Very well then.
I do not ascribe zombies to the rise of the Tea Party, the Gang of Six, or today’s call by euro-zone chiefs for a “selective default” on the Greek debt.
Although that would be entirely conceivable.
However, it is worth noting that respectable bastions of academia are taking seriously the zombie question. This has been evidenced by such mounting bodies of work as: Why Zombies Are Inconceivable (Eric Marcus); Zombie Killer (Nigel Thomas); Zombies and the Case of the Phenomenal Pickpocket (Michael Lynch); Zombies Support Biological Theories of Consciousness (Andrew Bailey); and Zombie Mary and the Blue Banana (Tillman Vierkant).
Ordinarily, this might be dismissed as so many starving philosophers jumping on the Max Brooks “Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead” bandwagon and its many spinoffs since the book’s release in 2003.
Except the term “zombie,” it seems, was first introduced and popularized by a philosopher and professor back in 1974. That year, Robert Kirk, now professor emeritus in the department of philosophy at the University of Nottingham, released a paper called “Sentience and Behaviour.” Being the 1970s and all, the whole zombie notion caught like wildfire. Since then, Kirk has continued writing about consciousness and physicalism. (Physicalism, for the uninitiated, was thought up by Otto Neurath in the early twentieth century. Mr. N. believed everything in existence was no more extensive than its physical properties. The conceivability of zombies posed a problem here if one accepted that zombies were, molecule-for-molecule, the same as humans — and yet somehow not human. Philosophers have loved pondering the differences ever since. This assumes, of course, you truly believe humans aren’t zombies.)
Now, zombies have their very own poster boy — David Chalmers, a rather handsome, shaggy-haired philosopher from Australian National University. Chalmers, the director of the school’s mysterious Centre for Consciousness, is also a visiting professor of philosophy at New York University. As you can see, he is really into zombies, going so far as to break them down into three obvious categories — the Hollywood zombie, the Philosophical and the Haitian zombie.
Not to be outdone, Bob Kirk, the original zombie master, has returned in recent years to defend his title. His book, “Zombies and Consciousness” aims to infuse academia’s tired old zombie argument with fresh rigor and “demolish the zombie idea once and for all,” according to the Amazon product description.
Could this, at long last, be the zombie apocalypse? The zombie creator looking to pound a steak through his own phenom’s heart?