Friday, February 19, 2016

ZOMBIES and THE AMERICAN TEENAGER

There is so much attention given to zombies. Just google "Zombie Apocalypse" and you'll find everything from 5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen, to the best cities for survival, to our own actual CDC's guide for preparedness!! for goodness' sake.

Of course there is the long running, award winning show The Walking Dead, which, if cancelled, will return as the "Zombified Walking Dead," and come to eat the brains from all the other shows left living. (There are times I wonder if this has not already happened)

So, I've been thinking of zombies. And I have questions.

If a zombie eats your brain, does this mean you're dead dead, or are you zombified?

How is a zombie actually dead dead when you cut off their head or blow their brains out? If it's a virus that simply animates organic material, wouldn't you then become a headless zombie? 

Why don't the zombies attack other zombies who have brains left and eat those brains?

If the only method of the zombie virus transmission is a bite, do toothless zombies pose no threat? 

These are important questions. 

The origin of zombies is, of course from Haitian voodoo that involved the use of toxic shellfish. Which raises another question for me, given the growing amount of toxic shellfish in the polluted world today and the current state of American politics. Then, George Romero created the iconic "Night of the Living Dead" that has exponentially exploded zombieism into the pervasive fame that it now enjoys. Personally, I find the folkloric history of George's making of this film (filming on weekends, using friends and family and lots of chocolate sauce) far more compelling. But perhaps that's because I'm generally squeamish when it comes to squishy, bloody flesh. 

But, my questions. These are important questions. Because what if the professorial exegesis of zombiedom is not at all a metaphor for the dumbing down of society by abusive, controlling and dominating political overlords, but rather a literal possibility as the Cracked site suggests?

I did the only thing a reasonable adult can do when plagued by these questions.

I asked my teenaged son.

He looked at me with kind sympathy and shook his head sadly.

"Mom, mom, mom. It's a virus. Like a hive. Of course it doesn't need a brain. The virus is connected to all the other zombies' virus."

And in the blink of an eye, right there on the spot, he concocted a logical, scientifically valid explanation for the possibility of zombie existence.  He whipped together a metaphoric PowerPoint presentation, complete with word slides and bibliography. 

I breathed a sigh of relief and felt a surge of pride. My son is a critical thinker who can postulate intelligently on his feet, thanks to zombies. And Microsoft. 

This gives me an idea.

Parents Everywhere! Heed the call! 

Buy your children zombie video games

Have Friday night movie binges with all of George Romero's brilliant films, while serving up a delicious zombie menu!!

What better way to get those cell phones put down for some quality family interaction: buy a zombie makeup kit (now on sale at Party City!!!) and enjoy weekend cosplay.

When a dicey issue arises that needs a discussion best served by making it metaphorical, use "WWZD?" as in "what would zombies do?"

Here is a wonderful opportunity to transform sullen, monosyllabic, zombie like teenagers into active and interactive, animated critical thinkers by making the zombie virus your bitch!! 

It's something you can sink your teeth into. 

Peace Out. Or, Piece Out.