Monday, September 5, 2011

Thoughts on the Zombie Apocalypse


(in voodoo)
the body of a dead person given the semblance of life,but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usuallyfor some evil purpose.
the supernatural force itself.

For the last year or so there has been a strong trend toward zombie stories in books, articles, movies, jokes and conventions. There is even a Facebook status game of who will help you or hurt you when the zombie apocalypse comes. Why?
I was never quite sure why until I was doing research on serial killers for a thriller idea I have. There in the book the author spoke about serial killers who kill the poor, homeless, and/or prostitutes. These killers are less interesting to the general public because--as long as we aren't poor, homeless, drug abusers or prostitutes--we feel safe. But serial killers who go after pretty college coeds or suburban housewives are far less accepted and the public will stay on the police until they are caught. Why? Because, the author said, the poor, the homeless, drug abusers, prostitutes, immigrants are all considered the other--the living dead.
That thought made me stop. In these hard economic times with the unemployed competing with the under-employed creating a true jobless rate of close to 16 percent, the numbers of poor and homeless are the highest we've seen since the great depression. Which means subconsciously we know that while we go about our lives more and more people are joining the ranks of the undead. We can feel it in the number of unsold empty homes in our neighborhoods. In fact our next door neighbors just abandoned their big, beautiful, four bedroom, four-story home with granite counter tops. These are two working upper-middle-class people who live right next door to me. We don't know where they went. Are they living in a hotel now? With family? In their car?Whatever happened they may have now fallen into the ranks of the social undead. Kind of a creepy thought, isn't it?
I'm not saying things won't turn around economically. I'm not getting into politics. I like to study human nature and found it interesting that trends in story telling mirror current social happenings. That Middle America fears it will fall into the ranks of the living dead- and those fears translate into fiction.
So, what will be the next trend? Ideas?

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