Zombies are everywhere.  In case you hadn’t noticed. Oddly, I equally enjoy watching the super slick high tech world of the Milla Jovovich Resident Evil franchise and The Walking Dead, where Daryl always looks as if he’s been running a marathon, with a herd of pigs, in a hurricane, pausing only in sporting goods stores to replenish his endless supply of crossbow arrows and for an occasional bloodbath. While I don’t expect a zombie apocalypse in the real world (not anytime soon, at least), I have realized that there are real world advantages to having a fictional zombie herd around every corner.

1. I have a new appreciation for…pretty much every single thing
we take for granted on a daily basis. I’ve always been the Mod Con Girl whose idea of roughing it involves a motel room without a refrigerator or going to the only store for miles and all it has is off brand chocolate flavored candy nodules.

That’s at a whole nother level now. After watching The Walking Dead, I’ve had the urge to hug my washing machine, kiss the helpful clerk at any store with a bountiful stock of Godiva anything, and bow at the feet of any device  that plays movies and music. Forget the daily grind of bashing zombie brains. Imagine a world without Bowie and Beethoven, Leo and Scorsese, Spock and R2-D2.

2. I actually worry a little about the scientific alphabet threats to our world. It used to be that rogue EMPs were the going thing in fear mongering. Advanced civilizations. Teeming population. Crippling dependence on technology. Zzzzat! Poof! One day it’s all there. The next day it’s all gone. The world brought to its knees, thrown back to horse and buggy life, when an electro magnetic pulse takes out all our pretty lights and the noise we tune out on a daily basis.

Now we have the potential for CME disaster. The sun has a tendency to throw tantrums, flinging its long, fiery arms out in random, and, I’m sure, spectacular displays of its power. That would be what the world’s big brains call coronal mass ejection. One of those bad boys could wreak havoc here on earth, if it shot itself far and hard enough. Though rare they are not beyond the realm of possibility.

But, you know what? That kind of real life apocalyptic threat doesn’t worry me quite as much now. I mean, I’m positive that by about day five of being thrown back to a preindustrial existence, once the initial shock and fear started to wear off, people the world over would start saying, “Hey, at least there are no zombies. This is nothing compared to what zombie fighters go through!” And then someone would cobble together a way to watch Alice save Racoon City, using a toaster, watch parts, and a mirror that the EMP zapped into becoming an energy capacitor the likes of which this world had never seen.

3. Zombie fighting warriors provide us with a shining example of strength, courage, and often even honor. They go out of their way to save friends and out on a limb for even potential enemies. They have impossible faith in the human
spirit. And they show perseverance and hope in the face of adversity unimagined until the first zombie walks.

For what some might call, ahem, mindless entertainment, our 21st century zombiepalooza manages to teach us quite a lot about how to conduct ourselves under the most terrifying, confusing, and dire circumstances. It only becomes detrimental if we start sleeping with a crossbow under the bed and letting Daryl inspire a baby naming trend.

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