Tag Archives: bliteotw

And it's over.

The worst part was what happened to Pat Robertson, who came to California to berate us, telling us that the zombies had attacked us because we had given gays the right to marry and then done the same for the zombies. He had drawn a huge crowd of conservatives and family rights folks to his speech, and the place was full before the zombies attacked. Seriously. It was scary. It was practically overflowing with drooling, shambling, lurching, brain-eating monsters; and when the zombies attacked it was even worse.

But then around midnight, the zombies started to leave. It was almost kind of anticlimactic. One moment, there’s a zombie munching on your favorite mechanic’s femur; the next, he’s shuffling and lurching away. As of about 3:00 it was official: the zombies are leaving.

No one seems to know why the undead are vacating California, but they are, leaving the state a ruin of what it once was, leaving all of us to pick up the pieces. Reports say that they are streaming along Highway 80 and gathering at the eastern border; but, as I said, no one knows why.

I have a theory though.

My theory is that, having gotten what they wanted in California, the zombies are gathering to start making their way eastward to fight for equal rights in other states. California was the first to fall to the undead political action committees, and I fear that Nevada might be left. Then probably Minnesota. Then the rest of the states. They’ll probably skip Oklahoma, though, because no one wants to be in Oklahoma, even if they are dead.

Will there be political consequences to yesterday’s events? Who can say? I think there will be a significant shift in the makeup of the state’s two legislative bodies, especially given the fact that zombies, being itinerant corpses, really don’t have voting rights, yet they were given special rights by the state. I know that when November rolls around, I, for one, will vote accordingly.

Give 'em an inch…

Aw crap!

The zombies got too much. They’ve become emboldened by their victory in the California State Legislature and Assembly, and now they’re walking the streets! People are being attacked, dragged to the ground, eaten in ways that are just so typically zombie.

I can hear the conservative commentators chortling away on the radio even as I type this. "Everyone who laughed at the ‘undead agenda’?" they say. "Well, who’s laughing now? AAARRRGHHH!"

If you’re still out there, able to read this, then heed this warning: STAY AWAY FROM CALIFORNIA! Not only are the dead walking the earth, killing people and eating their brains, but they’re doing so with LEGAL SANCTION! There’s nothing we can do about it! I just saw our neighbor chased down, dragged to the ground, and eaten, her brains spurting out all over the front of her house like strawberry jam squirting out of a jelly doughnut. I can’t tell you how horrible it was to see! My God it was like Limbaugh going after a bottle of Oxycontin!

Remember, people… If you give rights to minorities, THEY WILL COME BACK AND EAT YOUR BRAINS!!!

We should have listened to Michelle Malkin.

Good luck, everyone who’s left. Try to hold on to the remnants of civilization as the undead armies march across the face of the earth…

Victory for Undead Rights!

After long intense meetings with the Governor, the California Assembly and Legislature have passed legislation recognizing the rights of metabolically challenged Americans everywhere to marry, vote, and enjoy all the rights that other Americans have as well.

Victory for humanity, alive and otherwise, everywhere? Or sure sign of the apocalypse?

There are of course those who say that acknowledging the rights of undead Americans minimizes the value of rights held by living Americans, cheapening what we have and enjoy. What’s the point of having the rights of the living, they say, if those same rights can be enjoyed by the walking dead? These people argue that the citizens of California should be allowed to vote on the issue. But do we really get to vote on whether some people have rights that we enjoy? Isn’t the Constitution in place specifically to avoid that sort of thing?

Predictably, the Concerned Family Values Coalition of the Living is promising to put the issue on the November ballot.

In the meantime, though, zombies are wandering the streets of Sacramento, celebrating as much as they can. I can almost hear them through the window, crying out celebratory excalamations of "BRAIIIINSS!!!"

Backlash: Get Your Jaws Off My Brains

I suppose that a backlash against the zombie rights movement was inevitable. Too many people are entrenched in the old ways of doing things. I think the last straw, though, really was when the undead contingent, enheartened by the recent victory of the gay rights movement, starting demanding the right to marry the living. As Undead Lord Stephen Halpert put it in a stirring speech on the steps of the capitol today, "Arrrgghh grrrwrargh mmgpmph argh BRAINS". I couldn’t agree more.

But the counter protests were in full swing. These costumed folks were decidedly opposed to equal rights for the dead:

"Adam and Eve", the one sign reads. "Not Adam and GGGBLAAAAGGH" in an obvious riff on the anti-gay-rights signs I’ve seen. Not very imaginative, but it gets the point across. I’m not sure, though, why this guy felt the need to dress up as a pirate.

I do like the sign that says, "These colors don’t lurch!" I suppose that’s true. The US Armed Forces have never been big on employing the dead in their ranks. Just another way, I guess, that the US has fallen short.

Curiously, there is a zombie in the ranks of the counter protesters. I guess there’s always one in every minority group who thinks that things ought to be that way. How does he justify it to himself? Does he? Does he even have the mental capacity to do so?

This guy in downtown Sacramento had a strong point to make:

The problem, though, is that it’s a tautology. "Zombies Stay Dead". Well, yeah. Isn’t that kind of the point?

