I believe that everyone in America wants to be a survivor in a zombie apocalypse. Be it the shotgun-wielding tattooed guy or the dueling-pistol bombshell woman; Americans have a desire to live in a post-apocalyptic world overflowing with the living dead. From cutting edge doctors developing a cure for cancer, to the computer geek who stares at a computer screen for eight hours a day participating in World of Warcraft, everything these people do is to prove that they could potentially survive a zombie outbreak. George Romero –the godfather of the zombie genre- made movies that are classics, not because they are breakthroughs in film making, but are classics because they are tangible proof of human beings greatest desire – to prove that, we as a species, could survive the apocalypse.
Whenever I watch a zombie movie, I always envision myself as one of the elite survivors, as I am sure most people do. No one really thinks of themselves seriously as a zombie. While some people would find walking around eating helpless human beings good fun, it is just proof that you did not survive. No, everyone wants to be one of the survivors. To be a survivor means that you as a human being have overcome the greatest challenge, the apocalypse. The survivors of Hollywood zombie outbreaks are proof of man’s stature in the universe (at least as human beings see it). Those “average Joes” beating the undead with two-by-fours are a testament to the greatness of human beings and our immense ego as a species. We are obsessed with our success in the world. We, as a people, need to survive the zombie outbreak lest our whole life becomes meaningless. To become extinct would mean that we conformed to the laws of nature, but we cannot do that! And since a zombie outbreak has not happened yet, we humans go about our day-to-day lives proving to Mother Nature that we are immortal.
I don’t really believe that everyone truly yearns for a zombie outbreak. It could potentially rid the world of many people who deserve to be cannibalized, but it would also ruin many people’s life plans. The obsession with the zombie apocalypse is an example of human being’s obsession with proving to ourselves that we are above nature. In nearly every aspect of human life, we are attempting to manipulate and control everything around us. It is the alpha male syndrome. We have changed global weather with automobiles, we have destroyed rainforests and used the wood to build an endless field of foreclosed houses in the Nevadan desert, we have been smashed by hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, earthquakes and the West Nile virus, but we continue to build in the exact same place that Hurricane Katrina leveled. We have little regard for the obvious signs that nature potentially has the upper hand. Every action, every word, every iota of knowledge gained by human beings is applied toward one end – convince ourselves, and the world, that we are immortal.
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