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Why the Fascination with the Zombie Apocalypse? By John Steele

     As the resident doomsayer here, I naturally have an interest in the cultural phenomenon of zombies and people’s fascination with the “walking dead.” Not only are there top-rating TV shows about this end of the world scenario, but there are zombie walks in most major cities, where people dress up like, well, zombies.

     An article by an English-lit kind of guy, Greg Garrett, who is Professor of English at Baylor University, and author of Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse, offers an explanation:

     If you were wondering what all the fuss was about, here is the good  prof. to tell you:

“If you are an American or European troubled by the flood of Syrian refugees, their slow steady advance might bear some of the menace of the inexorable approach of the undead. If you are a white male in the United States or United Kingdom, the steady loss of power and control and the rapidity of change you experience might feel like the relentless bad news of the Zombie Apocalypse. Whether you are concerned about the seemingly unstoppable spread of religious extremism, or by the growing incivility in public life, or by the relentless breakdown of our infrastructure, or by the science of global warming, all of these menaces bear a relationship to the inexorable advance of the Zombie Apocalypse.
Even for those of us who toil every day at jobs that never seem to be finished, or that will have to be done and redone for a seeming eternity, the never-ending stream of zombies bears a correspondence to real life. What is the unfinished business in your life? What is the task that keeps coming, no matter what? For me, the Zombie Apocalypse is doing dishes: at my house, a never-ending stream of dirty dishes have to be rinsed, placed in the dishwasher, removed from the dishwasher, and placed in cabinets, and just when I think they are done, down, they get back up and the whole exercise has to be performed all over again. Every day offers a new battle; every day is the same old thing, and it exhausts me. Thus do zombies come to stand in not only for exotic and world-threatening menaces, but for mundane exertion, the attack of everyday life that paradoxically can be best told by stories about the walking dead.”

     Ok, lots of yummy meaning and deep cultural significance here. Zombies are thus, sociological symbols of the dark forces seeking to destroy us. It seems that every era has their zombies, so let us hope that we can succeed against our forces of darkness:



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Friday, 29 May 2020
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