Originally uploaded by kaskotak.
Kim put up several pictures of Yeti and Auggie in her flickr account.
Those are some nice looking dogs, if I don’t say so myself.
For this episode, instead of a description, I opted for a long title.
That said, here is the description for this week’s show, from #drunkandretired:
cote: I’m almost done editing this week’s episode.
cote: Now. I know what you’re thinking, Mr. Chess Clock.
cote: “Coté, what are you going to do now that you finished off that last bit of that bottle of Wild Turkey?”
cote: Never fear, my friend, I am well stocked.
cote: I was a Boy Scout after all.
cote: And their motto was “WE-BLOW!”
cote: Oh, wait, it was actually: “Be pre-paired.”
cote: Which helped influence my thinking about XP.
(This episode edited by Coté.)
While others are celebrating Austin Ice Storm 2007 — celebrating because they’re getting days off from work — the Coté house-hold is suffering greatly.
We have ample provisions, so Kim and I haven’t had to resort to eating the pets and, ultimately, ourselves. The heat works fine. The toilets flush.
No, my friends, we’ve run out of movies to watch.
You see, dear readers, we have no cable. No entertainment!
Now, we’re forced to watch American Idol and all those damn cop shows.
The mail seems to have halted as two NetFlix DVDs lay freezing on the porch to get out. One more may be on the way.
We can only hope that those victuals of entertainment arrive before bungalow fevers hits us whole-hog.
As you know, dear readers, I am quite the fan of zombies. Having finished up World War Z, I was reading through a bunch of zombie stuff, and I thought I’d write up my Origins of Zombies. By that I term I mean, “how are they created?”
The below approach is based on current (Western, I’d guess) popular culture rather than folk-lore.
Typically, coming from the Caribbean, this type of zombie is created by use of black magic. Some call that magic voodoo, others like to call it hoodoo. Either way, you’re screwed as you’re now under control of whoever applied the black magic to you.
There are two variants to Voodoo Zombies:
In either case, in most cases Americans are always running into these zombies in the Caribbean or Africa. The spread is usually from a “black” country to a “white” country, and the story arch is one of disbelief on the part of the white heros (though they’re warned by “natives” and those who’ve “gone native”), struggle, containment, and then failure to contain the zombies as one or two manages to get on an errant boat that happens to arrive in New York or some other American port.
Exceptions to this general plot-line/story exist, for example, the House of the Dead world where Voodoo Zombies exist in multitude and seem more European than Caribbean. Important to this Voodoo Zombie sub-type is the fact that the zombies take many different forms, even some non-human. Demons are usually involved, perhaps the ones who created the zombies.
Voodoo Zombies have the potential for richest back story, for example, The Serpent and the Rainbow and the afore mentioned House of the Dead. They’re usually the most gory, but cheesy as most of these movies are from the ’70’s.
As The Living Zombie originates from real-worls folk-lore, that sub-type it’s the “realest” of zombies with a rich history of actual people claiming to have seen such zombies.
The idea of “zombie kings” is kind of fun, but it kind of ruins the whole point of zombies, namely, that they’re shambling hordes of flesh-craving ex-humans. Indeed, the sort of gothic, mentally burred alive nature of becoming a zombie doesn’t apply to zombie kings.
The Skeleton Key is an interesting variant on The Voodoo Zombie in that black magic is used by a pair of voodoo
priest houngan and mambo [thanks to Jay for the wording] to switch their “selves” from old bodies to new bodies. Once they’ve shifted to the new bodies, they apply a debilitating drug or spell to their victim who then becomes paralyzed and mute. Not quite a zombie, but close in genre.
These zombies are created by either genetic engineering or some sort of drug. There are two sub-types: Man-Made and Natural Bio Zombies.
In most cases, esp. now-a-days, genetic engineering is involved with some sort of virus as the vehicle or cause of the “transformation.” Typically, a private pharama company is doing research for the military to create The Ultimate Weapon: a human converted into a zombie having (a.) near immunity, (b.) great strength, (c.) berserker determination to fight, and yet, (d.) are easy to control, at least as needed.
As The Ultimate Weapon angle indicates, these zombies are not always geared towards being shambling flesh easter. However, their bite usually does transform the living into the undead. Indeed, there’s usually a hierarchy of zombies starting with typical, slow and dumb zombies, to more monster-like zombies, all the way up to Super Zombies that can fire weapons and may even be sentient on the same level as Voodoo Zombie Kings. Additionally, Man-Made Bio Zombies are typically cross-species as seen best in the Resident Evil world where dogs are transformed into deadly zombie dogs.
