Reaction Man versus the Marxist Zombie Army
Three times every year Aberhart Manning University in Brown Moose, Alberta hosts a series of debates on important and timely issues. The student body is expected to attend these debates but they are open to the public as well. Unlike most universities, AMU loves the most controversial topics and has a firm, long-standing, policy of making sure that both sides are fairly represented in the debate. The more controversial the topic, the more important this policy is.
Admirable as the university’s stand is, it has made them enemies. Foremost among these is the supervillain known as the Woke Millennial. Lurking in his secret lair, otherwise known as his parents’ basement, one day, he plotted and schemed about how he would make the university grovel before him.
“In exchange for my soul”, the Woke Millennial said, “Lucy has given me the power to generate a force bubble around me within which no intelligent thought can take place and so no ideas to which I object can be expressed. I call this my safe space.”
At this point a classical supervillain would have given off a deep, maniacal, laugh. The Woke Millennial instead gave a high-pitched, shrill, something that was half-way between a giggle and a cackle. As with everything else, they just don’t make supervillains the way they used to.
“The problem is that my power is limited. On my own I can only generate a safe space of a few meters in diameter around me. That is not near large enough, certainly not large enough to encompass the university, let alone the world. Lucy told me, however, that there was a way to make my safe space larger. I need to create an army of mindless zombies. The vacuums between their ears form echo chambers which augment my safe space generating rays. Fortunately for me, it is the nature of zombies to feed off the brains of those around them, creating even more zombies. It is also working in my favour, that university students are the easiest people in the world to turn into zombies, and that the perfect tool for doing so already exists and is in my possession.”
The Woke Millennial looked at his collection of The Complete Works of Karl Marx Annotated and Interpreted by the Frankfurt School.
“The average university student cannot read more than a sentence of this without turning into a mindless zombie. AMU is no ordinary university, however. There is a strong reactionary element there. I will need some protection while my zombie army is being created and while my safe space is still vulnerable. I know, I will call my Aunty Fa!”
The following day was scheduled to be the opening of the first of that year’s series of debates at AMU. The topic for the first debate was Donald the Orange: Good, Bad, or Ugly? The Good position was to be represented by right-wing author, columnist, and media personality, Angela Coltrane. Invited to speak for the Bad position was retired CBC commentator Paul Ladysditch. The Ugly side of things was to be taken up by the anti-racist activist and general left-wing loudmouth, “Borin’” Tinsel.
As the debate was about to begin the dean of AMU began to make his way to the podium to introduce the controversialists. He found his way barred by the Woke Millennial.
“What is your problem, young man?” the dean asked.
“First of all, I object to the terms “young” and “man.” You have imposed these age and gender labels on me. Secondly, I cannot allow this debate to take place. It is unacceptable.”
“It is a three-way debate, and two of the three are on your side! How can you find that objectionable?”
“Because Angela Coltrane is the other debater. Her views have no place in an academic setting. The vulnerable students of this university must not be exposed to any positive depiction of Donald the Orange.”
“This university thinks it best to allow its students to hear all sides and to trust them to evaluate them intelligently and come to their own conclusions.”
A lock of shock came over the Woke Millennial’s face.
“But the students are vulnerable. That is so irresponsible of you. Where is your compassion?”
The Woke Millennial began to cry and as his crocodile tears hit the floor they turned into a cloud of toxic gas from which the dean backed away in fear.
“Now Aunty Fa!”
The Woke Millennial’s Aunty Fa entered the auditorium dressed in a dark paramilitary uniform with her face hidden beneath a hood. Among the powers for which she had traded her soul to Lucy the gender confused devil was the ability to duplicate herself, which she promptly did. Her duplicates formed a barrier between the three invited to participate in the debate and the audience and then began to surround the auditorium. As they did so the Woke Millennial opened up his copy of the Frankfurt School annotated edition of Das Kapital and began to read aloud. As such inane lines as “In reality, the labourer belongs to capital before he has sold himself to capital” and “the value of a commodity represents human labour” fell on the ears of the students in the audience their brains began to evaporate and they became mindless zombies. The first zombies started repeating Marx’s banal tripe to the nearest non-turned students they could find, sucking their brains out and transforming them into zombies as well.
Before Aunty Fa had completely cut off the auditorium, however, preventing anyone from getting in or out, one student managed to slip out and get away. He was a member of the small traditionalist student group Christians United for Royalism and Monarchy Under God and against Egalitarianism and Other Nonsense. Members of this group wear its acronym as a badge of honour, observing that in an age that has gone mad through its obsession with progress the only sane response is to complain loudly about all the new-fangled ways and pine for the good old days. Their response to those who point out that the acronym is misspelled is to say, accurately enough, that their spelling is a centuries old alternative spelling which they deliberately chose because it was archaic. If pressed further, they will say “fine, the d is the d in the middle of Under.” This particular member’s name was Ritz Cracker. He was the youngest son of the youngest brother of Brother Moonpie the head monk of the holy and ancient Order of St. Michael of Marshmallow. (1)
“I need to contact my uncle Graham”, Ritz said as he fled the auditorium. “He will want to know about this and may know what to do about it.”
A short time later, after a very long distance call to a remote monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, followed by another very long distance call from that monastery back to Canada, Brother Whippet, who had decided to remain in Canada for a few weeks after administering the oath of knighthood to Evelyn Disraeli Dryden Bonald Burke Carey Filmer Eliot Hyde Maistre Salisbury Johnson and bestowing upon him the superhero name of Reaction Man, (2) contacted Eddy and let him know what was going down in Brown Moose.
