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Effie Trinket

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https://web.archive.org/web/20110928040259/http://popularsymbolism.wordpress.com:80/2009/03/10/the-impact-of-zombies-on-society/

The Impact of Zombies On Society
March 10, 2009 popularsymbolism (squarepusher)

Decay; degeneration; feeble-mindedness; moron; dysgenic stock; all terms bantered about during the first half of the 20th century by proponents of the eugenics movement. Eugenics was based on the concept of Social Darwinism. A term Darwin himself never proposed, it made the case that in the struggle for survival, some humans were less worthy than others and predestined to die away. To help or encourage the breeding of people of this dysgenic stock was to do humanity a huge disservice, and a violation of the laws of culture.

Table of contents
Themes
Zombies and the Malthusian catastrophe
Zombies And The Collectivist Threat (60s)
Zombies And Consumerism (70s)
Zombies and domestication (80s)
Zombies And Bioweapons (90s)
Zombies and viral outbreaks, breakdown of society (Late 90s)
Zombies, non-zombies, greening and depopulation (2000 2009)
Zombies and race wars (2009)

Themes

Zombies and the Malthusian catastrophe

Europe is decaying, not only as a result of political cataclysms, but also because of a misconception of racial hygiene and a failure to counteract the forces of degeneration.

- Birth Control News, 1, No. 8, December 1922[1]

Zombie movies, and later videogames, neatly slot into this dark chapter of history as it essentially deals with all of eugenics various aspects:

1 First, there is the fear of the unwashed masses; (that of the zombies wanting to gorge themselves on human flesh, and the sub-human characteristics they represent)

2 Second, that of overpopulation (the zombies multiply in rapid succession and threaten to throw society into disarray);

3 Third, the Malthusian catastrophe of a diminishing food supply in the face of over-consumption (if the zombies managed to infect everyone and anyone, there would be no more food, since they do not attack each other);

4 And fourth, an ever-growing class distinction between those deemed racially fit (in the case of zombie flicks/games, the remaining humans) and those of inferior breed (the zombies, ever multiplying and leading to a devolution of humanity). Out of this grows the fear of intermingling with the inferior breed the zombies. One bite of a zombie and the virus is carried over to the next, turning him into a zombie as well. The zombies mouth therefore is his only reproductive member not unlike the male phallus or the female womb of the living.

5 Out of the fourth comes the fifth. The fourth would be a case of dysgenics, or devolution of the species. Thus, in order to prevent its own death, humanity has to intervene in the process of biological evolution, which is too slow according to eugenics. In this case, the only option is to either exterminate the zombies (those who have become degenerated or were of ill breed) or quarantine them and feed them accordingly to prevent them from becoming too unruly. A form of domestication could also be applied. This theme is further explored in Day of The Dead see Zombies and domestication (80s).

In recent years, we have seen a resurgence of zombie movies, and in particular, movies that seem to emphasise the concept of depopulation. Examples include I Am Legend (a 2007 remake of 1954s novel I Am Legend and 1971s film adaptation The Omega Man), 28 Days Later / 28 Weeks Later, Children Of Men, Dawn Of The Dead (a 2004 remake of George Romeros 1978 Dawn Of The Dead), Resident Evil: Degeneration, Doomsday, Ever Since the World Ended and so on. High time to dissect the genre, then.

Zombies and the Collectivist threat (60s)

To an aristocrat, on an anthropological level, the zombie represents the unruly and barbarous masses. Hes slow on his feet, feeble-minded, seems to possess next to no reasoning capability, has a large appetite and is weak individually, but gains power in large numbers. More importantly, he kills that which is not like him, and the aristocrat at his mercy would receive a capital punishment far more grim than anything Marie-Antoinette could have ever conceived of when she purportedly uttered the famous line: Let them eat cake.

In the first US zombie flick, Night Of The Living Dead, it is explained that a flying saucer/some otherworldly thing crashlanded on Earth and started emitting these strange signals causing the death to rise from their graves. One could easily read into this the threat of a foreign ideological enemy in the form of Bolshevism. Further, the zombies seem driven by unconscious desires to feast on the living, almost as if they have been trained by Pavlovian conditioning to see human flesh as the reward mechanism for their mindless pursuits.

