Toward a Theory of Disappearing Identities:
The Global War on Terror and the Living Dead
Speed facilitates the decoding of the human genome and the possibility of an other humanity, a humanity which is no longer the one we know. It is now no longer a question of the extra-terrestrial, but of the extra-human.
Paul Virilio, Crepuscular Dawn 
It started as rioting. But right from the beginning you knew this was different. Because it was happening in small villages, market towns. And then it wasn’t on the TV any more. It was in the street outside. It was coming in through your windows. It was a virus. An infection. You didn’t need a doctor to tell you that. It was the blood. It was something in the blood.
28 Days Later 
Depicting the opposite side’s forces has never been identified by clean, straightforward boundaries. Arbitrary and constantly shifting, these boundaries have functioned to separate “us” from “them,” the heroes from the villains. This division seems especially exacerbated during times of war and conflict. In an effort to legitimize and justify violent action or aggression the media is de facto assigned the task of defining an otherwise nebulous and complex group of people by what the heroes are supposedly not: evil, calculating, untrustworthy. Yet, with the events of 9/11 and the inevitable aftermath, a break seems to have taken place. Instead of the vengeful “Other” who lacks speech and agency, the Global War on Terror has gone one step further to introduce a new “Other”—undefinable, unthinking, unfeeling. As the media’s coverage of the war seems to indicate, the most effective way to eliminate empathy for our enemies is by dehumanizing them and delegitimizing their very existence. By rejecting and denying the new enemy’s “humanness,” we extinguish their cogito, their spirit. All that remains is the living dead: bodies, but no souls.
These new unfeeling, unthinking, indiscriminate killers of all that is “human” (made to be synonymous with “good”) appear at a time when, as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld might have said, we are faced with known unknowns. However, these “unknowns” are no more than violent mutations of our own actions. Just as we have constructed our identities by determining what we are and are not, we have also filled the empty shells of our enemy’s bodies with a discourse seeped in the unknown and the unknowable. Our new “Other” seems to be no more than a revisited childhood nightmare: the zombie. For, even if the “Other” of the past could not speak, no one doubted his ability to think, to reason, to rationalize. Thus, the face of this new enemy is clouded by what we depict as blind and boundless hatred. In the Global War on Terror, terrorist jihadists have been represented as little more than brainwashed, unfeeling, inhumane killers. What are they but empty vessels filled with hateful ideology, targeting American and Western “values”? The terrorist zombie is merely one step beyond the zombie of our movie imagination: lacking thought and feeling, sense and sensibility, always already the sum but with no cogito—unreasonable and incapable of being reasoned with.
Perhaps fiction is not so far-removed from reality anymore. Our enemies have risen and struck back as terrorist jihadists, closely resembling swarms of flesh-eating zombies. We are unsuccessfully floundering in the fight against this new enemy as we seek out the root of the problem, the head of the group, the mastermind behind the attack. Increasingly, the Global War on Terror begins to play out more and more like a bad zombie movie: an ongoing battle between good and evil, where evil has no beginning and no end. And we have not yet figured out how to contain and eliminate the threat: how do we destroy something we ourselves have made unknown and foreign to us? With a dispersed center and origin, what tools are left but instilling evil into the vast unknown? How do we fight an enemy that is rhizomatic, decentralized, networked? When our enemy no longer plays by our established, dictated and upheld rules? And what will this hold for the future? Will we eventually be forced to accept the fate of our own death? Our own re-birth as the new zombified “Other”?
If indeed this new decentralized enemy is leaving American foreign policy scrambling to fight an enemy it cannot understand, then dehumanizing and delegitimizing the zombie/“Other” is no longer enough. Our unknown thrives in an increasingly virtual world, masking itself behind multi-media: in the forms of photographs, videos, interfaces, all carefully and conscientiously selected to produce certain realities and truths. Thus, identifying who we fight will become as important and increasingly difficult to distinguish from what we fight. The image is not enough as we look beyond accepted identities and beyond emptied and re-filled human vessels toward a reconsideration of ourselves and our own identities.
