2002-06-02 - Sargeant D, Icon of Race Relations, Zombie, Raconteur, Dies Again
By Scott Ian
Sargeant D, one of the most controversial figures of the last two decades, died again yesterday in Bayside, New York. Cause of death was given as cancer of the idea. For years, he was known as the mascot for joke metallers S.O.D. aka Stormtroopers Of Death, wherein actuality, Sargeant D spent most of his time fighting the inequities that zombies have to face.
Sargeant D, founder of the non-profit People For the Ethical Treatment of Zombies, or PETZ, devoted his time among the living to ending the injustices that zombies worldwide have had to endure for ages.
Always the whipping boys of vampires and assorted practicers of arcane black magic, zombies have always been relegated to the lowest rungs of supernatural existence.
Sargeant D, tired of playing the henchman to the more glamourous roles of wizard or vampire, started PETZ to make people aware of the zombies plight.
"The day of the shuffling, shambling, brain eating, dim witted zombie is over" said D in his speech to supporters outside of Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Mall in 1978, after a screening of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. "As if Night of the Living Dead wasn't bad enough, this movie perpetrates every stereotype there is about zombies."
"You living humans have had your last laugh at zombies expense. We shall no longer be the Polish joke of the monster world" D was quoted as saying, foreshadowing the politically incorrect, yet righteous path he would take until his death.
In 1985 he sold his likeness to S.O.D. Stormtroopers Of Death, in order to raise money for the organization. His relationship with S.O.D. was more than just financial. Sargeant D, being what S.O.D. guitarist Scott Ian called "a living, breathing pillar of hatred for all things living", was the sole inspiration for S.O.D.'s seminal crossover classic Speak English Or Die.
In 1986, much to the disdain of S.O.D., Sargeant D let his image be used for the zombie character in the major motion picture "House." Starring Richard Moll (Bull from Night Court) as an intelligent, dark, and very funny zombie who comes back to avenge his death. "House" was the first movie that in Sargeant D's word's "took us out of the dark ages of the buffoon-like zombie created by Ed Wood and Tor Johnson, and into a new age, a zombie rennaissance if you will, of smart, reactive, hip zombies of today."
Besides the occasional S.O.D. reunion album, Sargeant D had laid low and concentrated on PETZ throughout the nineties and into the new millenium.
His most recent work was as a consultant on the set of Blade 2, putting the super-vampires through bootcamp to heighten the realism needed for this blockbuster movie.
Pope John Paul II, a noted zombie himself, said, "His legacy shall live forever in our hearts, dead or alive."
Sargeant D was survived by no one.
2001-01-17 00:00 - Details