The film makes it clear that once Collectivism sets in, there is no escaping it and everyone is infected one way or the other. When the zombie population has been subdued overnight by a redneck bubba delegation of riflemen, they sadly fail to recognize the last remaining human survivor of the suburban house as a human, and shoot a bullet in his head as if he were a common zombie. In the rednecks eyes they all look alike, and man is no longer able to differentiate between friend and foe. It is probably no coincidence on the directors part, either, that the one they shoot through the head is a black man.

Other moves in this era explored similar themes think of Don Siegels Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

Zombies and Consumerism (70s)

Propaganda must become as natural as air or food.  It must proceed by psychological inhibition and the least possible shock. The individual is then able to declare in all honesty that no such thing as propaganda exists. In fact, however, he has been so absorbed by it that he is literally no longer able to see the truth. The natures of man and propaganda have become so inextricably mixed that everything depends not on choice or on free will, but on reflex and myth.

- Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, 1965 (p366)

The sequel, arriving well after the McCarthy and Vietnam era, Dawn Of The Dead, finds a new cause for the disease more befitting of the time era it is filmed in. This time, its something inherent to 20th-century Western society: consumerism. The constant urge to buy things, driven by unconscious desires exploited by unapologetic advertisers, reduces man to pure, lobotomized instinct, as a scientist in the movie puts it. This subliminal theme is taken to even further extremes when the heroes/heroine in the movie decide to take refuge inside an abandoned shopping mall.

After they have purged it [the mall] from the zombie menace, the keys to paradise are at their fingertips. They lock themselves in, barricade the doors, and they consume, and consume, and consume. Amusing themselves with trinkets, dressing themselves up in elaborate costumes, playing videogames. All the time, they hope things will just return to normal if they just disengage from the realities of the situation (a society disintegrating, more and more zombies being drawn to the mall) and have a good time.

Coinciding with this dehumanising process of the group is one of the teammembers incremental transformation into a zombie. When the half-zombie/half-man is playing a racing game, we see that he is almost trans-fixed by the games colour patterns: whenever the race car track is on, he is happy, complacent, docile and keeps pushing the buttons, but when the screen turns red, indicating it is Game Over time, he gets upset and displeased and starts hammering the buttons of the arcade cabinet so that the game will resume.

What is happening to him is that his brain is rapidly deteriorating and the technology he placates himself with is perhaps even accelerating the process, turning him into nothing more than a lab rat that has been electrocuted so many times for traversing the wrong road that he adapts suit accordingly putting more and more coins in the machine so that he can keep on racing.

The message is clear and very much in tune with Jacques Elluls The Technological Society: technology and industrial society are taking Man out of Man, making him more closely resemble a living dead.

Zombies and domestication (80s)

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude.

Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, Speech at Berkley University, 1962

In the third entry in the series, Day Of The Dead, zombies have outnumbered the last few remaining humans, who have had to retreat to an underground bunker. But that hasnt deterred the zombies from heading their way as well, and the humans are beginning to wonder if they have perhaps become the victim of Darwins survival of the fittest theory.

The humans are split between two extremes: declare all-out war on the zombies and try to exterminate them, or try to domesticate them. There are two characters in the movie that represent these opposite extremes: a military dictator in the vein of Hitler (in the sense that Hitler deemed democracy had failed in the Weimar Republic, and a socialist dictatorship was the only way to come out of the economic malaise) and a mad scientist fittingly nicknamed Frankenstein.

Frankenstein would argue against total war on the grounds that the remaining humans would have little chance to succeed due to diminishing food supplies, ammunition and above all, a lack of military manpower. His solution to the problem, though, is equally wrong-headed: the attempt to domesticate the zombie as you would a human through Pavlovian conditioning. For this, they need research material, and therefore they have to draw some of the zombies in cages, catch them and bring them to Frankensteins research lab so he can perform his experiments on them.

