For new readers, a few years ago, I started the Annual Zombie Bait List … then promptly proceeded to do more than enough hiatus-inducing field research through absolutely no fault of my own.
Now that I’m back, the Annual Zombie Bait List is back!
One Caveat about the Zombie Bait List: this is not aimed at any group by religion, ethnicity, or even politics. The below is a snarky, if cathartic fantasy by which we can vent our angst at criminals, psychopaths, social bullies, corrupt forces, etc.
10. Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
This is a state agency mandated to “stregthen families” but has somehow acquired a body count. They are in the bottom five according to kids.org for time spent in foster care (the standard maximum goal is two years), failure to publish data to the public (while they public foster care data, but as of last fall they have not published overall data on their site since 2010), possible corruption.
MA DCF is possibly the childhood equivalent of #9.
9. Chicago Police Department
This is actually a tie with #10. The problems of the Chicago Police Department have managed to hit the mainstream news. So, their place on this list is probably self-explanatory. However, the problems of Homan Square as told in The Guardian online solidify its place on this list.
8. Martin Shkreli
Don’t know the name? Well, if your life depended on Daraprim, you’d see him cackling in your nightmares. According to WebMD, Daraprim treats “Malaria, Encephalitis due to the Parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, Infection due to the Parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, AIDS with Toxoplasmosis.” Shkreli’s company, Turing, acquired Duraprim in August 2015. By September 20, 2015, the New York Times published the headline: “Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight.” That is an increase of 5,555.56 %, rounded.
Then, Shrekli outdid himself. Yes, he did. In December 2015, Shrekli was arrested on securities fraud charges.
I love this cartoon, but I don’t entirely agree. I’ve sat in on proceedings that gave me insight into the inner workings of people in law enforcement at the federal level. They are pretty cunning people (thank the Lord!).
I’m sure Mr. Shrekli got arrested for what the law said he could be arrested for, and for what it was possible to prosecute. However, I go to bed thinking that his predatory price gouging led to a big ole’ target being painted on his back. My dreams are filled with the sounds of some nice, middle aged Fed saying “nobody makes that kind of money without a few skeletons in the closet. Let’s
see what we can find … “
7. The Boston Globe:
I mention this with a caveat. I have stopped following their coverage of certain issues after a complete level of frustration. Perhaps they’ve changed their ways, but I doubt it.
This year marked the premiere of the Spotlight movie, a huge pat on the back for The Globe’s reporting of the Priest Sex Abuse scandal. However, Jack Dunn of Boston reported feeling misrepresented and smeared in the movie, as did others. Now, this is not The Globe’s fault. Necessarily. (However, with complex issues like life rights and usage rights and script approvals and trademarks, you have to ask if someone at the Globe was tracking the script and could have raised a red flag or two.)
However, my complaint is that while The Globe basked in the praise of this dubious cinematic account, they glossed over the countless problems in DCF, at times shilling on DCF’s behalf for additional resources without demanding accountability or transparency for the use of those resources.
The Globe seems to have neglected stories of abuses by social workers. When I spoke with an unidentified woman at the news desk asking why they didn’t report on these stories, she said “well, they’re hard to find.”
No they’re not, if you look for them.
I’m curious – and will hope to write in 2016 – if the gender and class differences in the victims’ demographics played any role in the The Globe’s investment in advocating for those victims.
6. Anyone opposed to helping the Syrian Refugees
I’m not naive enough to think that just opening doors to several hundred thousand Syrian refugees (Wikipedia estimates four million refugees) will make everything okay. It’s not that simple.
I wholeheartedly support anyone’s right to raise reservations on the grounds that infrastructure problems, security problems (the refugees are vulnerable as potential victims, but are only targeted as potential perpetrators), and a whole host of other logistics need to be addressed.
We have people smart enough and powerful enough to address those problems.
Even then, other unforeseen problems will arise. I get it.
But the inherent difficulty of solving these problems is no excuse to shrink away from them. The moral mandate is too great to ignore just because it’s a hard problem. History is filled with hard problems we’ve managed to solve before.
One question to opponents: if these were refugees of a national disaster, from, say, oh, England, or Norway, or Canada, would your hearts and doors be just as closed?
5. Politically Correct but Completely Irrelevant Reactionaries.
First, I’m liberal and left-wing. Very. Way out there. Object of ridicule for my conservative New England in-laws and everything.
