The Path of Zombie Enlightenment
I’ve just started reading World War Z by Max Brooks and I am already loving it. I love post-apocalyptic stories. Not for the violence or grim, hopeless possibilities but because these stories can really dig into the morality of being human more than any other it seems.
Especially zombie stories.
Reading World War Z has taken me back to a blog post I had written for an old, old blog of mine regarding how zombies can show us the way to enlightenment. I decided to rehash some of those thoughts and expand.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the zombie genre has been going strong for the last few years and shows no sign of slowing down. The most popular gory installment right now is The Walking Dead (comics and television show though I am referencing the television version mostly due to a very dreamy Rick Grimes played by Andrew Lincoln).
I believe our attraction to the zombie genre is a subconscious one. I’ve been hearing one phrase over and over again these last few years, even using it myself – “waking up”. This phrase is often used when referring to a listless/apathetic society or person (the walking dead if you will) that is starting to finally show signs of life. In general the majority of people are starting to see that something isn’t quite right in this system of the have and have-nots and we are doing something about it. This is manifesting itself in global riots, protests and demonstrations. It is in our demand for organic and natural food, not the zombified food which fills the majority of our grocery stores (oooh, see how I did that?). Yes, we are indeed ‘waking up’.
The popularity of zombies are a great gauge of where we are as a society. We are drawn to this genre, thrilled and terrified all at once of the apocalyptic doom; invested in and emotionally attached to the band of survivors trying to balance their humanity with their instinct to survive at all costs. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon we saw a band of survivors ready to outlive, outlast and outplay a competing team of walking dead on Survivor: Zombie Island.
We fear nothing more than the bite that will put us on the path towards complete and utter darkness, for the life of the zombie is worse than death. The bite of the zombie leads us to a state of constant, mindless, uncontrollable hunger and decay. Our skin and our insides rot and yet the hunger doesn’t stop. And that hunger results in destruction of the world around us. Sound familiar?
If the world we perceive is a manifestation of the world within ourselves, then zombies are a reflection of our desire to ‘wake up’; to survive. We relate to the survivors because we are them and we want nothing more than to get back in touch with our humanity and begin anew.
This gives me great hope (and makes the book possibilities endless!).
Posted on November 22, 2012, in Geeking Out, General Musings & Thoughts and tagged andrew lincoln, humanity, max brooks, rick grimes, The Walking Dead, the zen of zombies, world war z, zombies. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.