Little do the other military men have any idea what is transpiring inside Frankensteins lab. Because his zombies must eat, which in itself serves as a Pavlovian reward system for demonstrating good behaviour, he chops up military men and feeds the zombies their intestines. Out of all the zombies, Bub is Frankensteins darling pet. Bub has been domesticated to such a point that he has learned to love his servitude, as Aldous Huxley put it when addressing Berkley University students. He no longer attacks his teacher, Frankenstein, is able to listen to music through headphones, and can even hold a gun.

But here comes the dilemma: as soon as he gets the gun from Frankenstein, he aims it at the military dictator, whom he doesnt know and presumably doesnt like. Hence, by teaching this zombie all these tricks, Frankenstein is creating a new kind of threat far more sophisticated than anything the humans have been previously combating: an undead, partly domesticated zombie that has learned to utilise military equipment and therefore does not need strength in numbers to be an efficient killer. Perhaps he might even rally his troops of braindead kinsmen in the same way a military leader does. Needless to say, the military dictator of the group immediately senses the threat and lets his displeasure and fear be known.

When the military dictator finds out that Frankenstein has been feeding the zombies human flesh from military personnel, he kills him. Bub later finds his mentor killed, shows genuine sorrow and immediately suspects the military dictator. With weapon in hand, he goes after him on a determined assignment to kill him. It is implied that he will eventually give breed to a higher evolved form of zombies his offspring/successor might as well be the Big Daddy zombie of Land Of The Dead. A devolution of the species has lead to an evolution of the dysgenic stock perhaps this vision of apocalyptic hell was what prompted Margaret Sanger to shout from the rooftops the necessity of sterilization of dysgenic stock, adding in Birth Control Reviews April 1933 issue: We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.

Zombies and bioweapons (90s)

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.

Rebuilding Americas Defenses, A Report of the Project for the New American Century, p60, September 2000

The Resident Evil series, while clearly indebted to George Romeros Dead series, nevertheless takes a different perspective on the role of the zombie as the arbiter of human depopulation. Here, it is not necessarily Man itself, the technological society or a collectivist doctrine that are to blame, but rather a military-industrial complex that relies on pharmaceutical companies (like Resident Evils Umbrella Corporation) to develop genetically-engineered superweapons for military purposes. Here the theme is clearly on genetics and biological warfare in the guise of super-viruses.

Unlike Dead, where the survivors mostly consisted of regular people, you are a highly skilled Special Forces agent with the means to defend yourself, and on a mission to threat assess the situation.

You can piece the backstory together by reading the various Files scattered throughout the games environment. In them, it is revealed that Spencer had originally set up a special research site for the purpose of developing genetically engineered viruses. He and Marcus eventually came up with the Progenitor virus (featured in Resident Evil 0, a later prequel to the series), but Marcus was disappointed that Spencer merely saw things in terms of commercial potential. Frustrated, Marcus sets up his own laboratory (situated underneath the Spencer research site, which is disguised as a mansion) where he comes up with the T-Virus. The T-Virus is the result of the earlier Progenitor virus spliced with leech DNA. It is capable of creating a BOW (biological organism weapon) a superweapon for use in military purposes.

He tests it out on rodents at first and various other species, but complains in his backlog that it is going nowhere unless he can test it out on mammalian subjects, such as humans. Marcus is especially wary that Spencer will find out about his own research projects, so whenever someone comes close to detecting the whereabouts of Marcus labs, he kidnaps them and uses them as guinea pigs (which he lovingly refers to as leeches in his writings). The security breaches become so frequent that he has to rely upon the services of agents and mercenaries to sniff out potential infiltrators of his secret labs (one of them includes Albert Wesker, the players teamleader).

The T-Virus is an experimental virus one out of a million subjects has the right genetic makeup (the right stuff which implies that some people are genetically superior to others notice the eugenics/genetics angle) where the virus will turn its carrier into a Tyrant (the final boss seen in the game a superhuman that is completely programmable and will respond to orders, eventually capable of functioning as a soldier). On most average humans, the result will be negative the virus deteriorates the brain cells, resulting in a complete destruction of the brain. One backlog reads:

These patients suffer from gangrene and congestion of their blood at first. Then their mind slowly deteriorates. In the end, there is nothing left on their mind. When that happens even mercy killing seems pointless. After all, they are already dead This disease is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Once the patients mind is gone, they become flesh hunger monsters and act like wild animals who are on some type of bloodlust.

