The Zombie Apocalypse Comes to Coronel Pringles

The Zombie Apocalypse Pays a Visit to South America

Who or why or what is Coronel Pringles? Actually, it’s a medium-sized town of no particular distinction in the Province of Buenos Aires, not too far north of Bahía Blanca. It is perhaps best known not only as the birthplace of Argentinian novelist César Aira, but the scene of several of his stories. One of these stories is Dinner (or Cena in Spanish), first published in 2006.

The story starts slowly enough with a penniless bachelor in his sixties who has moved back in with his mother. Together, they visit an unnamed friend of the unnamed narrator and view some of his collections. When they return home, the mother expresses dissatisfaction with the evening; and the son turns on the television … only to learn that the dead of Coronel Pringles are rising from their graves and attacking the living:

This was as improbable as an adolescent fantasy. It was, however, true. The guard who sounded the alarm first heard some rustling sounds that kept getting louder and spreading across the graveyard. He came out of the lodge to take a look and hadn’t even made it across the tiled courtyard to where the first lane of cypeses ended when, in addition to the worrisome rustlings, he began to hear the loud banging of stone and metal, which seconds later spread and combined into a deafening roar that reverberated near and far, from the first wing of the wall of niches to the rows of graves extending for more than a mile.

The Area Around Coronel Pringles

At first the newly risen dead show a lack of coordination, but they begin to pick up speed. “No two were the same, except in how horrible they were, in the conventional way corpses are horrible: shards of greenish skin, bearded skulls, remnants of eyes shining in bony sockets, sullied shrouds.”

What do these undead do? They go for the brains of the living (as expected), but what interests them most are the endorphins contained therein, which they suck out with ghoulish glee. Is there nothing that can stop these delinquent ancestors from decimating all of Coronel Pringles? Well, yes, there is, but you’ll have to read this short (101 pages) but delightful book for yourself to find out. Be prepared for a completely surprising dénouement in Part III.


Corporate Zombies

If Corporations Are People, What Kind of People Are They?

If Corporations Are People, What Kind of People Are They?

The most popular posting I have ever made here at WordPress was entitled “Notes on the Zombie Apocalypse.” Why zombies and not werewolves, vampires, re-animated mummies, Frankenstein monsters, or even Creatures from the Black Lagoon? Then I thought of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling about corporations having the same rights as people. Bingo!

It took the zombie conservative phalanx of the Supremes—Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy—to attempt to pump life into this horror story. If corporations are people, what other things might have the same rights as people? Perhaps Tweets and Ann Coulter blog posts might also be so classified. What if we have to admit a Wayne LaPierre NRA Tweet into the Boy Scouts as a Tenderfoot? Would it have to learn how to swim and memorize the Morse Code? (Or is that a requirement any more?)

Now that corporate zombies have a whole slew of rights, we can look forward to having our brains devoured with increased efficiency.

Look out, people! The undead walk among us.


Notes on the Zombie Apocalypse

What’s With the Zombies Already? No, Wait, That’s Just a Republican!

Until George Romero’s 1968 film The Night of the Living Dead, zombies were simply thought of as Voodoo-reanimated corpses. A good example is the character (if it can be called one) of Carrefour in Val Lewton’s lyrical I Walked with a Zombie (1943). Then, too, there was Victor Halperin’s early White Zombie (1932) starring Bela Lugosi. Also zombies (or was it vampires?) played a role in Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend.

But it was Romero who really got the ball rolling and transferred the concept from an African or Haitian context to the general population. And the idea took hold, especially among the young who, perhaps, saw zombies as a metaphor for the breakdown of civilization and, perhaps, the mindlessness of an older generation that won’t let the young get on with their lives.

In any case, now that the Twilight novels of Stephenie Meyer have blunted the whole concept of vampires for young males, it is perhaps natural that they moved on to the zombies as the new thing in horror.

It was only a matter of time before the concept of a zombie apocalypse was born. What happens when the zombies threaten to attack en masse? Even the august Centers for Disease Control (CDC) got into the act by issuing a tongue-in-cheek website entitled Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. Actually, it was a shrewd move because, if you are prepared for a zombie apocalypse, you are prepared for any eventuality.

Looking around me at America today, I see little chance of a zombie apocalypse. I think most Americans—even dead ones—are allergic to brains, whether devouring or even using them for anything more sophisticated than supporting a hat.

Photo credit: I hijacked the above photo from a website entitled You the Designer, which has thirty-seven zombie photos for your amusement and delectation.