UPDATED

As of this writing in winter 2006, there is a paradox in American politics. On the one hand, we are fighting an unpopular war in Iraq–at least as measured by public opinion polls. (See below for more on this complex question.) On the other hand, there is no visible large-scale anti-war movement in the traditional sense. Many explanations are possible for such a seeming contradiction. Practically speaking, the lack of a draft relieves most young people of a sense of personal connection to the struggle in Iraq. But the Internet in general and blogs in particular have provided an outlet for activism and for creating organizational links between people distant from each other in space but sympathetic in politics, so that one could make a case that there is simply no longer a need to take to the streets. Perhaps the “whole world” is marching and watching via blogs, YouTube, Facebook and MySpace?

But there is another side to the story of war-related Internet activism: the propagation of the anti-anti-war cause. Proving that all blogging is global, the blogger “Zombie” of the blog Zombietime specializes in posting photographs taken at anti-war and anti-Bush protests, mainly in the San Francisco area. Images of men and women parading as skeletons, as suicide-bombers, bare-breasted or in drag, and sporting signs such as “Lesbians for Palestine,” “I love NY even more without the World Trade Center,” “Death to America,” and “Bush must Die” or variations thereof find gleeful reposting or hyperlinking throughout the conservative bloglands. Perhaps once upon a time a group of naked middle-aged and old people marching in Berkeley in support of “breasts, not bombs” would have attracted little or no press attention except locally. (This particular demonstration was indeed covered only in the alternative left press of San Francisco.) Among rightblogs, however, these images are repeated, discussed, and referred to as decisive visual evidence of, as one rightblogger put it, “the freaks and kooks” that make up the anti-war movement. Can blogging make or unmake a social movement? For the answer, watch the blogs, not the streets!

To cast further light on these phenomena I interviewed by e-mail “Zombie” of “Zombietime.”

When and why did you start ZT?

The whole thing started on February 16, 2003. I had just bought my first digital camera the day before, and I had not yet used it. Coincidentally, I had intended to go to an anti-war rally that Saturday, and I thought to myself — hey, why not bring the camera and test it out?

It seems a little hard to imagine in retrospect, but I was attending this anti-war rally in all sincerity, sympathizing with its goals. At least so I thought. I had been “left-wing” (for lack of a better term) all my life and had been to many protests of various sorts over the years. I was sort of going to this one out of habit. The Iraq War had not yet started — the goal of the protest was to prevent it.

Yet somewhere in the back of my mind I was feeling ambivalent. The events of 9/11 had kindled new political feelings in me, but they still weren’t completely formed, even over a year later. I was going for the purpose of protesting the war, but was that really how I felt? I was confused.

I walked to the protest in kind of a fugue state. And when I showed up, my world changed. I was shocked and mortified by the messages people were carrying. There were overtly anti-Semitic signs, banners blaming 9/11 on conspirators in the U.S. government, guys dressed up as suicide bombers, and all sorts of craziness. I took out my new camera and started clicking away. By the time the march was over, I was a changed person. If that was what the “Left” had become, then I wanted no part of it.

Keep in mind that at this stage, I still did not have a Web site. In fact, I knew absolutely nothing about how to make a Web page. Zero. But when I got home and uploaded my pictures to my computer, I thought to myself: if only everybody could see what I just saw. It would open people’s eyes. It was only then that the thought struck me to make a Web page with my photos on it. The Internet service provider I was using at the time offered free “users’ pages,” so I spent a day or two teaching myself a couple of rudimentary html codes, and I put the pictures on my “user page.”

Even after I had done that, however, no one knew about the page but me. A month or so later, I discovered (rather belatedly) the world of blogs, and when I started making my first comments online, I mentioned my photos. I was amazed at the reaction I got! People raved excitedly about them.

But, oddly, that was it. For a full year I didn’t go to any more protests, or take any more political pictures. I thought this single Web page of images was a one-time thing.

Then, a year later, on the evening of February 10, 2004. I was walking through the University of California campus in Berkeley, when by chance I passed by a building with a large crowd of people in front, apparently waiting to get inside to attend a lecture. But something was odd — various people in the crowd were screaming at each other. I also noticed that there were a lot of people wearing kaffiyehs and hijabs, and also people wearing yarmulkes. I stopped to watch for a while, and all the arguments seemed to be about Israel, terrorism, Islam, and so on. I asked someone what was going on, and they told me they were protesting an appearance by [foreign policy scholar] Daniel Pipes, who was scheduled to speak in just a few minutes. Now, at the time, I had never heard of Daniel Pipes. On a whim, I decided to stay since I had my camera with me that day. I recorded the arguments before the lecture, the disruption of the event itself, and the threatening behavior of the anti-Israel crowd afterward.