Like the Dead series, the mutagen causes them to go on a violent killing spree resulting in cannibalism and self-mutilation. This serious defect in the virus prompts other researchers, such as William Birkin, to do research on alternative derivatives of the virus one more compatible with human subjects than the previous one, that required a 100% genetic match (found in 1 out of a 1000 persons, and that someone has to be highly intelligent). This leads nicely into Resident Evil 2, where the real fun begins and the public gets personally involved in the proceedings.

Zombies and viral outbreaks, breakdown of society (Late 90s)

I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate fully without making the world too full.

Bertrand Russell, The Impact Of Science On Society, 1952 (p116-p117)

Unlike Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 2 and its prequel/'sequel, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, follow more in the footsteps of the first two Dead films. Here, the virus spreads into the city, and thus the mobs become a problem and have to be put down. With state police unable to control the situation, a lockdown is soon initiated, martial law declared and SWAT teams/mercs sent in to kill the zombies. The aristocratic nightmare of strength in numbers over brute force eventually wins out, and the two characters of Resident Evil 2 find themselves isolated in an environment where they are one of the few remaining survivors.

What binds the survivors together is a shared disgust of the undead and the refusal to join their ranks a desire to remain human, of not allowing their species to become extinct. Even Raccoon Citys mayor is confronted with the task of having to shoot his own daughter through the head or decapitating her unless he wants her to turn into a living undead. The conflict here, of life becoming disposable once infected, is also a crucial theme in George Romeros Dawn Of The Dead can you put someone out of his/her misery if you had a personal relationship with that person?

The games and films argue that you should not give them the opportunity to become a living undead you should take the initiative for them and euthanise them. But here is the contradiction: by killing that which was previously precious and sanctimonious (their daughter, their loved one, now infected), they themselves are dehumanised and this central conflict perhaps explains why zombie movies are so appealing to us: the central disconnect, and the folly of it all. Why remain human if you have to sacrifice your humanity for it? But if we lay down and accept our fate, we become unsentient beings out to destroy the rest of the humans.

But what of the scientist who was responsible for the spreading of the virus? In Resident Evil 2 we find a representation of that particular type Dr.William Birkin, a research scientist working for Umbrella, and creator of the G-Virus. Like Jacques Ellul would tell you, this scientist comes to identify himself with the technique and the science he represents the G-Virus is his lifes work, and when the Umbrella Corporation gets cold feet and wants, for researchs sake, to take Birkins inventions from him, Birkin puts up a fight the G-Virus is like his own precious child, and nobody will take it away from him. A technocrat becomes a victim of his own trade in his compartmentalized realm, he is obsessed with the technique and is not concerned about the implications.

When Birkin is fatally injured by Umbrella mercenaries, he makes a conscious decision to inject himself with the virus. To hell with humanity, he must have thought. The virus ultimately helps him survive, but at the expense of himself. Birkin, ironically, evolves (or degenerates, according to your interpretation of it) over the course of the game into several forms, at the end resembling almost a hybrid insect/animal chimera.

Leon and Claire choose to survive and keep themselves human, but have to endure several horrifying experiences which may shake their conscience. At the other end of the extreme is Birkin, who sides with the zombies he inadvertently helped perpetuate.

Zombies, Non-zombies, greening and depopulation (2000 2009)

By 2100, James Lovelock believes, the Earths population will be culled from todays 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.
Rolling Stone The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock (November 1, 2007)

Starting with 2001, the long-dormant zombie movie genre was revitalised, but with an apocalyptic twist in most cases that of depopulation and a faster, more dangerous zombie one that can run. 28 Days Later starts it off, followed by a movie adaptation of Resident Evil (later followed by two sequels), and a 21st century remake of Dawn Of The Dead. Since then, zombie movies are practically a dime a dozen, coupled with so-called torture porn movies that seem to glorify death and blacksite-style torture for the mere sake of it.

