Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Occupy Wall Street echoes Romero's Land of the Dead

George A. Romero's Land of the Dead was released in 2005, 3 years before the shit hit the fan as the US economy turned into crap. Of course, while the gap between the rich and the poor was growing during the last decade, many were looking at "sky flowers" and ignored what was to come. If you actually rewatch LotD, it eerily echoes many of the concerns that many of the poor, working and middle class talk about now. Occupy Wall Street looks like a "uprising" where we, zombies have decided to storm Fiddler's Green.

It's always been the case that the rich have created ways to preoccupy the masses to deter them from their situation. Whereas the zombies are mesmerized by the sky flowers, the living in LotD are given gambling, booze, drugs and mindless entertainment to ease the pain of their lives. Clearly Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) represents the status quo, the rich who will do anything to stay rich. Their best method of keeping their lives the way it is is by tricking the masses to believe they have a chance to join them. This is best illustrated as Cholo (John Leguizamo) does all of Kaufman's dirty work so he can live the "Fiddler's Green Dream".

And so comes Occupy Wall Street and the 99%ers. Their manifesto is short and to the point.

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

If you somehow missed the allusion of Romero's zombies are actually us, well I'm here to say ahem, they are all of us. Many of the elite think of the American public has mindless, dumb zombies. They think all we want to do is breed, consume and destroy things. WE are the majority yet we have no real power.

But as the zombies in LotD taught as anything, we can evolve. We can think and we can damn well organize. It's the power in numbers that ultimately will be the way we can take over once more. We always look at maps as a way to see how a zombie virus can spread, well take a look at the Occupy Wall St protests that have popped up. It was inevitable.

Mike: "They're trying to be us."
Riley:"No, they used to be us. Learning how to be us again."
Mike: "It's like they're pretending to be alive."
Riley: "Isn't that what we're doing, pretending to be alive?"

We have to wake up. We have to think. We have to evolve. We have to clear our mind. We have to realize the corporations greatly influence our political leaders. We have to realize that even though you are doing well and gotten the slice of the American Dream pie, the system is still unfair. We have to realize that the poor and middle class CANNOT take anymore of the burden to fix our economic woes. The rich and wealthy must contribute a greater portion to fix the financial burden we all face. The crooks who created this mess must pay for their crimes. We have to find a system that works.

As much as we'd like violence to get our point across, the violence is not by us but by the police who are supposed to protect us. Sure I'd like to see THIS HAPPEN to our Fiddler's Green friends. The system won't collapse because of a few thousand protesters but if they get agitated, a little scared and a little concerned they may make concessions. They may change because they're scared by what we represent.

That's what OWS is trying to do. Create change. And change in any form is good change.

Kaufman repeated the line "You have no right!" as the zombies poured in and destroyed his status quo paradise. Well Mr. Kaufman and to all the other Kaufmans of the world, we have every right.

We are the 99%.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Brilliant, brilliant AND brilliant. Thank you for writing this. As always, Romero's zombie universe has been about us, from NOLD to the much hated, Survival of the Dead (which I loved, and found so relevant).

  2. What a fantastic article Jeff. This is why I love you my man. Always honest and creating discourse.

  3. This was awesome, and it's forcing me to re-watch LotD again. I own it, but I haven't watched it in years. While I always enjoyed it, I didn't think it captured the same voice Romero had in his earlier movies. I'll think about that some more now. The one thing I disagree with is your statement, "And change in any form is good change." It makes sense in context, but as a general rule, that's totally not true. Anyways, I'm glad you wrote this up. Good work.

  4. Brilliant post good sir.