Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 10

As promised, Zombies. I have to assume that our cultural shift in horror genre can only be connected to our innate collective consciousness feeling that the end is upon us. Here are some fun examples to prove that everything is Zombie right now.

First up, World War Z. Part history book, part science fiction, I may have to read this before the movie comes out.

This one is a TV series about Zombies. Well, it's about the people trying to not get eaten by the Zombies. I imagine the dialogue in a TV show about Zombies would be rather limited.

There is also a 5k obstacle course type run where part of the obstacle is avoiding getting eaten by zombies. It's harder than it sounds, trust me. These are definitely "48 hours zombies" not "night of the living dead zombies". There are a myriad of other examples from I Am Legend to remakes of the old classics. It's cool to be the undead these last couple years.

So what's up with the sudden fascination with Zombies? Personally, I think whatever the genre is at the time represents an underlying societal fear or issue. Aliens were the popular topic during the cold war. The 80s was the serial personality, i.e. Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers. The early 90s seemed to deal more with ghosts. The late 90s was all about vampires. Now its zombies. Zombie culture hasn't really been main stream since the 70s. So what is it about this decade and zombies. Zombies represent a fear of overwhelming odds. Something out there so big that there aren't heroes or saviors, just survivors. It evokes a sort of hopelessness for the future. Even if you don't die, the life awaiting you is a less than pleasant existence. I don't think it's a coincidence that the last time this was popular was in the 70s. There was never ending trouble in the middle east. People had lost pride in being American. There were gas shortages and high unemployment rates. Jimmy Carter was president and most people felt he was clueless as to how to fix what was wrong. There was a fatalism that expressed itself through story telling. The story was about Zombies, which is in essence Apocalyptic.It seems that we have returned to this post-modern, what's the use, mentality. People lost their houses, jobs, retirement investments. Essentially, our notion of the what the world was like ended. Hope has faded. The zombie is the fictional embodiment of despair.