I figured out how to make a second Web page on my user site, and uploaded the pictures. This time, the response was explosive: various blogs themselves made posts out of my pictures, and linked to my page. I got tens of thousands of visitors within a few hours of putting the pictures online. Generally, most people’s blog entries at that time were simply a re-posted newspaper story, or a free-form rant. I discovered then that people were hungry for “original content,” the raw meat of newsmaking.

That was the day when I truly emerged as “zombie” — February 11, 2004, when my Pipes photos first got noticed by thousands of people. I experienced a “paradigm shift,” to use the technical term. From that day on, I fully embraced my “zombie” persona and went to document political events whenever I possibly could.

I didn’t actually start “zombietime” until later that year. The photo reports on my little free “user’s page” became immensely popular, and I overstepped my bandwidth limits exponentially. My ISP basically kicked me out for overloading the system, so in September of 2004 I launched “zombietime.com.” The word “zombietime” doesn’t mean anything — I was hoping to use simply “zombie.com” but obviously that had been taken long ago. So I just came up with a random memorable new word. The rest is history.

You post pics/items on many subjects, but what would you say is the main “theme” of the blog?

There are three themes. The first, obviously, is a platform to expose the craziness that has emerged on the left side of the political spectrum since 9/11. The second theme grew out of that: it became abundantly clear that my photo essays were revealing aspects of these rallies and events that were not being covered by the mainstream media. I would post photos and videos of extreme lunacy at some event, and then the “legitimate” media would come out with their own story on the same event, and it would be a total whitewash — they would hide what really went on. So more and more I made it my mission to expose not just went on at this or that rally, but to show how the media is biased in covering it. I emphasized my point with a mini-essay I called “Anatomy of a Photograph,” showing how a photo of a protester published in the San Francisco Chronicle was intentionally misleading. That mini-essay got a massive amount of attention, showing that the public is also hungry for incisive media analysis. So, that has become the second theme of zombietime — analyzing media bias. Thirdly, I have used zombietime and my reputation as zombie to promote the notion of “citizen journalism” — individual non-professionals who go out and report on the news themselves. I have encouraged and trained many “acolytes,” or people who have asked for advice on how to emulate what I do. My long-term goal is to create an army of “zombies”, exposing the truth around the world.

I’m writing a bit about the political education functions of blogs: what would a reader–say, one of my students–learn from ZT that they would NOT learn from mainstream media?

What you’ll learn from zombietime, hopefully, is that the media intentionally doesn’t give you the whole story. Every newspaper article has a “slant” that is often impossible to perceive, because the bias is created through the omission of critical information. Since 92% of reporters classify themselves as “liberal” (according to a survey I saw recently), the slant of stories is almost always “left-wing.”

Tell me about an event/incident that you covered that you think was very newsworthy, but was not covered in the local/national big media.

Well, as mentioned above, it’s not that I’m covering events that the MSM doesn’t cover at all. Frequently, there will be a small article or two about whatever event I’m covering, but the mainstream articles will leave out all the crucial information. A good example of this is the Tookie Williams execution vigil, on December 12, 2005. There was media from all over the world outside San Quentin that night — hundreds and hundreds of journalists from the print, television and online media. And yet not a single one of them reported on what I reported on: the violent assaults against the handful of anti-Tookie protesters in the crowd; the sheer insanity of many of the pro-Tookie crowd; the deification and glorification of Tookie by the speakers; and so on. My photo essay not only records what went on that night, but also records how the media purposely failed to report it.

Why do you think the protests you cover are largely absent from MSM?

Because they make the anti-war left look bad.

How do you “cover” protests?

There’s really nothing interesting to it. Living in the Bay Area as I do, it’s easy enough to find out about all the upcoming political events — they are all publicized widely. So, I’ll just note down in my mind an interesting upcoming event, and if when that day arrives I have some free time and the gumption to go out “zombie-ing,” I’ll grab my camera and head out to the protest. That’s all there is to it, really. Since I was a lifelong “liberal,” I effortlessly blend into the crowd, so that’s never a problem.

As for my regular daily schedule, or what my profession is, or how I operate at the rallies themselves — I can’t reveal that kind of info. Sorry!

