Day 91: 28 Weeks Later in Iraq


Let me first continue the PR effort for this year’s Marxist Literary Group Institute on Culture and Society. Info can be found under “Day 90.”

Now: finally more zombies! I have said time and again that the zombie movie genre is ideally suited for the politically progressive representation of current issues and the makers of 28 Weeks Later seem to second this. The sequel to 28 Days Later, which truly revolutionized the post-apocalyptic/zombie genre (without ever identifying the “infected” as zombies) picks up where the previous movie left off and does this in a very interesting way. Here the rough plot: the US declares the war on the virus won, declares London a virus-free, safe zone and begins to re-populate it (“family is just the most important thing”–great other facet of the movie, namely another example of the reactionary politics arising out of such situations of crisis I have mentioned a few times before). However, as the US soldiers must find out, it is far easier to control people than a virus and so they find themselves in a fight against an invisible enemy they seemingly cannot win. Sound familiar? Apart from the fact that this movie is a great allegory for the tragic failure of US foreign policy, exposing the naive and faulty logic upon which the occupation of Iraq is based, I must ask: do we really need to re-phrase the situation in terms of stressing the difference between people/nation/territory and a virus/ideology/terrorism (which is the ideal post-geographical entity) in order to understand how terribly wrong things are going in Iraq and how catastrophically the misguided logic of the leaders of this country has failed and will continue to fail? Consider truly what the following disjoint means for the political and ideological position many people are in: practically everyone who watches this movie will agree that the logic of the US soldiers had to end in disaster. Yet, many people will remain convinced that the Iraq war will end up a success if we just stick to our plan and add more soldiers. If you encounter people like that, please, ask them how they can logically defend both positions at the same time (because in the real world lives actually depend upon our ability to interpret a situation just as intelligently as a zombie movie and have the courage to act upon our intelligence)!



  1. I’m stoked about this movie. Jack London, in People of the Abyss, was writing about the living-death of worker zombies in London’s East End 100 years ago. Round about the same time, H.G. Wells bourgeois protagonist, Prendick, again in London (the city) saw the brute behind every human in Wells’ classic Island of Dr. Moreau. So my question: what is it about London that causes it to be identified as the central front of the war against terroristic lumpen zombie/beasts? It was damn fun to type that.

  2. Wanna co-write a paper on the two movies and fool around with sending it to social text or somewhere? We could maybe divide the work as follows–I’ll write something about 28 days later, and you’d be on for 28 weeks. Then we could look at what we had and try to put it together. Neither of us needs more work, but this could be kinda fun. Just a thought.

  3. Sure–I might have some time later this fall. _Social Text_ may be a bit fancy for this, but we can send it out to some CS, or cinema studies journal. Might be a good way to get to write about this, since I cannot include it in my dissertation.

  4. That sounds great. I think you’re probably right about ST. (Social Text, not Suicidal Tendencies).

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