I: The Living Dead:
This whole ghastly story began developing two days ago, and from that point on, these terrible events kept on snowballing in a reign of terror that has not abated. Military personnel and law enforcement agencies have been working hard in an attempt to gain some kind of control of this situation, but most of their efforts have been marginally futile up to this particular time.
Night of the Living Dead
Before resorting to gross and incorrect over-simplifications that terrorist jihadists are in fact flesh-eating zombies in disguise, perhaps it is necessary to first return to the zombie myth and understand why it has maintained a substantial and lasting influence on popular culture and why its narrative structure seems to evoke such disappointment with the current international environment. Though zombies and the living dead have long existed in European mythology and folklore, it seems that zombie culture experienced a surge during the 20th century at the height of the Cold War and again in the post-9/11 era. Two films in particular seem to embody larger social trends within these time frames in their portrayal of the ongoing battle between zombies and humans: George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002). By examining these two films relative to their particular time periods and interrogating their relationships with broader social trends, I plan to begin mapping how an obsession with zombies has always been part of a larger attempt to classify and stigmatize the enemy both as a familiar unknown and as a catalyst of malevolent ideology.
Night of the Living Dead opens with two siblings on the road to visit their father’s grave in rural Pennsylvania. The accidental death of the brother in a graveyard struggle against an unnamed, unidentified assailant leaves his sister Barbra with a motley crew of other still-a-nties at discerning real from unreal, ry, live humans in a nearby abandoned house. However, as our first encounter with the undead leads us to believe, the nearby graveyard will assuredly supply enough reanimated corpses to keep even the most zombie enthusiast sated. The film’s presentation of the struggle for both life and the consumption of it is at once both deeply disturbing and overwhelmingly frightening. Yet, despite its perceptibly campy and gruesome scenes marked by excessive gore in the battle between humans and zombies, Night of the Living Dead has risen from being merely a B-rated, cult movie to a hallmark of horror film, heralded in both the American Film Institute’s “100 Years … 100 Thrills” list and the National Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.
Accolades aside, however, Night of the Living Dead is also recognized for being the “first-ever subversive horror movie,” serving as a commentary on the “disillusionment with government and [the] patriarchal nuclear family.” The zombie problem thus comments on deeper social and political problems. First released in 1968, the film functioned primarily as an entertaining escapism from everyday horrors of escalating violence and American presence in Vietnam and the stalemate with the Soviet Union during Cold War. The film’s grim depiction of a realistic parallel universe leaves its viewers wondering what is worse: the real world outside of the theater or the fictional world gone horribly awry. Night of the Living Dead’s characters’ imminent doom points to a resentment for and distrust of traditionally happy endings; the danger no longer disappears with the sunrise or the grand entrance of a superhero. Instead, the film seems to point us in the direction of the easy—if not unlucky—way out: submission and defeat in the face of an unknown and endless evil.
Night of the Living Dead’s triumph comes not in its invocation of communist Soviets or racialized Vietnamese but in its ability to make these enemies faceless and anonymous, thereby multiplying their numbers and threat potential. By delving deeper into the counter-communist ideology of Night of the Living Dead, Fredric Jameson’s vision of Stalinist Russia becomes useful:
We must acknowledge the extraordinary opportunities [Stalinism] offered for new ideological production and for the invention of all kinds of new and complex fantasy investments which this historically unique situation calls into being: … innumerable constellations of paranoia and conspiracy theory, in which … the dimly apprehended forms of capitalist organization are projected onto its enemies or victims.
