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Richard Buzzell is a supporter of independent media and an advocate of productive culture-bending. He enjoys using humor to disruptive effect. Some of his online articles have satirized such topics as, Jersey Shore, Twilight, and The Age Of Bimbocracy. His work has been positively reviewed by such agencies as, Midwest Book Review, Hartford Books Examiner, San Francisco Book Review, The U.S. Review of Books, Bookpleasures, The New Podler Review etc.
His current project is the screenplay "Johnny Nada" which is an adaptation of ZombieStop Parade. It is getting perilously close to getting into Annapurna Pictures.
He is a founding member of the New Edge Authors group which is a co-operative of contemporary fiction writers. They operate the site thecontemporaryedge.com
on Oct. 04, 2010 :
If you're looking for a book about the undead, "eat-your-brains" type of zombies, you'll need to keep looking. This book is all about the call to stop being a zombie, and to start thinking for yourself. Written in journal format by the unnamed narrator, "ZombieStop Parade," by ZombieStopperUno, is the story of two young men, and the evolution of their website, "ZombieStop." This website was created based on ideas developed early in their friendship, with the goal of helping other young people break free from the zombie-like thinking that characterizes the mentality of the general population. It's an awakening of sorts, for anyone who cares to listen.
There are several layers to this story. On the surface, we have the meat of the story, which involves looking with a more critical eye at the corporations and detaching from the zombie mentality that just accepts and never questions. This is also the story of a pair of friends, the evolution of their partnership, and the inequity of power between them. Then there is the "witch hunt," led by the FBI, to find the truth behind the face of this website. The FBI believes the truth to be much more violent and destructive than the partnership claims. Underneath all that, and of far more interest to me personally, is the narrator's journey to discover for himself what he believes, and at the same time, figure out exactly what he doesn't believe. Following his journal entries seems to highlight his struggle to break away from his own "zombie-like" mentality towards his best friend as he learns to become his own man.
Corky, the brains behind this operation, guides the direction and mission of the ZombieStop website, pulling his best friend, the narrator, along for the ride. The narrator offers little bits of advice here and there, but his influence is weak, and he mostly follows his trusted friend's lead. Along the way, the narrator finds himself becoming seduced by the media and some of the mythology ZombieStop fights against, including the fame that comes with being the face of ZombieStop. Even as he questions his own place in the partnership, his relationship with his critical girlfriend, and how he wants to portray himself to the FBI agent assigned to monitor the actions of ZombieStop, he is finding himself. With clever nicknames assigned to the various antagonists (can you recognize any?), and flashes of eloquent insight from the narrator, the journey through this book is a fun and enlightening one.
At the end, you find yourself wondering about the next step. What is the next step for Corky? The next step for the narrator? Most of all, you may just find yourself wondering what will be the next step.... for you. No longer blinded to the ever-present mythology, you just may find yourself thinking a little differently about your world.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Oct. 02, 2010 :
Author: Richard Buzzell
Ideas are something we all have. Some ideas create good situations and others bad. Ideas should not always be divulged to others because they could be misconstrued and twisted in favor of another person. Voice: Yours needs to be heard loud and clear. What happens when you believe that all people, especially teens, should voice their opinion and use the net as their microphone? The end result could be a site like Face Book or My Space or in this case ZombieStop a website set up by two twelve year old guys to get word out there, allow others to have discussions about whatever topics the creators or members choose to discuss in their forums, or create situations that cause a stir.
Someone decided to drop a financial news flash or bomb on the creators of this site stating that Seedy Bank, as our narrator states, has been sending money illegally to an offshore account for their own benefit. This statement alone and the hype it created sent one of its creators mind into action. Why not record the events that occurred as a result, the hits we receive and investigations they started into finding out who the person, calling himself the Jackal, might be that posted the information on this website. Author Richard Buzzell did not write a typical novel. He wrote a novel diary of events that relates in the words and voice of our narrator what occurred, the outcomes, ramifications, his co-founder Corky’s ideas and quirks and much more.
Are you a conformist? Do you always follow the rules and never deviate from the norm? You would not fit in with those on ZombieStop. Corky set up this site for young people to speak out, up and loud about their concerns for the future. Freethinking ideologies frighten many and although Corky’s purpose is to enlighten our youth about the differences between the Corporalist Elite and mainstream media thinking and viewing them as a threat to their marketing ideology. However, they are not the only ones who have taken an active role in trying to find out what is really behind the site’s creators and more. The FBI even assigned an agent to delve into their purpose and learn more about them since the firebombing of Corporate Divine Right and their possible link. Would Corky or any of his members create media hype just to get more hits on the site? Added to the mix is our narrator who seems to be getting himself into the limelight in spite of himself. Although Corky believes in free speech and thinking he now asks prospective new members to fill out a biography and other information before giving them a logon and password.
