Saturday, October 27, 2012

Z Is For Zygotes

Just kidding. It's for zombies.

The brain-eating, flesh dropping, rotting walking dead that we all know and love.

Wait, you do love zombies, right? I hate to speak for you, but I naturally assumed everyone and their mother loves the living dead. Granted, my mother doesn't love the living dead. In fact, she doesn't like horror movies at all. It has something to do with them being unhealthy for our brains and creating bad vibes. Like you shouldn't see those horrible things, even if they are fake.

And I don't necessarily disagree with her. But it just so happens that horror is my favourite genre, right above romantic comedies, and zombies are my best mates. Old chums, really.

Except, there was a time when zombies weren't so popular. In the last decade, the undead have risen in the monster ranks. They have now been crowned king of the prom. No longer are they B-horror players. Movies, graphic novels, video games, television programs and books, zombies are saturating our entertainment field. And I'm not complaining. Honestly, I think it's gore-ific. People even gather together in different cities to do zombie-walks. Even more awesome, are the zombie themed scavenger hunts and obstacle courses out there.

But what is it about them that people love so much?

Well, I can only speak for myself, but it basically comes down to the fact that zombies are us. They are scary because we are only a bite or blood spatter away from fine-dining on our own siblings. Not only that, but zombies often bring with them the apocalypse. This is another fascinating prospect for mankind. The end of the world? Sign us up. We all fancy ourselves survivors. We envision ourselves with amazing weapons, badass clothing and an attitude that will get us out of anything. No one wants to confront the fact that they're most likely going to become zombie fodder.

And why are we so invested in the end of the world?

Firstly, it's because of all the free stuff. Imagine not having to pay for anything ever again? Secondly, I suspect it has something to do with guilt. Look at what we are doing to the world. There has to be some sort of fallout? It might as well be an economic crash, followed by a rare and lethal virus, and ending with a select few socially detached individuals kicking ass and taking names. That's why we are always to blame. Whether it is big business, government, military, or most likely, a nut bar scientists trying to create a virus that makes people angry as hell, we are all to blame because we stand by and let these things happen. So, what is our punishment? Other than the crippling guilt we experience on a day to day basis. Zombies. A lot of them. And they are hungry. For our brains.

In many ways, people subconsciously think we deserve the zombie apocalypse. Especially, Christians. Okay, okay, I was just teasing. Kind of. Zombies are in fact sort of biblical. Wait, you might say, zombies are in the bible? Well, kind of. At least the prediction that they're going to be making an appearance one day. I mean, Zechariah 14:12 clearly has some zomb-tastic undertones going on:

"And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths." 

What do we draw from this?

God is pissed people messed with Jerusalem. And, technically, still are. And zombies, or at least the idea of them, have been around for a long time. But where did the word, or term, 'zombie' come from? Dr. Google tells me this word is found in Haitian folklore and Voodoo. This folklore also tells us that zombies are walking corpses. Except, isn't that what vampires and mummies are too? Not to mention ghouls, which we all learned about when I did the riveting 'G' posting earlier this month. Monster genealogy is more complex than I anticipated. All of these creatures are different, but they are all dead corpses walking around.

To tell you the truth, I can only surmise they are different because of their location, the mythology that surrounds them, and probably they way they die and are brought back to life. It's all about location, location, location. And wound dressing. And who bit who.

A bit more folklore from Haiti...

Apparently, way over there in the Caribbean  it was thought that a sorcerer could steal the soul of someone who has died recently and bring them back to life to do their bidding. This would really cut down on the housework. I'd just give them a list of chores to do. All jokes aside, the Haitians don't believe the zombies are what pose the real danger here, but the master of the zombie. Interesting, no?

At the end of the day, zombies are entertaining. And I think we identify with them. The soulless drone, constantly on the go, no sleep, just work work work. It's how I feel Monday to Friday. And the zombie apocalypse has a certain appeal because we envision it to be this awesome world of looting and survival of the fittest. That's all fantasy. In reality, the majority of people would be curled in the foetal position, crying out for their mommies. Unfortunately, their mommies will most likely be trying to eat them.


rodgriff said...

You might be interested in my story "Why do Zombies lurch." It's on Readwave.

Greg Edwards said...

I haven't read your blog all month. The whole theme doesn't go down well with me these days (ever since our son died). Halloween is fucked up! Hopefully I will be able to enjoy your blog again starting... um, 2 September?

Tyson said...

Well, November probably some time. :)