In the same way that Stalinism enabled new ideological production and promoted “fantasy investments,” Jameson seems to suggest that Stalinism and Soviet ideology also aided in making the popularity of zombie films possible. By emphasizing these paranoia and conspiracy theories in the film’s romanticized representation of reality, both Jameson and Night of the Living Dead stress that capitalist organization has not only been projected onto the enemies (communists, zombies) but onto the protagonists, as well (Americans, humans). The resulting society possesses a “collective instinct of self-preservation which is awakened in moments of mortal danger,” in moments threatening established social stability. Thus, where Night of the Living Dead begins as a fantasized parallel of the real, its faceless and multiplied enemy heighten the intensity of the film’s tragedy; the final gunshot (itself a symbol of American strength) serves to expose our inadequacies for addressing the unknown and the inevitable surrender to paranoia and fear.
Similarly, the film 28 Days Later modernizes zombies in order to, again, reveal our inability for effectively coping with a growing uprising of the undead. Unlike Night of the Living Dead, however, the zombies of 28 Days Later initially begin appearing as humans infected by the fictionalized “Rage” virus. The film’s emphasis on the failure of science victimizes humans in the face of the enemy; humanity is absolved of all blame and guilt. The film’s protagonist, Jim, has just woken up from a coma to find London in ruins. He learns that while he was in a coma, the “Infected” citizens of Great Britain took over the country, dismantling civil society and all operations of the now-former British government, and that the virus has possibly spread to other parts of the world. Whereas Night of the Living Dead localizes the zombie threat within domestic, middle America, in Marshall McLuhan’s global village and the post-apocalyptic world of 28 Days Later, the resurrected zombie must become transnational, transcontinental, itself a globalizing force. Though speaking explicitly about the “Negro-Other,” McLuhan’s observations about man’s relationship with media and space seem current within the larger framework of 28 Days Later:
They [the Negro, the teen-ager, and some other groups] can no longer be contained, in the political sense of limited association. They are now involved in our lives, as we in theirs, thanks to the electric media.
Perhaps the “they” in this passage need no introduction, for “they” are the modern zombies aided by new technologies. By McLuhan’s standards, 28 Days Later seems to be implying that the failure of modern technology and science to save us from zombies is no longer an external problem, but an internal one. McLuhan argues that man has extended his nervous system in a kind of paradigmatic autoamputation of his self, fracturing and fragmenting his physical and psychological self by his technologies. The result is that we must forcibly “numb our central nervous system when it is exposed, or we will die.” Thus, perhaps the film’s medicalized zombies are in fact mutant manifestations of our own failings as humans, the reanimated amputations of ourselves such that regardless of who or even what we are, “we wear all mankind as our skin.”
This ongoing theme of failure in 28 Days Later reminds us of our own gloomy reality post-9/11. The message is clear: the West—and, in particular, America—and its allies have failed to protect their citizens and are now suffering the consequences. Thus, what remains when we are alienated from ourselves by ourselves, by our own technologies? In one particularly disturbing scene from 28 Days Later, the band of survivors has finally arrived at a “safe” zone where they have heard of a promised solution to the Infection. Yet, the small post guarded by a handful of soldiers offers no more salvation than it does a twisted and perverse solution to the Infection: waiting for the Infected to starve to death and luring survivors with the intention of giving the women to the men in order to repopulate the island. Their leader, made deranged by the terrible situation, says to group of survivors: “I promised them women.”
Again, both Night of the Living Dead and 28 Day Later beg the question: what is more terrifying? Ourselves? Or the zombie threat? Whatever the answer, both films and theorists tell us that the Infected are really extensions of us, mutations of our own amputations, and that our battle against them is fundamentally a battle against ourselves.
II: The Disappearance and Reanimation of Identity:
Decomposition is everywhere, everywhere. What is decomposing is the geographical space, the psychophysical and psychophysiophysical space of being. It affects at once the big territorial body, the small animal body and the social body. The social body is decomposing.
