Modern Man's "humor" vocabulary consists of a short list of stillborn words and phrases, strung together to resemble a written equivalent of moldy cheese.
Someone, somewhere, has been trying to craft a perfect sentence to post on the Internet, probably on a rage face cartoon, using the greatest hits of idiot words: "epic," "winning," bacon, pirates, robots, dinosaurs, mustaches, "that's what she said," and something involving zombies, or even a zombie apocalypse, a scenario in which the end of the world is delivered by flesh-eating undead beings.
It will prove to be the worst thing ever written, and ironically will bring forth the eventual demise of man upon reading it. It will be The Ring of sentences, as a unicorn mounted by Chuck Norris will emerge from your Android phone, hover over your frozen corpse and repeat "EPIC FAIL."
The Internet's gut reaction to the horrific scene in Florida — in which a homeless man's face was ripped apart by a naked man reportedly under the influence of "bath salts" — was to type "something something OMG ZOMBIES." If you did that, congratulations, you're a big dummy. Of course the media exploited your idiocy, furiously reporting awful stories about humans doing equally horrific things to other humans, creating a narrative the "OMG ZOMBIES" crowd latched on to like a virus — infecting your weird uncle's Facebook page and that guy on Twitter you don't like but follow for some reason, all of whom examined their genius to write, smacking their hands together as if they were first to the "joke" in their moment of inspiration: "zombie apocalypse!"
The narrative continues — though I'm partially to blame — as a similar crime was reported in Louisiana's own Lafayette Parish, in which a man, presumably under the influence of bath salts, attacked a neighbor by biting into his face.
Whether these scenarios play into people's fantasies of hunkering down for a "zombie apocalypse," rarely has anyone considered, "Gee, these crimes may be caused by a failing war on drugs, or even, I don't know, an underfunded mental health services crisis in this country."
Or, "It's easy to marginalize poor, unhealthy people from my computer screen. I wonder how my state cares for the mentally ill?" Or, "Maybe this fantasyland I've created is a way for me to not have to deal with the realities I'm too ill-equipped to deal with because I spend all my time on Reddit."
Gambit has chronicled the weird war on "legal" drugs, Gov. Bobby Jindal's fast and furious attempt to ban all synthetic drug-like substances from head shops and gas stations across the state. But they're still turning up. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration put the substances on an emergency "ban" list, but many similar compounds make their way to the checkout counters of convenience stores across the country. A federal bill to really ban the stuff is pending in the House.
But perhaps more immediately, before you consider extending the "meme" of zombie jokes while staring blankly at crime scene photos of absolute carnage, maybe, you know, don't do that.
These are, and were, people, some with families, and they deserve better than some asshole on Twitter adding their two cents to their tragedy.