He Is From the Stars

I commence the Juan Roman Riquelme death watch. The “man from the stars“, the “big, strolling, beautiful zombie, languid as the smoke off a cigarette“, will soon move off this mortal coil. There can be no other way. Why did Blaise Pascal pass before finishing his Pensees? Why was Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz removed from our time so perfunctorily into his most wise years? Whither ‘Pac and Buddy Holly?

There is but one answer. God the Almighty took them away from us, for the eschaton in which all thing are made right was not yet to come upon earth. There is yet more suffering, more heartbreak, for the faithful to endure so that they may be, through trials and hardships, purified into pure gold.

Juan Roman Riquelme, mark my words, shall slip off our time, but not our hearts, for he has become Icarus, and reached too close to the heavens.

Exiled like Israel from his homeland of the soccer field, left out of every team practice yet cruelly still allowed access to the training facilities, Riquelme awaited redemption. And then it came, in the form of a loan to the club of his heart, Boca Juniors, and (I say as a River Plate believer) a meltingly, staggeringly genius run to the Copa Libertadores championship of all South America with the blue and yellows. Then the clock struck midnight, money became the word on the lips of the heathens and the tribe, and he returned to Villareal, his Babylon, deported to a quaint seaside Spanish siro.

And yet, he was called back for his country, and, given the sword, stabbed into the team of his oppressors, Pelegrini’s Chileans, not once, but again, deeper, deadlier. Shakespearean as it was, nothing else came after. Revenge against the country of your slave master must be savored, because it only lasted for 90 minutes.

Now, the gates have lifted, the captive set free, returning to La Bomberena for the highest transfer fee in Argentine history. I would not buy a ticket for first class on the same flight from Spain to Buenos Aires as him. Nor would I ride in the same limousine, eat at the same cafes, or even use the same shampoo as this “Einstein of the pitch”. For him-who-must-be-named to play for La Boca again would be too perfect. All would be made right before its time.

Juan Roman Riquelme must die. Not by me. By the deep magic of the created universe. The beginning of the Aptura campaign is imminent, and he will play for them, and will them to champions.

February 5th, 2008 | Philosophy, Soccer, Zombies | No comments

Further Reflections on “Zombies in St. Elmo Redux”

I allowed my brain to cogitate upon the matters brought up in addressing the zombie threat to St. Elmo over these intervening nights, after arriving home in exhaustion and chemical ease from Scott Borger’s bachelor party, and our Mailsite/Outlook migration Long March.

I had concluded, “The dead become undead cannot become dead again”. I stand by this conclusion. But two more matters press themselves upon my mind as I lay a-sleeping.

First, my just-quoted conclusion is true, unless you could destroy zombies utterly. You know, something like the Greek “diapthairo”, sending them to Gehena or Sheol of the Hebrews. If you could somehow hit them with a double-existence whammy and destroy completely their body and their being, then that might work. By destroy utterly, I mean the universe must lose the sum of their atoms. I suppose they could become antimatter or dark matter, and that would work too. And you’d also have to metaphysically destroy their evil animating spirit (the demon in Josiah’s account). The point is, the body must be gone as well as the zombie demon.

A Holy Hand Grenade might do the trick.

Second, in the beginning of my last essay, I believe I glossed over an important conundrum regarding the ontological status of zombies. I said, “it seems perfectly reasonable to believe that if a zombie bites you, you become dead, and then undead, joining their ranks.” I think there’s something lax here. Does the zombie actually kill you when it bites? Or does it transform you straight-aways into the dominion of the undead? Alive -> Dead -> Undead, or the more straightforward Alive -> Undead? I must confess my ignorance upon this point, and kindly beseech my readers who are more educated in matters regarding the undead to guide me to a correct understanding upon this point.

Now, to address additional points brought up in Josiah’s generous reply to my first post regarding zombies in St. Elmo.

Josiah’s obsession with the dichotomy of spiritual redemption and heavy weapons is appreciated, and explicated by him as, “In this purpose there is the assumption of the living returning to righteousness in this life, and I can see that occurring in no other way than with somehow killing the undead.” In this he seems to combine the ideas above summarized in the Holy Hand Grenade, but I am afraid that Josiah has actually done little to clear up my misgivings, save for the reassurance that we may, in fact, kill zombies as a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. But their ontological status, which for me is the more important question, remains unknown, a rather mysterious, dare I even say zombie apparition shrouded in philosophical must. Faith in what might be seen as a type of Plantiga’s Great Pumpkin Return is not epistemically tenable with the waving of hands and unwavering belief. Just because I really believe that zombies are sent as instruments of redemption does not make them killable if that is not in fact their ontic aim.

His note regarding the difference between Halo’s Flood and a proper Zombie Attack on St. Elmo is noticed and accepted. May I propose that we focus further studies on this important matter, because as biomechanically-enhanced soldiers enter the battlefield in the near future, they may be thrown into a similar situation as Master Chief, and require the proper set of tactical and philosophical guidelines as we are now laying out for a zombie attack in Stelmo. Shotguns, the moral and physical high ground (as noted by Duffey), and a stiff upper lip. Because my goodness, observe at how quickly those zombies can take over! Is Mayor Littlefield’s office running these same simulations for the City’s disaster recovery plan?

The comments by Mr. Davidson, OTOH, are greatly appreciated and do begin to excavate the definition of a zombie. In particular, he stated, “You don’t “kill” zombies, you dismember them to the point that the enchantment/ensorcellment/possession that has caused their peculiar appetite for the brains of the living can no longer function.” Though this does not jive with Josiah’s account, it at least seems open to an inquiry from the faculties of reason, an opening that Josiah’s more pietistic account does not allow. If zombies are reanimated dead, the simple bodies unanimated by the Divine breath of life but still twitching muscles and firing low-level cerebral cortex neurons, then there is no question of whether they may be killed. They may be killed just like a robot, a machine, a vegetable. By anyone’s definition, they are no longer human, nor alive, and so may become fodder for Model 87 shotguns with no moral harm to the shooter. Animated by an evil entity, but lacking human status, a zombie should be blasted apart with whatever the most suitable weapon on hand might be. St. Elmo is not their home.

July 15th, 2005 | Best, Legal, Lookout, Philosophy, Zombies | 1 comment