Paul Virilio, Crepuscular Dawn
What does it mean to eliminate an individual’s identity? How does one do it? Typically, the individual’s identity has been assumed to connect to a larger group of individuals possessing some shared attachment that (some may argue) is in the best interest of the individual. To wipe out an individual and his identity, then, is virtually meaningless if the group and their shared beliefs remain. In a world with more than 6 billion inhabitants characterized by “village”-like inter-national relations, the individual who has disappeared is an insignificant and miniscule dot on the radar. As the above quote from Paul Virilio goes to show, the current world order and system is disintegrating, decomposing: “everything decomposes because of the acceleration of exchange, the deconstruction of instances and of institutions … there is no future.” The human has already lost its primacy. At the same time, however, the decomposition of all of these spaces is producing an almost Darwinian momentum for certain communities to try and outlast the others. This has been especially evident and observable in the Global War on Terror, especially in America’s battle with terrorist jihadists coming from the Middle East. Thus, while we exist in an age characterized by the proliferation of identities (on the Internet, on TV and film, through mass communication) in a decomposing world, perhaps the easiest identity to produce and to exploit has been the one that erases, that effaces, that disappears with the flip of a switch.
As international events have unfolded post-9/11, however, it is clear that even in the dark, the danger remains. Invisible or supposedly vanished identities are reemerging from forgotten and ignored communities of the world—notably from post-“Other”-ed societies. And, like their zombie contemporaries, their anti-, un-, non-identity in fact reinforces their determination in the fight against those who originally made them “anonymous.” Their collective anonymity or, perhaps, collective zombie-ification, has thus come back to haunt the majority population, turning their weapons upon their creators. Virilio shows in the below quote from an interview that the war we think we are fighting is already no longer the war that our enemies are fighting:
S. Lotringer: Civil war has become world war …
P. Virilio: … and it no longer has anything to do with previous forms of war, the flags, declaration of war, uniforms, or news bulletins of victory. In this sense, the American army, the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Air Force, ah, they’re no use. The plane that crashed into the Pentagon is an example. In a sense, America is already behind by one war.
Cultural theorist Edward Said has argued that communities of interpretation have typically influenced the way we see the world around us. These communities are comprised of individuals who bond themselves together in an effort to determine larger truths and realities, eventually projecting these ideologies outward to other communities. The clash of communities, for Said and as history has shown, is inevitable. These clashes seem to serve two functions. First of all, violent conflict between communities rising because of ideological differences unearths deeply-rooted and oftentimes initially arbitrary divisions. And, secondly, the clashes also serve to both create and bolster preexisting hierarchies between groups. As Said maintains, however, regardless of location, communities thriving off of the will and interpretation of its members will ultimately determine their interactions with the outside world:
Many of them [are] at odds with one another, prepared in many instances literally to go to war with one another, all of them creating and revealing themselves and their interpretations as very central features of their existence. No one lives in direct contact either with truth or with reality.
Thus the powerful communities of interpretation conclusively seize a monopoly on major media outlets and sources of knowledge and information. The takeover of and control over dominant culture allows these communities to dictate truth and reality, regardless of the potential for manipulating either or both. The most dependable and convenient tools at the disposal of these communities are cultural channels like the TV, the Internet, radio, newspapers, which are able to form a “powerful concentration of mass media … said to constitute a communal core of interpretations.” This communal core of interpretations threatens any remaining multi-perspectives or modes of production. It becomes the most ubiquitous example of Michel Foucault’s institution of power-relations: observing, collecting, analyzing, and finally producing a naturalized, universal knowledge and truth.
For Foucault, this institution does a number on society’s hazardous individuals. As the individual’s body becomes objectified by bourgeois production, he becomes a “docile body,” losing his status as a thinking human being. His physical body allows him to become a political subject that is part of the larger social apparatus, a cog in the machine. Foucault introduces two different directions in which the individual evolves from his newly-gained position in society. The first, he says, is “centered on the body as a machine: its disciplining, the optimization of its capabilities, the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls.” The second is “focused on the species body, the body imbued with the mechanics of life and serving as the basis of the biological processes: propagation, births and mortality, the level of health, life expectancy and longevity, with all the conditions that can cause these to vary.”
