Americans are obsessed with zombies. Books, movies, games, and survival strategies (not that Twinkies will help you, but, hey! Earthquake food is earthquake food!) are dedicated to the topic. Zombie-mania is consuming America like a gas-bloated, undead corpse. But…why?
I doubt it is because of real apocalyptic fears, since humans have been predicting the end if the world since ancient times (think Ragnarok), so what does the zombie mean to America? To answer this, we must define the zombie.
A zombie is a reanimated human corpse that feeds on the life blood of living creatures. It thinks of nothing else, feels no pain or pleasure but is single-mindedly obsessed with consumption.
Consumption. Could that be the key? Perhaps the zombie represents modern society’s obsession with consumption and the acquisition of stuff. Capitalism, the economic principle that drives this consumption, has created an army of mindless thralls that act in their own self interest, neglecting the welfare of others.
In response to this focus on the self, communities of resistance are formed that battle against the mindless herd of consumerism. These bands of living, breathing people cast aside their material goods and embrace communal living. This is the countermeasure against the consuming zombie hoard.
Finding community and embracing each other as beautiful, flawed humans is what is needed to resist capitalism and the disease it spreads.
But don’t get me wrong, NSA, I do embrace capitalism and America, but you have to be a fool or a Fox News anchor to believe that our economic system is without fault. Perhaps the zombie hoard is not capitalism as it is, but capitalism as it will be if left to its own devices. Perhaps the zombie genre is a warning to the future of America and countries that accept Western economic ways to remember the community lest you tear out your neighbor’s throat and eat his brains.