There is a lot of work in my field (see below) on how protesters put themselves in a problematic situation where on one hand they WANT media attention and try to look/sound outrageous to get it, but then find themselves looking ridiculous on TV which may be counter productive to their cause. Do you get a sense that some of the folk you picture are putting on a show to shock or simply expressing what they really feel?

To be frank, I think that most of them are insane. Actually, literally insane. In the spring of 2004 there were a lot of soccer-mom types attending the anti-war rallies, but what happened is that they saw the virulence and irrationality of their fellow protesters, and never came back. Since that time, every subsequent protest has gotten smaller and smaller, as the sane people peeled away. By now, at the end of 2006, the only people that go to these rallies are the hardcore lunatics.

I know that may seem harsh, but I have lived in this milieu my whole life, and just about everyone I know is a radical. So I’m not speaking as an outsider, criticizing the “freaks.” Speaking as an insider, they really are out of their minds. Yes, that includes many of my friends as well — they may act normal one minute, and then go off the deep end the moment any political topic arises.

So: are the protesters simply trying to shock people, or are they expressing what they really feel? The answer is “Yes” to both, because what they really feel is the need to shock people. That is the essence and the extent of their emotions at these events. Adolescent fury.

What would you consider was your greatest picture-taking coup in protest coverage?

That’s a tough call. You’re putting me in a “Sophie’s Choice” dilemma here, to choose one of my “babies” at the expense of the others. I can’t do it! Too many to choose from. Just go to zombietime.com and choose your own favorites!

If you had to give advice to people planning to hold an anti-war rally–who want to be taken seriously, but not mix their message with silliness and irrelevancies–what would it be?

Well, to be frank, I don’t want them to be taken seriously, so I’m certainly not going to give them strategic advice. My first and only suggestion is: cancel the rally. Because the very essence of a rally as a political statement undermines your legitimacy in most people’s eyes. If you’re out in the street chanting about this or that, you are guaranteed to alienate most observers, merely by the form of your communication. Anti-establishment political rallies are tainted as a concept.

Update from Zombie responding to this post pre-publication: Regarding your introductory paragraph, it contains a few concepts and theses that, to me, unconsciously buy into the media’s false picture of contemporary history. You say, for example, “On the one hand, we are fighting an unpopular war in Iraq.” I disagree with the assumptions behind that statement in no fewer than three ways.Firstly, by my analysis, we are in fact no longer fighting a war in Iraq. The Iraq War lasted only a few weeks, during which time the US forces overran the country, defeated the Iraqi Army, and seized control of the government. War over. Everything that has happened since then is either a “mopping up” operation, pacification police work, and/or trying to suppress a separate internecine civil war that broke out two years afterward. So, though I know I’m going against commonly accepted wisdom, I would challenge the very concept that the US is fighting a war in Iraq right now at all.

Secondly, the media is now stating that the “war” (as they put it) is “unpopular,” based on the results of the mid-term elections, with the Democrats gaining some seats. The presumption is spouted everywhere that the election was a referendum on the “war” — a notion that I reject. Midterm elections are NOT national elections — they are a series of local elections all scheduled to happen at the same time. If one looks at each of the Democratic gains in Congress, one can see that about half the seats were picked up because the Republican candidate was involved in some kind of damaging scandal, and the votes were more about personality and integrity than each candidate’s political positions. And most of the remaining Democrats who won did so by running to the right of the Republican candidate. Only in a handful of cases was the Iraq “war” a campaign issue, and in those races, there was no clear victory for the anti-war side (Lamont lost to Lieberman, for example, and Webb and Allen ended in a virtual tie). The left-wing media wants us all to believe that the vote was a referendum against Bush, but I reject that as sheer “spin” with no basis in fact.

Lastly, To the extent that the “war” is “unpopular,” it’s not for the reasons that the media is portraying. There is an anti-war movement, to be sure, but that’s only half the equation. There’s another huge segment of the population that is unhappy with the way the war is conducted because it is being waged too lightly. They want to see the overwhelming use of force, not the PC pussyfooting around that is the current modus operandi. Most polls ask the misleading question, “Do you approve of the way Bush is conducting the war?” and they get a 60% to 65% “Yes, I disapprove” response. But those polls are purposely designed to NOT ask the follow-up question, “Do you think the war is being waged to forcefully or too lightly?” I’ve seen just a handful of polls that did ask follow-up questions of that sort, and they all revealed that half of the disgruntled respondents were to the right of Bush.

