Sunday, January 21, 2007

Raarh Chomp Chomp Raarh

It's no secret at all, and I don't mind telling you straight up: a Monday-to-Friday, eight-to-four work schedule is kicking my ass.

This is the one arrangement I've never had before in my entire life, and the adjustment process has been slow and eerily similar to zombification. I wear nice shirts to work now, business casual to the letter in demeanor as well as dress, and I make better money than I've ever made before. But as a tradeoff most of my time is spent groggy or unconscious, and I'm beginning to think I can actually smell the delicious brains of people around me -- sumptuous and tender, zesty and tangy, some people say that the human brain is 90% unused anyway, I swear if I could just have a nibble of -- no! No, I must be strong. Inner strength! It helps to think of it as like being on a diet.

If it seems as though I've got zombies on the brain (, uh... pun unintended), I must insist on blaming XS Cargo.

That's right, you heard me. XS Cargo. Damn you, XS Cargo!

Some background, first. I've mentioned previously my love for the Xbox 360 game Dead Rising, and that love has not diminished much at all in the interval since then. The game, you see, drops your character into a mall that -- as per the grand George Romero tradition -- has been completely overrun with zombies.

George A. Romero's 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, which is arguably the greatest anything having to do with zombies that anybody has ever made, carried with it subtle underlying messages about American materialism. The protagonists barricade themselves in an empty shopping mall as their shelter from the zombies and soon take the opportunity to indulge themselves with whatever they want, ultimately realizing after a few months that their sanctuary is little better than shiny toys masking a living hell they are unable to escape. And the zombies, despite the loss of their human consciousness, swarm by the hundreds to the mall because it stands as the only thing they can now remember being important to them -- glassy-eyed wandering and unnecessary consumption remaining the order of the day, but in a different capacity. The mindless hordes are prevented from entering the mall that forms the remaining substance of their lives, and the people still alive enough to hold higher priorities are held desperate and helpless to escape the confines of their consumer prison.

And yet, despite their intentions to find a way out, the protagonists later feel an intense determination to keep the mall for themselves when another group of humans tries to enter it -- even though, by this point, there are no meaningful reasons whatsoever to have anything there. The main priority of everybody involved should be the continuing slaughter of human civilization and the horrible state of the world going on outside their current borders, rather than their seemingly insatiable drive to expand their holdings and keep their shiny toys for themselves. Alas not, and everybody involved suffers dearly for it.

(Did you read all of that up there? Seriously? Wow. I love you too!)

So! All that being said, what -- if anything -- does this have to do with the Polo Park area liquidation store XS Cargo?

Well! The Dead Rising logo features the silhouette of a zombie in front of bold and capitalized text:

Given this knowledge, and given my by now very obvious affection for zombie lore, you can understand my reaction when I saw this past weekend's XS Cargo flier:

Can you blame me, really, for being the slightest bit taken aback? Honestly! Now that I look more closely at it, that's even using the same font!

And the worst part? God help me, those silhouettes are all business casual!

I drag myself up and out each weekday, dressed nicely but severely limited in my cognitive ability, boarding a bus in the night far before any sign of the sun can be seen. I shamble and stumble through the day, exerting little intellectual activity as I paw and scrape through the rote repetition of the same tasks I performed the workday before. And yes, working downtown has meant I've been spending more money than I did before; with the comparatively vast increase in salary from my previous job, the occasional casual purchase now has less thought involved.

What do I make of this? Was this design choice as blatantly on purpose as it appears to be? Is the universe employing some bizarre meta-literary twist, foreshadowing my horrible zombified demise to me through a newspaper flier?

No. No, no, that's nonsense. Clearly this is all entirely coincidental. My imagination is just running away with me now! Ha ha! I should just ease up, think about other things, and try to distract myself by viewing the terrific bargains available in the

Okay. That's it. I give up entirely.

Odds - Eat My Brain [buy]
James A. Johnston - Advance of the Zombies (Viscera) [unreleased -- info]
The Aquabats! - Fashion Zombies! [buy]


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