There is a saying about Zombie movies. You see Zombie movies during Republican presidencies, but Vampire movies during Democrat presidencies.
The other accepted symbology for zombies is that they represent rampant materialism (and hence the connection to the GOP because you can’t have a lot of materialism in the Bad Economic Times that a Democrat usually sends up) Zombies are brainless just looking to consume. Like the typical American, amiright? And is also a mass insecurity because of the tensions of the Cold War on the general public. Zombies are often caused by radiation, so there is the tie in to nuclear war, there.
Well I have some wash of my own for that there hog.
The zombie concept, culturally, has evolved a tad. Zombies aren’t created by toxic or radioactive wastes anymore. It’s usually a disease vector, and has been since the closing of the Cold War. The insecurity has shifted from Nuclear Armageddon to general worries about the decline of the West. Zombies are the motif but a few self-reliant survivors are the story. But those survivors are still doomed. They make mistakes, as we all do, and get eaten. If they don’t make mistakes they are still in bad way because they are so outnumbered. The horde is persistent and unstoppable. If there is a happy ending to a zombie movie the zombies are usually taken care of by a fantastical deus ex machina and the few remaining uninfected in the world get to do the whole New Eden thing. At any rate, salvation is out of the hands of the self-reliant or lucky survivors. This is almost as bad as the zombies because Fate is totally out of hand of the uninfected other than enduring long enough to get to the other side.
Also, the Zombacalypse was inevitable. Smart common sense precautions could nip an undead outbreak in the bud if people saw this new thing, totally out of their experience, for the danger it was. But if that unlikely event occurs, it’s only postponing outbreak. If not this week here, next week over there.
Zombieism is a sickness, like Civilization is sick and dying. And people that are self-reliant and aren’t sick are helpless against the ravages. Even the uninfected will be dragged down under the weight of a critical mass of society.
Atlas Shrugged is thus a Zombie movie without gore. Galt’s Gulch is the dues ex machina for the self-reliant. Swiss Family Robinson is a Zombie movie with the storm standing in for the Horde, the perfect treehouse the salvation. Red Dawn is similar with the Russians the horde and the protagonist don’t make it to ‘Eden,’ but eventually, somehow, the war ends off screen and times are better again and the survivors in the US learn an important lesson about sharing and forgiving... or something.
So it’s all allegory for a decline of the West. Decadence and complacency lead to acquiescence. A civilization can only rise for so long. The decline can be put off, but the fall is coming regardless, with nothing to be done. A zombie movie’s symbology posit that this decline is coming right soon and will be incredibly fast. Now this kind of story makes good drama and successful entertainment. But it’s certainly not a pleasant near future to contemplate. I’d prefer to do things correctly and put the decline of Western civilization off another 3 centuries or so, at least. (I wish more folks would cooperate with this goal, if we actually KNEW more ways to advance it beyond returning to first principles.) Sure a resurgent and still rising West makes for less dramatic tension in our entertainment, but that’s a small price to pay. We can find dramatic hooks in other sources.
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