The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Zombie of the Year 2011 Nominations

It has been a momentous year for Zombie Rights. The ZRC has done outreach galore, dipped our toes into political controversy, led a Zombie Rights rally in Illinois and even participated in the world’s first (to our knowledge) Zombie Rights Debate in Victoria, Texas.

But this post isn’t about us. Standing up for the rights of the Differently Animated is our job, after all; nay, it’s actually our Calling. What’s truly inspiring for the ZRC is the effort made by so many out there in the larger world to aid The Cause, advancing positive images of Zombiism and fighting for Zombie Rights, without being professional agitators. Those brave souls are our greatest asset in this struggle.

In order to celebrate those who’ve done so much to help the Zombie Community, each year we select one Zombie, either from real life or appropriately Zombie Friendly fiction, who has done the most, in our view, to advance a more Zombie Friendly future and thereby better the entire human community, Living and Unliving alike. But before that, we have to announce our pool of nominees!

Finally, this year we’ve seen an especially high number of notable group efforts, so many of our nominees are select small organizations of brave souls. I take it as a sign of progress.

And so, without further adieu, here is the shortlist for the 2011 Zombie Rights Campaign ‘Zombie of the Year’ Award:

UK ZOMBIE RIGHTS AGITATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE

Who: Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
Where: The United Kingdom

Why We Nominated Her:

Is it a crime just to be a Zombie in public? Many would say yes, and we must regretfully label such people as Living Supremacists. But what happens when those who enforce the law also feel Anti-Zombie prejudice?

Well, the good citizens of our longtime ally across the Atlantic found out just how ugly the spectre of Anti-Zombiism can be last May when, in the course of far-ranging police actions to support, as well as shelter from criticism, the latest Royal Wedding, one group of police officers chose to arrest any Zombies they could find as a precautionary measure.

Because Zombies, according to this police ‘reasoning’, have no excuse for being out in public on a day of aristocratic celebration. In fact, they seem to be claiming that Zombies have no right to be out in public at all. Hannah’s harrowing account of these abuses can be found here. As it happened the police had sorely underestimated the resolve of these stalwart shambling souls, Hannah in particular, and we were informed of her struggle and attempts to get media coverage of these clearly outrageous police transgressions.

The ZRC was, obviously, shocked at these events, and called for justice at the time. As is so often the case it was slow in coming, but thanks to the efforts of a small band of scrappy Pro-Zombie Freedom Fighters led in part by our new friend and now-frequent ZRC correspondent and Ally of Justice Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, justice may yet be had, as the courts are slated to review these obviously unjust arrests for Walking While Zombie! We hope for a precedent-setting ruling in favor of Undead Equality and the right to shamble freely in public as one’s heart, beating or not, dictates.

For all this hard and diligent work, not to mention public courage, the ZRC is proud to nominate Hannah Eiseman-Renyard to be our 2011 Zombie of the Year.

A ZOMBIE FRIENDLY ROM-ZOM-COM MUSICAL

Who: The cast and crew of ‘Rigamortis: A Zombie Love Story’
Where: The boundless wilds of the internet

Why: We’ve all seen the innumerable Anti-Zombie videos cluttering Youtube. Most of them are awful for Zombie Rights, and kind of awful in general. What about a real, for sure, free to view and Zombie Friendly film? How about a musical no less?

Well, ‘Rigamortis’ delivered. From the ZRC Review:

From a Zombie Rights perspective, ‘Rigamortis’ is a rousing success, noteworthy for its insight and sympathy for not just Zombies but the misguided Living Supremacist fools who seek the destruction of the Undead out of prejudice. The Zombies within the film aren’t perfect individuals or poster children for Zombie Rights, but they are real, flesh and blood people, people who lack, as we say, pulses but not hearts.

Finally, we have an easy to point to counter-example to the flood of negative, Zombie-baiting Undead-hating video that washes over Youtube every day. ‘Rigamortis’ has done the online world a great service by standing up for the frequently oppressed, often marginalized Zombie Community, and we are proud to thank those behind it with a nomination for our most prestigious award.


(Part 1 of 3, all available on Youtube)

LIVE ZOMBIE-FRIENDLY THEATRE

Who: The cast and crew of ‘Z-Town: The Zombie Musical’
Where: Madison, Wisconsin

Why: It’s been a banner year for Zombie musicals! Rigamortis brought Zombie Friendly song and dance to the internet but what about the live theatrical experience? Who would fill the need for Zombie Friendly live theatre?

Well, as it so happens, that need was met right here in the ZRC’s hometown of Madison, Wisconsin in a locally originated live show, ‘Z-Town: The Zombie Musical’.

IMG_2497

From the ZRC Review:

In fact, ‘Z-Town’ is a complex, nuanced examination of Zombie-Living relations. ‘Z-Town’ asks its audience to look at the big picture, at the Zombie Community as a class engaged in the struggle for economic, political and legal equality; it also never loses sight of the smaller scale, personal stories of those people from both the Living and Zombie camps involved in said struggle.

The ZRC got a chance to see this live and it was a very good time and an astoundingly Zombie Friendly show, opening the hearts and minds of the audience to Undead Equality. We could hardly ask for a better result!

Hence the ZRC is nominating the entire cast and crew of ‘Z-Town’ for our Zombies of the Year 2011.

A ZOMBIE FRIENDLY NOVELIST

The ZRC reviews a lot of material from a lot of different media, and one of the hardest forums for the message of Zombie Tolerance to crack has been the world of literature. For some reason the written word has rarely been kind to the Differently Animated, and even works that at first glance appear to be written with Zombies in mind turn out to have a not-so-hidden Anti-Zombie agenda.

Given that unfortunate background the ZRC was delighted when our investigation into ‘The Dishonored Dead’, a novel by author Robert Swartwood, turned up such a positive example of Zombie Friendly fiction. From the ZRC Review:

Just asking these questions about a society of the Undead is itself a daring, perhaps revolutionary move in Zombie-related fiction. After all, you cannot ask about the rightness or wrongness of a choice made without presupposing the ability to make choices; you cannot evaluate a People’s guilt without acknowledging that it is in fact made up of individuals capable of moral behavior. ‘The Dishonored Dead’ therefore starts from a position far more enlightened than that of, sadly, the overwhelming majority of Zombie fiction. The questions it asks about the Dead, about the nature and value of Life and Unlife and how they might apply to a radically different and yet fundamentally same type of humanity, these are valuable questions to ask, and difficult ones to answer.

Rare insight into the Zombie condition and an uncommon willingness to address the concerns of the Differently Animated earn Robert Swartwood a nomination for Zombie of the Year 2011. Even if, you know, technically I have no evidence he’s Undead per se; so much tolerance has to make one at least Zombie-Adjacent, right? We try to be inclusive here at the ZRC.

There you have it, Zombie Allies, our nominees for this year’s Zombie of the Year Award. We have a wide and eclectic mix: highly talented actors of stage and screen, a fellow civil rights campaigner brought to our cause by injustice, a renowned author willing to put his reputation behind increased Zombie Tolerance. Any and all deserve our respect and thanks, but only one candidate (or group thereof) will receive the award!

Be here on the ZRC blog in one week and we will reveal your Zombie of the Year for 2011.

Thanks to all our nominees and readers for a great year in Zombie Rights.


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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