meditation 8: acts of the sinful nature, fleshly worship of real Zombies

10 Jul

“Bling Ring & Act of Killing”
Fleshy worship, Zombies

“World War Z”; “The Walking Dead”; George Romero’s black and white “Night of the Living Dead” are not Zombie movies. No way; no how.

Real Zombies walk among us. No grunts, no soft moans. They speak in affected accents. They move quickly when they see flesh they covet. Their only thought is to consume. Real life walking breathing semi-living Zombies are the fruit of one desire: the worship of their own flesh.

Two recent pseudo film documentaries attempt to give “Zombie” portraits, “The Act of Killing” and “The Bling Ring.” Both fail miserably. Why? Both give our Zombies what they so desire: eternal images of their own flesh which they can consume eternally. Both end with a main character watching themselves in media, dressed to the 9s. One character encourages us to go their web site which has “4ever” in the address. The older other film’s main character wakes his grandchildren from their sleep so they can watch his “torture” and “death” on film. In the end both films themselves become “Zombies”: worshippers of their own cinematic flesh. How?
Each film glances uncritically at the images, the surfaces, created and recreated over and over by the Zombies. One has a teen group that steals in the same way with the same method repeatedly; the other has older murderers recreating their crimes over and over for the cameras. What makes both groups Zombies is how they unthinkably worship of their own images. Young and old alike. They can’t stop watching themselves. They are eating their own flesh. (Oppenheimer’s Zombies re-enact their crimes for the cameras; Coppola went Hollywood and used “actors.)
Both character groups “dress up” for their parts. They create images from their views of the world: movie “gangsters” (or “free men” as they are called in “The Act of Killing”) and celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, in “the Bling Ring.”

Both films’ Real Zombies eat with their eyes. First, their sight is taken and absorbed by the world around them. But they want your eyes and souls too. The films fail because they give Zombies what they desire: their own created flesh absorbing mages. The films do not question, or offer a counter point, another voice or image. Only Zombies speak and are seen. The film genre itself is the first victim.

And the filmmakers, Sofia Coppola and Joshua Oppenheimer are the second victims.

Both directors are captivated by a “real story.” Coppola by the “Vanity Fair” story about a teenagers in California who went from house to house stealing whatever was immediately at hand . Oppenheimer’s criminals are murderers. In 1965 Indonesia they murdered thousands of Chinese and communists and trade union workers/organisers. They go from house to house to torture and murder.

Each director places these Zombies and their stories before us. They let them speak and eat for themselves. And for us. There is no critical discussion of their “stories.” Tellingly, in both films, the victims’ voices are never heard or mentioned. The dead, whether physical or spiritual, do not speak. This is both directors’ ultimate failing. But…

Why and how we’re these zombies made?

Paul in Galatians speaks,

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself. “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious…”

Zombies use their freedom to indulge in the flesh. They worship themselves and images of flesh, the world. Ultimately, they destroy, they eat each other.

Real Zombies are not obvious. But their acts, their worship is: our fleshly world. And they are coming for me and you,

Our only escape? Walk not with the dead, the flesh, but in the Spirit. Walk in love with the living. Listen to their voices; let them speak. Their voice may surprise you.

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