Editor’s response to Z’s response: You raise some topics that people will want to read more about. Indeed the very term “anti-war” is misleading because it conflates many variations of opinions about “a war.” During the Vietnam War, for example, a substantial amount of people “opposed” to the war said they were actually opposed to the WAY it was being fought–not hard enough! By the loose definition Barry Goldwater and Abbie Hoffman were anti-war…

For the complexities of what are “pro-war” and “anti-war” opinions and/or images see:

Kernell, S. (1978) “Explaining presidential popularity,” American Political Science Review, 72, 506-522.

Milstein, J. (1974) Dynamics of the Vietnam War: A Quantitative Analysis and Predictive Computer Simulation. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Mueller, J. (1971) “Trends in Popular Support for the Wars in Korea and Vietnam,” American Political Science Review 65: 358-75.

Mueller, J. (1973) War, Presidents, and Public Opinion. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Perlmutter, D.D. (1998) Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Framing Icons of Outrage in International Crises. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Perlmutter, D.D., & G.L. Wagner. (2004) “The Anatomy of a Photojournalistic Icon: Marginalization of Dissent in the Selection and Framing of ‘A Death in Genoa.’“ Visual Communication, 3(1): 91-108.

For more general treatments of the Vietnam-era anti-war movement see:

Garfinkle, A. (1995) Telltale hearts: The origins and impact of the Vietnam antiwar movement. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Gitlin, T. (2003 ed.) The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Update–01.01.07

Zombie makes the bigtime…BBC has offered “zombietiming” (indies debunking big media) as the big trend for media in 2007.
Originally posted December 5, 2006 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (45)

    Thanks zombie for bravely revealing the underbelly of the anti-war beast. I’m sickened by the perpetual whitewash the lamestream media continues to conduct in hopes of further legitimizing the anti-war movement.

    I’ve immensely enjoyed you past work through LGF links. It was even an education for me.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHankmeister

    The Anatommy of a Photograph link is wrong. It should be http://www.zombietime.com/sf_rally_september_24_2005/anatomy_of_a_photograph/
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGavriel
    GO Zombie! You’re one of the pioneers of citizen journalism. Thanks for sharing your story and keep up the good work!
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichealJOrdan

    Thanks Zombie. I think you are a genius.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwrenchwench
    Thanks Zombie. I guess what I like about you most is that you are so very sane. Like you, I am surrounded by lunatics. As Sarte said in his play, No Exit, “Hell is other people.”
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMentat

    “Well, to be frank, I don’t want them to be taken seriously, so I’m certainly not going to give them strategic advice. My first and only suggestion is: cancel the rally. Because the very essence of a rally as a political statement undermines your legitimacy in most people’s eyes.”

    Seriously, the dumbest statement I’ve ever read on the internets.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDave

    Prof. Perlmutter, thank you for your largely transparent presentation of Zombie, and especially for posting Zombie’s criticism of your own introductory remarks. That shows real class.
    Keep it up (so to speak), Zombie!
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHaakon B. Dahl

    Dave — nothing dumb about that statement at all. Most ordinary people in this country are not big political-rally-goers. Anti-war rallies are truly not taken seriously by the majority of Americans. The extreme leftist foolishness documented by zombie in rally after rally on his blog amounts to futile, stupid-looking gestures, and indeed masturbatory exercises on the part of rally-goers, if I may be frank, rather than effective, serious-minded politics of any sort.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFederico

    zombie is a true hero! In the best sense of that word. Bravo!

    When it takes a regular person on the street to document the folly of the left, well, so much for “journalistic integrity.” Lies, spin, and bullsh*t are all we are fed by our journalist betters. And that truly s*cks, and makes Thomas Jefferson cause Global Warming all by himself with his whirlwind spinning in his grave at such a modern Fourth Estate catastrophe.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRickZ

    Typically dumb internet statement, ‘Dave’, you think your opponent has said something dumb but you’re too dumb to explain why.

    Go put on a giant puppet head and prance around a drum circle, genius.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmos

    Hi Dave,

    You would have been better finishing off the quote:

    “If you’re out in the street chanting about this or that, you are guaranteed to alienate most observers, merely by the form of your communication. Anti-establishment political rallies are tainted as a concept.”

    …before throwing stones at Zombie.

    I think his point is that “political rallies” tend to alienate the public unless they are done very respectfully.

