The zombie apocalypse is something imagined by movies and television shows like 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, and Walking Dead and when it's imagined, it's always a virus, a sickness, something that spreads from zombie to person. And yet, what if it wasn't? What if the real zombie apocalypse was actually started by income disparity, poverty, drug use, and ignored mental issues?
This is the question many of us should be asking ourselves after an incident in which a naked homeless man was found eating the face of another homeless man. He had to be shot multiple times before finally stopping. The victim is in critical condition and is said to have almost no face left. And the reason for the cannibalistic attack may have been "bath salts."
Bath salts are described by MSNBC as a drug with "amphetamine like chemicals" that has been known to incite violence. But it can't be JUST that.
In addition to drugs, the attacker Rudy Eugene, 31, was homeless and had been described as "hostile" by his ex-wife.
More from The Stir: Dangerous 'Zombie' Drug Could Turn You Into an Evil Slave
Though it isn't explicitly stated in any article, it does sound like he may have had some mental stability issues and certainly paranoia, which was likely heightened by drug use. This is no "zombie" movie. This is a real problem that is going on city streets all the time. It's amazing it has taken this long to happen.
Extreme poverty + mental issues + drug use = man eats man's face (or some variation thereof). It's no joke and it's not entertaining at all.
This is a truly horrifying story and it highlights very real problems going on in our urban centers. Homeless people attack homeless people all the time and the only reason this got press is because of the particularly gruesome details.
As a society we should be doing better than this. This is no entertaining zombie movie. But George Romero was always attempting to say something deeper about our culture with his movies whether it was attacking consumerism or something else. This is deeper, too. It highlights a real problem on our streets and it isn't very entertaining at all.
Do you think bath salts are to blame for this?
Image via Michael Melchiorre/Flickr