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.


  1. "No one here believes Dayton to be 'terminal'"?!?! "Ask participants to recall a bit of the decorum they had"?!?!

    You are wrong on both counts. It was the anarchy it deserved to be for a town bent on destroying itself. At least these people cared enough to make a statement about it...

  2. Technically, I'm only wrong on the first 'count', if we're counting. The words "No one" make a definitive statement. Clearly, some people think Dayton is terminal, so my statement of "No one" is, in fact, incorrect.

    As for the "decorum" segment; either I wrote it so poorly that many readers might have trouble comprehending the modest humor I attempted, or your state of mind at the time of reading prevented you from noticing that humor.

    In addressing your state of mind (something we all do when corresponding over distance, consciously or not), the only guidance I have must come from within the comment posted by you, "Anonymous." The following indicators lead me to believe you're upset with my post.

    A) Overuse of punctuation (?!?! x 2).
    B) A confrontational opening statement.
    C) Wild-eyed rhetoric
    1) "the anarchy it deserved to be"(?) - The zombie walk was an organized and publicized event. There was little anarchy about it. A few people went a little bit too far, as happens with most large gatherings.
    2) "a town bent on destroying itself"(?) - I'm sure you understand that a town doesn't do this to itself. The people of a town allow such things to happen. It's called apathy, a far cry from anarchy, or anything constructive.
    3) "cared enough to make a statement" - Funny how things work out, isn't it?
    a) The statement that might have been intended by the walk was undermined by mess-makers you seem to defend.
    b) Your statement, as written, indicates that you believe Dayton "deserved" to be kicked when it's down.

    I hope you feel better now that you've ranted here. The only thing you, "Anonymous", have achieved is to become an example of negativism for everyone else. Your nonsense ranting has only been cleared to serve as that bad example.

    Sensible and logical discussions are always welcome here, anonymous or otherwise.

    Thank You