The combination of these two forces constitutes “the two poles around which the organization of power over life” is deployed, or what Foucault calls a “biopolitics of the population.” These docile bodies form “a global mass that is directed by overall processes characteristic of birth, death, production, illness and so on … a seizure of power that is not individualizing but, if you like, massifying, that is directed not at man-as-body, but man-as-species.” As Foucault says, the omnipresent institutions validate man’s existence:
Western man was gradually learning what it meant to be a living species in a living world, to have a body, conditions of existence, probabilities of life, an individual and collective welfare, forces that could be modified, and a space in which they could be distributed in an optimal manner. For the first time in history, no doubt, biological existence was reflected in political existence.
Man’s life is thus intrinsically bound up with society, consumed by the masses. Thus, the offender is “the common enemy … worse than an enemy, for it is from within society that he delivers his blows—he is nothing less than a traitor, a ‘monster.’”
This means that the right to punish has now “been shifted from the vengeance of the sovereign to the defence of society”—or, more specifically, the dominant communities of interpretation that Said criticizes in fact produce the usefulness, the legitimacy, and the need for this monster-faceless-enemy. In purging the traitorous monster, society strengthens itself; it eliminates the threat from within relegating it to the margins, to the exterior. Now, rejecting normalizing processes is the only way that the individual can proclaim his subjectivity in society’s exterior. In so doing, he also eliminates his identity, his subjectivity, for his existence is predicated on the perpetual monitoring of himself and his role within the socially-prescribed boundary.
Yet, still, communities formed by these outsiders have always fought the status quo, sometimes even succeeding in executing epistemic shifts. For Foucault, this war is ongoing since—inverting Carl von Clausewitz’s famous aphorism—politics is a continuation of war by other means: “We are always writing the history of the same war, even when we are writing the history of peace and its institutions.” But, there is still a winner who dictates the discourse on politics, and inevitably controls and determines what normalized society is. War and its discourses are constantly bound to politics and, especially for Foucault, biopolitics:
War was explicitly defined as a political objective—and not simply as a basic political objective or as a means, but as a sort of ultimate and decisive phase in all political processes—politics had lead to war, and war had to be the final decisive phase that would complete everything.
This cyclical relationship ensures politics’ influence through the existence of this perpetual war. And, so long as this is the status quo, society is characterized by a binary structure; it produces principles and laws in order to maintain stability, further dividing “us” from “them.” For Foucault, war is justified when a nation is attacked, and the attack, I would argue, comes from the speaking exterior. In fact, in Foucault’s disciplinary society, war is no longer relegated to being fought in battlefields and with weapons; “the subject who is speaking is … a subject who is fighting a war.” Speaking out now carries the same significance as acting out.
Thus the media serves a dual role in this war as its instigator and in its representation of it—inherently involved with both the production and the outcome. Post 9/11, we have seen the emergence of an excess of new and alternative media sources headlined under Foucault’s institution of power-relations. The competition for audiences and the public outcry for more balanced and accurate reporting forced old media giants (TV news and newspapers, in particular) to reassess their approach to determining what was newsworthy and how to bring it back home to the public. The rise of the Internet and citizen journalism allowed for commentary, stories, images and video that otherwise would have gone unseen, unheard, unknown. As witnessed by the events unfolding around the photos of prisoner abuse in the Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib in 2004 and the instantaneous uploading of photos via cell phones from the London bombings in 2005, 9/11 and its aftermath solidified the Internet’s legitimacy among other media.
At first glance, then, these new media outlets seem to supply a more defined and accurate picture of the world—and perhaps they did and still do. However, these images are just as misleading and, in fact, dangerous if we assume that they claim any more legitimacy than others. Virilio has argued that the speed of the image has disabled our ability to reflect:
We have gone from reflection to reflex. When a situation is accelerated, one does not reflect. One has a reflex reaction. Acceleration and speed, not only in calculation, but in the assessment and decision of human actions, have caused us to lose what is time proper, the time for conception, the time for reflection. … It is no longer a philosophical, reflective activity, but a pure reflex.
