Death’s Cure

Back in June last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement denying knowledge of any virus that may reanimate dead tissue. O-kay. Further, they denied knowledge of any virus that would cause zombie-like symptoms. Right. This is my Monday Mayhem post and—I’m sorry, I have to keep from laughing. Give me a second. Ahem…

Nurse
Nurse

In an email to Huffington Post, David Daigle, the American health agency representative wrote: “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”

Did you catch that? They’re saying they don’t know of a virus or condition that could reanimate dead tissue. They didn’t say it wasn’t possible. Seriously, what goes on behind those doors of the CDC?

You know, another fellow also believed in the reanimation of the dead. He was an obsessed scientist with the idea he could create life. He had an assistant who would provide him with the raw materials. He’d harvest the dead parts, sew them together and call the result human. But nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m talking of course of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his inept assistant Igor. His ideas were commendable. Take the dead and breathe life back into them. Nothing short of a miracle, really. The results, however, told of a different story. A story of a scientist gone mad who wanted more than anything than to play God. His creature became one of the first known zombies in classical literature.

Frankenstein
Frankenstein

What makes Frankenstein’s story unique, or rather the lesson we can learn from the monster tale is “no good deed goes unpunished.” (I put it in quotes because it’s a famous saying. Didn’t know what else to do with it). In his zeal to create life out of nothingness, the good doctor didn’t stop to ask if he should. Thus, he created a walking corpse with barely enough intelligence to scour a frying pan.

The most horrific events to have happen to humanity have always been because of good intentions.

Getting back to what the CDC didn’t say. They didn’t say dead tissue reanimation isn’t possible. This leads one to conclude, albeit speculation based on evidentiary inference, that the CDC is studying dead matter reanimation. Yeah, this is the stuff that keeps me up at night.

What if it were true? What if we had the power to eradicate death? Then what?

Imagine a world where no one died. There would be no need for life insurance. Funeral homes would go out of business. All that cemetery land could go to house the living instead. We’d have more money for the economy, since mandatory retirement would disappear. We’d have less social programs. Terminal illnesses would be a thing of the past. And there would be no need for half-price Tuesdays for seniors.

Ah, can you hear the wheels of good intention churn?

If no one dies, how are we to feed everyone? When the cemetery land vanishes, where is everyone going to live? Will there be enough jobs to go around? And the big question: If we eliminate death does this mean we can eliminate aging? Because if we haven’t eliminated aging—we’ve got a major problem.

After about a hundred years, guaranteed we’ll have a real zombie apocalypse on our hands.

Comedic genius George Carlin once said:

“You know what I think they ought to do with those Miss America contests? I think they ought to keep making the losers come back until they win. I’ll tell you, that would get a little spooky after about thirty five years or so, huh?”

What do you think? Are we on the road to creating a Frankenstein monster? Should the CDC open its research facilities to third party monitoring?

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26 thoughts on “Death’s Cure

  1. Hey, Jack, sorry been away for awhile. takin’ care of outside bidness…missed your articles.
    The CDC reports conflict with a lot of other reports i’ve seen on documentaries. such as the special on Discovery where they had talked about a government testing facility in Kansas which they say houses a mutant strain of the H1N1 and also Mad Cow that when infecting the human brain can give us “zombie like symptoms” due to the virus eradicating the thought process of the mind, and we would basically go on “instinct” without any thought processes.

  2. in our current cultural climate there’s a lack of the concept of the “honor” or “dignity” of dying – that it is just as much a part of life as birth and necessary for new things to arise. i wonder if our obsession with youth, not dying, and yes, zombies, is reflective of a profound fear we have of change.

  3. Anything is possible these days. We’ve already seen Synthia (synthetic oil eaters) used for the BP oil spill. How far away is the Zombie Apocalypse? I mean think about it: Hostess closed (remember the Twinkies in “Zombieland?” I’m reblogging this on my website. Sandra

  4. The point is; we don’t want to know what happens behind CDC’s closed doorsand suddenly doomsday preppers don’t seem so weird to me.

  5. “I’m talking of course of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his inept assistant Igor. His ideas were commendable.”

    I found this very amusing. I think I’ll be quoting you on this now.

