World War Z … threw a lot of walking-dead heritage under the bus, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have a place in the ongoing evolution of zombie lore. It’s simply taking the idea of zombies as a surrogate for social anxieties in a new direction — in this case predominantly xenophobia and fears of viral outbreaks. This continues a long and distinguished history of zombie themes standing in for au courant topics like slave rebellion, communism, über-capitalism, technophobia, and globalization. However, how zombie tales—and their fans—deal with these issues has proven as problematic as, well, the problems themselves. Like, for example, the production of zombie ex-girlfriend shooting targets. (Underwire | Wired.com).
According to a new paper, mass shootings such as Sandy Hook and Aurora may be the result of Autism plus psychosis: A ‘one-two punch’ risk for tragic violence?
The first thing to note about this paper is that it’s in Medical Hypotheses.
I don’t normally take seriously anything that appears in this rather unique journal. This paper is, however, co-authored by Edward Shorter, an eminent historian of psychiatry; his book about it was a big influence on me. So it deserves a fair hearing.
The authors set the scene:
In the recent series of mass murders in Connecticut, Colorado, Norway and elsewhere, a pattern seems to be emerging: young men whose social isolation is so extreme as to verge on autism apparently become prey to psychotic ideation. And under the influence of this ideation they wreak terrible violence.
…What is actually the matter with these young men and how should we as a society conceive their pathology?
The answer, we’re told, is a combination of autism, and psychosis. Autism is not associated with violence per se, but psychosis is – and rates of psychosis are higher in autistics. What’s worse, in such cases, psychotic symptoms may go undiagnosed and untreated because they’re written off as just part of the autism.
“According to the Dayton Daily News, State Senator Nina Turner introduced SB 307, which requires men to visit a sex therapist, undergo a cardiac stress test, and get their sexual partner to sign a notarized affidavit confirming impotency in order to get a prescription for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs. The bill also requires men who take the drugs to be continually “tested for heart problems, receive counseling about possible side effects and receive information about “pursuing celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”” (Addicting Info via Rebecca)
It’s about to melt your brain: “Inside this beaker is a 50-meter-long string of 8,000 beads. Watch what happens when you toss one end of the string out of the beaker. Prepare yourself – this is pretty wild.” (io9).