The glorification of death is not limited to videogames and movies during this period. Other stratas of popular culture are also getting in on the act. Fashion models had to pose as murder victims in one episode of Americas Next Top Model in 2007.

But none more so than the environmental movement. Reinvigorated by the public perception of a global consensus on global warming/climate change, apocalyptic visions of the future due to man-made carbon emissions are in ample supply. Alan Weismans book, The World Without Us, celebrates a planet that has been relieved of its greatest burden us. For those who value nature more than life, the author has conveniently provided for non-bookworms a visual timeline of how our Earth is going to look like after the massive culling of the population subways flooded (2 days after the cull), cities engulfed in flames (5 years after the cull), the Golden Gate bridge covered with moss (300 years after the cull), and of course, the inevitable Ice Age (15,000 years after the cull).

In the intermediate period before the Gaia Purge, children are told the virtues of tending to the environment by upbeat educational videos like this one from Three Legged Legs, where human beings are being described as a parasite, a virus of the planet[2]. Of course, theyre quite adamant about it:

We really care about the environment. No really, we do. And we hate the human species. Really, we do. We decided to get political for a minute to bring you this warning about a possible future for the planet. Heed our warning. What are you going to do about it?

Yes, heed their warning for a possible future for the planet. What we could all do, one must suppose, is pay a carbon tax. And with a carbon tax comes a carbon footprint. And what better for the children than a interactive Flash website with a calculator that can give you an approximation of what your carbon footprint will be at a given age?

Exploding in a pool of your own blood because your carbon footprint exceeded the 3.0 tonnes of CO2 of a piglet and the 24.6 CO2 of a pig, accompanied by the text You should die at age 5.4? Its important to know where you stand in the foodchain[3].

This kind of morbid fascination by our inevitable demise seems contradictory at heart but then, are zombies not just people infected by a disease that turns them into living dead? And do we not enjoy going to the movies or playing videogames where the lead character gets to blow the living daylights out of them? Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5 and the CG film Resident Evil: Degeneration seem to be taking the zombie out of the zombie by featuring ever more life-like human enemies that show superior organizational skills, verbal communication, the ability to throw bombs or use pitchforks/spears.

This desensitization and blurring of what constitutes an enemy/'monster seems not lost on the United Nations, as one of their slideshows on youth culture features a Wired article, entitled Sex and Death Among the Cyborgs, followed up by a slide called Today’s teens are suffering from a horrid sense of disconnection..

If we go into the previous article, Sex and Death Among The Cyborgs, we can see where that disconnect comes from Sandy Stone, the subject of the article, is a founding Director of the Advanced Communication Technologies Laboratory (ACTLab) and the New Media Initiative in the department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. In the article, she shares bizarre anecdotes like transspecies experiences with her cat, and an eventual slide of humanity into what she terms trans-humanism. Describing her experiences with the computer, she says:

One day I accidentally fell into the disassembler and made this kind of intuitive symbolic connection to the machine. It was so intense. The wheels began to turn. I could see the planets moving and the atoms vibrating, and I could see mind with a capital M. I could reach down into the very soul of this thing. I could talk to it. It was this sense of, well, here was the physical machine and here was the virtual machine, the abstract machine. It was a living creature that I could reach into and feel the circuitry. I could feel what the code was like. And I wasnt the only person who experienced this. For many people who tended to be socially inept and quite shy anyway, the quasi-intelligent character of the machine has replaced human social interaction. The interactive potential of the machine has created a novel social category of what I call quasi guys.

Or, to be less prosaic, assemblages of machinic and human qualities that act like theyre human but just enough to produce the need for closure, the need to secure ones subjective boundaries and make a distinction between human and machine. And that can never happen finally and unproblematically, precisely because of the inherent connections between human and machine. So the desire is perpetually unfulfilled.

As the United Nations PowerPoint slideshow on Youth Culture reads on slides 16 and 17: Youth Culture = A “map of reality” for negotiating changing, confusing ways of life., and Youth Media = A co-creator with the peer group of much-needed maps of reality. According to the document, culture is faddish, regularly updated, and engenders class warfare between parents and their kids.