Although I realize that Corky does believe in what he is doing and allows members to voice their opinion in many ways he does show signs wanting to have full say and full control of many situations such as what happens in the Corky’s Club. Deciding on the music and not accepting requests is one sign of being controlling. This diary book or novel diary is definitely a total spoof on corporate America and much more.
Throughout the book there many who allude to the fact that ZombieStop was behind the firebombing of Corporate Divine Right’s house and many feel they are dangerous to the public and their opinions need to be investigated. There are those who feel they might be behind this and other incidents in order to get more hits on the site and generate more interest. However, that remains to be seen and much more happens as our narrator or ZombieStopperUno enters the limelight and many question why its creator prefers to stay in the background even though it is his voice and ideas that are narrator has typed or penned in his log or diary. Conspiracy theories are stated and voiced, economic spin doctors weigh in with their views and thoughts and what is the truth or real reason Corky stated this website.
Many characters appear and other creates more of a stir like Ad Nauseum and Wolverine. What happens when corporatists, media elites and others are faced with smart, intelligent x-rays or MRI’s that see through and give a more vivid picture their policies and viewpoints? Corky and ZombieStop questions and challenges the building blocks of our financial framework, our free marketing ideology and those who run our financial institutions and more. Many view this site as a dangerous and a threat to many marketist ideological viewpoints and cannot understand what the real purpose of this non-profit site can be.
Throughout the diary we do see a marked change in the attitude of our narrator and how he views his close friend and why he feels that he is living in his shadow at times and why Corky might not be so well adjusted as we think. Coming from a wealthy family who shuns those who have money, Corky dropped out of school along with our narrator and has decided to devote his life to fostering an avenue for the young to express their thoughts, views and ideas through their many forums and the website.
There are no real zombies in this book just those whose thoughts and ideas are controlled by others and spend their time spouting and repeating what the media wants them to know and understand, even if it is not true countered by those who are free thinkers and want to expand their minds and be more open to the ideas of others. Ideas can be hazardous to your health, mind and well being if not expressed and accepted in the right forum.
This is a book about greed, financial deceit, money and just what part cash grabbing plays in our lives and society. The voice of the narrator comes through loud and clear as you understand his frustrations with Corky, corporate America, being accused of conspiracies and how someone could create a site that allows its members and others to copy their information, distribute their thoughts and allow visitors free access.
ZombieStop gets tons of media coverage causing suspicions to rise and more interest from the FBI and many others. Added to the mix is FBI agent Sike who is relentless in her quest to uncover something illicit about what they are doing and is constantly questioning our narrator about things she has uncovered.
Defending his friend and not allowing anyone to dissuade him from how he feels about him our narrator continues on the same path as he started at the beginning only now, he has decided to publish his diary as a book. But, his friend or friend, Jill seems bent on making him feel like an underdog and now a totally freethinker. Stating that our narrator feels threatened by any other relationship Corky might have with someone else. Interesting to say the least. Lawsuits do not stop him and Ad Nauseam started many but Corky did not seem concerned or distracted by them or anything else that might focus negative attention on him and his site. Reasoning it out by feeling that the positive attention they were received bothered and annoyed the corporatists.
Finally, our narrator comes full circle with his true feelings about who he is, might be and whether his personality is truly that of ZombieStopperUno and whether he has lost sight of the real him. Referring to himself as part of Generation Whatever, these two young guys have raised many questions that we need to address today discussing and debating two sides of the coin: Our viewpoints and that of those with their own corporate views or ideas.
The end result will be what happens to these two in the future, the result of his book deal and its affect on their lives and ZombieStop. How will all of this turn out you decide for yourself after reading this novel diary.
Humor, sarcasm, thought provoking and much more, this is definitely one for all college students and those disenchanted with corporate America to read. These are my ideas and thoughts. They are honest, thought out and definitely not dangerous.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 21, 2010 :
Zombie Stop Parade is not about zombies; or is it? This story shows us how easily influenced we are by corporations and media. Even those who are against it and try to warn us of the dangers are sometimes seduced by the mythology. Zombie Stop Parade is very different from most of today's books. With an interesting format and unique subject it catches the readers attention right from the beginning. A hint of humor shows through with the clever names for our protagonist's "enemies", and while the subject is a serious one, I found myself smiling more than not as I read page after page. It is an engaging read from beginning to end.
(reviewed long after purchase)