It’s More Than Just The Headbashing

zombieWhat is it about zombies? Why are so many people fascinated by them? A Stanford University literary researcher studied the question for her doctoral thesis.

Yes. Her doctoral thesis. Subsequently, she will attempt to disprove the stereotype that academics are nerds.

According to Angela Becerra Vidergar, the fascination with the zombie apocalypse can be traced to the advent of nuclear warfare during World War II.

It seems the horrific events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the terrible violence of the Holocaust and other WWII events brought up disturbing realizations about the human capacity for violence. People no longer imagine a positive future, as they did in prior ages such as the Enlightenment or the Industrial Revolution.

Interesting theory. Another interesting theory I’d read somewhere else on the Internets suggests that zombies are a representation of our tendency to act against our own self-interest; that the zombies’ relentless drive to consume human brains symbolizes humanity’s consumption of the world’s resources to the point of near devestation.

To be honest, I’m not sure about either theory. And I’d really like to explore the subject further, except I can’t talk, gotta go, the new episode of The Walking Dead is on.

Right now. Buhbye!


Welcome to Day 10 of the Second Third Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Today’s prompt was Zombies and it was brought to you by ex-supermodel and zombie hunter extraordinaire, Katherine. Please click on the links below to visit the other people participating in this challenge. And for the love of cheese, duck when they tell you to.

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  • By the end of each day I’m a zombie from working with little kids all day long.

  • I think it was the Anne Rice novels, the good ones, that created a resurgence in monster themed movies, TV shows and games. The zombie themed media, more so than the vampire or others, benefited from having greater quality work about them. Anne Rice excepted. The zombie features also had just a touch more realism than the vampire or werewolf movies.

  • I don’t understand their popularity either. Nor of all the Vampire movies and TV shows. I say we combine them. You know and get something like Vlad of the Walking Dead or I left My Brain in Transylvania. Now there’s an idea.

  • ReformingGeek

    I’m sure it was the Aliens.

    Nom. Nom.

  • Cadeaux

    I’m not into zombies…or getting weapons to kill them with. Alabama would be the last place they’d look for brains anyway. 😉

  • Interesting theories indeed. When I was researching zombie quotes for today, I found they are even referenced in the Bible. I was surprised! “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2

  • And OMG was it good or WHAT?!?!?!?! So suspenseful! And when they brought out Hershel’s head on “Talking Dead”… AHHHHH!!!!! And feeding it pudding… so funny.

  • That is fascinating!

  • Alex loves “TWD” too. Zombies have captured hearts and minds for a long time. I have a theory, but it’s no better than the others so I won’t bother you with it!

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    My theory on zombies? Zombies are stupid, and they behave very similarly, and they want everybody else to be just like them. To me, they represent our deep-seated fear of being commonplace. Of being one of the mass of sheeple who surround us, pressuring us in both direct and indirect ways to conform. To not stand out in any way.

    This fear is rising because we recognize that statistically it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in a world filled with 7.2 billion people and shrinking number of services and goods to help us create unique identities for ourselves.

    Personally, I think the really scary Zombies should drink Coca-Cola and wear IKEA t-shirts.

  • Wait, no photo of your zombie shoes? i was so looking forward to it!

  • ME TOO, ZIVA!! Me too!

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    I’d be willing to look at them, too.

  • I never realized that verse was there. That is really interesting.

  • Interesting theories but I tend to like mikewjattoomanymornings theory the best. Zombies are stupid.

  • Pingback: Prosaic Shades of Gray » » The Silence of Futile Screams()

  • KZ

    Zombies work great as a narrative device. On the one hand, they have the broad appeal of being scary horror movie monsters. On the other hand, they say something about the human condition. They are mindless killers who mercilessly antagonize humanity, and their very existence brings out the worst in people who haven’t yet been infected. Inevitably in every zombie story, you’ll find examples of people treating other people badly.

    The cruelty of humanity is on display all over the globe every day, but the injection of zombies into an urban setting acts as a catalyst to burn off the effects of civilization, and it shows what becomes of society when people are more concerned with survival than with day-to-day comfort.


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