Day 96: Zombies and Painful Philanthropy


Today a random assortment of weird things–a quilt of strangeness, if you will.

Remember my coffee-related problems? Caribou phased out my favorite, which was especially devastating, since it did not only taste good, but was also organic, fair-trade coffee, certified by the rainforest alliance. After this I tried a medium-roast for breast cancer, a dark-roast for the rainforest and a french roast that, I think, supported David Beckham in the anticipation of the demise of his carreer that awaits him in L.A. Yesterday, Chicago opened its Farmer’s Market season and I went to Daley Plaza to do some shopping (for non-Chicagoans: Daley Plaza is the setting for the climactic ending of Blues Brothers–the place with the large Picasso). Apart from some greens (which I am pretty certain are poisonous to me after this long absence of any kind of vitamin in my body) I bought a coffee that is shade-grown, rainforest alliance approved, fair-trade certified and is sold by and supports the Chicago coalition for the homeless. Seriously, how can you not buy that one? Also, the fact that this is the official Mother Theresa of coffees almost makes you forget that it tastes like crap. Ah well, that may be the trouble with philanthropy (apart from its basic ideological confusion that renders it powerless well known to Hegelians, or its tendency to work in unison with the welfare state that appeases the masses to avoid a revolution and true, equal assistance for all of us).

Here the homophobic, offensive part of today’s quilt: wondering if you’re gay? Take the test:

My favorite part of the ad for this is this logic: wondering if you’re gay? You don’t need a blood test–just take this handy quiz? I am no doctor, so can someone explain to me what this blood test is that tells you if you’re gay?

Also, about a month ago anaj found a little blog-value-calculator, which tells you how much your blog is worth. In about a month my blog seems to have accumulated roughly another $1000 in value. Again: I am not just confused by how this happened, but also as to where I can sell my blog to pay for my summer. The Chicago Farmer’s Market, maybe? Check out how valuable I am! Nothing like alienation via the commodification of the immaterial, digital expression of your self. Finally I know what I am worth. Yay!

My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

Don’t you just love the capitalist ideology that is included in this little gadget? How much are YOU worth? Let’s make it a competition in alienation!

Finally: more zombies. I am always happy when a new zombie movie comes out (while I am waiting for Gigli II). In the recent past there have been some really fun experiments with the genre that often change the ways in which the zombie as subject signifies. Enter Fido, a zombie-comedy showing us the beauty of a society in which zombies are kept as pets and work the crappy jobs no one wants (aahhh–a continuation of the “zombie as global third estate” idea–while this is fun, here my question: why do we have to go to zombies as one of the only popular ways to represent class distinction and exploitation these days? Tells us something about our willingness to talk about this issue today, doesn’t it?). Anyway, here the info:



  1. Btw, my blog (or: I) is still exactly worth $10,726.26, and it keeps amazing me how it manages to reach exactly this value for weeks.

    Where does this bloodtest question originate from? The 1980s, when being gay was the same as having HIV? The programming of the test is annoying, but I saw it coming: I am gay.

  2. Yep, I am gay, too. What’s more: considering what it takes to be straight according to the test, I am damn proud of the fact that I apparently fo not fulfill the test’s definition of hetero masculinity. (the test is obviously aupposed to be a joke, but it pretty accurately recreates the idea of what it means to be masculine the US is currently returning to–were are currently witnessing a quite dramatic backlash against the achievements of the progressive gender politics of the last few decades)

  3. I’m very pleased to have immediately failed. It may be that I’m in Pennsylvania, but it does seem like gender and sexual politics are getting much worse. I feel compelled to point out obnoxious homophobic and sexist assumptions, and then get a sneer and incomprehension at the alien worldview I’ve somehow managed to acquire.

    Zombies best represent modern man. Religion, Faith in progress, morality–forget about it. The zombie is our last best snapshot of the real under late capitalism. Every zombie is a return to the blissfully unmediated imaginary state between man and beast–telling us what footage of imperial atrocity abroad and racism and sexism at home only partially reveal: that we eat each other all the time and call it entertainment.

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