    I also live in the SF / Bay Area and I think that most of those wacky rallies are held for the media’s benefit and as a rallying point for crazy groups rather than as a way to advocate their idea. I regularly stay along the Judah Metro line and GG Park and many locals can’t stand the parades and rallies. They really disrupt regular life. In other words, they’re obnoxious.

    I have been to respectful well-run rallies, but 99.9% of the “left-wing” anti-war rallies I’ve observed are run horribly and offend locals and are a circus to passers-by and tourists. Only some elements of the mainstream media seem to really support them.

    With respect and Shalom,
    Mr. Smelchak.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Smelchak

    A bad photographer can make anything look bad.

    A good photographer can make anything look good.

    A dishonest photographer takes photos of what he hates. That way if he fails, he can justify his failure by claiming it was about politics all along.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCartier Bresson

    Zombie, as a journalistic “first through the door” you’ve earned my respect. Dont quit, and don’t forget to rotate out a bit. From personal experience, “number one” always catches the most heat.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIronside

    It was zombie’s images from Israel Day @ Pac Bell Park that were invaluable to me…I was laughed at when I’d describe SF hippie creeps as brain washed Jew haters…zombie’s camera never lies. I don’t miss gay ol’ fist fuckin’ Frisco for a minute. Queers for Pali$tine, indeed.
    Thanks zombie…be well.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterex-SF

    Thank you Zombie.

    VIVA LA ANTI-GRAMSCIAN REVOLUCION!
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBabbaZee

    A bad photographer can make anything look bad.

    A good photographer can make anything look good.

    A dishonest photographer takes photos of what he hates. That way if he fails, he can justify his failure by claiming it was about politics all along.
    Cartier Bresson

    And a good, honest photographer captures that which is.

    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

    And a good, honest photographer captures that which is (in his own mind).

    I once drove past the spot in New Mexico where Ansel Adams photographed “Moonrise Hernandez County”. I was amazed that it looked nothing like the beautiful scene in Adams’ photograph. I could have easily “proven” that the whole area was ugly by pulling out my camera phone and taking a few bad snapshots.

    An anti-war rally is basically a 4th of July Parade turned inside out, a black mass to patriotism’s Holy Communion. Whether he worships the devil or worships God, the truely astute observer finds fascination in both.

    Sometimes bad snaps are simply bad snaps.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCartier Bresson

    All I want to know is if Zombie’s a man or woman.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIDFDave

    There’s some criticism of Zombie here, and it shouldn’t be discounted out of hand – that is, we can’t be sure of whether Zombieland embellishes the Left-wing fascism and illogical, vicious absurdity that seems to drive protest mobs. Even though the ISO repeatedly pops up on his video and pictoral narratives, we can’t be certain that these protests are stage-managed by Bolshevik Trotskyites and terrorist sympathizers.

    I for one can vouch for Zombie’s chronicle of these events, but I too could be biased – perhaps even a plant sent here by the neo-cons. So I suggest – strongly – that people who think events like this are spontaneous and populated by pacifists should go to one. There’s no entry fee, and you can find out much of what the underlying philosophy is of the organisers through the ubiquitous book tables I’ve seen at each and every one of them. I especially suggest looking up pamphlets on the FARC and PKK, which seem to be especially popular at the moment.

    Don’t take one man’s word for it – or the MSM, for that matter. Go out and see for yourself. And take a few pictures while you’re at it – the more intensely these people are chronicled and exposed, the better.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDrCruel

    Zombietime has hit it right on: public opinion is constantly being manipulated by MSM editing, in which much truth is omitted to herd said opinion in the preferred direction of the Editors.

    As he points out, even the polls carefully avoid asking questions whose answers would reflect positions antithetical to preferred leftie storylines.

    And most importantly of all, the whole business of overdramatized street demonstrations is a creation of the MSM’s football-game coverage. Who can scream the loudest, galumph around in the wierdest puppet, break the most windows, block the most public throughfares, call the nastiest names? He/she/it gets the coverage, and the Editors omit countervailing information to paint the screaming meemies as righteous in their cause.

    Never does MSM go behind the scenes of such riots to dig up detailed information on their financing and organization. No, they’re all ‘spontaneous’ creations of the ‘people’. No photos of carefully organized bus convoys coming from four states away – no details of whole brigades of lawyers prepared to gum up the local court systems till doomsday, asserting the ‘victimization’ of the street-blockers and window-breakers – no onsite tapes of the vicious screaming of epithets at the local police. Might just spoil the effect when delivered to everyone’s living room.