  6. I’m sorry but the “barely enough intelligence to scour a frying pan” comment was funny to me. It just had a little “hood” tone to it. LOL. I’m so not serious about anything. Well I hope the CDC isn’t concocting some crazy strain that will cause all of us to be zombies. I don’t want to be a zombie for the rest of my life. I would want someone to bash my head in or put a bullet in me. Just saying. Plus if zombies are going to take over the world, I’m going to be prepared. I’m getting a baseball bat, knife and a gun. Yup I said gun. I’m not going out like some punk. I’m going to get you before you get me. 🙂 I love reading your blog. hahaha!!

  7. The ref for a great series on the zombie bugs that gilbertspeaks mentioned is Journal of Exp Bio, 216 (1) (2013). It seems to be publicly viewable for now. Btw, thanks for the visit to my blog — I’m just starting and yours is a quality I aspire to! Cheers!

  8. “Thus, he created a walking corpse with barely enough intelligence to scour a frying pan.”

    My reading of Shelley’s Frankenstein was that the monster was a sensitive but perhaps misguided being, who, given the proper yellow dish gloves, could clean an entire kitchen full of greasy pans. But your main point holds true, as things sure backfired for old Dr. Frankenstein.

    • Well said – my sympathies were always with the monster, who understood enough to know that he would never be accepted or loved. Dr F on the other hand was an absolute horror – as only a megalomaniac with access to vast resources in his chosen field can be.

  9. Umbrella started their research leading to the T virus for the goverment in order to create soldiers which would be harder to kill. Cell regeneration would be an incredible advantage to whichever military could do it first. Though hopefully they are more like Wolverine and less flesh eating zombie.

    That tech would never be allowed to civilians though. It would be entirely goverment controlled.

    • I disagree. The military may well do the research – they’re good at that – but if it costs big dollars, the soldiers won’t get it. The government considers the soldiers as expendables (sorry, but I think that they do, ultimately). Look for the super rich to (always) get it first. And maybe the brass hats. We’ll start wondering why all those Republicans are living so long…

  10. Jack, you hit on my all time favorite movie, Young Frankenstein. It’s rife with inside jokes that the Patient Husband and I have quoted to each other over the entire time we’ve known each other, some 33 years.

    I’m not worried about the CDC reanimating dead tissue–mainly because I think their main raison d’etre is to manage the deaths of Americans deemed no longer useful to the government. So we’ll see old folks, NRA members, etc.

    I know it seems tin foil hattery, but really, stuff that seemed INSANE ten years ago is commonplace now. Did you ever think you’d need a filibuster to get the administration to admit that killing Americans on American soil without due process was unconstitutional?

  11. I’d argue we should first colonize some planets before dabbling in reviving the dead. That way the issue of overpopulation wouldn’t be a problem. But it seems medical science is doing a lot better than space travel.

  12. James Whale as depicted in the book and film Gods and Monsters pointed out not only the reanimation aspect but the human condition to fear things, people that are not like yourself. The fear and marginalization of different races, cultures and sexual orientation. As for CDC grafting skin for burns, moving bones from one place to replace another is medical common place. As Pet Semetary shows can dead not be far off?

  13. I don’t have a lot of faith that the CDC or the government in general is going to let us in on all the secret things they do lol. However, I really hope we don’t eradicate death. For one, it would totally contradict my faith. But also importantly, I wouldn’t have a job. (I do obituaries for a newspaper, along with lots of other things. The obits are the money-maker.) Nice post though!

    • Obituary writer? Now that’s a job worth noting on a résumé. Definitely interesting. And I agree, eradicating death would throw a crimp at the mainstream faith to which I am a part of. However, imagine living forever. Nah, I can’t either. Not in this body!

  14. Great post, but guess what, there is a parasite that infects certain moth’s and butterflies’ brains while they are in their larva stage (caterpillar) forcing them to eat eat eat and and stay in the sun. Bad for caterpillar…good for parasite and God only knows what the genetically altered corn and wheat is doing to our bodies. There, now you have your next story:)

    • Funny you mentioned that. My wife and I spoke over the weekend about GMO effects on insects. Did you know GMO corn for instance is designed to explode in an insects body after a certain amount of time after ingestion? Can you imagine what it can do to our bodies? Of course no study proves GMO products cause lasting effects. We haven’t gotten to that point. But give it another twenty years and we’ll hear about it. Or not. Meh, what do we know, right?

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