As noted above, Bio Zombies occur when the associated virus is leaked. A system of containment follows, followed by “going in” to whip out the zombies. Military- Industrial Complex conspiracies are often unveiled as the pharma company, the military, or both are interesting in continuing research. These stories are usually pure action with some “oh shit!” pop-up moments spread through-out instead of stalking-horror.
Also, Man-Made Bio Zombies can be created from toxic waste, post-Nuke derbies, or other agents whose zombie transformative powers are unintentional. The Omega Man comes to mind, though The Family wasn’t so much a pack of zombies as a pack of ’70’s cold-war Nuke mutants. The terrible Redneck Zombies is more appropriate.
In this case, instead of humans creating the Zombie Virus, it naturally occurs. For example, in the Max Brooks world of Zombies, the “Solanum” virus causes the initial out-break in China, where is spreads to the rest of the world.
These are inevitably “traditional zombies” through-and-through: slow moving, mindless, flesh-craving undead.
Natural Bio Zombies are one of the two core zombie types. If it weren’t for the possibility that Romero-world zombies were Space Zombies, they’d be “the majority” of zombies. In that sense, if the origin of a zombie is in question, it’s safe to assume it’s a Natural Bio Zombie. Stories like 28 Days Later walk a thin-line between Natural and Man-Made Bio Zombies, illustrating that humans can still intervene and make worse the Zombie Virus without decisively categorizing the resulting Zombie Mess as Man-Made.
On the other hand, I detest Man-Made Bio Zombies as they’re the ones the most as they’re prey to being made into Super Zombies, which is just fucking stupid. Running zombies are marginally OK, but Super Zombies are just the thing of sequel trash. Really, these are straight up Frankenstein’s monsters, but get lumped in with zombies. Furthermore, as pointed out above, the military aspect means that Super Zombie stories end up being shoot ’em up fests which, when you’re wanting a zombie movie, is like taking DayQuil when you really wanted to take NyQuil.
A much richer story would be had if instead of having to become zombies the humans remained more human like but had to sort out their new abilities and selves. For example, to story of Wolverine in the X-Men movie series. From that example, I suppose, mutants are much more to my liking in the story-space than zombies.
In this case, something from space — radiation, a meteor, or even aliens — comes to earth and creates the zombies. As noted above, the going theory is that Romero-world zombies are Space Zombies, but that’s based on intra-movie speculation itself.
These zombies are usually Traditional Zombies like the Voodoo Undead Zombie and the Natural Bio Zombie. In some cases, however, people can be transformed back to their human state as seen in excellent Undead. In a sense, aside from the non-terrestrial origin, Space Zombie could be consider Man-made Zombies: well, Alien-Made.
Aliens always have the high potential to be an interesting plot devise, but they’re easy to abuse as an easy one as well. I have no problem with any sort of Traditional Zombie created by whatever means, but, as with Man-made Bio Zombies, if things start to go more monster than narrowly zombie, I start rolling my eyes.
Not technically a zombie, these are humans who’ve succumb to a sort of species Stockholm syndrome in which they identify and then take on the persona/life of zombies. As such, they just appear and act like zombies. Though their bite isn’t zombie infectious, their over-all dirtiness often means their bite has all sorts of other infectious problems.
I’m not quite sure I’m fully bought into the Quisling “Zombie” yet. As the comments in other sections allude to, I’m pretty much a straight up fan of the traditional zombie. Variations from that always seem sketchy at first.
A hearty congrats goes to The Java Possee for nearing it’s 100th episode. YUH!
(This episode edited by Charles.)
At my recent birthday party party I dropped my phone in the toilet. It turns on but acts funny. You know, funny like it doesn’t really work properly any more but still can be turned on.
Luckily, I have the insurance on the phone, so they’re shipping me a RAZR V3CM. The toilet phone was simply a V3C. No “M”!
Does anyone know what the M means? More importantly, is it mega-crippled, or just half-ass’ed crippled like my V3C was where I could use Bluetooth just fine with iSynch and to get pictures off the phone?
As most of you, dear readers, know, January 1st is my birthday. It’s also the big party day.
I spent New Year’s Eve and early New Year’s day in downtown Austin with Kim, Charles, and Silva. During the the day, we played bingo and went bowling. Bingo is a penny on your birthday, so you know I wasn’t going to pass that up!