Last Tuesday, a woman by the name of Du in Wenzhou, China, was attacked by a drunken busdriver named Dong, who allegedly stopped her in the middle of the street, hopped onto the hood of her car, and angrily beat upon her windshield. According to Shanghai Daily, as Du stepped out to inquire into the situation, she was tackled to the ground, her nose and lips brutally chewed off.
This appears to be the last in a mysterious new wave of cannibalism, bewildering the press since the May 26th attack of Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man, whose bearded face unfortunately met a gruesome fate, when confronted by the teeth of a naked Rudy Eugene, a 31-year-old Miami resident, who until recently was suspected of abusing a designer drug, misleadingly nicknamed “bath salts” by street connoisseurs.
Since that distasteful day, the press has been bombarded every week with new tales of manic anthropophagia. Agitated predictions of Zombie Apocalypse have galvanized the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to release a statement reassuring the public that, in fact, “the CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead” – said the agency spokesman David Daigle.
Frankly, I am quite relieved to know that the CDC is officially on top of the Zombie Apocalypse. However, I’m less reassured by tales of similar events that followed the hapless Miami Munchies, which spread from Miami to Atlanta, Switzerland, and China: all accounts point to frenzied aggressors in an altered state of unreasonable hunger, with a penchant for self-disrobing, taking gruesome chunks out of loved ones and strangers alike, while remarkably unresponsive to police prodding, tasering, and gunfiring.
My question is: if these do not qualify as evidence for a zombie epidemic, then what exactly is the cause behind such bizarre behavior? I venture three hypotheses:
- H0) Null hypothesis, it must be the zombie apocalypse.
- Ha1) Alternative hypothesis, it must be the new stuff the cool kids are smoking, MDPV (3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone), AKA “not your mama’s Epsom salts.”
- Ha2) Alternative hypothesis, it must be Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome, because a Harvard professor diagnosed it so.
- Ha3) Alternative hypothesis, it must be a mass media conspiracy, created by the pharmaceutical corporations of America, in association with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), so as to advance the spread of racism.
The following is a timeline of six cannibalistic occurrences in the month of June:
June 2: Karl Laventure, 21, ran out naked onto the Atlanta Golf Center in Alpharetta, Georgia, warning the police, while wiping pepper spray from his eyes, that “I’ll eat you. I don’t want to eat you but I will,” said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith, who tasered him eleven times before finally restraining him. According to police, Laventure admitted to smoking a joint sprinkled with “bath salts” and continued attacking officers from his hospital bed.
June 4: Luka Magnotta, 30, government name Eric Clinton Kirk Newman, but he called himself the “Canadian Cannibal.” This Toronto porn star severed the head of his suspected lover, university student Jun Li (33), and mailed it to Montreal, where it was discovered by police. Magnotta, who had previously dazzled the press in 2007 for dating the high-profile Canadian murderer Karla Homolka, posted several YouTube videos while on the run from law enforcement, vividly displaying his assault of Li, and tantalizing his pursuers with regular status updates to several of his 70 Facebook aliases. He was captured in an internet café in Berlin on June 4th.
June 6: Carl Jacquneaux, 43, attacked his neighbor Todd Credeur, in Lafayette Parish of Louisianna, over an undefined neighborhood dispute. Jacquneaux allegedly bit off a piece of Credeur’s face while high on “bath salts.”
June 8: Pamela McCarthy, 35, ran naked onto the streets of Munnsville, New York while beating her 3-year-old son. She was tasered to death by state troopers, who accused her of abusing “bath salts.”
June 16: Giovanni Martinez, 21, bit and spat blood onto his nurse in the Downtown Naples Hospital of Naples, Florida, after being arrested for drunk driving. He attacked the hospital staff and threatened to eat their faces like “that Miami guy.”
June 20: Charles Baker, 26, paid an unwelcome visit to his girlfriend’s apartment, where he stripped off all of his clothing, and began throwing furniture around. Jeffrey Blake, 48, another resident in the apartment, attempted to stop Baker, which resulted in a large chunk of his bicep being chewed off.
Ha1) What are “bath salts”?
Many of the attacks point to the recent resurgence of a street drug affectionately known as “bath salts,” “ivory white,” “vanilla sky,” “monkey dust,” “Hurricane Charley,” and “plant food” by users in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia. It is an amphetamine cocktail composed of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone, mephedrone, and pyrovalerone. Originally formulated in France in the 1920s and rediscovered by the chemist behind the DIY drug-instructions website “Hive,” which was shut down in 2004, MDPV is a synthetic version of a natural ingredient found in an east African plant called Khat (Catha edulis). The chemicals are produced in India and China, and assembled in the United States, where it is sold online and on the street.
However, recent toxicology reports indicate that Rudy Eugene, the original Miami aggressor, was not using bath salts after all. As it turns out, the only drug detected in his body was another deadly hallucinogen: marijuana.
Are all the reports following these attacks, which contain similar features of inappropriate nudity and mastication, mere media sensationalism? Are these effects typical of “bath salt” usage? Or has this designer drug, one of several hundred available in the informal economy, been used as a scapegoat for truly exceptional behavior in Miami? Has it been erroneously associated with these other cases by a hysteric and opportunistic press?
Ha2) What is “Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome”?
Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and lecturer at the Harvard School of Education, wrote a fake medical journal article on the zombie epidemic, which he calls Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome, or ANSD. He explains, in the prevailing neuroscientific fashion of the day, that ANSD occurs when the frontal lobe, responsible for executive functioning, is infected, leading the patient to be somewhat impulsive, because he or she becomes entirely driven by the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex, those reptilian centers of irrational rage, which we inherited from our evolutionary predecessors. This problem is compounded by cerebellar and basal ganglia dysfunction, and mirror neurons which make us believe we are zombies when we watch zombie movies.
Personally, that sounds very plausible to me. Like most psychological symptoms in the DSM IV, there appears to be much comorbidity in ANSD with other mental illnesses, such as the legendary ADHD, bipolar disorder, and various other “uncurable” ailments called “personality disorders.”
Ha3) What is “Conspiracy”?
Clearly, the best explanation for this very newsworthy phenomenon of serial cannibalism must be the Freemasons. Besides being extremely entertaining, bizarre tales of wrongful eating habits have always been of utmost concern to discriminant readers of popular news publications and scientific reports on celebrity diets.
The Freemasons took advantage of the saliency of this topic to distract the masses from the next assassination plan being engineered by the CIA. But it seems to have unexpectedly played a supportive role in Obama’s health care campaign.
Given the perpetrators of these recent crimes have been predominantly black men, is this an attempt by the media to inspire a new wave of racism? History shows us that we should be wary of media portrayals of “new drugs” of the working class. In the 1980s, the popular press accused crack cocaine use of turning people into casual killers, urging for its criminalization. This resulted in the targeted arrest of crack users, who are predominantly black and lower class, while the fancier powder cocaine users were largely left alone.
More importantly, will “bath salts” and cannibalism be used as the new get-free card for police brutality? There was little protest around Pamela McCarthy, the mother who was tasered to death by police officers in New York this month. Even though there are bullet wounds on Ronald Poppa’s chest, indicating that police officers shot him while trying to protect him from his cannibal attacker, very few seem to question the necessity of shooting Rudy Eugene “at least six times.”
Is this outright zombieism an abuse of basic human rights? Does a zombie count as a human? At what stage of infection (or entertainment) does a zombie or a drug user stop counting as human?