The Talking Dead

(You may stop selling.  I have already voted, by mail.) “Chaaange!  CHAAANGE!”

Because Presidential elections follow a week after Halloween, it’s fun to make visual associations between traditional zombies (the walking dead) and politicians (the talking dead).  Both candidates are easy to lampoon this year, and considering that they and their surrogates have hijacked TV and the mail for months, I think they deserve some humorous disrespect.



I was in elementary school the first time I remember a presidential election going on.  I don’t specifically recall any posters, signs or junk mail, and I didn’t watch the debate on TV, though I learned afterward it was the first one televised.  The zinger that resonated with my peers was a nursery rhyme.  You could put either candidate’s name in the winning or losing position of the quatrain.  Because Iowa was a red state that year, the version of the rhyme I heard went:

Nixon, Nixon, he’s our man!”

“Kennedy belongs in the garbage can!”

It sounded good when shouted by small groups outdoors during recess, and clomping home in galoshes, kicking through the autumn leaves.

Of course it was Nixon who actually belonged in the garbage can, and the electorate threw him out repeatedly, but Tricky Dick was the original zombie politician.  The guy simply would not stay dead.  In the eight years between the time he lost to JFK and the time he won against Hubert Humphrey he re-invented himself, just by magically pretending he now had a completely different set of beliefs.  Partisan base supporters have about the same memory capacity as Alzheimer’s patients, so the unveiling of “the new Nixon” worked pretty well.

Ever since those bygone days, elections have been featuring more and more zombies, candidates who lose elections and then resurrect themselves by pretending they’ve turned into someone else.  I’m talking about Romney.  Then again, people are also saying Obama’s dead, because of the economy.  Either way, Americans are total suckers for a good resurrection.  It doesn’t matter if the reason the dead are walking is holy.  People need a miracle every day!

I don’t know who will win this year.  I don’t know if the voters want to elect a “boss” more than a “professor”.  Most of my life, the person who has been President has made a lot less difference than the people I depend on each day; my wife, my friends and my employers.  I’m not worried or afraid.  Whatever problems occur, I can adapt.  I’m faster and smarter than the zombies.


Filed under humor, Television

17 responses to “The Talking Dead

  1. Love that Esquire magazine cover. Where did you find it? Just via a google search?

    • Right you are, Anthony. I searched Google images under the search term “the new Nixon”. That’s the cover from a 1968 issue.

      Wasn’t the debate fun tonight? It won’t make much difference one way or the other but I giggled at all the ways Romney found to say “Me too!”

  2. galenpearl

    Some fresh air in this stale room of politics–thank you!

  3. Invisible Mikey,
    Love your style. You bring fun and education together in a unique way! Keep up the good work!

  4. I finally found HerBlock’s original cartoon of “Tricky Dick” showing Nixon crawling out of a sewer.

  5. There’s not too much talk of politics in my little corner of the world. This is the most exposure I’ve had. I’m glad you can adapt. It’s just an endless cycle that moves one direction and then the next.

    • If Nixon and Bush couldn’t ruin my life, neither of these guys will either. I wish we had better candidates, but I already dealt with that on the post about Borgen. I envy your relative isolation. I’ve been using meditation more than usual to keep my irritation in check. The older I get, the more I perceive politics as an incurable infection, which is why I’m riffing on zombies. That, and I love zombies. Thanks for dropping by, Sandra.

  6. Mikey: Awesomely quite interesting post! I could talk about politics forever, but I like what you said about this years election. “I don’t know who will win this year. I don’t know if the voters want to elect a “boss” more than a “professor'”. I wonder how many people could have done a better job than Obama in four years? One thing I do know (From personal experience) is that it’s more than twice as hard to get out of debt then it is to get into it. The president fell short nine million jobs he promised us to have, but isn’t it hard for us to do everything we say? I know some days I say I’ll clean up my apt, but have a hard time even getting around to doing that! Lol.

    Best Wishes,
    William Veasley

    • Thanks very much, William. I must attribute the “boss” concept to James Lipton, the Actor’s Studio guy, who explained Romney in terms of choices an actor makes in performance.

      Your point about the difficulty of cleanup is apt. Here we are 2 1/2 years into our new house. We haven’t acquired any more useless consumer goods, but we have only been able to divest ourselves of half the old things we never use. We still pay for a storage locker full of furniture that we might visit once every couple of months. Real change is hard!

  7. Thanx for dropping by my blog my American friend! I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  8. Fantastic! Gotta love zombies, even zombie politicians.

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