    All success and best wishes to Zombietime. And many thanks for spelling it out so clearly.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterInsufficiently Sensitive

    Sometimes bad snaps are simply bad snaps.

    And sometimes pictures of circus freaks, kooks, and “regular folks” carrying signs with messages of anti-Semitism, convoluted Bush/Israel=Fascism/Nazism, and other inane ramblings really are pictures of circus freaks, kooks, and “regular folks” carrying signs with messages of anti-Semitism, convoluted Bush/Israel=Fascism/Nazism, and other inane ramblings.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

    “There’s no entry fee, and you can find out much of what the underlying philosophy is of the organisers through the ubiquitous book tables I’ve seen at each and every one of them.”

    Why take photographs of a book table set up by a Marxist sect when you can simply go to one of their websites and look at the books they’re selling?

    Isn’t that a bit like taking a photo of a newspaper left on a table at Starbucks to “expose” what it says in the newspaper instead of just folding the newspaper up and taking it home?
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCartier Bresson

    I totally identify with your “political Awakening”. I could also have considered myself a “leftist”, (later a friend told me it was really Libertarianism) and i was opposed to the war in Iraq. But as things have progressed from the Cartoon Jihad to Hizbullah to the bombings of people to the french “youth riots” combined with the general self- hatred and loathing of the left i realised i could never identify with them again. They are Traitors who hate Bush more than they love the truth. Islamism is the new Chic-Leftism and to me that makes them hypocrytes and betrayers of any ideals they pretend to espouse. Instead of CHE tee-shirts they should just come out and wear Osama bin laden t-shirts. They care more about obeying Sharia law than most Muslims do. People like LGF and Zombie have opened my eyes to the truth about the left. Good job. People are waking up.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEl Matamoro

    “And sometimes pictures of circus freaks, kooks, and “regular folks” carrying signs with messages of anti-Semitism, convoluted Bush/Israel=Fascism/Nazism, and other inane ramblings really are pictures of circus freaks, kooks, and “regular folks” carrying signs with messages of anti-Semitism, convoluted Bush/Israel=Fascism/Nazism, and other inane ramblings.”

    And if this seems boring to you maybe that’s because it is. Attempts to shock middle-America are really a little beside the point when every other teenage kid in Middle-America owns Marilyn Manson CDs.

    Perhaps “Zombie’s” snapshots are shocking to some people because they’re primitive. Most seem badly framed, badly lit. There’s no fill flash in bright sunlight. Many of the photos are just reproductions of signs that that the groups he’s trying to “expose” have already put up on the internet in high-res .pdf format with the instructions that you hould “download and distribute widely”.

    I seem to remember a music video put out by Fiona Appel back in the late 90s. It had a certain shock value because it was a professionally done video recreating the lighting, poses, and camera angles of a bad amateur video. So it gave you the impression that you were voyeuristically dropping in on some teenage kids in their basement when their parents weren’t home.

    But if you looked more closely you saw the professional hand behind the deception.

    The reason “Borat” is such a smash hit isn’t the fact that Sascha Baron Cohen “exposes” anti-semitism or sexism or homophobia in unsuspecting Americans. We all know that’s out there. It’s the process by which he tricks them into saying what they don’t really want us to know about them. It would be a bit beside the point to go to a Fred Phelps demo to expose their homophobia. It’s the professional hand behind the deception, not the surface of the deception.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCartier Bresson

    Thanks, Zombie! I appreciate your work. It pains me greatly to see what the left has become. It has abandoned its interest in human rights and freedom and embraced the worst abusers of the principles they claim to espouse. I think something of what the left once stood for stands in your reference to “citizen journalism.” Keep up the good work!
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEd

    Cartier Bresson

    No, it’s not boring. I don’t know how you arrived at that idea. My point is not how professional zombie’s pics are or the lighting, but rather that Zombie actually reveals the anti-war protestors, whereas the MSM doesn’t.

    As far as your comment:
    Why take photographs of a book table set up by a Marxist sect when you can simply go to one of their websites and look at the books they’re selling?

    I thought your point was to prompt indivduals to attend these anti-war rallies for themselves, rather than relying upon the “biased” photos of a third party. By actually collecting some of the literature available at the numerous tables, doesn’t this allow the attendee to see for him/herself who these participants really are? By actually seeing who many of these insane, adolescent folks are, doesn’t this help to expose and more clearly define what passes for the anti-war movement?
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

    For many years, leftist rallies have tended to Full Monty extremism. Web postings –photos or text– are irrelevent to “rally” coverage, because kook-fringe groupthink feeds on itself: Context is key, these demonstrators’ mass-public dynamic is a prerequisite for exhibiting preposterous excess.