This acceleration of reality is overwhelming, much to the detriment of all verisimilitude and efforts to locate truth and knowledge within the media. The flow and instantaneity of images has accelerated to the point where instead of actively reflecting upon what is before us, we simply move on to the next image in the attempt to see as much and as quickly as possible; Virilio seems to argue grimly that we do not know how to do otherwise. We derive truth from an inexhaustible database—quantity over quality. Our dependency on what he calls simulators of proximity—tools of mass media—bring us close to reality with no fulfillment of ever reaching reality itself: the imposture of immediacy as a reality twice-removed.
Technology offers a deceptive and enticing promise of universal truth and knowledge. As visualization and virtualization become almost wholly intertwined with one another, the body both accepts and welcomes this technological invasion, or what Virilio refers to as flesh-eating prosthetics (phagocitage des prosthèses). For Virilio, these prosthetics work on multiple bodies, for the “conquest of space is also a decorporealization of the body, the earth’s body and the human body, the world proper and the body proper.” Yet, as we privilege virtual space over real space, and increasingly real time over any space, any and all physical bodies begin to disappear: “the infosphere—the sphere of information—is going to impose itself on the geosphere.” Thus, the geophysical gives way in favor of the microphysical, and our zombie rises from the depths of our margins, our exterior: an enemy we have de-subjectified and de-identified exploiting the technology we ourselves have propagated.
But, now, the zombie is part of our interior. As McLuhan’s technologies force us to autoamputate ourselves in order to survive in the global village, Virilio seems to be saying that it is already too late, that we have already begun decomposing, that “the world is finished and therefore America is finished.” Our enemy in the age of prosthetics? A zombie hiding out in the exterior of our social boundaries, capitalizing on the ubiquity of media and images to conceal himself, his traitorous identity saturated with an unlimited supply of malevolent unknowns and fears. All he must do is wait for the bodies defined pre-digitally, pre-virtually to decompose.
The weapon that really failed wasn’t something that rolled off an assembly line. It’s as old as … I don’t know, I guess as old as war. It’s fear, dude, just fear and you don’t have to be Sun freakin Tzu to know that real fighting isn’t about killing or even hurting the other guy, it’s about scaring him enough to call it a day. Break their spirit, that’s what every successful army goes for, from tribal face paint to the “blitzkrieg” to … what did we call the first round of Gulf War Two, “Shock and Awe”? Perfect name, “Shock and Awe”! But what if the enemy can’t be shocked and awed? Not just won’t, but biologically can’t? … The fact that we couldn’t shock and awe Zack boomeranged right back in our faces and actually allowed Zack to shock and awe us! They’re not afraid! No matter what we do, no matter how many we kill, they will never, ever be afraid!
Max Brooks, World War Z
Our digital world is beginning to show its fractures. Even though we may still have control over our ability to turn off the interface that shows us the enemy, it is becoming more and more apparent that our enemy is working his way through our outdated and established modes of representation and subject- and identity-formation. In Max Brooks’s fictionalized account of a world war waged against zombies, the survivors’ stories all seem to echo the despair of having been abandoned by all that they once trusted and believed in. Ideology, technological prowess, advanced weaponry—all are no longer enough in Brooks’s world for the enemy is entirely new, at once unpredicted and unprepared for.
In an age of known unknowns and, perhaps, unknown unknowns, the transformation of our well-worn and familiar spheres of battle into virtual and rhizomatic planes is catching us off-guard. In what James Der Derian has referred to as the Age of Disappearances, the ability to see the individual as a living human being is lost in the white noise of a constant stream of images and (dis)information. Our enemy is rendered a pixilated image, comprised of too many truths and realities for us to begin reconstructing and understanding. This foreboding futuristic narrative frames him as a faceless enemy: unfeeling, unthinking, soulless, and impossible. This mutant “Other” that we have turned into a zombie is thus even more obscure, more unknowable, yet something we still persist to define and identify.
