It is December 22, 2012. We have survived the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21 and the End of Days it portended. You might not have even realized it, but we also survived another threat—the Zombie Apocalypse, aka Z-Day, which was also supposed to launch on December 21.
I don’t think we will hear much more about the Mayan calendar, but we will continue to hear about the threat of a zombie invasion.
(I will refer to this threat as an “invasion” simply to make it sound more scary. We all know that this is actually a conversion of normal humans into zombies, rendering them walking dead. But “conversion” has too many religious overtones, and I don’t wish to suggest that zombies have anything to do with salvation or transcendence.)
Zombie Apocalypse was recently broadcast by the Discovery Channel, the network that once aired shows about science. Zombie Apocalypse is what I would call a speculative documentary, an hour, sans commercials, of “science” that grounds and explains the coming zombie invasion and expert conjecture about how the invasion will almost certainly unfold, all of it deadpan, as far as I can fathom, entirely without a trace of irony.
The experts, yes there are Zombie experts, scientists and professors, many of whom work at real universities (holding, I hope for their sake, tenure), explain what kind of changes occur in the human brain before zombies become zombies and shuffle into our lives; they model on real computers how many days and hours it will take for the zombie virus to spread through New York City.
And there are zombie consultants. They dress is safari gear and drive Jeep Wranglers and bear a resemblance to Ted Nugent. They make a living offering advice on how to handle a zombie invasion, which will be caused by a virus, already in development by the government. In one segment of Zombie Apocalypse, a zombie consultant tours the house of a single mother who seems well prepared for the invasion, for the consultant did a lot of nodding and saying, “Yes, good, excellent.”
The woman has a two story house with a steep stairwell up to the second floor (zombies cannot shuffle up stairs) where she has guns and clips of ammo, and lots of canned food. She says,“I don’t save money. I buy food. My kids can’t eat money.” (They also can’t pay for college with cans of tuna.) The woman has a broad porch off her second floor bedroom, which will allow her to scan the horizon and shoot zombies as they walk down the street.
Zombie Apocalypse seems to say that we all need to be as prepared. We all need to stop saving for retirement and buy freeze-dried food. We all need automatic guns with large capacity clips and lots of ammo.
Just yesterday, on December 21, 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar, also Z-Day, Wayne LaPierre, Vice President of the National Rifle Association, held a press conference, exactly one week after the horrible slaughter of twenty-six people, most of them six and seven years old, in a school at Newtown, Connecticut. The press conference had been announced for days. Many people expected that the NRA would support some limits on the sale of weapons of war. Yet, LaPierre told us that we needed to pay more attention to mental health, curtail violence in video games, and put an armed guard in every school.
In short, the NRA continues to protect all gun sales and all gun ownership without qualification. Whether directly stated or implied, the NRA always warns of the slippery slope. If we restrict the sale of any gun or ammo, then the government will take away all guns, including guns used for hunting or home protection.
What the NRA doesn’t seem to understand is that a slope goes is two directions. The slope can move toward more regulations on guns or fewer regulations.
So, if the NRA supports the sale of assault rifles, do they also support the sale of bazookas and 50-calibre machine guns? Should we allow people to buy grenades? The zombie survivalists would say yes.
Last week, the NRA was faced with a choice, and they chose, whether they directly stated it or not, to support people preparing for the coming zombie invasion.
I chose to stand with our children.