The Zombie Apocalypse Blues (We’re All Gonna Die!)

Zombie Apcolpse


Born six years and ten months after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I am old enough to remember looking up at the stars above the steeple of the Methodist Church across the street from our rented house to see if I could detect Sputnik inching its way across the night sky.

We’re all gonna die!

Five years later, I would crouch underneath my desk at Summerville Elementary School as we practiced surviving a Soviet nuclear attack.[1]

We’re all gonna die!

A few months ago, I huddled beneath a Harkness table with high school students as we practiced surviving an assault from a deranged assailant.[2]

We’re all gonna die!

* * *

In the swirl of everyday events, it’s sometimes difficult to see strange occurrences as nothing more than mundane. In our particular culture, mass murder has become mundane. I’m not at all surprised to awaken to the news that some disaffected religious fanatic or marginalized bigot clad in body armor has decided to take out his grievances on complete strangers. Chances are that the murderer here in the United States is a native-born citizen of the-home-of-the-brave-and-the-land-of-the- free. Chances are he feels unaccepted so decides to throw a tempter tantrum.

Now, even the loneliest of the alienated can commune with fellow disaffected psyches on the Internet, cross-pollinating hatreds. Omar Mateen, our butcher de jour, actually checked his Facebook page during the carnage to see if the shootings had gone viral. Despite his having sworn fealty to ISIS right before the attack, I suspect that repressed-queerness, a tyrannical father, and high-school unpopularity had as much to do with his rage as geo-political/religious fanaticism.   Maybe he didn’t get enough positive attention when he was growing up. Now, he has gone viral, achieved infamy, set the Internet ablaze by obliterating the lives of his victims, their families, and friends.

Meanwhile, Congress is unwilling to ban the sale of assault weapons to people on no-fly lists, the Republicans have nominated PT Barnum-Meets-Mussolini, the Democrats a woman with a 55% disapproval rate, forest fires roar and oceans rise as satellites galore orbit the Earth keeping tabs and providing entertainment that features zombie apocalypses.

We’re all gonna die!

[1] Did they do this in the “separate-but-equal” African American school across town?

[2] Did little colonists in their one-room schools practice for a possible Indian attack?


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