In response to a news story about several people being shot to death at a cafe in Seattle, a right-wing friend said that the victims should have had guns so they could have defended themselves. He said he wasn't blaming the victims, but that is precisely what he was doing. I thought that sort of thinking had died off a long time ago, but it seems it didn't.
Later that day, a member of the board of a nearby town said she does not want to preserve a few moderately priced rental properties so that schoolteachers, firemen, police officers, dental technicians, and other people who work in her town can live there. She told proponents of affordable housing that she wouldn't want to live anywhere she couldn't afford, and other people shouldn't either. She lives on her ancestral estate on a very pricey property by the lake.
The next day a shopkeeper at a gift shop was expressing concern that the dollar store that moved into the space next to hers would attract the wrong type of people to the town, make the town look lower class, and attract shoplifters. She seems not to read the police blotter, which reports on a regular basis about shoplifters stealing purses and clothes worth hundreds of dollars from the most expensive stores in town. She seemed to think that those shoplifters would change their M.O. and start stealing paper plates, dish soap, and greeting cards. She thought we would be better off with an upscale cupcake shop or a puppy apparel boutique.
That same day I overheard the guy who empties the trash barrels at the shopping center making jokes about wetbacks. The next day I sat in the barbershop and listened to the barber complain about the Goodwill resale store because it would bring undesirables into the town from the suburb next door.
I did not seek these people out. I just happened upon them as I went about my days. These were all middle-aged people. Their hair continues to grow, but their ideas have the stench of things dead long ago.
I am not afraid of pop-culture zombies with limbs akimbo and unfocused eyes. They are recognized easily enough, they move slowly, and, according to information I obtained on the Internet, they can be defeated by destroying their brains. I don't know what to do about the zombies around town, though. They sound as if their brains died a while back, along with their hearts.