Violence, Survival, Twinkies: Why is the Zombie Apocalypse So Popular?

2 02 2011

It’s 2:38 PM. Do you know where your son is? Oh yeah, that’s right. He’s sitting on the couch with his laptop, unable to drive more than five meters before getting trapped in a five-foot snowdrift, listening to his mom work from home and his brother scream “OMG FAGGOT” while playing Call of Duty.

Sitting here in the midst of Missouri’s first “blizzard” that I can ever recall, I continue to have thoughts along the lines of snow and zombies. The snow because of the fact that I took part in a Snowcabulary marathon with Trevor, Jimmy, and few more Twitter buddies, and zombies because (a) I’ve been invested in Dead Space 2 of late and (b) this whole storm has been treated like some sort of apocalypse. The National Weather Service (of The Onion) didn’t name it Snowmageddon for nothing.

[FACT: This video only had around ten thousand hits a few days ago.]

Anyways, I’m mostly typing this to save myself from sheer boredom. That said, I’ve still always held some serious interest in how we as a culture of entertainment-loving people are so mesmerized by depictions of the apocalypse, which in most cases involve some sort of zombie, mutant, or cannibal providing the main source of danger. Follow me after the jump as I delve into what makes us love the Zombie Apocalypse so much.


Trevor would totally pwn those zombies

Why We’d Love It

Unapologetic Ass-Kicking: Violence in entertainment can be a pretty touchy subject, especially around people that are wrinkly or have lots of cat sweaters and/or actual cats, and the argument isn’t that horrible. No matter how you look at it, people killing people is not the way you want to go in real life, and if you do it in a video game and then get arrested for beating up an annoying flight attendant, you’ll only support the theory that media violence is leading to actual violence.

This is why killing zombies is so appealing; zombies are lifeless and violent beings that aren’t really human. You see it all the time: Guy goes into dimly lit house with band of survivors and then gets attacked by his zombified douche of a neighbor. Since he isn’t really human anymore, the guy has no excuse to blast his ex-neighbor with a shotgun. In fact, he really needs to do that so he won’t die and become a zombie. Since zombies have no feelings, memories, or compassion, they provide the perfect excuse for kicking major ass with a shovel.

MAJOR DOWNSIDE: If you’re living a zombie apocalypse movie, chances are you’ll have to kill a zombiefied friend or relative. If you’re an emotional stone or uber-survivalist then no problem, but usually there’s some tears and sadness before scrambling the brains of you former-grandma.

Winning the Game of Survival: Destiny’s Child said it best with their hit single ‘I’m a Survivor’: If you manage to make it out of a zombie apocalypse alive, you probably will end up a sort of action/ folk hero with such qualities as:

  • Less body fat index and more muscle mass than before the zombies showed up.
  • The new-found (or if you’re my dad, already-found) abilities to survive in the wilderness/ apocalyptic cities and towns without the once plentiful things such as water, food, electricity, ect. Also, you did all of this while hordes of zombies tried to gnaw your face off.
  • Stone cold emotionless-ness

Seriously, how cool would it be to have your grandpa tell you manly stories about how he and Grandma survived the zombie outbreak of 2023? You know that would be awesome.

Why a Zombie Apocalypse Would Probably Suck

Death by Idiocy (or Zombies): Because for every group of five survivors, there are around 500’000 zombies that at one point in time were normal people. If there’s one thing the movies tell you, it’s that there needs to be a pretty good combination of brains (ha!), tools, and sheer luck to survive the crazy first stages of a zombie outbreak. Unfortunately, if the zombies don’t get you first, something caused by sheer ignorance will. Be it by drinking water straight from a creek and suffering from death-by-diarrhea, or thinking it’d be a good idea to take an RV up to Canada and subsequently running out of food, water, gas, ect. and freezing to death, there are plenty of ways for the survivors of a zombie apocalypse to bite the dust besides the zombies themselves.

Goodbye Luxury and Convenience: Picture this: You now have no electricity, no structure, no running water, no time to read books or play games or watch movies. Food is scarce and oftentimes not tasty, water needs to be decontaminated, and there is really no use in bathing more than twice a week. Does that sound fun? No, and that’s only a handful of things that would go hand in hand with an apocalypse of any sort. Throw in the zombies and now we see why the characters in Dawn of the Dead aren’t so smiley after leaving the mall.

Steady Decline into Insanity (or Something Equally Bad): How often do the characters in a zombie movie that end up surviving suffer from some sort emotional disorder? Not counting Zombieland, pretty much every time. Like it or not, dealing with something as traumatic as the end of civilization due to zombies is going to be, you know, traumatic. Sorry, fan of Dead Rising, nobody told you the zombie apocalypse would simply be a chance for you to make weapons out of sports gear and chainsaws.

Final Verdict: Would I Want to Live in a Zombie Apocalypse?

Hell to the no

The reason the zombie apocalypse is so popular in books, movies, and video games is because it’s not actually real. While pretending to conquer a world overrun by zombies or mutants is fun on the Xbox, it would be a living nightmare in real life. Likewise, it would also be damn near impossible. For the sake of my love of prepared meals, tap water, and hot showers, let’s hope to God that there are no zombie, mutant, or necromorph-related incidences for as long as I’m alive. That is unless it plays out so that I survive the necromorphs. That would be pretty freaking sweet.

It’s now 4:26 PM. My brother is still playing Call of Duty (“DARNELL! DARNELL KILL THAT GUY”). I’ll keep you all updated on whether or not I die of boredom within the next 24 hours.




3 responses

11 03 2011
The Katalina Blog Challenge #1: Who Do I Think I Am? « My Conflicted Self

[…] Violence, Survival, Twinkies: Why is the Zombie Apocalypse So Popular? ( […]

11 03 2011
The Katalina Blog Challenge #2: Inserting A Solution « My Conflicted Self

[…] Violence, Survival, Twinkies: Why is the Zombie Apocalypse So Popular? ( […]

15 03 2011
Are you Ready for the End? « My Conflicted Self

[…] Violence, Survival, Twinkies: Why is the Zombie Apocalypse So Popular? ( […]

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