It’s 3:25am. I am about half-way through catching up with the latest episode of The Walking Dead. I find myself drifting. Bored. Questioning every logical move of the characters. Why go in that door? Why walk down that road? What the hell are these assholes doing?
Than emerges a revelation…an epiphany…a corner is turned….a shark is jumped.
It dawns on me that the entire concept of the zombie apocalypse is fucking stupid. I apologize for the language, but mentally malnourished subject matter must be engaged with the same level of nuance in which it was conceived.
The George A. Romero trilogy, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead, which introduced and popularized the zombie invasion as an horrific concept within pop culture, seemed wholly plausible as a threat to the cohesion of modern civilization. Perhaps, it was because they were feature length films, 2 or so hours in length. Mere snapshots of a world, or more specificall snapshots of small refugistic groups of survivors and their localized stories.
Or maybe Romero was just particularly talented at storytelling and painting a picture of a believable apocalyptic world. Maybe the idea itself was new, and the thought of the dead arising was too close to our deepest collective anxieties. The most famous zombie of all time was of course, Jesus. An infamous resurrection as myth or gospel depending on your perspective. The concept of “The Rapture”or “End Times” is burrowed deep within the Judeo-Christian ethos, and this ethos still dominates the Western world even if it’s grasp is loosening. A paranoia existed of a pandemic, of bioterrorism, a communistic nuclear threat. Just pure paranoia.
But it’s been a long time since the original Night of the Living Dead. Almost 50 years. It’s been over 30 years since the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, which may have had the biggest impact on pop culture’s introduction to zombies. And yet, it took til the last 5 years or so for these rotting, limping, groaning shitbags to truly overstay their welcome.
Let’s go down the list: The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil (and sequels), 28 Days Later (and sequels), World War Z, I Am Legend, Zombieland (which is very underrated), Warm Bodies, Planet Terror, and I’m sure a slew of B movies, video games, remakes, reboots that shall not be mentioned. The remake of Dawn of the Dead is actually my favorite zombie film, but that came out 10 years ago and feels like ancient history.
Everyone knows that Hollywood is out of ideas, and protecting their bottom line. Capitalists gotta capitalize, so I’m not gonna cry about it. But I think this downslope falls on the lap of the nerds, because we started sucking our own zombie dick, and stopped being smart and critical.
Let’s get something off the table first: If your zombies run…really fast, have super strength, and jump like Carl Weathers in Action Jackson, these are NOT zombies. These are catatonic, cannibalistic, purposeless superheroes. We should be studying their biology because their infection appears to be the result of some sort of cocktail of steroids, crystal meth, and anti-death ointment. These bastards aren’t even paying taxes. Here’s looking at you 28 Days Later, World War Z, Return of the Living Dead, and I Am Legend. Call them infected. Call them performance enhanced. Just don’t call them zombies.
zombie |ˈzämbē| noun • a person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings.
What really inspired this rant though is these losers on The Walking Dead. And I mean losers in the most literal sense. These dipshits lose everything. Their loved ones. Their homes..again and again and again. They’ve lost their dignity. Nothing good EVER happens.
But it doesn’t really make sense…at all. Humanity and civilization being lost because of zombies? These zombies. They are slow..as turtle shit. They are dumb. Mindless in fact. The can smell, walk, and bite. Maybe break through a door or window if there is enough of them. They have the enviable power of pushing. Revolutionary shit right there. Pushing and clawing your way through obstacles via flash mob.
When you make zombies as a central premise for a television show, the fabric of the tale begins to fall apart, because we have time to “live” in this world and the anti-realism begins to bleed through.
According to some lazy research I did online, the central characters on the show have been going for about 2 years. In 2 years, several things would have been figured out and systems would be put in place. You have to remember something about human beings. Our most powerful tool is our brain. Many animals including sharks, bears, lions, hippopotamus, alligators, and even chimps are vastly more physically strong and dangerous than humans. But we are the top of the food chain. Why? Because we invented spears, cannons, AR-15’s and the atom bomb. Once zombie’s lost their reasoning ability, they are just another dumb animal.
No one thought that there should be a standard armored, protection uniform for when people go outside? Body armor to protect against bites? Even a Hockey Goalie outfit would be better than what these assclowns on The Walking Dead are wearing. They are going out like they are dressed for a nature hike. They haven’t devised one specific weapon that works best against zombies, and make that the tool of choice for maximum effectiveness? Michonne seems pretty effective with her kitana. They haven’t developed combat protocol on the rules of engagement, and the best group fighting tactics? I would think many military would be among the survivors and teach others. They always seem surprised and unprepared when zombies show up. The people on this show haven’t evolved, haven’t learned. They are just more depressing as the program continues.
Humans are weak, physically. Our skin is soft. We freeze in the winter without shelter or clothing because we lost our fur. Our teeth can’t pierce tough animal hide because they’ve grown duller with less practical use and the evolution of tools.
But we have strategy. We have the long game. Our story is the story of David vs. Goliath, of 300 Spartans vs. a countless Persian Army. It’s the story of a world coalition defeating Hitler’s Nazi invasion; the greatest threat to peace and freedom we know in our recent history. This enemy has no weapons, no plan, no problem solving ability. After the initial surprise factor, humans would win fairly quick, because we are awesome at killing things. We just need to know where to point.
Stop insulting my intelligence pop culture.