Music needs to be seen as entertainment, as personal and corporate laments, as prophecy about world issues, and as a means of shocking and getting back at parents and adult society.

Dean Borgman, Founder & Executive Director, Center for Youth Studies

One could derive from this that, if music needs to be seen as prophecy about world issues according to the founder of the Center for Youth Studies, that there might be a deliberate attempt on the music industrys part to engender prophetic disasters about climate change in the minds of the youth.

Zombies and race wars (2009)
My proposal is to make the encouragement of the Chinese settlements at one or more suitable places on the East Coast of Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race. I should expect the large part of the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages living under the nominal sovereignty of the Zanzibar, or Portugal, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order loving Chinese, living either as a semi-detached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law.
Francis Galton, Africa For The Chinese a letter to The Times, June 5, 1873

The first Night Of The Living Dead featured, unusually at the time, a black protagonist, who showed superior leadership skills and organizational planning than his white-skinned rural companions. This caused some friction between him and the father of the rural family, the latter insisting the basement was the only safe place where the zombies couldnt reach them. No doubt some of these tensions between the two were racially motivated, although this was not elaborated upon in the movie.

From the day the first batch of screenshots were revealed, Resident Evil 5 has been accused of racism and the dehumanisation of blacks. The idea of a white military man going into an African town and having to shoot hordes of spear-chucking African savages is wholly abhorrent to a middle-class America with collective guilt feelings towards blacks. (while there were also white slaves, this has never been focused upon by the mainstream press or Hollywood)

Given that the preceding bulk of this article examined the various themes of zombie movies and games to see if there was a eugenics connection, we have established many that, to someone largely unfamiliar with eugenics and unable to see the allegorical themes, would seem absurd. It is, however, a fact that prominent people in the eugenics movement, particularly Madison Grant, United States President Calvin Coolidge and Charlen Davenport, held the belief that the Nordic race was the superior one, and that, in the infamous words of Calvin Coolidge: Biological laws show that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races. (indeed, Adolf Hitler called Madison Grants The Passing Of The Great Race his bible).

When taking that into account, and considering that zombie movies have always been loaded with allegorical eugenics themes, Resident Evil 5 brings the series into troubled water. But perhaps most ethnically questionable is the backstory: an African branch of pharmaceutical company Umbrella (or whats left of it) releases a biological agent into the population, turning them into the equivalent of Resident Evil 4s Ganados (basically, they were zombies with teamwork skills and the ability to use blunt tools and objects.

They were also able to communicate with each other). There are scenes where a white girl is dragged into a room by black zombies and it is implied they are going to infect her. It is just as well they stopped there and didnt incorporate a Chinese villain masterminding the virus outbreak, or Capcom could have been accused of following Francis Galtons gameplan to the letter[4]. (no pun intended)

Capcom tried to alleviate charges of racism somewhat by giving Chris Redfield, the protagonist of the first Resident Evil, a female sidekick of African descent, Sheva Alomor (see Shiva in popular culture). But critics point out shes lighter-skinned and fairer than the enemies shes fighting. Moreover, she speaks with a thick British accent (though, it must be noted, that in certain African countries, Ghana in particular, people speak English as their native language predominantly due to former British colonial rule, just like people in certain African countries speak Dutch for the same reason).

But perhaps theres wisdom in Morgan Freemans words when he says the only reason were keeping racism alive is because we keep talking about it.

Footnotes

1. [^]In the book, Eugenics and Other Evils, G.K. Chesterton made one of the earliest cases against eugenics, and managed to include several soundbytes and quotations from popular eugenics magazines which to todays audiences would be regarded as blatant racism and calls for genocide.

Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=EpZElw1uNbcC&pg=PA158&vq=Very+likely+the&dq=Eugenics+and+other+evils&source=gbs_search_s&cad=0 (Eugenics And Other Evils p158 [Birth Control News quote])

2. [^]This reminds one of The Matrix, where Agent Smith told Morpheus that the machines regarded human beings as a virus, a disease, a cancer of this planet. One has to wonder if the machines had their own interpretation of the Gaia theory, or whether they were taking notes from James Lovelock.

