The Staying Power of the Undead
You can’t keep a good zombie down. At least not without a bullet to the head, and certainly not since 1968. Why does this fictional terror maintain its hold on our psyche across generations? Because zombies are relentless? Remorseless? Repellent? Nope.
Because they were once us. Sure, aliens and demons are scary. I’m not in a hurry to meet any of those. But there’s a separation between them and humanity, a line they cannot cross that places a subconscious, psychological distance between us and them. Zombies, however, were once human, and in the same horrific way that a serial killer was once a cute little Cub Scout next door. There’s a relatable reference point to see just how awful this creature has become.
But that brings on the ultimate zombie-inspired spine-tingle. You could become a zombie. The terror that physically hunts you while you are awake continues to psychologically, subconsciously hunt you as you sleep. Turning zombie separates us from our humanity, the only thing that places us above the beasts. The infection melds the horror of a diagnosis of ALS with the curse of having it never be fatal. Imagine an eternity spent existing as an undead monster, with no escape except through your execution by some other terrified human being, who you’d just as soon kill before he did you the favor. There’s no silver lining to this black cloud.
It is the sum of many fears we all harbor: aging, Alzheimer’s, cancer, the list goes on. All these afflictions eventually turn us into someone we never were before, and someone we definitely don’t want to be. And as with all of them, there is no return, no cure. How better to try and subjugate that fear than by dealing with it fictionally before we have to deal with it factually.
We are about a decade into America’s latest danse macabre with the zombie phenomenon. Is it about to burn out? After almost fifty years going strong, I’d say no.
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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!