


I am Spartacus a jerk!
posted by sfslim at 7:00 PM on August 3, 2005


Fuck you, you zombie bastards!!
You did it, didn't you? You blew it all to hell!!!
Nooooooooo!!!










Okay, now I feel better.
/not_a_jerk
/this_document_contains_no_data

posted by skoosh at 9:41 AM on August 30, 2005


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