March 4, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe

“Animal brains have to be illegal, They’re a gateway to human brains.” - Those Below, short fiction by horror writer Jeremy C. Shipp.
posted by Artw (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Combining the current pop fervor for zombies with a hamfisted race-relations analogy... does that mean zombies are the new black?
posted by FatherDagon at 2:15 PM on March 4, 2010

Interesting. I like the concept, but the story's pretty disjointed. It feels like he was so excited to get to certain parts that he just skipped to them without really fleshing anything out. (no pun intended).
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:17 PM on March 4, 2010

does that mean zombies are the new black?

Zombies have always been the underclass. In my one published zombie tale, they stood in for AIDS sufferers - although that was never my intention, my editor pointed out that it wasn't really up to me. It was going to be seen that way whether I wanted it to be or not, and I could either use that or I could watch my story not work as well as it could.

Another that I never quite finished was set in the great depression, replacing economic collapse with zombie plague.

Zombies as metaphor for the homeless is pretty popular too.
posted by Naberius at 2:21 PM on March 4, 2010

Hey now, Zombies used to be people too.
posted by The Whelk at 2:22 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Night of the Living Dead; end of zombie/black discussion.
posted by sciurus at 2:26 PM on March 4, 2010

Zombies as consumers?

Of brainsss...
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:26 PM on March 4, 2010

Dead Eyes Open is my go-to comic for the issue of Returner rights.
posted by yeloson at 2:32 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

It was horrifyingly derivative, I'll give him that.

I think Rilke was right when he said that nothing touches art so little as criticism, nor anything so much as love. I have a certain amount of affection for this guy's desire to portray cruelty and helplessness as concomitant with social states, but I felt throughout that he lacked insight into the drives that make people cruel to each other -- you can't just elide those or take them for granted, or else you're just telling a tale about violence that sounds like a thousand other ones. It's not like we're starved for stories about people being horrible to each other.
posted by clockzero at 2:34 PM on March 4, 2010

With the weather we've been having, another good metaphor is zombies as people who don't know umbrella etiquette. Stop flailing it about like a spear you mindless dickbadger.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:38 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by Astro Zombie at 2:38 PM on March 4, 2010 [6 favorites]

Heh, the new black? Look back to 1968. Then there's commentary on consumerism in 1978, militarism (and human empathy/ communication) in 1985, and social structures/classes in 2005. That's just an overview of Romero's films (ignoring Diary of the Dead, which was too DIY/Blair Witchey for my taste).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:42 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by InfidelZombie at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

“And monkey's brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C.!"
posted by inturnaround at 3:14 PM on March 4, 2010

I thought the structure worked well...derivative dunno what else is like that? I liked it anyway.
posted by Not Supplied at 3:15 PM on March 4, 2010

There, there. I think we're all metaphors.
And zombies.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:16 PM on March 4, 2010

I guess I don't read enough modern zombie fiction to know what he's ripping off. I though it was excellent. well told and powerful.
posted by shmegegge at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2010

Who are all you metaphors?
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on March 4, 2010

I thought the guy in Night of the Living Dead was black because when they were casting the role, the only guy who showed up who could act well enough just happened to be black.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:44 PM on March 4, 2010

dunkadunc - seems that is what Romero said, though it was publicly seen differently then (and now, to a degree).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:44 PM on March 4, 2010

I didn't mean to suggest that he's ripping anyone off, in particular, although China Mieville came to my mind when the phrase Remade appeared. And the eating of brains, the mistreatment and arbitrary scapegoating of a marginalized social group, the prison industry, it's all just been done before so many times. It's not a bad story. It just seems like a reshuffling of familiar tropes and modern liberal pieties, with that second-person narration, "Say you're..." thing he does here. Or perhaps I missed the point completely, and this was intended to come across as a story composed of reanimated fragments of culture.
posted by clockzero at 5:25 PM on March 4, 2010

My one zombi short story has them as voters - in Chicago.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:29 PM on March 4, 2010

I thought zombies were supposed to be commie nazis.
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on March 4, 2010

does that mean zombies are the new black?

Sure, zombies are great but do you really want your daughter bringing one home?
posted by codswallop at 6:12 PM on March 4, 2010

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