You must have heard this before, right? That zombies are so popular because they represent society’s decline/problems/foibles/general crappiness.
I hadn’t thought about this a great deal – with zombies anyway – but I suppose there is some truth in it somewhere. Vampires are symbolic of all things sexy, the desire to cling to youth and the violence often hidden below the surface. They represent our fear of dead things and how little we understand what goes on after death. Vampires are easy! But zombies . . . ?
Well, what are they? Slow moving, dull-witted, crowd following, brain guzzling monsters. Hmm. I was with the metaphor all the way up to the ‘brain guzzling’ part. But there is something that idea, isn’t there?
We, as humans are driven by our desires. The only difference between us and zombies is that we know when to stop. Zombies after all, are following an instinct just like us, the instinct to feed. The only difference is that they aren’t hindered by niggling problems like compassion, morals, law, pain or sympathy. No, these things are single-minded machines geared towards one thing (kinda like shoppers in Ikea at the start of the post-Christmas sales).
And what about the rest?
Zombies might run in packs (sometimes) but they can’t really talk to each other or hold meaningful conversation (unless grunts and groans count). That level of isolation and solitude can be seen, in some cases, just by holding up a mirror. Every human, no matter how rich/popular/famous they might be has faced loneliness at some point. And it can drive you crazy (or you can be lonely because you were crazy and everyone ran away! Either way, not good).
I could go on and on about this; I researched a whole bunch of different ideas and interpretations of zombies to fuel this post and now I have this urge to cram everything in (a bit like when I was slamming through all that research for ‘Silk Over Razor Blades‘. I now know things about Ancient Egypt and the Battle of Waterloo that I never even dreamed of!). Luckily for you, I know that research is for me not for you. I also acknowledge that to dump my brains on the post in such a way would be very much out of character for me and the style of these posts.
I only wanted to touch on this idea because I’m aware that it has been done to death, but it hasn’t yet been done with an Illy Touch (TM).
So I won’t slap you with a research dump. Instead, if you’re curious about my source material you can look at the same the internet sources I did and then follow through to their sources . . . like I did. Y’know . . . if you’re so inclined.
Next week, all being well I’ll be showing you the results of this month’s musings by posting a small piece of flash fiction on zombies. I have no idea what it will be about yet (other than zombies) but it shouldn’t be more than 500 words.
Heh, wish me luck, yo!