In June, Sara Haile-Mariam, Tara Kutz and others at Campus Progress taped a loose remake of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video at the Lincoln Memorial. Bright-eyed young people dressed as the walking dead and shambled around the Lincoln Memorial. They're no Philippines maximum-security prison cast, but they get the job done.
The Campus Progress spoof protests pundits like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who villainize young progressive types as shiftless "Obama zombies." As a parody, it's certainly speech that's safe from the grasp of Michael Jackson's lawyers. But as a demonstration? In January, U.S. District Judge John Bates said that a silent, dancing, libertarian flash mob organized by Brooke Oberwetter and 17 friends at the Jefforson Memorial violated the purpose of the place: a site to contemplate Jefferson's legacy without distraction.
Perhaps Lincoln is more tolerant of zombie speech. Or maybe U.S. Park Police never showed up while Campus Progress was filming.
"Iller: Obama Zombies Strikes Back" purports to be a non-partisan, get-out-the-vote outreach effort to boost youth participation in the midterm elections. Whether talking heads or agnostic voters take notice, one group is certain to respond: the dearly departed. The voice of the singer in the video is enough to raise the dead.