I'd love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

Songtekst from A day in the life of the Beatles, boycotted by the BBC because of alleged references to drug use.

Stories about zombies originate from the world of Voodoo, as practiced on Haiti. Legend goes that corpses could be brought back to life, and be set to work for an evil master.

In 1937 the American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston tried to prove that this was no fairytale. According to her theory, zombies aren't actually dead bodies, but living human beings whose free will has been deactivated by psychoactive chemicals. Years later, the Canadian ethnobotanist Wade Davis came to the same conclusion. In 1985 he wrote The Serpent and the Rainbow, a book about his research in Haiti that became the basis for the movie of the same name, by Wes Craven in 1988.

Whether under the influence of mindexpanding drugs or not, it remains interesting to regard the daily routine to which we sometimes seem confined, as a form of slavery. Do we live by a preset norm, or is there room to deviate? Would we, if we could? Or are we at the mercy of some external logic, maybe even a higher power?

Free will, it is the Devil's Advocate in every discussion about what is essentially human. What do you choose, when presented with the red or blue pill, as was Neo in the movie the Matrix? Do you choose the blue pill, for a life in ignorant but comfortable bliss? Or do you choose the red pill, embracing naked, but possibly painful, truth?

Maybe there is a third pill, as Slavoj Žižek suggests in 'The perverts guide to cinema':

I want a third pill! So what is the third pill? Definitely not some kind of transcendental pill, which enables a fake fastfood religious experience. But a pill that would enable me to perceive, not the reality behind the illusion, but the reality in illusion itself.

What happens when you take a cliché about life in the suburbs and turn it upside down? Or rather: what happens when, in full possession of all faculties, you enter into the part of the zombie, and roam the streets with us? Turn on, tune in, and drop out!

Klaas van Gorkum and Iratxe Jaio



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