“This is a job for Reaction Man! It will be your first battle, Eddy. Are you ready for this?”
“I don’t know. First I will have to defeat Aunty Fa before I can tackle the Woke Millennial and his zombie army. How am I going to do that?”
“I sent you a parcel. Surely you have received it by now?”
“Yes, it arrived yesterday. But all it contains is a mirror. How is that going to help?”
“It is the Mirror of Truth. Unmask Aunty Fa – the real Aunty Fa, not one of her duplicates – and make her gaze into it. She will see her true spirit reflected in it. Her spirit that is, not her soul, for she has none, having sold hers to Lucy. This will destroy her.”
“Then I guess I am ready.”
Eddy pointed at his cellphone and activated his superhero ability to turn back the clock. The phone transformed into an old-fashioned phone booth. Eddy then entered the booth to change into his Reaction Man costume. Emerging from the booth, he took off into the air, and faster than any airplane, flew to Brown Moose.
Reaction Man landed in front of the AMU auditorium which was now completely surrounded by Aunty Fa and her duplicates. They immediately began to throw epithets at him.
Reaction Man looked around at them all and wondered how he would ever be able to tell the real Aunty Fa apart from her duplicates. Then he noticed that one of them was talking to herself and that she was saying something that was more than just the one or two word examples of tiresome progressive billingsgate that otherwise seemed to be the limit to the Aunty Fa vocabulary.
“History is on our side! Reaction Man will never be able to defeat us. We will crush him and leave him on the trash heap of history”
“Aunty Fa! You have given yourself away!”
As quick as lightning, Reaction Man moved to Aunty Fa and, separating her from her duplicates, ripped off her mask to reveal the face of a notorious lobbyist and activist.
“Fernie Barber! I should have known that you were the one hiding behind that mask. So you are the Woke Millennial’s Aunty Fa!”
“Yes, Nazi, you have learned my identity, but you shall never tell anyone else. Woke’s zombies shall swallow your brains before you ever get the opportunity.”
“You sure like to throw that N word around Fernie! One would almost think you were projecting. Shall we find out?”
Reaction Man pulled out the Mirror of Truth and made Aunty Fa look into it. Reflected back at her was the infamous face of a man with a postage-stamp moustache, untidily parted hair, and a gaze that could either hypnotize or send you running away screaming in terror. Aunty Fa shrieked in agony!
“I’m literally Hitler!”
Confronted with the truth about herself, that in spirit it was she, not her enemies, who was the fascist, she melted away like the Wicked Witch of the West and all of her duplicates disappeared with her.
Reaction Man stepped in to the university auditorium. The Woke Millennial, seeing him, said:
“I don’t know how you defeated my Aunty, Reaction Man, but you will never defeat my Marxist zombies.”
The zombified students, with arms stretched out before them, began slowly moving towards Reaction Man, and uttering brain-dissolving phrases like:
“Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument” and “The essential difference between the various economic forms of society, between, for instance, a society based on slave-labour, and one based on wage-labour, lies only in the mode in which this surplus-labour is in each case extracted from the actual producer, the labourer.”
Reaction Man laughed.
“You will need to come up with something better than that mindless drivel if you want to steal my brain.”
Ritz Cracker, who had just arrived back on the scene, witnessed this.
“Is there any way of turning them back Reaction Man?”
“Fortunately, Ritz, I happen to know the cure for Marxism.”
“What is it, Reaction Man?”
“Only from a better Marx!”
Reaction Man pointed at the projection screen at the end of the auditorium and once again activated his ability to turn back the clock. A man appeared on the screen. He had very bushy eyebrows and a moustache, and was smoking a huge cigar. He had eyeglasses perched on a very large nose and his entire face looked like it was the inspiration for those fake nose/moustache/glasses combos that novelty shops used to sell – as, in fact, it was. He started to talk.
“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”
The zombies had turned to watch the screen. Signs of returning life began to flicker across their eyes. On the screen, Groucho continued to speak
“I’m not feeling very well. I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course.”
A snicker or two could be heard arising from the zombie army.
“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
Several more chuckles broke out among the zombies.
“I sent that club a wire stating, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will have me as a member.’”
A wave of laughter swept across the room, as Groucho’s humourous nonsense drove out Karl’s serious nonsense and restored the former zombies to life.
“Nooooooo” screamed the Woke Millennial! “Those jokes are offensive. They hurt my feelings. They must be silenc….”
The Woke Millennial never completed that word or that sentence for his safe space, which had grown to gargantuan proportions when it was augmented through the echo chambers of the zombies' empty heads, had contracted once the students’ brains had returned and the force of the shrinking safe space had knocked him into a coma.
“What happened to him, Reaction Man?” asked Ritz Cracker.
“The Woke Millennial has been put to sleep.”
“How did you think to use Groucho Marx to counter Karl Marx. A lot of people would have tried to answer those quotes with other quotes from Smith, Ricardo, Bastiat, Friedman, or Mises.”
“True, but that would not have served the purpose. I needed to cure the zombies, not turn them into a different kind of zombie.”
As the auditorium broke out in applause, Reaction Man announced “My work here is done” and turned to the dean and said “Now, you should probably get started on that debate which everyone is here for.” Then, he stepped out the door, took off, and flew home.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode in The Adventures of Reaction Man
(1) Brother Moonpie and the Order of St. Michael of Marshmallow first appear in Brother Moonpie and the Devil’s Apocalypse.
(2) See The Adventures of Reaction Man: Episode I – The Origin.
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