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On Monsters

The thing about monsters is they’re never entirely alive or dead. Fans of the recently departed Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons, might taxonomize certain of them as undead, “living” in a mode where life overlaps death. They prowl about, loyal only to their appetites.

Edward Field’s poetry might contain more tender monsters, but as every zombie film and, more recently, the Alien v. Predator series show, monsters typically have trouble finding common cause and working together. There’s no solidarity to be had with a zombie with a hankering for some cerebellum.

Given the precarious living that monsters do, it’s appropriate how Hillary Clinton has been so recently classified. Her campaign, by all mathematical accounts, is dead. Yet, where one might expect death throes, there’s a renewed vigor and violence to her campaign. Hers is a campaign come back to life. And if Hillary’s a monster, then the appellation must necessarily be stretched to fit William. Bill’s own political life expired long ago. He lumbers on past his allotted two-terms unsatisfied by civilian life, fiending for the methadone of unofficial governance.

While this isn’t exactly the sense of monstrosity for which Samantha Powers called Clinton a monster, it is behind pundit Andrew Sullivan’s use of zombies in describing the Clintons. Here’s a choice passage from his recent piece in The Times Online, “The Clintons, a horror film that never ends”:

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their suprmacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win. And these days, in the kinetic pace of the YouTube campaign, they are like the new 28 Days Later zombies. They come at you really quickly, like bats out of hell. Or Ohio, anyway.

The other thing about monsters is they’re capable of doing bad things. In order for a Clinton win, a hoard of superdelegates would have to rise up and, in a dispatching of public will reminiscent of the judicial Bush installation of 2000, give her new life as nominee. Twice resuscitated, she would battle an already battle-broken McCain. That’s a horror film I hope I never have to watch.