When you work for years with your little lesbian nose to the grindstone on the project of achieving full equality for LGBT people, you can miss some cultural signifiers. That’s what I tell myself. And that’s what I told my friend’s daughter when she schooled me for thinking that Yanni and Raffi were one and the same person. Here’s a helpful mnemonic: one toured with John Tesh.
My homo-cultural narrow view also blinded me to the fine points of vampires and zombies. The two are not the same. Who knew? Apparently I could learn a few helpful things about small town prejudice and governance from watching the neo-vampires of the “True Blood” allegory. And I do look forward to organizing a “True Blood” Matinee Film Festival when I’m in assisted living at Casa Gay Manana. There’ll be snacks in the solarium!
Whereas vampires need a hemo-drip every now and again, they look otherwise normal with maybe an exaggerated incisor or two and a pallor that is Goth. They tend to be solitary. They can be sexy. Vampires walk among us; they could be sitting next to you at a coda meeting.
Not so with zombies. Oh you’ll know them. They are the dead re-animated. They were in that Michael Jackson video. They travel in packs. They are not sexy. According to Zombi-Leaks, since zombies are already dead, it’s hard to kill them. What you have to do is destroy their brains and, like the rest of us, they have very thick skulls. We’re talking axes.
I bring up these distinctions because I had been watching the defeated, left-for-dead Republicans. In soul-searching self-crit post-election sessions, they tried to figure out what went wrong. Was it that they had totally antagonized women, ignored Latinos and failed to keep blacks from voting? It wasn’t the money. Unlike at H&M, never had so much bought so little.
Instead of focusing too long on substance, The Grand Opposition Party took the easier, softer way and decided just to rebrand. I’m sorry to report this did not involve actual red-hot branding irons. The cadaverous Bobby Jindal seemed to be pushing for a Stupid Party brand. I liked it but it got no traction. With the decimation of actual elephants, some thought extinction might taint the Republican brand further.
And one day I thought, “Why am I watching this? This is exactly how I missed the whole Yanni-Raffi, Vampire/Zombie thing.” Et voila! There it was.
Zombies are the perfect Republican brand. Just when you think they are absolutely put-a-fork-in-it-done, dead they come lurching back. You can’t beat them back with a fact-axe. Now the zomboid Mitch McConnell, Darrell Issa or Ted Cruz yaw to the corridor microphone or hearing table to jaw about talking points, IRS investigations and DOJ and the Associated Press. And where are those Uber-Zombie Koch Brothers? Though zombies they demand blood.
I’m joshing. I haven’t been paying much attention. The whole month of May I’ve been on pins and needles, in suspended animation, waiting to hear if the Supreme Court thinks I’m a fully alive human being and thus entitled to full equality.