Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse, Metaphor For the Coming Collapse?

I know there are plenty of fans of the Walking Dead, or any film or TV Series that presents the horror of life we once had and considered sacred, as destroyed and defiled. I think it isn't so much that the world as we know it is long gone, but man's (I mean women too) journey to survive and overcome this disaster without losing what we consider just a precious - our humanity. 

In the last two seasons of the Walking Dead, we have seen a small group of characters, lie to each other, fight with each other, turn on each other, abandon members of their group, betray one another, and generally act human.  However, we have also seen our beloved characters, rise up and take a stand about being the type of people they want to be.  We see Rick not wanting to leave any members behind.  Last season, we saw Dale stand up to Shane, and Daryl earn the trust and respect of the group. 

The question I must ask as to why shows like Walking Dead tend to appeal to us?  Is it that we see these shows as just a metaphor for our current lives?  Is the Zombie Apocalypse just a metaphor for the what we fear will happen in the near future?  I am talking about the possibility of a general economic collapse; throwing our lives in to the toilet.  An allegory about our current civilization and the direction it is heading?  Is this show just a mirror and we see our awful reflections, causing us to seek to better ourselves as human beings? 

For a long time (four seasons) I thought Battlestar Galactica had a monopoly on stories about humans struggling to maintain their identity as a people, their culture, and their humanity.  One of my favorite quotes comes from the first night of the original mini-series in 2004.  Commander Adama, in his decommissioning ceremony says the following: "The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but...sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore." 

You can replace the term Cylon with Zombie, Vampire, Un-dead, Walker, Racist, Enemy, or what ever term you like.   When we look back at the last decade we must think to much of this mess we are in is our fault and how far are we willing to go to survive?.. 

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