In the aftermath of the sensationalized ‘naked flesh-chomping zombie/cannibal’ story of Rudy Eugene, 31, of a Saturday origin and coming out of Miami (naturally), as it was, reassessments and re-calibrations are in order. When pulling back a bit, we have several noticeable layers to this shocking saga, one-off incident that could use some fleshing out, so to speak. Off the top of my head (not Outta-My-Head), I’m primarily curious about three subjects.
Did we get an accurate picture of what happened from news services covering the arbitrary cannibal imbroglio? 2. To put it simply, what was Rudy Eugene on? What drug induced the attack of a passive homeless man, Ronald Poppo, 65? 3. And finally, why did this disgustingly sad encounter between two down and outs go viral on the internet? And why was there a perceived humorous angle to this brutality and madness?
Well, you don’t think I’m going to try to answer these difficult questions, do you? I’m just bringing them up, thinking you’ll have them in mind as you re-research the google stream, for what may have occurred on the MacArthur Causeway last Saturday around 2:00 PM.
One item I still could use some clarification on, is what exactly was the sequence of how the Miami police came on the gory scene, that led to Officer Rivera shooting an obviously possessed man to death? Eyewitness Larry Vega gives us an intriguing earful!
And another important thing just came in my head (in the case of this story, it makes no difference whether it’s illogical or out of sequence from an earlier thread of argument), the news coverage became instantaneously sensational, immediately literary or cinematic without even trying.
The initial Miami Herald articles attempted classic journalism, but took on a literary fiction quality, because of the un-believability of the saga recollected! The harder they tried to be dry and impartial (Journalism), the more the reader believed this was an Onion version (or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, or Weekly World News).
This is the key to why The Miami Herald accounts went viral, garnering more than 2 million hits. A hungry for meaty news audience was mesmerized by the disconnect between a fact-based chronicle of two down-on-their-luck individuals engaged in a brawl, verses the true nature of what really transpired: a Night of the Living Dead Zombie/Cannibal attack was captured live on film! I’m not lying, you now must realize.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I saw the Chernobyl Diaries and kept thinking of this movie when I came across the Face-Eating story. It is conceivable to me that many Russian workers could have been left behind, then were horribly scorched by radiation burning from a Chernobyl nuclear reactor.
They then turned into George Romero Zombies and lingered around these spooky, abandoned tenements in search of human food. This could have happened, so I bought the movie (I had paid already, and wanted to get my money’s worth). Now I see, these images drifted over and mingled with my thoughts on Rudy Eugene (initially, we didn’t know his name), and misinformed me.
Did I want to take in the story wrong in the first place, anyway? Yes, I did. I wanted the news to be literary and cinematic, and it functioned in just this way, momentarily. But was it LSD or was it cocaine? Holy Cow! We’ll be reading more of this throughout the year, I believe.
Face-eating story just one more weird Miami tale – Fabiola Santiago – MiamiHerald.com
U.S. News – What caused naked face-chewing attack: Bath salts, LSD?