There is no doubt that Zombies are “hot” these days. Books (like mine), movies and even AMC (the Walking Dead) has gotten into the action. That doesn’t include the incredible popularity of the video game hits like Nazi Zombies (tucked into Call of Duty), and Resident Evil. There is even a Run for Your Life event and now a reality show devoted to apocalyptic survival (sans the Zombies of course). The World is having a love affair with the Zombie genre. Kind of incredible when you consider that zombies have been around since the 1930’s. George Romero of course resurrected it (no pun intended) in the late 60’s and while it comes and goes – currently it is in the “go stage.” The question is why? After all we’ve seen it all before and yet we still just can’t seem to get enough of them Zom’s.
Today I take a look at the question of “Why we can’t wait for the Zombie Apocalypse.” I wanted to consider our interest and(in some cases) downright obsession with the end of the world. Our history, our mythology and our religions are filled with such scenarios and there seems no topic more dreadful and yet more exciting then considering the “end of humans.” In this short article I first look at the literary view of our attraction to Zombies and then the funnier viewpoint.
We’ll start with the “higher” ground review.
1. There’s no magic only science
Modern science has provided us with so much, but everything comes with a cost. The cost of science was that abandonment of wonder and awe for our world. There’s no darkness anymore, there’s no thing we don’t know…or won’t know. The mystery has been replaced by the “studies,” the “facts,” the “rational.” We have grown so accustomed to answers from science and technology, that there is barely room for any magic in our lives. Our information and intelligence makes it easy to scoff at such monsters as Vampires and Werewolves…but somewhere…deep down…we miss them…the possibility of them. Zombies is the answer. We can combine science with magic and at least consider the possibility of “monsters” in our world. A virus is science and it is scientifically possible that a Zombie outbreak will occur. So in a way Zombies are just the rational person’s supernatural being.
2. We have no Myths or Legends
Today, when you hear the word “legend” used to describe an individual, that individual tends to be a athlete . Yes, we still have some heroes left (plenty from 9-11 and our soldiers) but with the exception of sports figures few individuals are called “legends.” Now, any one who knows me, understands I have very little interest in sports. Nothing against sports, I’m just not interested in following a “team” or an athlete. The problem for me is how does one who catches a football qualify as a legend? The same is true of our myths. We used to rely on such stories to define our world, our values and our place in the big picture. Today no such stories exist. The draw of the Zombie Apocalypse is that it appeals to our need for legends and myths. Both legends and myths help define the greatness of the human condition. This is the reason I enjoyed writing You & Me, Against the World. Yes there are infected hordes, but really it was an opportunity to use that back drop to examine things like love, loyalty, friendship and courage. The end of the world offers us something daily life doesn’t – the chance to consider that – at the end of the world…I will be epic…or at least someone will be.
3. We’re Bored
Technology…convenience…social media…it moves fast. It has to because we grow bored so quickly. There is just so little out there to excite us and everything seems to be a “been there, done that.” A few decades ago we watched in awe as Human kind landed on the moon. Today we don’t even want to fund NASA. People are bored with life. Yes individuals may do exciting things and live some perceived “fulfilled” existence, but over all what’s so exciting about the world we live in? What is left to discover? What’s the next big thing besides the IPhone 5? The Zombie Uprise is a promise of a new world. It means no more work, no more American Idol, no more trips to the store to buy everything you need to survive. In truth it offers an opportunity to be challenged again and challenged not with something as bland as “how do I pay the bills,” but with something that has meaning… our very survival.
The Funny Side – Of course there are a number of less noble and far funnier reasons that we can’t wait for the Zombie Apocalypse.
A. There are too many stupid people in the world
You could probably make a list of at least twenty people you think are basically too stupid to live. If not for the modern conveniences of life they’d probably already be dead. The world seems filled with idiots and the Zombie Apocalypse is an excellent way in which to prove our point, to cull the herd and to finally let natural selection take its course. Zombies are fitting since most stupid people are too dumb to die and they often try to suck the life out of you anyway, at least in this scenario you can give them the deserving bullet in the head.
B. We actually hate people
It’s true, we don’t just hate the stupid people. There are some pretty smart folks we hate too. Nasty little Fu#*%^s who deserve to have their faces torn off by the Zombie Horde. Think of the sheer joy of watching those people you despise surrounded by a bunch of hungry Zombies…calling to you to help. Ah the absolute bliss of letting nature take its course.
C. We really just want to kill some shit
Day after day we do things that don’t satiate are natural aggression. All of our frustrations have to be channeled towards “constructive” endeavors or we must choose the “proper” targets to vent all that mean, nasty by-product of our boring daily existence – politics, celebrity downfalls, consumer rage, judging others…all just a half hearted release of what we really want…to kill some shit! The Zombie Apocalypse is perfect for this release. An entire world where shooting former human beings in the head is a good thing. A place where we can be proud of our kill streak and where such violence makes us heroes instead of psychopaths.
Well for good reasons or for funny – the one thing we can be sure of is…we can’t wait for patient zero. After all there is nothing like a little death to give life value and meaning. And if you’re not one of us – one of the people who rubs their hands together in anticipation every time their is a report of a new “super-flu,” then that’s okay. Don’t sweat it – we have a bottle of water for you if you survive…and a bullet with your name on it if you don’t.