Join 3,425 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Solanum virus outbreak in Ancient Egypt
November 12, 2007 10:48 PM   Subscribe

Zombie Attack at Hierakonpolis
posted by felix betachat (29 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
via PaleoJudaica
posted by felix betachat at 10:50 PM on November 12, 2007


Okay, this actually was my fault.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:10 PM on November 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


It's not April Fools, it's not Halloween... I guess archaeology.org just publishes fake stuff for kicks every once in a while?

I loved World War Z, but I don't really get why a magazine that appears reputable would indulge in this sort of thing. (Surely the whole thing's not a hoax, right?)
posted by hjo3 at 12:24 AM on November 13, 2007


AZ: Okay, this actually was my fault.

Nice try, but these zombies predate NASA and thus it'd pretty damn hard for them to be astro zombies.

Just like a zombie - taking credit for others hard undead work.
posted by item at 12:37 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ugh...can modern society please, please, please get over this zombie fixation? Zombies aren't interesting, or scary, and Shawn of the Dead had its moments, but...c'mon, people.
posted by zardoz at 1:14 AM on November 13, 2007


28 Days Later was mostly pretty good, too, you know. And that one AskMe where whoever-it-was made those awesome diagrams.
posted by blacklite at 1:51 AM on November 13, 2007


Zombies aren't interesting? They just happen to be the most complex and interesting allegorical monster in cinema. I could copy/paste my dissertation on Night of the Living Dead for a few primers on the zombie-movies and the bibliography would be a good starting point for all the books written on the subject matter. The recent resurgence of interest in zombies and post-apocalyptic movies is directly tied in with the current state of affairs in the world. I'm sorry you don't get it but at least there's more to the fascination than the ninja vs. pirate thing.

Besides you're called zardoz. Now there's an image that I wish we, as a society, could get over.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:53 AM on November 13, 2007 [6 favorites]


"I could copy/paste my dissertation..."

Really? Like, here in the comments? There's room for that? Hmmmmmmm (rummages around for abandoned novel about zombie lovers who after they've fallen in love turn away for a second and then can't recognize each other. Considers posting it because... because... well, because I can...)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:04 AM on November 13, 2007


My fifteen year-old son got a weird, almost sado-masochistic thrill out of reading this article and sharing it with his friends. He's a major game player and loves Dead Rising among other shoot 'em up Zombie games. I think these Paleontologist/Reporters were pretty shrewd to capitalize on all this anti-Zombie animus.
posted by AngryVICTIM at 2:11 AM on November 13, 2007


I loved World War Z, but I don't really get why a magazine that appears reputable would indulge in this sort of thing.

Because they can, because it is fantastic, and because spoofing yourself is what the internet was made for.
posted by Tehanu at 3:35 AM on November 13, 2007


Not to get too snarky but isn't this the same Archaeology that was upset about historical inaccuracies in Apocalypto?
posted by archaic at 4:29 AM on November 13, 2007


Well, the old-style slow-walking zombies weren't all that scary. But the new-fangled fast-running bloodthirsty v2.0 zombies (a la Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days/Weeks Later, etc), those zombies are pretty freakin' scary!
posted by jamstigator at 4:29 AM on November 13, 2007


Ugh...can modern society please, please, please get over this zombie fixation?

Are you new to the internet or something? Zombies are the new pirates which themselves were the new ninjas which were in turn the new monkeys. Modern society will get over this roughly in the next 6-8 months when another theme comes along.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:45 AM on November 13, 2007


bloodthirsty v2.0 zombies (a la Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days/Weeks Later, etc),

28 days/weeks later - not zombie films. People are infected by a virus, not rising from the dead, so technically not zombies.
posted by bap98189 at 5:56 AM on November 13, 2007


"I could copy/paste my dissertation..."

Really? Like, here in the comments?


Believe it or not, it's been done, footnotes and all. (It may have been a master's thesis rather than a dissertation.) It was back around 2003, but I'm not going to go searching through the archives.
posted by languagehat at 6:47 AM on November 13, 2007


Zombies are the reason Americans like myself are so well armed.... so when zombies come a knockin, my 12 gauge will be rockin!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:02 AM on November 13, 2007


can modern society please, please, please get over this zombie fixation?

No, no it cannot. Not yet, anyway.

When I was in grammar school in the 1980's I was taught (taught! by a licensed teacher!) that the popularity of alien movies in the 1950's was directly attributable to the paranoia engendered by the Cold War. Those aren't aliens descending in saucers with ray guns, they are Reds paratrooping in with Kalashnikovs. Some films, like The Day the Earth Stood Still, embraced this theme but most were just using the fears of the zeitgeist to make some bucks at the cinema.

Can the same be said of this generation's lust for zombies? I think so. There is no Cold War anymore, no more fear of national obliteration by a calculating and coordinated enemy. Instead, we live in a society that fears, to one extent or another, going to work in skyscrapers or taking buses or going to the mall. Mundane exercises that can become anything but with just one, dedicated fundamentalist wearing a T.N.T. vest.

Is this an accurate view of our times? No. There are some too paranoid to take a plane, but they are in the minority. Most of us go on with our lives, not even thinking of the current "threat level." But our government does what it can to keep our fears pumping, as it greases the wheels beneath its myriad plans. And honestly, terrorism is a viable threat. As we learned six years ago, there are those willing to go to any extreme to make us hurt. All it takes is a grenade beneath a rail line, some Anthrax sprinkled on the Sizzler buffet, a stolen gasoline tanker and you, I or anyone we know can become a victim. It's real. We don't want to think about it, and we've been very fortunate the last few years, but it is real. And deep down, we all harbor that fear.

