October 17, 2011

Why Do We Love Zombies So Much?

Call me a deranged psycho but that photo up there looks like a good time. I mean who wouldn't want to take a fire ax to a zombie's head? If you answered "no, not me, that sounds awful," you're a saint and you're in the minority, congrats, because a lot of other people are in the gore splattering group. With the "The Walking Dead" back on TV, zombies are so hot right now and the reasons for this are slightly disturbing.

Hold up, hold up, all you doubters out there who still don't believe zombies are popular. Consider that megastar Brad Pitt is shooting a huge end of the world zombie flick right now, zombie video games continue to sell, World Zombie Day was October 8th, and zombie novels get mad love on NPR. It's easy to see that people are really into the flesh eating hordes.

But being a zombie would suck right? You just walk around all day aimlessly with no soul, only living to eat (I'm still waiting for someone to equate being a zombie with being wicked drunk/high and craving pizza, but that seems like a stretch.) Compared to vampires which basically are super powerful violence/sex machines and werewolves which are ferocious beasts, zombies are pretty bland.

Which makes me believe that people aren't into zombies, they're into the circumstances that accompany them. And that first circumstance of the zombie narrative is the crumbling of society. This appeals to us because it's the ultimate test? How long could you really hang without your Iphone? Are the escape plans you bullshit about with your buddies really that good? Do I really have some ancient hunter-gather power in DNA waiting to be released? In the face of the dead rising from the grave with brain munchies, how do I stack up against everyone else? Forget facebook friend counts and twitter followers, this is the ultimate validation! Would I go down like a rookie or would I be leading the resistance chopping off undead heads?

Ahh, chopping off heads, that's a a part of it. When watching any gory zombie tale, I find myself thinking, alright alright, keep talking, just get to the zombie slaying. See the thing with killing zombies is that you're killing human bodies without consequence. Kill a human you're a murderer, kill a "zombiebified" human you're a hero. It would be be different if the zombies had green blood or something, but they always bleed red. To sum it up, zombie violence is just a twisted excuse for crazy violence on your fellow man (even if he's half dead).

Will this concern make stop watching "The Walking Dead" and playing zombie video games? No, but it will make me approach zombie-mania with a little more trepidation. I'll let these zombie maniacs obsess over their shows and games, meanwhile I'll be stocking up on supplies and training with my axe. After all, I really need to be the hero when "Z" day comes.

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