What’s with the Zombie craze? I think I have some answers.
Look around. It seems that wherever you turn, zombies are popping up in entertainment and pop culture like the unkillable bastards that they are. As someone who’s always loved zombies, I couldn’t be happier about this. I’m guessing you are too, since you follow Armand and his blog. But think back about ten or fifteen years ago: zombie lovers were treated like the bastard stepchildren of the entertainment world. The general public was being served up a steady diet of ghosts, vampires, and other paranormal creatures, but zombie lovers had little fresh meat to call their own, comparatively. Sure, there were a few little things we could feast on here and there, but like good zombies, we were unsatiable.
Fast forward to 2015. Zombies are all the rage these last few years, exploding to the forefront after quietly simmering in the background for over a decade. The Walking Dead show breaks cable viewership records with every new season, (suck it, vampires!) and new zombie entertainment is proliferating every day. And zombies seem to be dominating the Halloween horror landscape. Look at community event calendars most Octobers: zombie walks and zombie proms abound. And you can’t walk into a Halloween store with out getting slapped in the face with a disembodied zombie part.
So what’s with the insane zombie craze, you ask? How did we get here?
And is it bad to be obsessed with zombies?
I’ve been mulling it over for a long time, and I think I have an answer.
Of all the paranormal creatures in the entertainment landscape, zombies speak to our modern anxieties the most. We commute en masse to day jobs, most of which treat us like a commodity, something to be thrown away when we’re used up. Until then, we’re meat puppets: someone pulls the strings and we jump. Then we’re expected to go home at night and consume wildly because that’s what keeps the economy going. We consume goods that make us poor by saddling us with debt, we devour packaged foods that rot our bodies and brains, and we gulp-down fear-based media, whatever the powers that be feed us to keep us in line. We also have very real worries of global pandemic, and nuclear war. Zombie-themed media allows us to express all this angst in a way that’s safe. By playing zombie, we alert ourselves to the very real possibility that at any moment, someone can take our precious identities away from us. By method-acting the worst kind of mindlessness, we develop sympathy for ourselves as humans. The zombie experience helps us truly understand powerlessness, and it allows us to safely express our rage. Then we step out of our costumes, our TV shows, and our books, and we re-enter the world in a more conscious fashion. We say, okay, how do I fix this? What do I care about?
For me, interestingly, my foray into the zombie world encouraged me to learn more about meat-production, and I’ve since stopped eating so much meat from large animals, refusing to support the mega factory-farm system that is unhealthy for animals, humans, and the environment. I’ve also become more outspoken on issues of animal cruelty, by petitioning and making my voice heard on social media.
If your love of zombies has inspired you to do something for the world, I’d love to hear from you. Ping me on Twitter at @GG_Silverman and we’ll have a chat. Until then, keep enjoying your zombies. I know I will. J
G.G. Silverman is an award-winning author who lives just north of Seattle. Her first book, Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress, is a comedic feminist YA zombie novel. It’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local bookstore through IndieBound.org
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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!