At any rate, while there are reports that the zombie armies have taken most of the rest of the United States, including Georgia, and there are even rumors that Davis, a mere twenty miles away from the capitol, has been utterly overrun by zombie students (though in my mind that’s just a redundancy, especially if they’re graduate students), the California Assembly and Legislature have been meeting in an emergency session with the Governor. There are serious issues to be addressed: the ongoing budget crisis, the drought, the faltering state of the economy, the wildfires, and, of course, the rights of the walking dead.

It’s going to be a long night, I think.

The Zombie Menace in Sacramento

While zombies are apparently wreaking havoc and devastation worldwide, here in Sacramento, California, life seems to be going on as normal. For the most part, at least. I mean, it’s California. When you’re undead and bored and you’ve exhausted the cerebral eateries in the rest of the continent, where else are you going to go for some sun and surf? The beaches, right.

Still, California does definitely have its share of problems. We’re a tolerant, open, and accepting society, full of compassion and acceptance for all our residents, living, dead, and undead. We seem to be attracting a mellower sort of zombie as well. Our zombies are not about tracking down people and eating their brains; ours are about getting equal rights.

Getting to work in downtown Sacramento this morning was, as I’d anticipated, more difficult than normal. The streets near the capitol building were thronged with protesters all trying to get Governor Schwarzenegger’s attention, to bring the plight of the undead to the open for the world to see. We recently legalized gay marriage, so this sort of approach is perfectly understandable.

I didn’t get any pictures of my own but I did find these photographs elsewhere on the web to share with you. These were all taken in Sacramento today and I saw a few of them myself.

First, this one:

STOP TRYING TO BURY US, the sign reads. Obviously these zombies want the world to know about their plight, about how the rest of the world is treating them. We’re living beings, they want us to know, or at least animate. Don’t force us underground!

Other more radical groups had a stronger message:

REanimated REvolution. In the background a pair of the walking dead carry signs that read, "WANT BRAINES" and "MOAN", which certainly get their point across. Personally I’m uncomfortable with these zombie extremists. I prefer a more moderate solution.

Another crowd of zombie protesters:

"THE DEAD HAVE RIGHTS TOO!" Well, yes, of course they do. That much is obvious. I’m more amused by the other sign in this photograph, obviously meant as a jab at the Republican lawmakers in California who refuse to allow equal rights to the metabolically challenged: "GIVE ME YOUR BRAINS… YOU OBVIOUSLY DON’T NEED THEM."

I suppose I should have seen this coming. After all, as I reported yesterday, there were some panels at the Moodle Moot conference that were obviously geared to address the needs of the walking dead to pursue an active online existence. Last night I signed up with a Zombie Friends account (where my handle is, naturally, "underpope") but I haven’t really done anything with it yet.

What do you think of this situation? Michelle Malkin, that paragon of intelligence and civility, refers to the zombies as "The Undead Menace", and also says, "Better Dead then Z" (which sounded better when Simon Pegg said it in Shaun of the Dead, since he pronounced it "Better Dead than Zed"). I find it difficult to agree with her just on general principle. The walking dead are, after all, sensitive creatures, in need of understanding and acceptance in our society. On the other hand, they do eat living brains.

I’m going to leave the topic alone for now, because it’s sounding dangerously like a political discussion and I really hate talking politics.

In other news, I’ve been having trouble connecting to Moodle’s download servers all day. I hope the sysadmins are still alive in San Francisco.

Ugh… Not sleepy at all

Past midnight here in California and I have work tomorrow. The week’s been pretty long already what with the conference and my lungs acting up today and all the whatnot.

Yes, the lungs. We’re experiencing a drought in California. It must be true, because Governor Schwarzenegger said so, and the Terminator doesn’t lie. Plus it’s been awful windy lately, so there’s fires everywhere. Some of them too close for my own comfort. I’m pretty sure we’re safe here in our little bit of Sacramento but because I am who I am I just can’t help worrying.

We’re also in spitting distance of the capitol. I’m sure Arnie hangs out there a lot but I’ve never seen him in person. There’s always some sort of weird protest going on around the capitol as well, of course, and I’m told there’s going to be another one tomorrow. Well, I suppose, technically today. It’s going to make going to work sort of painful, I’m sure. Between worrying about the fires and the situation downtown tomorrow and the weird news coming out of Australia and New Zealand, I’m just having a hard time even thinking about sleeping tonight.

So… I guess I’m going to try again now.

Quick Note

On the whole, MoodleMoot 2008 was pretty good and I’m glad I went. There were good panels, many of which, like any self respecting panel in any event where you have a bunch of nerds gathered, went over their time limit.

I focused on the panels that seemed most appropriate to my situation. There were a couple of panels on Moodle customization and on Moodle as a social networking tool, and those seemed most important to me. I also picked up some good strategies for completing our own upgrade.

Of course there were also panels I didn’t expect to see at a large conference devoted to educational technology. "Distance Learning for the Metabolically Challenged?" "ZombieFriends.com as a Model for Post Mortem Social Networking — What Can Moodle Learn?" They seemed like interesting panels but I assume they were just jokes and I didn’t bother attending. I would have if I’d had the time.

I did find myself at the same lunch table with a few of the lead developers of Moodle, including Mr. Moodle himself, Martin Dougiamas. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to ask them about any of my particular issues, which is a shame because I’ve been stuck on an upgrade issue for nearly a year now. Of course, it did feel good that every person I talked to about my own situation had pretty much the same reaction: a quick, sharp intake of breath followed by, "Oooh, ouch."

So I think I have some good ideas for when I start tackling that project again.