That being said …
This year marked a whole host of stories where I sensed young liberals, in an effort to demonstrate their compassion for mankind, completely lost compassion for the person in front of them.
GQ named college students, aka “trustafarians” one of their “Worst People of 2015.”
I’ve already posted my thoughts on blaming white women of history for racism (while ignoring the history of ownership of white women as part of the post-Civil War culture).
Then there was the war on a Christmas Song – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – as a Date-Rape song.
Stephen Deusner in Salon.com:
Especially for a tune so closely associated with the holidays, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is icky at best, at worst reprehensible: It describes what may be a date rape.
What all these analyses completely disregard is that her reason for saying no is the social prohibition against her being a sexual human being. She never says “ew, I don’t like you.” That era is filled with a million songs of “not if you were the last man on earth.” In this song, her reasons are social pressure.
I’ve always heard the song as that of a woman torn by opposing calls: the call of desire and love (the man in the song), and her duty to social mores of the time (being deemed a “bad” girl). Movies of the time are filled with subtexts about this no-win situation for adult women of that era.
Both feminist reactions (and I’m a feminist) ignore the historical contexts and try to apply modern-day sensibilities to something whose origins they don’t explore.
Even more absurd is all the attention to this sixty-year old song, when so many current misogynistic songs get little, if any, media attention. Seems like click-seeking to me.
These are just examples.
That said, this is why these reactionaries, and others are on the Zombie Bait list: they take up time with this silly intellectual mind experiments and fail to apply that time and energy to solving real problems of our day: like real, actual date rapes happening now, the pay gap, the justice gap for minorities, violence against minorities, the growing economic disparity between the classes, climate change, the Syrian Refugee crisis or the War on Mommies.
It’s a waste. I don’t think God really cares about the hidden subtexts of a sixty-year old song that may or may not really be about the social denial of women’s sexual autonomy through shaming.
Leveraging irrational fear and prejudice to protect sales, without any regard to the socially responsible use of your product is callousness at exponential levels. Does anyone really believe that they are not aware that a waiting period would decrease sales, allowing for people who would buy on impulse to succumb to their better judgement? Does anyone think they don’t know that a background check would keep guns out of the hands of unstable or unscrupulous?
They know. They don’t care.
It’s time to care.
3. Carly Fiorina & Women’s Civil Rights Opponents
That’s right, I said it. Women’s reproductive health, and our ability to seek that health care is a goddamned civil right. Get friggin’ used to it.
This year brought alot of attention to Planned Parenthood: an organization that provides a range of women’s health care. This year brought attention to PP’s opponents: from the slanderous now-debunked video, to the political effort to defund PP.
If segments of this country worked this hard to prevent the exercise of legally endowed rights by any other group, there would be twice the outrage there is now.
Quite frankly, if so called “pro-lifers” were
sincere in preventing abortions, they’d be out on every street corner handing out condoms like Skittles. They’d take all their moneys and develop drinkable birth control in trendy little bottles.
If these people were serious, they’d be driving
women in limos up to Planned Parenthood doors for pelvic exams and contraceptives.
But they’re not. So what do they really want? Humm ….
2. Donald Trump
I’ve mentioned before that in promoting his racist and misognynist agenda, Trump prevents any real discussion that would promote economic and legal justice. As long as we feel separated by race and ideology, we will not join together to bring ourselves economic and legal justice. However, some of the blame needs to be allocated out: the media reports on this crap and we listen.
1. ISIL & Boko Harum
This really doesn’t need any explanation, does it?
Please see the original for details, but a brief excerpt is below.
Original Zombie Bait List
Now, there are two principles to Zombie bait. First, all living creatures serve some purpose in this complex world of ours. I realize that in the case of Zombies the “living” part is up to scientific debate, but really, in the greater scheme of things, surely don’t Zombies serve some purpose? I say yes, yes they do. The way I see it, that purpose for Zombies is good, old-fashioned social clean-up. In the natural world, scavenger animals clean up the debris left by predators and waste left by natural processes, so one can reasonably conclude that the Zombie’s share a similar social purpose. Secondly, if in the course of that social clean-up the Zombies get too distracted or just plain full to eat us good folk, well then, two social goods have been met at once. Zombies are fed and happy, and we’re safe from the Zombies and the people we fed to them. Win-win. (Yes, I’ve thought about this entirely too much. Remember, I’m unemployed so I have a good bit of free time.)