Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zombies Strike Unprepared Leicester

This is exactly what I warned them about. Last week the English city of Leicester admitted in response to a Freedom of Information request that it had no plan in place for dealing with a zombie outbreak. As if to mock the town's lack of preparation, over the weekend a horde of the undead abominations converged upon the city's civic offices.

Robert Ainsley, the self-described 'concerned citizen' who submitted the aforementioned letter to Leicester council, had stated simply: 'Having watched several films it is clear that preparation for such an event is poor and one that councils throughout the kingdom must prepare for.

'Can you please let us know what provisions you have in place in the event of a zombie invasion?'

Representatives for the authority replied to him with an admission that they have no specific references to the living dead in their emergency plans, though they noted that the inquiry had made them chuckle.

As news of the correspondence spread across Facebook and the social networking sphere in general, James Dixon took it upon himself to organise Saturday's 'invasion'.

It saw 'a small gathering for friends' expand as dozens of 'zombies' gathered at Leicester's clock tower and shuffled half a mile from there to the civic offices.

The undead then pressed themselves up against the HQ as passer-by Chris Porter filmed the event before uploading the results to YouTube.

Fortunately this was only a prank and the zombification in question was neither contagious nor permanent. But it serves as a warning to all who dare to dismiss the zombie threat portrayed in popular films as mere fiction.

Jason Miller posted recently asking whether or not his next book should be on "zombie sorcery," citing the recent popularity of the walking dead. Personally, while I appreciate the groundbreaking horror films of George Romero, the director and screenwriter most responsible for the modern zombie mythos, I have to admit that for the most part I don't really get the appeal. Maybe zombies really are the new werewolves - I never understood the appeal of those either.

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Rufus Opus said...

Did you have fun writing this up? It's great, it's cool, it's fun.

I think it has to do with ALL the doomsday prophecies we've had for the last 30 years, personally. The current era is full of people who lived through Y2K, 8 years of Bush, Global Warming, Terrorist Apocalypse, and how many 2012 prophecies?

Ananael Qaa said...

Don't get me wrong, I totally get the point of this particular prank. In context it's hilarious. It's more that I don't get stuff like random "zombie walks" and so forth, that lacks said context.

You could very well be right that it's a reaction to all the doomsday nonsense. There certainly has been plenty of that over the course of the last few decades.

Rufus Opus said...

Yeah, I just meant the reason zombies are popular now is because they're fun. I wrote that pre-coffee. And ever sine I got rid of Bune, I've had shitty eloquence. I need to do some more Mercury rites or something, I don't know.

I think Vampires are like the intellect, the ruach all cool and detached from life. They have passion, but it is mostly dressing for their hunger for life that they can't have. Plus they have that whole Victorian sexuality thing going for them.

Werewolves are cool because they are the beast that threatens to rage at any time while we're in the flesh, the pure flesh instincts, primal.

I think "zombie apocalypse" is cool because of all the doomsday stuff, but also because we often feel deep down inside that we're alive, and trapped by millions of OTHER PEOPLE who shuffle through life fucking with us, and we're constantly at risk of becoming like them if they latch onto us and turn us into their lifeless, decaying existence. The ridiculousness of it gives us a way to mock that which we fear and loathe.

Ananael Qaa said...

That's certainly the sort of social commentary that makes Romero's work better and more interesting than regular old monster movies. The number of co-workers for whom the analogy holds is as scary as any horror film.

Rufus Opus said...

lol, too true. I suppose I'm probably considered a zombie by someone's standards. Certainly my fifteen year old daughter.

Crap, what if she's right, and I've been infected?

Ananael Qaa said...

As long as you haven't developed a sudden taste for live human brains or "utilizing synergy" I wouldn't worry about it too much.

On the other hand, if you find yourself scheduling team meetings that you know to be pointless just to spend more social time with your co-workers, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Rufus Opus said...


Wish they had +1 options for comments on blogger.

Pallas Renatus said...


Stage 1: Fever
Stage 2: Hunger for flesh
Stage 3: Six-Sigma blackbelt

Rufus Opus said...

hee hee! Where's Tomasi? He'd be loving this.

Anonymous said...

My current thinking is that zombies represent the unconscious fear of how much we're consuming of the earth's resources. Combine this with the growing population and population movements - which manifests as fear of flesh eating undead. Perhaps dressing up as a zombie is a way of dealing with that fear.

I used to live in Leicester and could well image a zombie outbreak there.

@Pallas: six-sigma is somthign that makes me want to create a zombie army and wipe out all people who sign up to processes that work in manufacturing but not in IT.