Surviving the zombie culture
by Matt “Naj” Najmowicz
With the recent events that transpired in Connecticut, I feel as if there was a sign leading up to the slaughter of 26 people and the suicide of one: the zombie culture.
Ever watch Walking Dead?
The Walking Dead is a weekly TV series about a group of people trying to survive against a swarm of undead mindless zombies who only have the goal of consuming the living flesh of people. Within the show, every week illustrates the struggle of the living versus dead, the human versus inhuman, society versus chaos, and the transformation of seemingly good-natured people into “evil monsters.”
I believe this show, movies of the same genre, books, and other forms of media depicting zombies are what I call the “zombie culture” and it is within that ideal of the zombie culture that perhaps I can truly offer some critical analysis of what the hell is going on and why it resonates in my generation.
Imagine a world in which the fabrics of society have totally unraveled. In this world society has faltered into chaos, lawlessness reigns, and there are no rules. Imagine, if you will, the only thing you see is just the few human beings left that are not zombies simply trying to survive. All there is around you is unspeakable horror; this unspeakable horror is what the zombies do to sustain their existence. There is nothing more to a zombie’s existence than that: existing only to feed their base consumption, seemingly endless and never satiated. They could be full of human flesh but it never seems to end.
You fight the zombies, you band together with your friends, and yet you are absolutely outnumbered. There is a carnivorous swarm that has no morals, no ethics, no rhyme and no reason, that only wants to feed on your succulent flesh.
The zombies devour what makes you human; they strike at your core humanity. Without any reasoning, they wish to destroy all that makes you alive inside. All your senses and physical abilities are threatened because the zombies consume at an alarming rate and it is never enough for them.
It sounds scary, right?
What if the zombie was a metaphor? What if I replace the zombie with something else a bit more familiar?
What if the zombies were consumers? What if the zombie culture was in essence a glimpse into the ugly side of our hyper capitalism?
Think of Black Friday, and imagine a world where the need to buy, shop and CONSUME trumps everyone’s ability to be a member of society. How many bizarre accidents of violence happen because the shopper masses are put into a frenzy and the only way to satisfy their supplanted need to consume is to beat someone else to the marked down flat screen television? The shoppers literally stampede over one another just for a bargain, a bargain they are willing to pay with a piece of plastic.
Hey kids, ever play any of the Resident Evil games? Remember that the zombies in that game were infected with the “T-Virus”? What if the T-Virus was your debit or credit card?
Armed only with a piece of plastic, watch your once loving mother turn into a ravenous monstrosity that only wants to beat the other person to a sale.
Now, I am not going to sit here and say that the President’s Day Sale is the reason why evil was visited upon Sandy Hook Elementary. There were other issues that created such unspeakable terror and sorrow.
What I am trying to suggest is that within a world where all you have is a constant subliminal ideas in which you have to shop till you drop, other things and experiences in life seem to be lost. When you have to constantly participate in a world where you just buy things and then work, pieces of you begin to die. You go to work only to be yelled at, you come home to a loved one who is truly too tired to show empathy, and the world flies by you at the speed of light.
Sometimes I just feel like I am alive in a world that is infected with a T-Virus, and I need to survive the zombie culture.