Mar 12

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Perspectives – What’s Up With the Zombie Craze?

In the second edition of “Perspectives”, I present our second panelist – my cousin Jessica Gaddis.  Jessica is tired of people talking about politics and the economy all the time, so she wants to talk about subjects “off the beaten path”.  Jessica lives in Georgia.  She also lived for a time in New Jersey, but I won’t hold that against her.

(I may hold it against her that she forced me into a pro-zombie position, but, hey, that’s life in blog land.)


Zombie Schmombie

By Jessica Gaddis


jessica     Someone please explain to me the recent explosion of affection for zombies because I do not understand it. Zombies are disgusting, destructive and, oh yeah, they carry diseases. They’re not cute. They are rotting undead, ‘reanimated’ human corpses. Now they have evolved from just stumbling around slowly, bumping into things and only eating brains if they can catch someone to gun toting, weapon wielding maniacs with super speed and strength, who will stop at nothing to hunt down the living.  I just don’t get the obsession or love for these disgusting, disease infested “walking dead”. Dead people should stay dead- not rise again to wreak havoc on earth.
        I work in a store that sells makeup and costumes, and lots of people come in saying they want to be zombies. Few people don’t have a specific reason, they just want to be a zombie because, well, they” love” zombies. I am even seeing bumper stickers that say “I love Zombies”. Why? I am sorry to be the rain on your parade folks but zombies aren’t cool. ZOMBIES WANT TO HURT YOU. They essentially want to eat your brains and either kill you or turn you into one of them; in which case, if you make it as a zombie, chances are a living person will kill you anyway. How is that awesome? If the “zombiepocolypse” were to really happen and everyone who thinks they could survive got together in their little zombie fighting groups with their weapons and food supplies to go and fight off the zombies, it is almost a guarantee at least 1 person in each group would get killed. There is always that one person….If they manage not to get themselves killed right away, they will surely get bitten and then try to hide it from the rest of the group. We all know what happens after that. The story is always the same. 
       And what is with the thousands of movies now that glorify these heinous beings? Since “White Zombie” was introduced in 1932, the list of movies about zombies seems to grow with each decade, with at least 46 made in 2010 and 34 made in 2011 alone. It seems like any average person with no talent can land a role in a Zombie flick. With very few exceptions, most of these films star no name ‘actors’ and are pretty low budget. What happened to phenomenal films with extraordinary actors?  Zombie films all have the same plot line: some sort of a freak outbreak occurs, dead people become undead or living people become infected, a group of living people attempt to fight the zombies with a brilliant plan, a lot of people die, there are very few survivors, and we’re left wondering what happens to the hero at the end. Does it really end?  The story has been told to death- can we not come up with something new to talk about?

Zombies are the Bombie dot Combie

By David Allen

thinker     Switch to any television channel these days and chances are you will see an unthinking, unfeeling zombie wandering aimlessly around the screen.  In fact, the AMC Channel pretty much owes its entire existence to its popular series, The Walking Dead.  In addition, one of the most popular songs in recent years has been a little ditty by Zombie Nation, in which the best lyrics go something like:

Whoah oh oh oh oh, oh
Whoah oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Whoah oh, ah oh
(x 127, or blackout, whichever comes first)
So, what is all the fuss about zombies these days?  They are not pretty like Giada de Laurentiis.  They are not smart like Bill Gates.  They can’t dunk a basketball like Lebron James.  They can’t dance like Bristol Palin.  They can’t win pageants like that Honey Boo Boo child.  So, what’s up?  There has to be something that makes zombies special enough to spend time on.

     Its not like zombies are a new creation, either.  They’ve been around for about 200 years now.  Frankenstein’s monster was, arguably, the very first zombie, and the proud tradition has continued right up through the vice presidency of Al Gore.  Zombies first became really, really popular with the movie Night of the Living Dead in 1968, followed by its sequels Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and Return of the Living Dead.   Apparently, it is hard to keep a good zombie down.  And that is perhpas the most amazing thing about today’s zombie craze – it burned brightly in the 60s and 70s, went cool for a while, and now it is bigger than ever.  America has had other fads burn brightly for a while – pet rocks, gumby, hippies, mood rings, sea monkeys, smurfs, ewoks, care bears, pogs – but all of these faded, never to return.  Zombies came back, and I want to know why.

     After racking my brain, I think I finally have the answer.  The revival of zombies in our culture coincided with the rise of the Obama administration.  Thinking, feeling people like ourselves were suddenly besieged with masses of unthinking “Obambies” seeking to devour everything that we held dear.  We felt helpless, and we needed an outlet for our frustration and fears.  Enter shows like The Walking Dead, in which heroes that look like ourselves kick a little zombie butt and make us feel like that we can “take it to the man” too.   So, if zombies serve as a vent for our pent-up emotions, then I am all for it.  If zombies can make us better weather the Obama administration, then color me “pro-zombie”.

     On a related note, the success of The Walking Dead has generated a future spinoff, set in Chicago and called………………………The Voting Dead.

(I’ve been waiting a long time to use that joke.)


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