Politics & Rants

So What's the Deal with Zombies Anyways?

One of our constant readers, who was persistent enough to actually get through our static wall, (despite our taking great pains to be... less than.... "reachable"), had the following question:

"Given the rise in Zombie shows and games in the recent past, do you think Zombies could be a metaphor for something in our culture? Why or why not?"
- Oramak

Ahhhh The Zombie Ragnarok. A delightful bit of mental masturbation that.

Well dear sir or ma'am, in our opinion, Zombies are a blank slate - a mindless, all consuming menace that lacks any personality or innate villainous intent. This lets the viewer project whatever they want to onto them. A person describing what a zombie represents gives you insight into their particular fears and what personality characteristics they hate/admire.

One fellow will find zombies an allegory for the maltreatment humans show one another due to race, creed or religion. Another sees zombies as a metaphor for the leeches and eaters in community running amok in a crisis - the grasshoppers overrunning the anthill so to speak. Still others will imagine them as a symbolism for a society that crushes creativity and individuality in favor of conformity of thought and action. The mummified brain-eaters are the perfect allegory machine for whatever the viewer wants to love/hate about the human condition. An empty canvas coupled with a human mind that loves to fashion a narrative equals a personalized yarn that mostly tells itself.

Zombie fads are additionally a manifestation of people rebelling against constraints. Boxes placed around them by society, family, co-workers, adulthood, reality, etc, which a "zombie Armageddon" would effectively destroy. Inhibitions could be dropped, baser urges indulged - dead rising makes for a pleasurable bit of narcissistic daydreaming. (Since fantasy is divorced from the actual painful, hungry, frightened and cold reality that accompanies the total collapse of all civility, morality and morays).

"Wouldn't it be cool to be Rick Grimes!?!" you exclaim.

In our opinion... for roughly... twenty or so odd minutes... until something or someone actually fights back and injures you. To top off your now festering wound, a torrential downpour commences. Being a good boyscout, you quickly seek shelter amid the overturned shelves and rubbish of the local Walmart, which just so happens to be devoid of useful goodies like antiseptics, painkillers and food. Did we mention sleeping two hours a night in the chill of a burned out big box store kinda sucks? Things look up after a bit... you stumble upon a can of Gourmet Fancy Feast - which you gleefully hammer open with a rock. Shortly thereafter, you quickly begin to miss toilet paper.

Finally, a zombie horde provides a fanciful place where pioneers, frontiersmen, warriors and adventurers can have real value to society again. In our increasingly urbanized world, there is less and less place for the rugged individualist, the alphas and sigmas, the scouts and the woodsmen. The rough handed laborer. These sorts of burly men are marginalized - their physical assets and skills are not well suited to the maneuverings of a pacified, gentry society. In the fantastic world of zombieland however, the roughneck's mindset, and what they know about building, sufficiency and survival again become useful, (dare we say, indispensable?), to a culture which has done it's level best to discard them.

PS: All that and... well... sometimes people just like to flip off the light upstairs, slouch in a recliner with some popcorn and watch a generic hero gleefully club through a shambling pack of mindless monstrosities with a cricket bat.