The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Irresponsible Internet Fearmongers Exploit Gruesome Tragedy to Promote Anti-Zombiism

We’ve gotten a lot of tips about a recent Miami case involving a man whose face was, err, chewed off by his assailant. The assailant then resisted police even to the point of requiring several gunshots to finally subdue:

According to police sources, a road ranger saw a naked man chewing on another man’s face and shouted on his loud speaker for him to back away.Meanwhile, a woman also saw the incident and flagged down a police officer who was in the area.

The officer, who has not been identified, approached and, seeing what was happening, also ordered the naked man to back away. When he continued the assault, the officer shot him, police sources said. The attacker failed to stop after being shot, forcing the officer to continue firing. Witnesses said they heard at least a half dozen shots.

A grisly tragedy, to be sure. And early reports had little idea what was behind the bizarre crime; some speculation was on ‘cocaine psychosis’.

Then the internet wags heard of the story.

Our old nemeses at io9 got in on it early, while still noting the more mundane explanation on offer:

How the zombie apocalypse starts: Naked attacker found eating man’s face


This is obviously a great tragedy, one that’s left one man dead and another disfigured, and the police are theorizing cocaine psychosis rather than zombification as the cause of the attack. But residents of Miami can rest easy in the knowledge that the police are prepared to nip any zombie outbreaks in the bud.

Quickly it became known, with no basis in fact, as the ‘Miami Zombie’ case.

Some added references to The Walking Dead.

The Daily Beast has a theory about a new drug commonly known as ‘bath salts’, but naturally plugs the Zombie reference anyway.

CNN, The New York Daily News, The Tampa Bay Times, on and on with the casual ‘Zombie’ epithet.

Even though, as most print sources *eventually* note, the prevailing theory is drugs, not Zombification. To some degree this is probably due to the same phenomenon as serial killer names; someone suggests something ‘catchy’, whether or not based remotely in fact, and it sticks as shorthand. But still; indicting the whole Undead community with guilt by association is reckless.

Then the story hit Twitter, and what context it had went out the window, with even more, often rather glib, fearmongering about the alleged Zombie Apocalypse.

Among the many, many tweets I saw, and fairly representative, was from geeky Twitter personality Molly McIsaac, who said:

We all wished for the zombie apocalypse. Well, now it’s happening. Saw off your shot guns! http://www.nomoreroominhell.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7935

I find the idea of hoping for any apocalypse rather distasteful, myself.

Naturally, we tried to educate Ms. McIsaac on the subject of Undead Rights, but she was pretty hostile to learning the error of her ways.

Also, apparently our pamphlets are too long of a read for Twitter-trained attention spans. Noted.

As seen above, Ms. McIsaac links to a rather nasty, fever-swamp of Zombie Hatred forum, which reads like one of those New World Order, UN Black Helicopter sites, only about the imminent end of the world by Zombie.

Among things that this page thinks are potentially related to the Zombie Apocalypse: a DUI arrest, Mad Cow and Rabies cases (yes, THAT again) and even a medical breakthrough for children with an incurable neurological disease.

In the phase I trial led by Wuh-Liang Hwu of the National Taiwan University Hospital, doctors injected an adeno-associated virus loaded up with a good copy of the AADC gene into the children’s putamen, a part of the brain where the enzyme works to make dopamine. Within 16 months of the surgery, all the patients showed increased head movements, higher weight, and were able to sit up without assistance. One patient was even able to stand. In the months that followed, the patients continued to gain weight, and scored higher on cognition and motor development tests. Their parents also said that the children slept better and had improved eye coordination and emotional stability.

I know *I* find it harder to sleep at night knowing gene therapy is progressing toward treatment, even cure, of truly ghastly genetic disorders.

*rolls eyes in frustration*

This is the sort of thing we have to deal with when people just throw that word ‘Zombie’ around, folks. It’s not cool. Not cool at all. Not even as a joke.

So no, for the record, there is absolutely no evidence that this Miami assault is related to the Undead, that the perpetrator was Undead, or that there is any link to Zombiism or the imminent end of the world. Internet: you can stop smearing our clients anytime now, in jest or otherwise.

We get it. Really.

Sigh.


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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