Photo Credit: Olivier Strecker / Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever wondered why zombies are so popular? What’s to like about zombies? They are dirty and scabby; their clothes are a mess; they shamble along looking for abandoned shopping malls to break into; you never see them working; they’re actually dead; they’re mainly only useful as targets (Open Carry alert). Would you want to be a zombie? Yet, this time of year, especially, zombies are all over the movies and TV. You would think our country is being overrun by these horrible, icky, undead things.
Why? In order to understand this phenomenon, you’ve got to look at the flip side: the elections. Our United States Supreme Court (speaking of zombies—ha ha, just kidding) has decreed that corporations are people (speaking of Frankenstein—ha ha, jk), so, you know, this diktat has unleashed an unending flood of money from the rabid right that mostly goes to painting Democrats as the kind of people who are trying to ruin the country with giveaway programs to the shiftless 47 percent who make no meaningful contribution to society other than panhandling.
Ah ha! You see it now, don’t you. It is absolutely brilliant, because zombies are pure entertainment; the mind-manipulators know that we’ll eat up zombies gladly as long as we don’t feel like they’re being rammed down our throats. But, and here’s where the timing comes in: After all these months of also being bombarded with all the political ads about Obamacare and liberals and big government taking over and distributing our hard-earned substance to good-for-nothings, when we step away from the TV and movie screens and in front of the voting screen, Zing! It all kicks in. When we see “Democrat” on the screen, we’re supposed to think “zombie.” Who would vote for a zombie?
OK, so, what’s the deal with vampires, which are everywhere now, too? Well, what do vampires do? They suck our blood; they live forever by drawing their sustenance from the rest of us. In the old horror movies, vampires were creepy and sinister. Nowadays, they’re kind of cool and superior. Sure, they’re bloodsuckers, but they’re glamorous. (Check Only Lovers Left Alive.) Vampires live off the rest of us. They know something we don’t. Vampires are smarter than we are, because they know how to extract their living from our bodies. And, you know, their promise is that by sucking our blood, they’ll make us like them. That’s why we kind of grudgingly admire them and want to be like them, become bloodsuckers and live forever in tuxes and evening gowns. That’s why people vote Republican. They can’t stop voting against their own best interests, because they believe all the vampire movies, and they think that by voting for the corporate bloodsuckers, they, too, have a chance to become one.
So, those two gigantic money streams leading up to Halloween and the elections come together when you stand in front of the touch-screen in your polling place. All that subliminal buildup unconsciously guides your finger as you reach out to make the fateful choice between Democrats or Republicans.
Rush and Fox News and the Koch vampires are betting that you’ll come to believe their hokum if they repeat their lies long and loudly enough. That’s why they all do everything in their considerable power to tear down public education. Democracy depends on an informed electorate with the ability to distinguish between illusion and reality. We’re treated every day to the vision of our nation overrun by zombies—aliens, blacks, gays, liberals, Medicare cheats, socialists, Obamacare users, Muslims, Ebola carriers, gun controllers, intellectuals. We’re tricked every day by the promise that all those horrors will go away if we just treat those who suck our substance to more of it.
Halloween is fun, but it should also remind us of the difference between illusion and reality. Voting is real; that’s when we all have a stake.