All You Zombies
I have had this song in my head for a while now. It’s called “All You Zombies” by The Hooters (who as it turns out were Cyndi Lauper’s backup band for a while). I actually bought this album (on vinyl) in 1985, at the age of 14, because the song itself was actually very catchy, and the chorus is easy to remember. PLUS the band had awesome hair and wicked 80’s suits with trenchcoats!
The clip itself is an odd allegory of people working in a Freddy Kreuger-esque boiler-room, overseen by a Central-American looking military leader, but I fail to see what this has to do with the song. The reason this song has been in my head is, well yes, because it mentions zombies, and I have been working on trying to find a reason why zombies are so popular in today’s culture, and even more so, why I am watching so many zombie movies and TV shows at the moment.
But rather than give that away as I’m yet to formulate my position on it, let’s have a look at the song itself.
In this song, the “zombie” means the heathen, the non-believer, the lapsed Christian and the non-practicing Christian. The lyrics focus on two moments in the bible where God had apparently had enough of the rebellious people of Earth, and so he sends forth the 10 commandments and the biblical floods. The idea here is to prove that if you don’t believe and follow the laws of God as in the bible, then something bad will fall upon you:
“All you zombies hide your faces,
All you people in the streets,
All you sitting in high places,
The pieces gonna fall on you!
It’s interesting to see that this song was so popular in the 80’s, and it shows that the evangelical and biblical literalists are nothing new in American culture. When I was a child I really didn’t know what it was that The Hooters were trying to achieve, I just liked the song and was kinda fond of the smart-casual clothing (hey c’mon, I was 14 years old!) the puffy hair and shoulder-pads. oh and they played “the hooter” or “melodica” which was a novel instrument I thought was pretty cool.
What is scary is that people actually believe this stuff. The literal word of the bible is so fanciful that it can’t be believed on logic, on reason, or on a rational basis, it can only be believed by willful blindness and a need to believe. We, the “zombies” (suggesting that we follow blindly with no drive but to destroy the good in the world) are doomed in this worldview, and the song actually gives no hope of repeal from this fate.
This view that atheists, agnostics etc. are zombies actually is at odd with what I am seeing in the world, but there will be more on this in a later blog piece. Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past.