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Zombism - nhpeacenik
The show before mine on WUML, the Wednesday edition of "The Morning Driveby", specializes in conspiracy theories, but during October it takes a detour into the world of monsters, and this morning's topic was zombies. The show's co-hosts invited me to sit in on the discussion. I said I don't know anything about zombies, but they said that was all right.

After a brief discussion of zombie taxonomy (running zombies versus walking zombies: I said that rigor mortis would make it hard for zombies to run or walk and that they probably floated above the ground without moving any appendages), the discussion turned to the literary genre of the "zombie apocalypse" in which zombies are in the process of taking over the world by converitng all human beings into zombies. The show's co-hosts started talking about how they would protect themselves from zombies in such a situation, tjheir ideas ranging from barricading themselves in the dorm to obtaining medieval armaments. I asked if, since zombies are already dead, they can ever be stopped, and they told me that everybody knows a zombie can only be killed by removing its brain from its body.

"How do people become zombies?" I asked. Zombism is actually a virus, as everybody but me seems to know. Since viruses mutate, one can expect the form of zombies to be ever-changing. After they read two public-service announcements, about H1N1 flu and poverty, I posed the question whether there might be a good side to zombism; perhaps it is a cure for poverty, since once a person becomes a zombie he or she doesn't have to eat anymore and is perfectly happy to live outdoors. In fact, I speculated that zombies might be truly happy since they didn't have needs, goals or aspirations anymore. The others agreed, "Maybe being a zombie is like being in Heaven!" Maybe the Bible talks about zombies... was Lazarus a zombie? What about Jesus? Both came back from the dead.

And why are you always assuming you want to fight zombies and zombism to the bitter end? Maybe the best response to a zombie apocalypse is to walk calmly out among the zombies and accept your fate. Or maybe passing for a zombie would work? Why all the violence and defensiveness?

If zombies die when they can't feed on brains of living human victims, and this seems to be the case in most zombie apocalypses that get very far, zombism is not sustainable; it fouls its own nest and uses up its only food source. I said that vampirism seemed more sustainable, with vampires being careful to keep an adequate blood supply around. The main disadvantage of being a vampire would seem to be having to do harm to fellow creatures in a state of full (or heightened) consciousness, unlike the  mindless zombie whose behavior stems from the microorganism that has taken over his/her body. When I contrast the state of being immortal but completely dependent on consciously causing suffering to others with that of being mindlessly destructive and invincible, I might choose the latter.

In fact, I don't choose either. How does it happen that the fantasy life of so many people in our culture runs to this kind of paradoxical dead end, fighting valiantly to the end against insuperable odds against evil and  invincible foes that do not fear death.

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kengara From: kengara Date: October 15th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I've considered the zombie dilemma too, and have been involved in several zombie simulations (which were pretty fun). I've wondered what happens to zombies in winter in northern climates. Seems like the apocalypse might not last very long in such conditions.

By the way, I found your journal unintentionally while searching for people or groups interested in Librivox, and it seems interesting, so would you mind if I friend you?
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