“Despite what a 1961 issue of Good Housekeeping derided as ‘massive propaganda to induce Americans to burrow underground like worms,’ officials were never able to secure the level of funding a widespread shelter-building program would require. The government’s more general efforts to persuade citizens to build shelters on their own dime were only slightly more successful. After a decade of federal proselytizing, Newsweek noted in July 1961, American families had built around 2,000 shelters. In contrast, they’d built around 300,000 swimming pools during that time. (A New York Times article, also from July 1961, put the estimated total of family bomb shelters in the U.S. at 60,000.)”
Of course, all they had to worry about was the Soviet Union, not guys who put bombs in their underwear. Shelter chic is making a bit of a comeback today, so if you think a pool is a waste of a hole in the ground, then I have an investment opportunity for you:
What do zombies and the military industrial complex have in common? Let us count the ways. In fact, let military strategy & policy professor Michael Vlahos (relation, yes!) take you down that thorny path.
Michael writes in Dark Lord, Dark Victory: America’s Dark Passage,in the latest issue of Kosmos(.pdf), that the 9/11 War has eroded America’sÂ “redeemer” identity, and instead has made it more akin to the “Dark Lord,” or “the mythic essence of children’s nightmares.” In other words, we’ve sort of lost our way, and where in the past “our historical method to redeem humanity has been war,” the current Long War has done nothing of the sort. In our zeal to recreate the glory and alleged redemption of World War II, the US manufactured another “true evil,” or Dark Faith (Muslim extremism), making it an epoch battle in which Muslims “readily understood it to mean … eviscerating the entire edifice of Muslim life, replacing it with American consciousness.”
But this has only made us weaker, nearly alone, reviled and unsure of ourselves. This Long War is a slow kill and a buzz kill.
So what’s this have to do with zombies? We can see it in the latest AMC series, “The Walking Dead,” but more poignantly, in World War Z, a bestselling science fiction novel of “TheÂ Zombie War” by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft). After nine-years of playing a humiliating game of whack-a-mole with a “rag tag” enemy that was supposedly vanquished after 9/11 but in key areas has seemingly more support from the people we are supposed to be liberating than we ever did, Americans are now indulging in elaborate fantasies, like World War Z,Â in which they regain all of the pride and strength and virtue that was lost — by fighting an even more ruthless adversary, the ultimate evil –Â the flesh-eating undead.
Maybe, just maybe, we can win that war, and liberate ourselves!
Sounds “fantastical,” and sure, “The Walking Dead” is nothing but a slick soap opera with lots of blood and guts, but as Vlahos points out:
“…are not zombies our former selves — hence, the most terrifying and relentless enemy of all? Are not their ranks also flush with those who had lost American virtue: The passive, the narcissistic, the cynical, the uncaring? Sacred wars are about purification, revival and redemption. By indirection, Brooks is making the troubling point as well, that only zombies — or a national challenge equally existential — can renew America now.”
Brooks makes his own point, however indirectly, on his own website, below his mention of Mike’s piece. It seems U.S soldiers in Afghanistan have been buying outÂ “zombie hunter” patches like hotcakes. He points to a summertime piece by the Global Post’s Ben Brody, where soldiers languishing on Forward Operating Bases waiting for some kind of meaning in what they are doing are increasing turning to … zombies.
Dog-eared copies of Max Brooksâ€™ â€œWorld War Z,â€ a first person account of the Great Zombie War, and his definitive undead-fighting manual, â€œThe Zombie Survival Guide,â€ are found wherever soldiers relax and oil their weapons.
One soldier showed me a huge, razor-sharp Nepalese Ghurka knife that weighed about seven pounds â€” a lot of extra weight to carry on patrol. He explained that because killing zombies required a decapitating or skull-crushing blow, there was simply no better tool for fighting the undead in close quarters.
As uniforms and body armor become more and more covered in Velcro, Zombie Hunter patches have become hot sellers for tactical suppliers. At the German Post Exchange at Kandahar Airfield, that patch is continually sold out.
The problems of war against the undead have parallels with the problems soldiers face daily in Afghanistan. A zombie needs no food, water or equipment and pursues the living with implacable determination. For soldiers trying to defend a million dollar vehicle against a malnourished, illiterate man wielding a $40 roadside bomb, the similarity must be chilling.
No, more like it’s morally degrading and humiliating and one of the few salves are heroic apocalyptic fantasies, where everything is black and white and good and evil. Indeed, maybe these fantasies do spill over to the battlefield, because it’s easier to think of the Taliban as mindless, flesh-starved creatures. One can hardly see how this helps our cause, or the people of Afghanistan for that matter. In fact, I can’t help but think when i read this, “oh well, there goes the rest of this bloody war.”
So how did it get to this point? Its a journey, but Dark Lord, Dark Victory attempts to explain it, noting that it is much of the citizenry’s fault for creating and maintaining this “warrior nation” identity encapsulated in the Defense Tribal Confederacy that is now crippled by its own myopic, misguided vision.Â An ambitious read that may leave you wondering just how far off these Zombie Wars really are.
Antiwar.com founder and managing editor Eric Garris sat down with RT’s Alyona Minkovski to discuss the ethics and efficacy of hacking, the boycott of Amazon and the public’s fascination with Wikileaks.
You will know you have spoken the truth when you are angrily denounced; and you will know you have spoken both truly and well when you are visited by the police. –J. B. R. Yant
Apparently the folks from Wikileaks.org have spoken both truly and well. Which is why you must be shielded from them – – –
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." –Chief Nazi "Information Officer" Dr. Joseph P. Goebbels
Is it just me, or does it seem as if the U.S. establishment — in fact, establishments world wide  — are as terrified by the truth as they want us to be of al’Qaeda?
Perhaps Wikileaks front dude Julian Assange and company aren’t aware of the dangers the truth poses, not only to the state as Goebbels revealed, but to those ill-advised enough — or brave enough — to reveal it.
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. –George Orwell
If you’re going to start talking the truth, keep one foot in the saddle of your fastest horse. –Chinese proverb
So, is your foot in the saddle?
No? It’s OK, but how about the next best thing: Support these brave folks, not only wikileaks, but the folks brave enough to put antiwar.com up for more than 12 years, etc.
AMY GOODMAN: A former US Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqis is running for a congressional seat in North Carolina… Ilario Pantano has said he has no regrets about fatally shooting the two at point-blank range after detaining them near Fallujah in April 2004.
JUSTIN ELLIOT: These two Iraqi men had been searched. They didn’t have any weapons. And he was — Mr. Pantano was having them search their own car when he opened fire, and shooting as many as fifty or sixty rounds at them. And that includes reloading his M-16 rifle.
AMY GOODMAN: Despite his admission, the military cleared Pantano of wrongdoing in 2005. He is now in a tight race with incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike McIntyre in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. –From Murder to Congress?
Do you think this sort of thing might be why they hate us?