The city of the dead in the city of quartz

It is time to move on toward zombies. The long trek through The Bed Sitting Room finished (and the salvagepunk chapter of which that reading is a part), the next uneven apocalypse in question is that incessant figure of recent years, the horde of the walking dead. The transition, as it were, from robbing history's graves to those who rob their own graves.

Perhaps appropriately, I'm quite sick of zombie culture in its total market saturation: as a particularly dominant form of the general obsession with all things undead, from the Twilight-and-Hot-Topic-ing of tweens to the phrase "zombie apocalypse" entering the broad conversational sphere, it stands as the supreme image of managed viral "underground" culture. The shambling crowd of unmentionables like so many tap-dancing LOL cats.

As such, and hopefully without the petty feeling of betrayal because "I was a fan from the beginning and now they've sold out," I'll try and draw out both the peculiar ideological formation underpinning this mass image, and the aspects of the zombie, as a recurrent image extending back toward the apex and subsequent collapse of Fordism, that resist this contemporary formation. Or, at the least, that remains capable of stripping the veil from the supreme nastiness, bad faith, and willful misconception of the world order on which undead-centered culture hinges without admitting it.

And, on a related note, I'll be heading down to LA to give a talk (and DJing a set of "related" post-apocalyptic music) on these very issues. Come join, or if you know anyone who lives in LA and would like to watch me try to explain the connections between the quivering wings of dead pinned butterflies and the fear of never being able to clock out from work, spread the word.

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