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On Why I Like Zombies (& Other Apocalyptic Nonsense) December 28, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants, Wordy Business.
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Although most people I know understand that I am a contradiction in terms, a dreadful and brilliant mix of many different things, there are some parts of my multifaceted personality that seem to throw people off-balance. perhaps the strongest area of this is my ever-growing obsession with all things zombie and apocalypse related. The strange survivalist side to my nature confuses people, making them pitying or scornful, but above all a little confused.

The reasons for this obsession, however, aren’t quite as silly as you would assume. In fact, an interest in apocalypse tales and reminders of the eventual fragility of the human race can be argued as a good thing, a dosing of preparedness and reality that a generally oblivious person should probably try to have. So, what is it makes the whole topic quite so fascinating to an otherwise well-rounded and intelligent young woman?

Well, firstly apocalyptic tales tell us a huge amount about our societies. Paranoia is rife among people – we are always worrying about the next terrorist attack, the dangers of those evil germs on the flush handle, the possibilities that all of our friends actually hate us and are just putting up with us out of pity. A story depicting the end of the world lets us know about our weaknesses, the issues and threats that are most effecting the populous at that given time. Once upon a time, as the cold war bit deep and alien attacks were the topic of seemingly ever film, we could read much from the silent infiltration of our communities, the stealing and destruction of families. Now our apocalypse films show people’s ever-increasing nervousness about the effect our living is having on the world, with ice ages and rising sea levels. Of course, we can see divine retribution in all its forms throughout all generations, just to show that religion still has its deadly iron grasp on our hopes and fears.

Above and beyond societal observation, I adore Zombies for another reason. They make me feel scared. In a world so cushioned by life and all its accompanying paraphernalia, the idea of our own species turning against us in a feral Id-driven way is terrifying. I watch these films and see the zombies, how they are created, and they make me feel a kind of fear that I never encounter in everyday life. Even more to the point, this is a fear that is always tinged with a vague potential for it to actually one day be realised,  whether through genetic warfare, disease or brainwashing, and that makes experiencing it all the more exhilarating.

So, you see, there is a reason behind my coveting of Zombie films, behind my blind admiration for films that depict the end of days, environmental or otherwise. They make me feel more alive, through understanding the world I live in and through being reminded not to take it for granted. After all, you never know when the next vampire revolution will destroy your village, or when a tidal wave will wipe out civilisation as you know it.

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1. Esz - December 29, 2010

Ah I agree with you completely. I love zombies and apocalyptic films.
I even have a rough plan should the Zombie Apocalypse actually occur ;-)

The thing that most interests me about these stories is the break-down of society and what people will do when pushed to their ultimate extreme. It’s a great leveler and shows a person’s true nature.

I remember after hurricane Katrina, I found a blog by a man who had stayed in New Orleans during the disaster – He worked for an ISP or something and kept a live account of what was going on in the city after the disaster. He stayed in his office block with a bunch of other colleagues. The blog was fascinating as it was a real live account of what happens when there is no government – no (or very little) help around. The thing that I remember most was his comment on the police officers. He said something along the lines of ‘you could really tell who had joined the force to help people and who joined for power’.

I think this fascination ties into what I call my “Worst Case Scenario Program” where I think about the worst case and all possible outcomes for most actions and how I would react to those. Maybe it’s paranoia but I just like being prepared. Heh. Survivalist here too :-)


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