Ming the Mechanic:
Zombies and Corporate Golems

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Zombies and Corporate Golems2004-10-27 18:19
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picture by Flemming Funch

Jon Husband mentions Inspector Lohmann: Of Zombies, Bloggers, and The Will To Power As Disappearance. First part of a bigger article on, well, our capitalist consumer society as analyzed based on ... zombie movies, for one thing. An entertaining tour-de-force. Here, first, from one of the most memorable scenes, the zombies in the shopping mall in Dawn of the Living Dead:
[In the mall the zombies approach Penny's Department Store after our living heroes embark on a "shopping spree".]
—They're still here.
—They're after us. They know we're still in here.
—They're after the place. They don't know why, they just remember...remember that they want to be in here.
—What the hell are they?
—They're us, that's all. There's no more room in hell.
Just like us. Mindless walking dead, showing up in the mall, trying to satisfy some urge they don't quite understand what is, and which never gets satisfied.
If gangster movies are the morality plays capital performs for itself to explore capital's inherent ethical dilemmas, then zombie movies are the phenomenological fairy tales of the denizens who live within capital's ubiquitous empire. ...

Zombie movies are the mature and fully realized symbolic metaphor of corporate capitalism's ability to co-opt anything into its fold. It's also no coincidence that zombies create new zombies by spreading a "virus" into the living; and that zombies can only be killed by destroying their brain. Their condition is, metaphorically, one of perception: they have been indoctrinated by a virus to be the ultimate consumers of, and servants to, corporate capital, and cannot imagine any other way of being. A blow to the head snaps them out of it (by killing them). ...

Corporate persons, or golems, have since utilized rights granted to humans for their own gain and motives, usually in the name of profit and shareholder value. They use the First Amendment to justify their right to lie or deceive in advertising. They use it to pump millions of dollars into our political system. They invoke Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure of assets thwarting government oversight and auditing. The Fourteenth Amendment ensures they are not discriminated against in law and is used when a community does not wish their presence—even when brought to a general vote. The sum gain is a twisted political system which serves the rights and common good of large golems, depressed cheap-labor communities, and environmental decay. Essentially, it is the collapse of the "town commons" and democracy itself.

Thus zombies are the soul-deadened servants of their comparably soul-deadened Golem overlords.

Zombies are what the Golems require us to be. All they ask in exchange for the trinkets of our consumption is our souls, our time, and our lives. And, further, there can be no one who isn't a zombie — complete and universal conformity is required. There can be no escape — there is no "outside."
I, for some reason, love zombie movies. I don't care much for horror movies in general, but the zombie movies, the Dawn of the Living Dead kind of thing, somehow have a special draw. These mindless flesh eaters who're just everywhere, just doing their thing, and a few remaining resourceful humans somehow manage to stay alive anyway. I think his analogies are quite appropriate, actually.


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7 comments

27 Oct 2004 @ 19:12 by ov : Zombies
{link:www.ratical.org/corporations/|Rat Haus on Corpses} goes into quite a bit of depth on how organizations have taken on human righs, compared to the rights that they were limited to when corporations were first being developed back in the days of king's charters.

Heard some interesting news this morning on the radio about how the corporations are dying and coming back to life through restructured bankruptcies, and the benifit of being able to ditch the pension responsiblilites which are then unloaded from the corporation onto the taxpayers. There have been some US steel companies where the owners turned over a profit of a couple billion dollars mainly by dumping the pension obligations. Looks like the same thing could happen soon to the Canadian steel business. I wouldn't doubt if all the big dinosaur business get in on this scam. Talk about zombies feeding off the living, or what, eh?  



27 Oct 2004 @ 22:58 by Hanae @69.33.46.10 : I, for some reason, love zombie movies
Yeah I can relate, but then again I like horror movies too (when they are well made) though the appeal to me as probably more to do with the Fantastic aspect of it than the "horror" per se - the dividing line between Horror and Fantastic is not always that clear cut. Like the Nightmare on Helm Street series, which I thought had something going for it, (the third one, "Dream Warriors," is an interesting one). What we like about the Fantastic, I suspect, is mot so much that it is an evasion from reality as some have said (thought I am sure there is a great part of that too of course) as the fact that it is also a reflection on "reality" or what we have come to accept as reality – maybe because it makes us realize that reality is, in its own way, a cultural construct just as much as any Fantastic stories also are, each and every one of them, cultural constructs in their own right.

Simon wincer's Harlequin aka Dark Forces (1980) is another good example
("An enigmatic magician Gregory Wolfe appears at a party for Alex, the son of Australian senator Nick Rast. Befriending Alex, Wolfe appears to cause a complete remission in Alex's hemophilia. But as Wolfe starts to exert an increasingly charismatic influence over Alex and Rast's wife, Rast's political backers become nervous and plot to dispose of him.”)
The film is full of startling illusions and tricks - in the end one is kept deliberately uncertain whether Powell’s powers are real or not. The end rises to make a rather startling level of metaphoric analogies between magicians and politics, and between assassinations and vanishing tricks. A film that makes one think.  



4 Nov 2004 @ 07:42 by James @68.3.7.187 : Shaun of the dead
A new classic!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365748/  



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