This weekend an estimated 3,000 people dressed as zombies took to the streets of Brighton. It’s the latest proof, if any was needed, that the undead are really on the march – culturally at least.
If the zombie craze has passed you by then you probably haven’t been hanging out with any children lately.
My first thought was: Man, I missed the zombie march on Brighton? Damn. I would love to dress up as a zombie fashion model. Or a zombie reality show contestant.
My second was: Maybe I should watch Shaun of the Dead again. It’s one of our family’s favorite holiday movies.
My third was: I can’t bear to watch The Walking Dead, though it’s extremely well produced, well written, suspenseful, and gripping. Because, well, zombies. Meanwhile, my son can happily eat a huge breakfast while watching a scene where the rotting army of the undead attacks the show’s heroes.
So: mixed feelings. Why are zombies popular? What is it about them that so terrifies us? I think it’s more than their grossness. I think their appeal (and their repulsiveness) lies in the deep fear they evoke: the idea that zombiesm is a form of slavery. It steals not only your life but your free will. It not only turns its victims into semi-mindless drones, but makes them hunger to continue in their state. They lose not only the ability but the desire to be released from their imprisonment.
What do you think?
And while I’m thinking about the cultural import of the zombie craze, maybe I’ll dress my friend Edgar Allan Poe as a zombie for Halloween.