Friday, February 26, 2010

A symptom of the zombie disease

I was, not long ago, young. I don't think I am any more. The calendar told me that recently, and my experience tells me that now. It is hard to grasp the problem, because what I see is a symptom, or set of symptoms. In the real world, in SL, it is the same: power belongs to people who repeatedly and viciously assert an unreality, and there is a vast mass of people who stay silent, or follow along. I wish I could say this was about some particular topic, such as partisan politics. But it is with every topic. Every discussion I seem to participate in, is filled with people who block discussion by being obscenely ignorant, and resting securely that no matter what happens they will not only be allowed, but encouraged, to continue.

I've tried reason, I've tried anger, I've tried personal connection. But what it really is, is that some where, not just in my home country, but everywhere, a deep infection has fallen. People do not need to bend, but find that by pure viciousness, they can make the weak around them bend. I think Yeats saw it, and his quote is all to often put forward. But perhaps his time, and ours, share the disease.


The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


The language is steeped in the Western Bible, particularly the Bible in English, but for all of that it projects a rough presence that could be written yesterday, or tomorrow, or next week.

But observation is worthless, because it is the common province to see the obvious, and ascribe a completely fantastical and imaginary cause to it. So I feel I must look farther away from this to another there, to what drives this. Clearly, I believe that part of this is the mere success. The vicious hold sway, the more single minded, the more powerful, the more doubtful their opposition, the more pure their victory. In critical and post-modern theory, and in science, there is doubt, and provisionality. All is in flux, and we must hold to the best we know, which is changing.

But then come the undead of discussion, the zombies who come in waves and droves, and do not relent or slow. Who wear their ignorance like a badge, and who sweep it like a banner. I am a small person, and all I can see is waves of red flags, like the revolutionary youth. I believe, at this point, that it will not end, until it ends in violence, for that is the ultimate currency of those who have no minds to change, over those who have no spines to stand.

This is why I think that zombies are now everywhere in film, because the mad undead are all around us, and they are eating the rest of us alive.

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