Over the past decade, it is undeniable that zombies have made a comeback into our culture. It seems you can’t turn a corner these days without running into a reference to a Zombie themed book, movie, graphic novel, or zombie apocalypse game. Which begs the question “Why are we as a culture now so obsessed with zombies?”Credit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en Bob Jagendorf
They Are The Culmination of Our Worst Fears.
We both fear and fear becoming the “Mindless Consumer”. Just look at any black friday sale in recent history and you will find examples of crowds of consumers milling around, groaning about not being able to get the deal they wanted. See how we, the human race, have been consuming natural resources at an alarmingly unsustainable rate. We fear we are just following the crowd, wondering if the decisions we make are a result of our true wishes or what some TV Advertisement told us to do. And if we aren’t the problem, then we see ourselves as that lone human survivor trapped in a world that belongs to the zombies. Which brings us to...
It Is Them or Us
When confronted with the question “Who are you?” most people would begin with “I am a Republican” or “Christian” or “Technician”. We want to see ourselves as part of a small group, who in turn exists separately from the rest of the world. Their entire viewpoint exists neatly divided into two categories: The group they belong to, and everyone else. Nothing will bring into sharper focus the “Them vs. Us” scenario than the zombie apocalypse. There are no more blurry lines, you are either a zombie or a human. Kill or be killed. Not to mention..
It Is Similar to Disasters We Are Already Familiar With
The zombie apocalypse depicted in movies is a raging force that no amount of preparation can hold at bay, much like events in life we already have to deal with. Everyday on the news there is a good chance you will be able to hear of a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, or tornado that has devastated countless lives.
Even the CDC has jumped on the zombie bandwagon by providing a “Zombie Preparedness Kit” available on their website. Althought if you look closely, you’ll notice that the preparedness kit would be essential in just about any disaster, not just a flesh eating monster outbreak.
Almost as common as our zombie fantasy is our fascination with viruses. How many times this week did you hear or read the word “Viral”? Out of the last 5 zombie movies you’ve seen, how many of them were a result of a rampant virus? You have aggression based viruses such as rabies and mad cow disease, coupled with the rapid spread of the spanish flu, and you are only one short mutation away from starting a rage-based apocalypse.
There are many reasons why the thought of a zombie outbreak might appeal to us as a culture. From acting out our fear to justification of our closed minds we just can’t seem to get enough of these mindless rotting monsters. Now lets all head to Walmart for some Christmas shopping!
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