What’s Eating Our Society

Brooke Meldrum, Staff Writer

Before you sit down with a bowl of popcorn to watch your dose of nightly zombie carnage, consid­er this; why in the world is everyone so engrossed by watching immortalized once-were people eating other human beings? What about it is so entertaining and enticing? Some might answer, “Because it’s awe­some!” And they would be right.

Though this is only the tip of the iceberg to the true reason why we as a society have started chasing zom­bies. The answer to this exists deep within the oh-so-structured framework of our culture and society itself.

Civilization has always had a boogeyman of choice. During the black plague, there was an intense in­terest on the subject of vampires because it gave them a sense of certainty and vampires represent­ed this disease. In a way it gave them an answer to something they could not explain themselves. That is how we get most of our folklore and myths today.

This is the exact idea of zombies. Our unsettled economy, shaky govern­ment, terrorist acts and the crumbling world around us as it appears are all rep­resented through zom­bie books, movies and TV shows that we consume everyday.

Zombies are the symbol of our dystopian society. Everything you read or watch will always reflect in some way the feelings and sentiments that our popu­lation holds.

It’s true that zom­bies are the new vampires of en­tertainment, who wants ‘Edward Cullen’ from Twi­light when you can have ‘R’ from Warm Bodies? It was not too long ago that zombies were the black sheep of the horror genre.

It is notable that zombies became popular and main­stream seemingly overnight. When­ever a culture thinks the end might be near, they create some way to explain what is happen­ing. This causes stories like these to be created. There are feelings of distrust for other people in our society and some feel that things are out of control and they have no decision making power.

Humans fear the mob mentality that is represent­ed when the hungry dead make packs and start chas­ing our favorite characters. Our fears are brought to the surface and then dealt with through media.

Successful shows have also heightened the craze such as 28 Days Later (2002), Resident Evil (2002), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Zombieland (2009), AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010), Warm Bodies (2013), and World War Z (2013). It is noticeable that there is a domino effect within the movies that has achieved a increased popularity.

In the plots, there is al­ways a group of charac­ters that band together to defend the world around them that has turned to hysteria. The main goal for them is always survival. Their world around them burns, there is no structure, then occurs the complete and instant downfall. This “us against the world” idea has been itching everyone in some way. We feel like we have to do things on our own and the only goal in life is to survive and be successful.

Society feels our govern­ment has caused some of the feelings of shiftiness and uncertainty. It seems as though the government

has just made fluffy prom­ises to an expectant pop­ulation.

Our insecurities are sub­consciously slipped into the media, passing right under our noses. This sug­gests that we are being mocked for being the real zombies and we don’t even see it, especially when we fall asleep with our hand in the popcorn bowl.