Archives: Attack of the Town Hall Zombies

This post ran Sep. 1st, 2009 at Huffington Post and included my very first music mash-up.

Republicans talk about H.R. 3200 as if it were a marauding army of zombies.

They say health care reform will eat your grandma and your babies.

It will eat Republicans.

It will eat your flesh, starting with your penis.

Shrill, ugly, and paranoid, they invoke the same demons of 2008: socialism. Fascism. Communism. And now, oligarhy (sic).

Not only can they not spell their demons’ names right, they don’t understand what the names mean.

They scrawl and chant these words to invoke their magic power; they are fear words. Say “OBAMA = HITLER” and as Goebbels would say, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

But in this case, the lies are not coming from the state. The corpse of the “southern strategy” has been raised by invoking all the old culture war battle cries: abortion, race, religion.

Forget astroturf. The town hall protests are a form of undead politics, and these are the necromancers who have raised it:

Back in May, I coined the term Zombie Outrage to refer to this phenomenon. Practitioners prey on uninformed resentments, filling their heads with enough fear and false information to eat out the rational frontal lobes of the brain and replace their reason with ravening anger.

The only thing the victims know is that they are afraid. They want an easy explanation, one that resonates with the world as they’ve always imagined it. The Michael Savages and Glenn Becks of media offer an easy explanation: it’s the government’s fault.

The zombies are usually quite proud of their brain-dead state. Take the case of David Hedrick, who famously took Congressman Brian Baird to task at a town hall. From Hedrick’s YouTube notes:

I was one questioner out of 38, that was called at random from an audience that started at 3,000 earlier in the evening. Not expecting to be called on, I quickly scratched what I wanted to say on a borrowed piece of paper and with a pen that I borrowed from someone else in the audience minutes before I spoke. So much for the planned talking points of the right wing conspiracy.

Perhaps Hedrick isn’t a part of the right-wing conspiracy, but he certainly has internalized the gasbaggery issuing forth every day from the Glenn Beck doom bunker. He’s now just one more victim of the zombiefication of the Republican Party.

When I saw that Media Matters had picked up on the ‘zombie’ motif, it struck me that the only thing missing to propel it into widespread use was a good YouTube video. As luck would have it, there is a song that fits quite well. I hope you enjoy “Rise” by Séance Fiction.

Séance Fiction band website

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About Matt Osborne

Veteran blogging the culture wars from Alabama. Video journalist, mash-up artist, aspiring novelist, and metalhead. Expect bunnies, geekery, dark humor, and snarky empirical analysis to annoy idealists of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter, but be ready 'cause it might get loud.
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