PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Opinion

The weekly Daley: Zombie politics

By From page A4 | February 22, 2013

Everyone who pays attention to faux news (not the snarky term for FOX, but the real fake news) will know that Canada, in effect, has outlawed zombies. Members of the Canadian Parliament earlier this week gave straight-faced testimony in their government chambers expressing their undying opposition to zombies in general and zombies in Canada in particular.

Zombies are big for some reason. I think it’s because of the popularity of the TV series, “The Walking Dead.” I only know about that because a year ago, my brother the conservative and I drove cross-country to Florida and back. And several nights on the road, he tuned in to the program in the hotel room, instead of going out for dinner. He was hooked on “The Walking Dead.”

He’d call his son back at UC Stanislaus in Turlock and find out when and on what network the latest zombie adventure would show and plan his evening around that hour — or maybe two hours if there was more than one episode playing on a given night.

A couple of times, we had cocktails in the room and ate snack food while watching the humans blow the zombies away.

He explained to me that only a shot to the head would stop those particular zombies, though I saw the humans hurl explosives at them, set them on fire and crash pickup trucks into gaggles of them. All those methods seemed to work too. And if that’s actually the case, then zombies shouldn’t be any harder to “kill” than any living being, but I only saw parts of a couple of episodes, so I may have missed something.

I recognize that sometimes you have to start at the beginning of these series in order to appreciate them. I hadn’t, so I didn’t. But Canadians are all into zombies apparently — or better said, getting rid of zombies.

As nearly as I could tell, zombie-phobia cuts across all political stripes in Canada. Not like here where if the Democrats are friendly toward zombies, the Republicans would obstruct any positive efforts in favor of zombies, and vice versa.

The Canadian legislators looked like they were having a pretty good time as they joined together to begin serious efforts to eradicate zombies and any concomitant threat zombies might represent. And in doing so they were providing an object lesson in Politics 101. Identify a common enemy and the people will unite in their opposition to it. Whether it be zombies, Martians, communists, imperialists, polio or childhood obesity, you name it. If everyone or at least most of us agree that there is a common threat, we’ll rally around the cause.

For example, this nation’s unholy deficit seems to be a significant problem and it represents a common threat to all of us. A vast majority of Americans seem to agree on the basic truth of that.

Problems arise when we try to fashion the best antidote for the problem. Some of us believe a shot to the head is the best, if not the only way to kill a deficit. Others believe that roasting it in a silo filled with flaming gasoline or other flammables is the surest way to eliminate a deficit.

Yet others think we can negotiate with a deficit and get it to sit down and be reasonable. Imposing sanctions on a deficit is hard to do and its efficacy is even harder to evaluate.

Sequestration sounds like it could be the kind of weapon that would destroy a deficit — or just about anything else from acne to zombies. If you just savor the word itself, it sounds like something you’d find in an old-time medical dictionary under the category of “Extreme Measures” to be used only after all else has failed.

And that’s not so far off the current situation. Everything else has apparently failed, so bring on the sequestration. However, the president warns that teachers will be laid off, firefighters will stay home, FBI agents will be furloughed, meat inspectors will do whatever they do when they’re not inspecting meat, and we’ll likely all come down with something awful. Air traffic controllers will just eat donuts and drink coffee with police officers while planes bumble around crashing into each other.

Underwear bombers and shoe terrorists will glide right through airport security on their way to planes that will bumble around and crash into each other — which may not be all bad when you think about it.

Like zombies, the deficit doesn’t seem to play favorites. Likewise, the sequestration cure chops zombie-like through all and sundry. Nine percent here. Thirteen percent there. Some this year, some next, some down the road for 10 years. Like zombies, it moves pretty slow but inexorably, gobbling up everything in its path.

I’ve never heard anyone blame somebody else for zombies. Evidently, zombies just are. No one created them. No one is responsible for them or for their behavior. Sequestration, on the other hand, is everyone else’s fault. Just like the deficit. Did it start with G.W. Bush or with Ronald Reagan or with FDR? Sure, why not? Did Barack Obama watch it soar under his administration? Sure. Did Congress go along with foolish ways to get money to make war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Sure.

Now our leaders are pointing their fingers at each other claiming that the other guy, who already was responsible for the deficit, is now responsible for the foolish plan to reduce it, that is, sequestration. And when all is said and done, typically more said than done, the horror of the deficit and the apocalypse that is sequestration will probably prove to be about as catastrophic, frightening and as likely as an invasion of zombies.

Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday. 

Chris Daley

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