    Such demented spectacles illustrate a socio-cultural Gresham’s Law: Bad conduct drives out good. As in education, poor students alienate good teachers, leaving poor teachers to alienate good students. In political-rally terms, extremists alienate audiences, leaving extremist audiences alienated from non-kook rally participants. The process feeds on itself.

    Media reporting of extreme-left events, purposefully staged as alienating spectacles, has about it a snide complicity, an air of smutty in-group collusion, at odds with every principle of intellectual or moral integrity. Under no circumstances listen to or watch conventional “reporting” on any political topic– it will be dishonest, free of all context and perspective, incurious… above all, adamantly opposed to self-exposure. Where half-truths if not outright lies predominate, the real story always lies precisely in what remains obscure.

    Thus Zombietime performs a crucial service. Such “street photography” possesses the overwhelming virtue of verifiable authenticity. As ongoing AP and Reuters scandals demonstrate, today’s “news organizations” have become mere propaganda tools for deranged Leftists in general, for terrorist anti-Americanism in particular. If media horror-shows ever cease-and-desist, credit will go to Zombie and his compeers, whose decent reportage renders contemporary institutionalized drivel unsupportable.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

    For many years, leftist rallies have tended to Full Monty extremism. Web postings –photos or text– are irrelevent to “rally” coverage, because kook-fringe groupthink feeds on itself: Context is key, these demonstrators’ mass-public dynamic is a prerequisite for exhibiting preposterous excess.

    Such demented spectacles illustrate a socio-cultural Gresham’s Law: Bad conduct drives out good. As in education, poor students alienate good teachers, leaving poor teachers to alienate good students. In political-rally terms, extremists alienate audiences, leaving extremist audiences alienated from non-kook rally participants.

    Media reporting of extreme-left events, purposefully staged as alienating spectacles, has about it a snide complicity, an air of smutty in-group collusion, at odds with every principle of intellectual or moral integrity. Under no circumstances listen to or watch conventional “reporting” on any political topic– it will be dishonest, free of all context and perspective, incurious… above all, adamantly opposed to self-exposure. Where half-truths if not outright lies predominate, the real story always lies precisely in what remains obscure.

    Thus Zombietime performs a crucial service. Such “street photography” possesses the overwhelming virtue of verifiable authenticity. As ongoing AP and Reuters scandals demonstrate, today’s “news organizations” have become mere propaganda tools for deranged Leftists in general, for terrorist anti-Americanism in particular. If media horror-shows ever cease-and-desist, credit will go to Zombie and his compeers, whose decent reportage renders contemporary institutionalized drivel unsupportable.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

    “Most seem badly framed, badly lit. There’s no fill flash in bright sunlight.”

    You mean that pictures taken by a citizen journalist aren’t up to the standards of photo-studio glamour shots? Shocking.

    Golly, Cartier, you’re a genius.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJasyn Jones

    Thanks to Zombie. He had such a simple idea yet it had a huge impact in exposing the insane left for what they really are.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob

    Cartier:

    Stop walking in epistemological circles: make a claim and support it.

    Merely describing the sensation of intellectual disquiet gets old rather quickly.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristan

    Some people think if they drop a lot of names that others don’t feel like looking up or researching and make a lot of non sequitur comments, it will hurt Zombie’s feelings or discredit the work posted on the zombietime.com website. I’m glad Zombie reveals the whackos for what they are; if more people saw the depth of depravity out there, they’d be disgusted too. Hmm, maybe I’ll show my mom what San Fagcisco is all about these days.
    December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterExZonie

    As always, Zombie if you EVER need to make a hasty retreat, we’re ready here at RANCHO-COSTA-PLENTY in the Deep Canyons beyond Bezerkely.

    Welcome Mat is Always out for you, on this stop of the Zombie underground Railroad…

    …and if you have pursuers, of course the Guns are always Loaded, I’ve been admiring the force of the Double 00 Buckshot this season, and the Dobermans, Trixie & Psycho are always, always hungry.

    And this is to let all your “admirers” know, who send Strange emails to Zombietime.com

    We serve lunch daily, Sage,PORK & Apple Pie, with a very unhealthy dollup of sour cream.

    Mmmmmmmm…mmmmmm.

