Saturday, 17 September 2011

The latest clever idea...

Another news item, it's a newsy kind of day. This time, my moral outrage is directed here:

HOLY WELLS, bridges, milestones, vernacular buildings, lime kilns and other industrial sites that post-date 1700 will be “left without any protection” following moves to “delist” them, the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland has claimed.
In what it described as a “very worrying proposal”, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is seeking to exclude all post-1700 archaeological and historical structures and sites from the national Record of Monuments and Places (RMP).

I'm mentally filing this one under What The Fucking Fuck; who the hell thought this is a good idea? There seems to be overwhelming objection and resistance to the move, which is mildly comforting. Hopefully it will force the proposals to be shelved. Or dumped in the bin, for preference.

Irish zombies?

Forget the nipple-obsessed Irish kings, now we have Irish zombies! Yay!

Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths -- evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.  

Although before we arrive at the zombies, vampires were considered (of course):

Initially, Read and colleagues thought they had found a Black Death-related burial ground. Remains of individuals buried at the end of the Middle Ages with stones stuck in their mouths have hinted at vampire-slaying rituals.
It was believed that these "vampire" individuals spread the plague by chewing on their shrouds after dying. In a time before germ theory, the stone in the mouth was then used as a disease-blocking trick.
Since the vampire phenomenon didn't emerge in European folklore until the 1500's, the archaeologists ruled out this theory for the 8th century skeletons.

To be fair here, as wacky as this bit might sound, the journalist does actually mention the proper word for it, revenants. But zombies and vampires? It's a perfect combination for a sensationalist article.

Except, of course...

In spite of the excitedly breathless opening paragraph, the archaeologists in question at no point during the course of the article ever mention the word 'zombie.' But of course, everybody loves zombies these days, so why not, if it gets people reading the article? The zombie word implies the eighth century Irish were concerned about the living dead rising with a penchant for other people's brains, though, whereas I think what the archaeologists were actually saying is that the dead might rise due to an unholy communion with Satan, or something, with the general intent of terrorising the local population or spreading disease (but not the living dead zombie kind). That's not something that necessarily implies eating other people's brains and turning the whole world into zombies.

But no. Zombies.