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Zombie imagery a childish coping mechanism

To the editor:

In response to your Monday front-page story, “So, with the ‘zombie apocalypse’ upon us, how will you respond?”:

I have always been fascinated by the prevalence of doomsday images portrayed in the popular media. What unconscious urge, sentiment or anxiety might they represent?

I see the zombie mythos as a reflection of our all-pervasive discomfort within modern mass society. In these industrial cities, we truly are alone together, as most of the people we encounter on a daily basis (if you can call passing by without a glance encountering) we will never see again. It wasn’t long ago that everyone in a community knew one another, and the organic bonds that nurture human growth were rich in their depth and character. But the soulful intimacy that makes human interaction meaningful is all but absent in our mass society, breeding loneliness, distrust and a feeling of alienation even among neighbors.

I think that anthropologist Elizabeth Bird is onto something when she says in the article that the zombie myth “resonates in today’s world, with people feeling like we’re moving towards an ending.”

How poignant, with our society seemingly on a road to nowhere: the advents of new technologies offering little consolation, and even less gratification, as they lead us further from communal intimacy; the almost daily outbursts of unexpected violence, the school shootings, the family massacres – all symptoms of our collective malaise erupting in angst.

I hope we have the maturity to get beyond the subliminal crutch of “zombie” imagery, and see it for what it is: a childish coping mechanism for the widespread lack of humanity that we experience daily in our increasingly impersonal society. And even more importantly, that we might have an active hand in seeking our fulfillment as wholesome, soulful humans.

Cody Neyocks

Las Vegas

Nanny State rationale

To the editor:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to ban super-sized sugary sodas has resurrected the age-old debate over the role of the state in protecting the public health. In recent years, this debate has involved bicycle helmets, car seat belts, tobacco, trans fats, saturated fats in meat and dairy products, and sugar (or more aptly, high-fructose corn syrup). Public subsidies for tobacco, meat and dairy, and corn production added fuel to the debate.

I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. The national medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion. Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs, should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.

It’s said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Ironically, death can be deferred by taxing products that make us sick.

Tom Kinie

Las Vegas

Big city

To the editor:

On the matter of Laughlin incorporation, which will be decided in next week’s vote:

I have attended two meetings, one presenting the feasibility of such and the other on the arguments both for and against becoming a city. The feasibility studies presented show a $2 million to $4 million shortfall in funding, which indicates it is not feasible for Laughlin to become a city at this time. But my main concern: What will happen if the “yes” people get their way?

Right now we have an excellent police department, fire and emergency response department, 24-hour bus service, a maintenance department that repairs and keeps our roads free of debris, upgraded drinking water and sewage processing facilities, parks, free boat launching, a public swimming pool and a senior citizen meeting place – I could go on and on. All of these amenities are provided by Clark County with taxes paid by residents, businesses and casinos. If we become a city, how much of what we enjoy will be lost or cut back and what additional taxes will be required to support our current way of living?

Of greater importance, however, consider the following: Those who are pushing to become a city are bent on building on every available parcel of land. I recently spoke to a builder who told me that they were very close to getting Walgreen’s to build a store in Laughlin. A Walgreen’s must be either an anchor store in a strip mall or located at two main streets that intersect each other with a high volume of traffic – plus a minimum of 20,000 residents. That means 20,000 year-round residents, not including snowbirds. This would properly require an additional 10,000-plus more houses and apartments.

Those in Laughlin should take a good look across the river at Bullhead City, Ariz. You will see thousands of buildings spread out over the landscape. Is this what you want Laughlin to look like? Think of all the additional traffic and everything else that a city has to deal with. If this is what you want for Laughlin, then by all means vote for incorporation. If, however, you want to enjoy what we currently have and the open space, then vote no.

Joseph A. Mangels

Laughlin

Juvenile execution

To the editor:

In response to Richard J. Mundy’s Tuesday letter on Onion the dog, who killed a local toddler:

It has been established that the grandmother signed Henderson’s animal control release form under duress. She has since rescinded this release. Why not let the poor dog be adopted by the sanctuary trying to save it?

Onion is a juvenile. Do we execute juveniles in this country? Yes, this was a unfortunate incident. Let’s not compound it by killing the dog.

Henderson officials need to end this saga, release the dog to the sanctuary, free our overcrowded courts and get on with managing their city.

Gerald A. Brase

North Las Vegas

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