As some of you might have guessed, I’ve recently become somewhat busy. Med school is not currently kicking my ass, but I’m expecting it any day now, and my girlfriend and I are working on the ongoing rent situation. Suffice it to say that I’m not really managing five posts a week anymore, or anytime soon. I’m moving to a MWF schedule, with an optional post on weekends. Hopefully I’ll get this thing running again.
With our berserker rage and our superhuman regeneration capabilities, zombies can seem infinitely dangerous to the unarmed non-zombie observers. Though zombies can be very destructive when enraged, they remain at their previous levels of strength. What zombies do that makes us so threatening is that we ignore pain.
During a rage, the usual sensations that accompany pain don’t reach the brain. A zombie will not stop when the pain starts, they’ll power through it. The discomfort, the blood loss, and the soreness mean nothing to a berserker. Eventually, other effects from these injuries will catch up to the zombie, but not before some serious damage has been meted out. However, anyone aware of this can use normal means to overpower a zombie.
The Auditor (2013) was the first film to pit Christian values against zombism. It was inevitable. While religious people had been suspicious of zombies, they’d been divided on how suspicious to be. The more progressive preached tolerance. The more traditional preached segregation. It was a simple debate, lacking in nuance.
The titular auditor doesn’t have any interest in finances. He audits souls. Every kindness is balanced against every cruelty. The movie begins with him judging three people in quick succession, none of them zombies. One good, one neutral, one evil. The treatment of each of them sets up our expectations for how the film’s protagonist will be handled.
After the introductory scenes with the auditor, focus shifts to the zombie. Ryder Young is a walking stereotype of a contemporary youth culuture, though increasingly hard to recognize now. The film hides his identity as a zombie for maximum effect, but we have no need for such manipulation. His status as a zombie is meant to remove all previously established audience sympathy- or so the movie’s backers may have thought. The audience disagreed, and many watching the movie came away with more sympathy for zombies.
No post today. My interviewee this week couldn’t make it because she feared for her safety. I’ll see everyone back here on Monday.
One of the hardest things for people new to the movement is overcoming their biases. We made a lot of fiction about zombies before we had to face the reality of them, and some people never got past that. It was the same way with phoenixes, and with selkies. Some of us didn’t face this treatment, like shadewalkers or huldrafolk, but there are still stereotypes. There’s still discrimination.
So this is me, coming out as a zombie med student.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about brains. That’s where the title of this blog comes from. (If your brain is thinking about brains, what’s that? Intellectual masturbation.) You’re saying, “But Travis! How can you study the human body when you’re a cannibal? Just accept your fate and let us headshot you.”
As much as I’d love to clear up all those student loans, I have things I want to do. I’ve never gone spelunking, or skydiving. I’ve never been in a relationship more than six months. I’ve never been to Norway: high fertility rate, high tax rate, high suicide rate. There’s a story in there, but I’ve never been a writer. Until now. Because now, things are changing. Recent events have reshaped the political landscape, and I have to speak up. I thought I could fly under the radar until graduation, but you know what? Medical school takes a really long time. I can’t stay silent while others are suffering. I’m only safe because people turn a blind eye. It’s elitism, plain and simple. I’m one of the good ones for making it this far.
Now maybe this is going to tank my future prospects. Maybe that residency I had lined up will be gone tomorrow. Or maybe no one will read this, and I can just pretend it didn’t happen. But maybe this matters. So this is me, Travis, the future zombie doctor.