2013: The year of the zombie

As you might expect, a headline like that is an appealing teaser to one who makes a living at writing zombie fiction. But that title isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. Yes, zombies are hot (thanks to Norman Reedus – I mean, The Walking Dead); and for that I am very thankful. But not every zombie was created in the image of George A. Romero. In fact, some where fashioned from a bubbling pit of brainless, fetid, offal. Those are the zombies I’m talking about now. Let’s nom on this for a bit.

Tongue in twerk

2013 saw the public eye landing squarely on the tongue and butt of Miley Cyrus. This often led me to wonder a simple question: Why? I’ve pondered this for a fraction of a second and I can only conclude that she capitalized on what I call the “Rubberneck Parallax”. Follow me for a moment…

  • A parallax, by definition, is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight. It is derived from the Greek “parallaxis” meaning “alteration”.
  • “Rubberneckin” is the act of gawking at something with morbid curiosity (usually a car or train wreck).

Put these two tastes together and you have Miley Cyrus. The public eye focused sharply on the young woman to see what train wreck she would come up with next. And from different angles, the end result looked very different. From one perspective, it was about as entertaining as you’d find. From yet another POV, the Miley Circus was a joke that didn’t deserve an ounce of attention.

And yet, her brainless antics drew the hearts and minds of millions.


Shame on you millions! Look away, look far away, before it’s too late.

You need a picture of someone with their tongue ready for action? Enjoy the one on the right. At least there’s a wee bit of intelligence behind that lolling piece of meat. If you’re not sure who that is, go back to watching the Wrecking Ball video over and over.

Politics schmolitics

Next we had the US political system. It’s been common knowledge that we (the US citizens) have been voting zombies into office for decades. But this year, it grew to mind-numbing new heights. Bi-partisan bickering rose until Congress itself shut down. Our trusted politicians made it quite clear they were absolutely incapable of rational thought when it came to our health care system. Instead of trying to settle on a solution that served the citizens of the country, they turned the quest for health care reform into a political battlefield that no one could possibly come out on the side of victorious (especially the people).

Even once a solution was found, the in-fighting continued…and most likely will continue until the public gets a chance to vote even more zombies into the political hierarchy. But even then, there’s no guarantee we won’t vote into office:

  • Drug and sex addicts
  • Liars and cheats
  • Theocrats
  • Money launderers

…and much more.

Go Team “White Collar Crime”.

Off a ducks back

Believe it or not, the shame that is the world of entertainment and politics came together at the very end of the year to deliver what might be one of the more embarrassing moments for 2013. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Duck Dynasty.

A man who made millions with a duck call (the Duck Commander), dampened the brains of the public by duping a huge audience of viewers into thinking he was nothing but a simple, good ol’ boy and wanted to entertain the unwashed masses with he and his family o’ ‘necks. And then he pulled back the velvet curtain to reveal his true nature – one that threatened to set back the ideology of the US by decades. I won’t post any quotes here, simply because I don’t want to give it credence; but the very idea that people still are fundamentally and vehemently opposed to societal progress makes me want to buy an island and start my own country — one where people that espouse ignorance and hatred are not welcome.


The number one social network found itself awash in mindless posts posing as fact. The truth is:

  • Brad Pitt did not write a letter on how he saved his marriage
  • The Facebook group “Becoming a father or mother was the greatest gift of my life” was created by pedophiles to gain access to kids’ photos.
  • A Salvation Army bell ringer did not pose with a sign reading ‘Gays Not Allowed.
  • A python did not eat a drunk man in India

I know, I know…we all want to believe these mindless Facebook posts to be true; but fact always wins in the end. It has become so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of the zombie horde on FB. With a bit of photoshopping skills, you too can convince your friends and followers that Daryl Dixon was, in fact, in your bed last night or that Obama was caught wearing a turban in a Jewish Synagog.

Sigh. Zombies will believe anything.

Please, before you post anything on Facebook, take a moment to do a bit of fact checking to ensure you are not spreading the virus known I call “stupid”.

It wasn’t all “bad” zombies

I’d certainly be remiss if I left you hanging with the taste of rot on your lips. There was plenty of zombie lovin’ to go around. First and foremost, there was the continued dominance of Norman Reedus, er…The Walking Dead. That show has helped to drive the zombie genre back into the minds and hearts of the public.

And, of course, I had my own zombie goodness to offer. Not only did I continue on with the I Zombie series (finishing the first draft of Cry Zombie Cry), I began its first-ever spin off, staring the psychobilly band Kitty in a Cakset. There was also my first non-fiction title, Practical Guide to Survive Anything: Even the Zombie Apocalypse, written with Morgan Barnhart (founder of the Zombie Response Team).

A look ahead

The upcoming year doesn’t have to be filled with the same brain-numbing, zombie-creating, mindlessness. In fact, I’ve created a simple acronym we can all follow to make the world a better place:


  • Compassion
  • Acceptance
  • Intelligence
  • Respect

By making those four simple words a part of your everyday life, we can all make sure the human race improves on all fronts. We’ll see far fewer “zombies” in 2014 and I’m all for that.

Well, except when it comes to my novels. We’ll keep that zom-tastic!

To the whole of the Jackverse, I hope 2014 is a beautiful, wonderful year for you. Be safe, be happy, and keep feeding your soul.