The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

‘Romero’s Diner’ Shirt Pushes Brain-Eating Fallacy Even in Absence of Brain-Eating

The brain-eating myth about Zombies is very hard to combat, though we try here at The Zombie Rights Campaign. Simply put, the overwhelming majority of Zombies, whether in real life or in the biased media loosely based upon real life, are not fixated upon eating brain tissue.

And as mentioned many times before on this blog, we have an unusual ally in this educational crusade: George Romero himself.

From the Vanity Fair interview titled, ‘George A. Romero: “Who Says Zombies Eat Brains?”‘:

Vanity Fair: Zombies have a weird fixation with eating human flesh and brains. What is it about being undead that makes somebody so ravenous?

Romero: First of all, why does everybody say that zombies eat brains?

VF: Because… it’s true?

Romero: I’ve never had a zombie eat a brain! I don’t know where that comes from. Who says zombies eat brains?

VF: I remember brains being a big zombie menu item in Return of the Living Dead back in the mid-80s, but I’m not sure if that’s where it started.

Romero: Whenever I sign autographs, they always ask me, “Write ‘Eat Brains’!” I don’t understand what that means. I’ve never had a zombie eat a brain. But it’s become this landmark thing.

(the quote has been reformatted to be easier to distinguish who is speaking but is otherwise unchanged)

So given this we can say without a doubt that, whatever stereotypes one might have about Zombies in general, we should all be able to agree, without argument, that Romero’s ‘Zombies’ don’t eat human brain. Anyone who’s paid attention, who claims to be a fan or student of his work, should know this, right?

Sadly, no:

Online retailer, Merch Bot, offers up another winner with their “Romero’s Diner” design. Technically speaking, none of the zombies in Romero’s movies eat brains, but we love this beauty anyway because it features a four color silk screen print on a green, orange or navy blue tee.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Oh come now, Zombie Research Society, it’s not like you’re sticklers for fairness and accuracy in any OTHER context. I guess knowing the sacred canon of Anti-Zombiism is important to the ZRS though.

Clearly, the ZRC has to condemn the ‘Romero’s Diner’ shirt for being inaccurate, and for being part of the broader, ‘All Zombies Eat Brains’ trend. But, the image on the shirts themselves could have earned praise in another context; here we have a smiling, apparently happy Zombie waitress serving up tasty foodstuffs to most-likely Zombie patrons at a public establishment. It sort of presupposes a world where Zombies and the Living can peacefully co-exist and where those members of teh Differently Animated Community that do need to eat the occasional grey matter can do so in public and without shame.

As with many things, Romero’s inclusion has ruined this project. If it wasn’t ‘Romero’s Diner’, then it wouldn’t be referencing, badly, a rabidly Living Supremacist series of films, and we wouldn’t be made painfully aware that the artist is ignorant not just of the real-life status of the Zombie population but even of the most popular and vicious Anti-Zombie stereotypes. Ignorant of ignorance itself, so to speak.

Sadly, we have to give the shirt, which had such potential, an Anti-Zombie rating for these reasons.

Almost, but alas.

The ‘Romero’s Diner’ shirt can be purchased directly here, if one doesn’t mind the factual inaccuracy.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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