New Orleans -- The world is undergoing zombification. It was gradual for a while, a few zombies here and there, mostly in high office where being a corpse in a suit was de rigueur. There were also common zombies, couch-potatoes who sat down and never got up, not even after the TV went off.

Still, that wasn't more zombies than I could take. It's becoming massive now. The other day in Colorado, 20,000 people showed up at a bake sale for Rush Limbaugh, calling themselves ditto-heads because they have no thoughts of their own, only a voice that says "Ditto!" every time Rush speaks.

There is an ex-zombie on the lecture circuit in Haiti who claims that he was a slave on a zombie farm supervised by a naked dwarf with a belt of tinkling bells. This dwarf was in charge of making sure the zombies, who were called "beef in the garden," toed the line. These zombies eventually revolted and escaped but in the rest of the world zombies are clamoring for admission.

There are degrees of zombiedom, of course. The ditto-heads are benign compared to the legions of fascist corpses coming out of their graves in Europe and killing everyone who doesn't speak their language. Nobody has the slightest idea on how to stop them. The escaped Haitian ex-zombie has no more suggestions on how to fix the problem than do Francois Mitterrand or Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, the dwarf goes on tinkling his bells.

Mass zombification isn't new: twice in this century suicidal mobs of followers gave up every thought in their heads for the sake of slogans that led them directly to mass graves. They were called "cannon fodder," another way to say "beef in the garden." The worst part about zombies raging unchecked is the slow paralysis they induce in people who aren't quite zombies yet. The rest of us un-zombies turn our heads hoping the ghouls will just go away. They won't. They like those tinkling bells.

Andrei Codrescu is editor of "Exquisite Corpse.

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