What We Mean When We Talk About Zombies
They just won’t die: a look at the social significance of the greatest monsters of all time.
by Raina Kelly (October 27, 2010)
At a time when the average person doesn’t know what to fear most—terrorism, global warming, pandemics like cholera, economic collapse, random gun violence, rogue nuclear weapons—zombies are the monster du jour, encompassing all those things. Forget about vampires; they’re for porn addicts and tweens. And werewolves? Well, finding those hairy beasts sexy just smacks of bestiality. Only zombies allow us to dream of saving the world a la Mad Max, and remind us that most of the time, we’re just shabby, mindless drones.
And now news of “robosigners” and political “robocalls” is adding relevance to the current zombie revival, epitomized by AMC zombie drama series The Walking Dead, debuting on Halloween, just after IFC’s marathon of the British zombie miniseries The Dead Set. Both are hot off the successful resurgence of zombies on the big screen that began with 28 Days Later and the Resident Evil series and continued with Shaun of the Dead, a remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, and new movies from the master, Romero, himself.
You think this is a game? In 2007, Matt Mogk founded the Zombie Research Association with world-renowned neuroscientists and academics from Harvard. These brainiacs are “dedicated to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences.” The group’s mission statement starts with affirming zombies as real. It continues with: “The zombie pandemic is coming. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Enthusiastic debate about zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.”
Read the entire article at Newsweek: The Social Significance of Zombies