Perhaps we should have paid more attention to films like The Ring, where with the presence of modern technology, turning off the TV no longer stops the enemy from coming in to haunt us. Though Der Derian proposes that there is an “accidental victim” who we terminate upon the shutting down of our machines, it is now the dark where we must search for our persons, our victims, our enemies. Just as images and their meanings are multiplied, Der Derian’s “accidental victim” is also multiplied. Where there was one, now there are two: he who emerges from the depths of the screen and us, on the other side, unaware of the nameless monsters we have produced.
If multi-perspectives and the ubiquity of images, knowledge and truths cannot guarantee safety or security in our world, maybe a return to both a real and fictional past can help us determine how to proceed in the future. Japan’s relationship with the U.S. at the conclusion of World War II has been well-documented in racist propaganda, the internment of Japanese-American citizens, and other domestic policies. As we literally saw our enemy defined by his physical features, we began equating this with an unquenchable thirst for imperial power and the desire to rival the Western nations. Thus, begins one example of this historical process of dehumanizing our enemy; though he possessed similar strength and goals, he was not and never would be one of us. The definitive declaration of American military power and dominance arrived with the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Though this act signaled the end of the war, it also served to erase the image of the Japanese from the American consciousness. Here, perhaps we can repeat McLuhan’s warning that “Visuality has lost its primacy.” Contrasted with the overflow of images from the Global War on Terror, it seems that the choices before us are of two extremes. Is there a middle ground to be discovered? And is it too late or have we already lost the war of the future? In the conclusion of Brooks’s zombie oral history, a Japanese survivor recalls the relationship between Japan and the West during World War II in the aftermath of World War Z. I think it speaks to a middle ground that we must begin approaching for our sake—and all other exterior, marginalized, zombie-ified “Others”:
His generation wanted to rule the world, and mine was content to let the world, and by the world I mean your country, rule us. Both paths led to the near destruction of our homeland. There has to be a better way, a middle path where we take responsibility for our own protection, but not so much that it inspires anxiety and hatred among our fellow nations. I can’t tell you if this is the right path; the future is too mountainous to see too far ahead.
 Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotringer, Crepuscular Dawn (London: MIT Press, 2002) 91.
 28 Days Later, dir. Danny Boyle, 2004.
 Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero, 1968.
 Elliott Stein, “The Dead Zones,” The Village Voice, 18-24 Jan. 2003.
 Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future (New York: Verso, 2007) 197.
 Ibid., 201.
 Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994) 5.
 Ibid., 45, 46.
 Ibid., 47.
 Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotringer, Crepuscular Dawn, 165.
 Ibid., 164.
 Ibid., 179.
 Edward Said. Covering Islam (New York: Vintage, 1997) 45.
 Ibid., xi-xii.
 Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: Introduction and Volume I (New York: Vintage, 1978) 139.
 Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended (New York: Picador, 1997) 242-243.
 Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 142.
 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (New York: Vintage, 1979) 90.
 Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended, 16.
 Ibid., 259.
 Ibid., 54.
 Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotringer, Crepuscular Dawn, 150.
 Paul Virilio, Ground Zero (London: Verso, 2002) 41.
 Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotringer, Crepuscular Dawn, 119.
 Paul Virilio, The Virilio Reader (Malden: Blackwell, 1998) 21.
 Paul Virilio, Desert Screen (London: Continuuum, 2005) 77.
 Paul Virilio and Sylvere Lotringer, Crepuscular Dawn, 166.
 Max Brooks, World War Z (New York: Crown, 2006) 103-104.
 James Der Derian, The Virilio Reader, 2.
 Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 341.
 Max Brooks, World War Z, 338-339.