Not Zdorovetskiy. Image via lensfodder
Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, known on the Internet for filming women’s bikini-clad butts and then pestering them until they submit to kisses on the cheek, dressed up as a face-eating zombie and chased terrified Miami residents for this video, which is doing the whole viral thing today.
It’s “funny” because a week ago, a man named Rudy Eugene ate the face of another homeless man before being shot by police. No one knows how to deal with this incredibly absurd and sad news, which is why zombie jokes are now back in fashion. (We’re as guilty as anyone for this.)
But this? It’s incredibly stupid. His costume is terrible and he fails to convince anyone he’s an actual face-eating threat, so he rushes at groups of young black men and threatens them until they either fight back or run. Defending yourself against someone attacking you is a reasonable response, which is why the prank backfires.
In the description, Zdorovetskiy brags, “Very Dangerous Prank! Almost Got Shot at 2:00!” A similar prank would be dressing up as Chris Brown and attacking young women, then boasting about how you “Almost Got Maced!”
A few people brought up the connection to George Zimmerman and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense, a maddeningly vague statute, enacted by Jeb Bush in 2005, that permits deadly force in self-defense if people think it’s necessary. This was the get-out-of-jail-free card that let Zimmerman walk away from his killing of Trayvon Martin. (Here’s a great history and analysis of Stand Your Ground on the Miami Herald.)
Reasonably, someone could have shot Zombie Vitaly in self-defense and avoided prosecution — and for good reason. If, a week after a mentally unstable man viciously attacks someone and spreads fear throughout the city, another seemingly deranged guy covered in blood runs at you, it would be perfectly reasonable for you to “think it necessary” to defend yourself by any means necessary. Far more reasonable than Zimmerman’s defense.
Nope, not funny. Next video, please.
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