3. [^]Planet Slayer drew some ire from the mainstream media due to its Mortal Kombat-like carbon footprint calculator.

Perhaps our planet need its own version of G.K. Chestertons Eugenics and other evils, updated for the 21st century before the environmental movement goes totally out to lunch. A fitting title would be Environmentalism and other evils.

Link: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23761445-2,00.html (ABC kids website shows Aussies as pigs)
Link: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2008/05/legal-eagle-planet-slayer/ (Skeptic Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Planet Slayer)
Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7865332.stm (BBC Population control: The elephant in the room)

4. [^]Having said that, there does seem to be an uncanny resemblance between Oswald Spencer and Francis Galton. You be the judge.

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1036105/How-Chinas-taking-Africa-West-VERY-worried.html (Daily Mail: How Chinas taking over Africa, and why the West should be very worried)
Link: http://galton.org/letters/africa-for-chinese/AfricaForTheChinese.htm (Africa For The Chinese Francis Galton, letter to the Editor of The Times, June 5 1873)

*. The concept of a pharmaceutical company, either by criminal malintent or sheer human error, unleashing a plague that can endanger society has, however unlikely it may seem at first, become a horrifying reality. In 2005, Scarborough Country ran a story on Bayer willfully shipping products contaminated with the HIV virus to Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Official documents show that they were well aware that the products were contaminated and, in what is purported to be a cost-efficient policy, took it off the US market but instead dumped it on the foreign markets. No Bayer executives in the United States ever faced criminal prosecution or arrest.

This was followed just recently by a shocking discovery that Baxter distributed batches of avian flu vaccines contaminated with the avian flu virus itself to 18 countries, including Germany and the Czech Republic. The deadly H5N1 virus was mixed with the H3N2 seasonal flu virus, creating a super-airborne, deadly biological weapon in the process. Health expert Mike Adams came to the following conclusion:

The shocking answer is that this couldnt have been an accident. Why? Because Baxter International adheres to something called BSL3 (Biosafety Level 3) a set of laboratory safety protocols that prevent the cross-contamination of materials.

Link: http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html (Natural News: Vaccines as Biological Weapons? Live Avian Flu Virus Placed in Baxter Vaccine Materials Sent to 18 Countries)
Link: http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/02/27/8560781.html (Toronto Sun: Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus)
Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=aiqmSoL6sVbk&refer=home (Bloomberg) [this story was quickly buried, but there was another one; listed below]
Link: http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/experimental-virus-mistake-alarms-europe-1027 (Miller) [also buried]
Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601202&sid=aTo3LbhcA75I (Bloomberg: Baxter Sent Bird Flu Virus to European Labs by Error [Update2])
Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/2235676/Homeless-people-die-after-bird-flu-vaccine-trial-in-Poland.html (Telegraph: Homeless people die after bird flu vaccine trial in Poland)
Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23259981/ (MSNBC: 2 more studies link Bayer heart drug to deaths [2-20-2008])
Link: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/00394/bayer-trasylol.html (Lawyers and Settlements Oops Bayer forgot to tell FDA about Lethal Side Effects of Trasylol [10-26-2006])

** Chimeras and cross-species engineering is hardly the stuff of science fiction. See the links below.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030808081854.htm (Science Daily Cross-species Mating May Be Evolutionarily Important And Lead To Rapid Change, Say Indiana University Researchers)
Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/889951.stm (BBC Genetically-modified goat spins web based future)
Link: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v9/n1/full/nm812.html (Nature.com Human and porcine early kidney precursors as a new source for transplantation)
Link: http://www.scientificblogging.com/lee_silver/human_animal_chimeras_from_mythology_to_biotechnology (Scientific Blogging Human-animal chimeras: from mythology to biotechnology)
Link: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html (National Geographic Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy)
Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jul/01/stem.cell (Guardian.co.uk: Hybrid embryos UK team plans stem cell first)
 

 

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