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If you Google Dick Cheney zombie
, you shall be rewarded
. For some people, he mines the polysemy of the zombie like no one else; emotionless, with his voice as uninflected as his thinking, he advances relentlessly propelled by some other (truly) dead person’s heart. Watching Cheney
, I appreciate the points of zombie resemblance but I don’t feel the fear because it reminds me of something we have all experienced; discussing politics with the guy whose gaze disconnects as he stops listening in order to excavate a cached response. Your argument is simply a launchpad for his own prepackaged sound bites. The singularity of your thought is dead to him. You think, “there is no talking to this person”. While this is a drive-by zombie moment, you have no fear. Individual zombies even as fleshed out as Dick Cheney are not fear inducing. We can run circles around individual zombies. They cannot recognize us or appreciate us or predict us because they are not connected to us (and have not tried to connect with us).
Zombies are frightening because they are an onslaught. They kill by overwhelming.
The zombies I fear are aggregated for me daily by my web sites of choice. I personally fear the the inexorable advance of a cult of belligerently insular white people who fear change and who want to perfect the world by petrifying it. I can feel inundated by foolish dehumanizing utterances and I can imagine that millions of my fellow citizens agree with such statements. Is it such a huge leap to also imagine that those millions are coming for me next?
Conversely, Fox viewers must feel the inexorable advance of hordes of smug, condescending, Prius driving liberals who, adrift in relativism, look down their noses at traditional values and place too much trust in the government.
It is a most common fallacy to assume that what is true for one member of a class is true for all. Congressman King thinks Hispanic immigrants have calves like canteloupes from humping bales of grass across the border. King is a Republican. Therefore all Republicans believe the same thing about Hispanic immigrants . We can spot this fallacy instantly when it applies to a group of which we are a member. Bernie Madoff is a con man and a thief. Bernie Madoff is an American. Therefore all Americans are con men and thieves.
Unfortunately, we humans are most prone to this fallacy when we are marking the moral distinctions between ourselves and the other; between those that think like us and those who do not; between our tribe and the other tribe. The liberal tribe (zombies to the right) and the conservative tribe (zombies to the left) have in common this easy human readiness to see in an “other” group, a repository of all that is to be scorned and feared.
If we don’t think clearly and if we don’t grant individuals who disagree with us their subjectivity, we consign them…in our false thinking and fearful imagination…to the vast, looming hordes of the undead.