Sunday, June 07, 2009

The dead walk the streets of Dayton

As I promised earlier, here are a few photos of the zombie walk that took place on 5th Street. I don't know if anyone did a head count but there were certainly hundreds of the 'undead' shuffling, lurching, and staggering through the Oregon District late Friday night.
I'm not the biggest fan of horror films. I've seen my share of zombie flicks, including a showing of "Night of the Living Dead" for high school English credit in a Film Criticism class. My favorites are the lighter fare, "Return of the Living Dead", the "Evil Dead" films, and "Shaun of the Dead".

Sometime in 2008 Forbes magazine declared Dayton, Ohio to be among the nations fastest dying cities. I'm not sure if there was an underlying purpose to this parade of corpses, but if Forbes was correct there certainly couldn't have been a better place for it to happen. Dayton's history is rife with innovation and invention. No one here believes Dayton to be 'terminal', so, perhaps this corpse-capade is one way to express the down-but-not-out situation at this point in time. It's worth noting that event planners called for and included fighters of the undead, heroes of the living.
The zombies stopped traffic, tormented drivers, followed buses, drooled the blood of recent victims, dropped body parts, and even spat green zombie venom... whatever that is, leaving telltale signs of their passing all along the way. It was a fun sight to see but if such an event takes place again it would be worth a few minutes of the organizers time to ask participants to recall a bit of the decorum one hopes they had while among the living. The wedding guests of the "Corpse Bride" or the ghostly couple from "Beetle Juice" would make a fair example of the polite undead.

As I said before, this was fun to watch, and, as a haunted house veteran*, I'm even inclined to participate, but as an Oregon District businessman I must say, let's not 'bloody up' the ATMs, sidewalks, doors, windows, and walls. Out-of-town visitors (of which we have more than you might expect), who don't know what's up, might not know fake blood from the real thing when it's left to dry in public spaces overnight. That kind of image isn't at all helpful to a 'dying city'.

*Northmont Jaycees for a large part of the 1980s.