- By Daniel W. Drezner
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.
Theories of International Politics and Zombies is now available for order, not pre-order, but order, at Amazon.com. Right now — blink and it will change — TIPZ is in the top 20 ranking among Amazon’s international relations books.
To celebrate, and given the ongoing hullabaloo over the Chinese way of parenting, the subsequent claim that the Wall Street Journal Got It Wrong, and the inevitable response by the Jewish mothering clan, let me offer the following zombie perspective:
Why Zombie Moms are Superior
(as told to Daniel W. Drezner behind protective glass)
A lot of people wonder how zombie parents raise such stereotypically ravenous kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many biters and gnawers, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters were never allowed to do:
• attend a sleepover with breathing humans
• have a playdate with humans
• be in a school play, unless the eating of humans was called for
• complain about not being in a school play with humans
• watch TV or play computer games, especially Left 4 Dead
• choose their own extracurricular activities — zombies have no extracurricular activities
• bite anything less than grade A braaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiinns
• not be the No. 1 student in keeping their teeth razor sharp
• play any instrument.
I’m using the term "zombie mother" loosely. I know some members of the Donner Party, West African, Papua New Guinean, Maori, and vampire parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers, almost always born in Haiti, who are not zombie mothers, by choice of their voodoo master or otherwise. I’m also using the term "human parents" loosely. Human parents come in all varieties and tastes….
Even when human parents think they’re being strict, they usually don’t come close to being zombies. For example, my human neighbors who consider themselves strict make their children bus their plate to the sink when they’ve finished dinner. Maybe. For a zombie mother, cleaning the plates is the easy part. It’s teaching the children to go forage for live human braaaaaaiiiiiiins, drag them back to the house, and then devour them in full that gets tough. They never like to finish the frontal lobe….
There are all these new books out there portraying zombie mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests. For their part, many zombies secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than humans, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it’s a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The zombies just have a totally different idea of how to do that.
Human parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the zombies believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see who they’re capable of eating, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no breather can ever take away.
And if none of that works, we will always be prepared to have our limbs shot off to secure a tasty braaaaaaiiiiiiin for our children. Would human parents to that for their kids? I didn’t think so.
The scary part of this is how little I had to do to adapt the source material for this post.
UPDATE: Chas Homans alerts me to the fact that Chinese mothers might have more incommon with zombie moms than I originally thought:
In [Lac Su’s] case, PTSD, which stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, could easily mean "parental trauma stress disorder." His parents, thinking he was "slow," subjected him to hours of supplemental tutoring — and when he still failed to meet their standards, tried a different kind of intellectual supplement, making him eat an entire cow brain every Saturday until he was eight years old (emphasis added).
Of course, zombie moms are way more unrelenting than Chinese moms. That kid would have had to consume brains every day in a zombie household.