And what prompts these fundamentalists to jihad? Our foreign policy, yes, but also our excess. Our binging on food, oil, steel...everything, really. Our trade deficit is so huge partly because we've become a service industry, and partly because we consume so god damned much we have to ship it in by the tons. We're like the 900 pound guy you see on Jerry Springer who's so huge they have to knock down a wall in his house to get him to a hospital. We devour everything to the point that we may just destroy ourselves before the terrorists can.

That's why zombies are popular now. They represented very different things in the original Night of the Living Dead, but as he's extended the franchise, Romero himself has embraced these themes. Are zombies representative of the fundamentalists who would see us dead, even if they have to do it inefficiently? Surely there are some who would gladly give their life to slit the throat of only one American. Or, do zombies represent the reprisal of excess? Are we the zombies, consuming ourselves along with our environment? These are the questions zombie media pose. And zombies aren't likely to go away until a better metaphor comes along or we fix what's wrong with us.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:11 AM on November 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Ugh...can modern society please, please, please get over this zombie fixation? Zombies aren't interesting, or scary...

You are going to be SO screwed when the war breaks out, just like those damn atheists when the Rapture comes.
posted by Evangeline at 7:24 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I never thought it could happen, but somehow media overkill has made zombies as lame as vampires. Killer leprechauns, your day has come.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:29 AM on November 13, 2007


Killer leprechauns, your day has come.

*Mulls over Killer Leprechauns.*

Hmmm... I have to admit killer leprechauns is pretty sweet sounding, but the problem is that metaphorically it's a zilch. No way does it have the ummph power to encapsulate the cultural and political zeitgeist. I mean what the hell do killer leprechauns represent anyway?

Dammit now I'm overthinking this and killing the magic of it, look you...you...espouser of Killer Leprechauns, I think we just need to realize this zombies thing is bigger than you or me or ANYBODY. It's a goddamn phenom!!

SO just back off, alright!!

BBRRRRAAAAIIIINNNSSS!!!!! Echo...echo...echo
posted by Skygazer at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2007


Killer leprechauns, your day has come.

Nah, it's been done.
posted by bap98189 at 8:42 AM on November 13, 2007


I mean what the hell do killer leprechauns represent anyway?

Dude. I have four simple words for you: "I want me gold!" He's like a symbol of American disenfranchisement. Or something. He's an illegal alien and he's a midg...um, a dwa...um...he's a little person of some kind. This is touching on all kinds of social issues that are totally relevant to the way we live today. Do you hear me? They are totally relevant issues.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:50 AM on November 13, 2007


Ugh...can modern society please, please, please get over this zombie fixation? Zombies aren't interesting, or scary, and Shawn of the Dead had its moments, but...c'mon, people.

No. Zombies amuse me. Zombie movies, while rather repetitive after the first 3 or 4 that you see, sometimes do something creative. Also, World War Z was really good, and the screenplay for the movie version is being written my J. Michael Stracyzinski.

Also, Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" is really, really good.

posted by zardoz

Ok, really, someone with that username is in no position to criticize anyone else's taste in movies.
posted by deanc at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2007


Kittens For Breaky Say: He's like a symbol of American disenfranchisement. Or something. He's an illegal alien and he's a midg...um, a dwa...um...he's a little person of some kind.


Dear Kittens for Breakfast,

You hear that sound off in the distance?

*Dramatic pause to catch breathe and wipe sweat off brow*

It's sirens...SIRENS I TELL YOU!!!

THE SIRENS OF THE PC PO-LICE!!!

Run...man...RUN!!

GODDAMMIT DON'T LOOK BACK...JUST RUN!!!

Yours in cheesy metaphor,

SKy-G
posted by Skygazer at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2007


I have to admit killer leprechauns is pretty sweet sounding, but the problem is that metaphorically it's a zilch.

Or if you live in Boston, it's too obvious to work.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:13 AM on November 13, 2007


"A little mummy dust in an open wound or scratch could have you driving the Devil's Cadillac in the fast lane all the way to Zombie-town."

"Flanigan, T., and T. Lewis. 2004 Clearing the Nest: Vampires in the Nevada Desert. Report on file at the U.S. Forest Service, Ely, Nevada"

Awesome!
posted by mwhybark at 9:17 AM on November 13, 2007


Are you new to the internet or something? Zombies are the new pirates which themselves were the new ninjas which were in turn the new monkeys. Modern society will get over this roughly in the next 6-8 months when another theme comes along.

I think it's already been established that Hobos are the new zombies and empanadas are the new cupcakes. I think Hobos will probably peak soon.

Also dancing bears in hats are the new gendarmes.

And finally zombie monkey pirate zombie ninjas hobos are officially played out.

That being said, Zombies are a real threat. Max Brooks has everyone worried about the Solonum Virus, when everyone knows the real threat will be from prions. Look at mad cow disease. Cows get it by eating other cows which causes holes in the brain which causes them to stumble around. When or zombism hits, it will be a variation of Creutzfeld-Jakob or Kuru.

Let the record show that I originated the Zombies come from prions meme.
posted by Telf at 9:34 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Make that Solanum. And ignore the superfluous "or".
posted by Telf at 9:38 AM on November 13, 2007


I like how you guys have finally caught on to the zombie menace that we all face. I've been fighting them for years, and all I have to show for it is a criminal record that says I'm some kind of mass murderer. (Apparently they don't bother checking to see if atrophied flesh happened postmortem anymore.)

It's a shit life, traveling from town to town, hunting the undead. But I do what I do to keep the rest of you safe.

I know the media has portrayed me as some sort of monster who kills indiscriminately, but I can assure you all of them were shambling when I shot them.

And yes, in one case it was just a guy with a concussion, but he really looked like a brain-eater

posted by quin at 11:42 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


« Older Zach Galifianakis Live at The Purple Onion...  |  The inaugural New Yorker Confe... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments