Florida always has some of the strangest news. I’m not sure if it’s that we pay more attention to Florida news because it’s strange or if all the weirdos moved to Florida or that their media is better at digging up odd stories, but for peculiar news stories, Florida is where it’s at.
A little over a week ago, a news item out of Miami caught my eye. It was about a naked man eating the face off a homeless man on a bridge and being shot to death by Miami police when he refused to stop.
In that story alone, there are three oddities:
• Naked guy on a bridge
• Guy eating someone’s face
• Police having to shoot an unarmed man multiple times to get him to go down
If you add them all up, some people would have you believe that the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us.
Maybe it’s because I’m twisted. Or maybe it’s because I’ve watched all the Walking Dead episodes, along with Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Slither, Zombieland and even Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood, but I have a strange affinity for Zombies. Okay, maybe it’s not so strange. A study recently showed that as much as $5 billion was spent on Zombies in 2011 — between movies and TV shows and t-shirts, &c.
But Zombies aren’t real. They’re just something made up in movies. Right?
I thought the same thing until a few days ago when Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman David Daigle told The Huffington Post that “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”
In short, the government is denying the existence of Zombies. This news factoid is simultaneously humorous and unnerving.
On one hand, the CDC probably added fuel to the fire a year ago when it released a “Zombie Preparedness” campaign. The campaign is, to date, the single best government-sponsored public service announcement that I’ve ever seen, taking a meme that people have shown interest in and making it relevant to real-life situations. Basically, if you’re prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse, you’re prepared for other types of disasters which actually happen, such as hurricanes, floods, blizzards, &c.
On the other hand, I’m of the mind that the government doesn’t take time to refute things which aren’t true. They simply ignore those things. Denying a rumor usually only helps to spread it faster. Remember high school? Maybe, the CDC is just trying to get more milage out of that campaign. Really, it’s brilliant. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/6xbtvuk.
Whether the Zombie Apocalypse is real or not, I’m glad to see it in the news. It’s much more interesting to read about the Undead in Florida (and many other places) than about the brain dead in Washington. And, hey! I got to write a column about Zombies! Didn’t think that would ever happen.
For more Zombie news, check me out on Twitter … or just search for Zombies on Google.
Scott Leffler has been a member of the local media for over a decade. His column appears every Tuesday. Follow him on twitter @scottleffler.