Zombies: Bad for the economy, bad for America, bad for YOU

by John Holbo on February 5, 2009

I think maybe it was that rich crab dish – part of a delicious Indian dinner Belle and I shared last night with Neil, the Ethical Werewolf. Anyway, I had the most vivid and bad novelistic zombie nightmares all night long. But it was all oddly economically-themed. Zombies and the recession. Zombies and liquidity traps. (Obviously I’ve been reading way too much Crooked Timber recently.) Yes, I know: other people’s dreams are boring. But who among you has suffered actual, macroeconomically-themed nightmares over the past few months?



Jacob Christensen 02.05.09 at 1:58 pm

I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you. No Zombie deLong or Zombie Krugman has gone for my brain. Not even a Zombie Quiggin. My dreams must be boring indeed.


Matt 02.05.09 at 2:25 pm

I’d thought that a liquidity trap was a good place to catch zombies, so that you could smash in their heads with a shovel or bat or whatever. Is that not right? I wanted to be prepared, after all.


John Holbo 02.05.09 at 2:34 pm

Well, the truly connection is all this talk about zombie banks. ‘Caaapital. Caapital.’ But that isn’t what my dream was about. Not exactly.


Glen Tomkins 02.05.09 at 2:48 pm

Not a dream

Visions of zombies eating our economy aren’t nightmares, they’re clairvoyance.

We only thought we had Capital chained up forever with social democracy, but the False Prophets over at the Chicago School of Economics managed to bust it loose from the Abyss. Now Capital has gathered itself and, with itself, all of our productive economy, into a massive pyramid that is now exploding. The dust from this explosion, once inhaled, turns people into undead Dittoheads.

Stay safe. Quit breathing.


ajay 02.05.09 at 4:32 pm

Glen sounds like he is working on an updated version of “Pilgrim’s Progress”.


Michael Drake 02.05.09 at 4:33 pm

“But it was all oddly economically-themed. Zombies and the recession. Zombies and liquidity traps.”

And yet everything was eerily, spookily exactly the same.


CK Dexter 02.05.09 at 4:37 pm

“Yes, I know: other people’s dreams are boring.”

This always strikes me as a misstatement of the problem. _All_ dreams are boring. We only realize it when they are relayed through other people. As most day-to-day experiences are boring, but are given interest from the fact that they are our own. Grocery shopping remains boring, even if I take an interest in it while I do it. _I_ am interesting to me–and I shed my magnanimous aura upon all that touches me. Usually via cellphone.

Oh, and is this zombie business going to soon go the way of the pirate thing of the middle 2000’s? Will inventing a Walk Like A Zombie day help it become extinct? (Who am I kidding. I’m totally reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.)


Seth Finkelstein 02.05.09 at 6:01 pm

Zombies and a stimulus package sounds like a good plot for story.
And “Helicopter Ben” is a great pulp character name.


Oskar Shapley 02.05.09 at 8:22 pm

Chaaaaangeee, chaaaangeee…


John Holbo 02.07.09 at 4:48 am

Damn, I had more recession nightmares LAST night again. This is getting REALLY boring.


Righteous Bubba 02.07.09 at 4:53 am

I used to have a rule about quitting jobs when I started having really boring dreams about them – dream about packing boxes all day, quit upon wake-up. I suppose my job now must be great.

On the other hand I dreamed fairly recently about going to three different stores looking for a part for a vacuum cleaner. I’m not sure what to quit. It’s obvious some Indian food is needed, as I too often have apocalyptic dreams after it which I think are pretty fun.


MH 02.07.09 at 4:54 am

If you ate Indian food/crab again, you have your cause.


John Holbo 02.07.09 at 4:56 am

Not Indian food/per se, but an assortment of rich buffet items at a party, MH.


MH 02.07.09 at 5:15 am

I was having very vivid, memorable dreams. Then I started taking-off the nicotine patch before bed and they stopped.


quesaisje 02.07.09 at 3:02 pm

Speaking of economic meltdowns and zombies, last week I dreamt I lost my current job due to the economy and had to return to my college summer job of cashier at Kmart. Checkout lines are made for zombies – on both sides of the cash register. I awoke with a renewed attachment to my current job.


salient 02.07.09 at 3:40 pm

I awoke with a renewed attachment to my current job.

Reminds me of an American Splendor one-page portrait. I can’t remember its name; it’s anthologized in the first collected volume. Herschel has a dream in which he can’t remember what he does for a living: the ultimate nightmare for someone whose identity is founded on work ethic.


Tomas 02.07.09 at 11:40 pm

I see the shambling hordes walking through Wall Street moaning inquisitively “Brains? Brain?”.


MH 02.09.09 at 1:26 am

“Neil, the Ethical Werewolf”

It just occurred to me, maybe you dream of zombies because of the company you keep. Obviously, a werewolf wants to eat human flesh. Equally obviously, it is unethical to eat people. The readily apparent solution (for the werewolf with ethics): a zombie infestation where you can eat all of the (basically) human flesh you want and be doing a positive good.

You need to befriend a regular werewolf to have more traditional nightmares.

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