The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Big Business in Zombies
Since the beginning of time, humans have learned that death is inevitable part of life. We developed a natural respect for the dead, appreciating and respecting their lives, and performing rituals to ensure a comfortable passage into the afterlife and an enternal rest. While we miss our loved ones very much and we would certainly almost do anything to have them back as a physical embodiment, we know that we must cherish our memories of our time with them and lay them to rest forever.
Imagine a world where the dead did not stay dead. Whether in the form of ghosts, vampires, werewolves, or zombies, the world would be vastly different than it is today. If a dead corpse was reanimated, could you do what you have to do in order to make sure that corpse stays dead, especially if it is a family member? There has been a rapid increase in the number of zombie movies since the 1980s. With great natural disasters killing hundreds to thousands of people at once, and the increased chances of the spread of disease, zombies remain fascinating and not far from any of our minds.
The world would be much harder to live in and get through. You can certainly forget about the Internet and electricity, because that will only last for a while. Shopping at your local grocery store would be a looting adventure. Food would begin to become very scarce almost immediately. The majority of food would spoil within a week to a month, leaving only canned foods and non-perishables. As the electricity dies out, most food within refrigerators and freezers would spoil, leaving a horrible stench in every house. All the cars that exist and the gasoline in those cars would be the last of it. Gas stations would certainly be looted and their gas resources depleted within months after a zombie apocalypse. Water would soon become very scarce and finding fresh water would be a challenge. No one would get a full night of rest without waking up in fear that a zombie was near. You must put yourself into kill or be killed mode to protect yourself not just from zombies, but from hostile human beings who are in survival mode and will likely not hesitate to harm you or kill you in order to obtain what you have, whether it is a weapon or a sandwich. You will have to learn how to use any object as a weapon. You will have to learn how to kill without remorse. You could choose to be a lone wolf or find a pack of humans with whom you could bond with in order to remain protected. In the zombie world, you will have leaders and followers. Money would no longer matter or make a difference. Mostly everyone would be seen as the same except those few people who claim sturdy or strict leadership positions and acquire followers. Survival skills will be the only way to live. Everyday is numbered and the fact that you are alive puts you ahead of the human race by only a little. As the days, months, and years progress, so does the decline and decay of humanity. However, if the non-infected humans could wipe out all of the zombies and prevent further infection, one man and one woman are all that is needed to re-populate the Earth.
Frankenstein. Night of the Living Dead. Resident Evil. Quarantine. 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later. Shaun of the Dead. Zombieland. Land of the Dead. Dawn of the Dead. And many other zombie movies have risen to spark our creative imagination, terrify us, and leave us wanting more. The Walking Dead is in its 5th season with no end in sight and with good reason not to be. Zombies are a money maker and the Walking Dead is the number one show on the television network AMC and on the Internet site, Netflix. The possibilities of a zombie world certainly do not allow for any comfort and no safety zones. For as long as people continue to watch and enjoy the show, it will continue to exist. If the writers begin to run out of ideas, all they really need to do is focus on new and different groups of people. Most everyone has the same story in a zombie apocalypse: Having to kill loved ones who turned into a zombie, having to do things they normally would not do, like choosing to kill someone over being killed, having to steal, loot, and do anything necessary for survival. The fascination may not lie in the zombies themselves, but in apocalypticism or the end of the world, and in understanding how humanity would survive in such situations.
Humans are survivors. The human body is composed of more bacteria than human cells and adapts to environmental changes, learns how to cope with viruses and sickness, develops its own immunities and cures, and evolves to stop viruses and bad bacteria dead in their tracks once it learns how to do so. Our immune system alone is like an artificial computer system that learns the patterns and behaviors of viruses and bacteria in order to eradicate them or use them to its own advantage. For example, good bacteria within our bodies and on our skin may be so overpopulated that it does not give any chance for bad bacteria to move in and populate itself. If bad bacteria attempts to do so, it is overrun by good bacteria and demolished by the immune system. We may not think that we are a unique species, but the fact that we have multiplied into the billions, when at one time, we were considered near extinct, is beyond imagination.
In a zombie apocalypse, it has been show that there has been no cure that exists and it is the end for humanity. Though with a recent movie called World War Z, it was possible to see that there was actually, in fact, a temporary cure. *Spoiler Alert* By infecting ourselves with other sicknesses and training our bodies to fight off those diseases, the zombie virus has no desire to attack human beings any longer. While the loss of humans was great and there was no cure ever found for infected victims, there still remained the possibility for the continued existence of the human race.
Zombies will continue to fascinate us and many more movies will continue to be made that wet our appetites and imaginations. We love zombies, but what remains even more fascinating is imagining what we would do in the situation of a zombie apocalypse. Perhaps our days are numbered as human beings, maybe we are looking for more excitement in our lives. As much as work and going into an office everyday for eight hours might seem boring, the alternative is survival of the fittest and kill or be killed. For now, we can enjoy the fact that – as far as we know – zombies only exist in our imaginations and as actors and actresses on the television screen.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.