    Your pal Havoc and the Havoc Clan
    Privates First Class in the Zombietime army.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHavoc

    Hey zombie! I want to mention one more major contribution this hero of mine has made – the diligent, thorough analysis of the pics coming out of this last Lebanon/Israeli conflict. True yeoman’s work.

    *smooch*

    grayp
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergrayp

    Zombie, you may have walked into that demonstration in a “fugue state”, but you left that event one conscious Zombie! I’ve been waking up right along side you – and let me tell you now, your viewpoint has kept me awake and your words/images have inspired me to keep up a vigorous search for truth – right through the self-elected morally elite media.

    Your final three points re: the war in Iraq are compelling and, I believe, correct – We won when the people voted.

    Incidentally, I think your work will help build a healthy Democratic party purpose, which can only strengthen our whole political system.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

    Zombietime is a excellent site that portrays the lunacy of the Far Left. Rarely does the MSM show the Far Left for what it really is: A fringe group that has its own agenda. The real kicker is this: Zombietime’s in-depth display of Hezbollah’s propaganda and how the MSM used the doctored photos without question really focuses on MSM bias against the Israelis during their conflict with Hezbollah and how most of the world was suckered into believing Hezbollah.

    Thank you, Zombietime, for taking the time to show the fallacies of the Far Left and the MSM.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDesert Storm Vet

    I saw the pics from the San Quentin ‘festival’ a few weeks ago, and thought at that time that Zombie was right on target. They are either crazy or scam artists.

    Especially now, when the ‘liberals’ are trying to lament that the MSM is controlled by big corporations and the government (right wing). It’s a crock of s**t, and they know it. But without having someone like Zombie to document it, it is rather difficult to disprove.

    The absurd should be disproven by its absurdity, but the left accepts absurity as fact these days. It’s not like arguing facts as much as arguing hallucinations.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercoondog

    I second Havoc’s offer, zombie – if you need solace in the gateway to the California red counties, Flyboy and I have the plane fueled and ready for you.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCarolina Girl
    What Zombie is doing is brave, inspirational, and needful.

    Thanx, man!
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPete(Detroit)

    The MSM shows perhaps one shot from these rallies, and zombie shows dozens, at multiple points, different times, closeups to distance shots.

    But the true believers want to cover their eyes and plug their ears and insist that zombie is the one spinning the portrayal of what the protests are like.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSilhouette

    It’s quite obvious that Zombie is a white female. First off her pictures suck. I don’t mean her subjects suck, but the way she takes her pictures. They’re poorly shot and she doesn’t know how to use the light that’s available. A male would eventually try to progress his picture taking ability. Zombie’s quite satistfied with pictures that look like they were shot by my 78 year old grandma with MS.

    Of course she’s going to be able to find crazy people in San Francisco attending a rally. But, saying that they’re a part of the majority on the left is retarded. She knows it’s retarded and that’s why she doesn’t want to be identified. Look, I could say that you guys on the right are all homophobes because a couple of people in this comment section (only forty comments)have made “faggy jokes” about San Francisco but I’m not going to assume that because i’m awesome.

    anyway, if she were a white male, she’d be proud of her inane pictures and ramblings just like that goulish freak Charles Johnson at LGF.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDave

    Zombie is trying to capture the full dimensions of the situation (the walking video of pro-choicers is a rich example of what we never see in the mainstream media). Zombie is a growing authority of such multi-dimensional truth — so we needs must be chilled to the bone by his authoritative summation of those we face:

    “To be frank, I think that most of them are insane. Actually, literally insane.”

    Just like MSM washing away the fact that radical Islam is out to kill us, MSM will never tell us this one, salient, sad and frightening dimension of the left in our country.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

    Monsieur C. B. sez:

    “Why take photographs of a book table set up by a Marxist sect when you can simply go to one of their websites and look at the books they’re selling?”

    Because photos have immediacy not found on a web page, that’s why. I thought you’d know that, being an ersatz famous photog, and all…..
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHarry Bergeron

    “Anti-establishment political rallies are tainted as a concept.”

    Uh..wha? Since when?
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterep2k

    Hi Zombie, just wanted to say thanks for all your work. I too live and have grown up here in the Bay Area. your description of how you left the left is identical to mine. However, my exposure to the utter hatred of the left happened during the first Gulf War. I left that rally disgusted and was hardened in my position once I got home and watched the news literally lie to the public in their reporting.
    December 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFluoric

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