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What can we learn from zombies?

It was getting a bit strenuous to talk about real-life epiphanies and problems, so I decided to switch gears ever so slightly. Now then, let’s talk about zombies. Firstly, they are, I PRESUME, entirely fictitious.

I mean, what do I know!

Have YOU been to every nook and corner of the Arctic or the Antarctic for that matter? What do we know of the brainless monsters that may roam around the icy depths of either pole! They are supposed to be undead after all.

Secondly, the various idiosyncrasies of those dumb creatures provide enough fodder to ramble on for a few hundred words at least, as is proven by this post. If you need a sneak-peek, then we’ve got brain-dining, infectious biting, cannibalism, slow walking, weak bone structure, imperceptible mumbling, and last but not least, no sure-fire way of killing these poor souls.

Yes, I called them poor souls. When was the last time that you saw a zombie roam around in a double-breasted suit?You know what? Scratch that. If you DO think that you saw one in a suit, then it’s you whom I’ve got to worry about!

So anyway, everyone knows how zombies behave and their usual ticks that I mentioned in the paragraph above. What no one has ever explored is a ‘believable’ reason for zombies to exist in the first place!

Every zombie movie either begins with a virus that runs unchecked across the world, or a lunatic who wants to go around digging ancient burial sites for god knows what!

Why could we not have a more realistic progression of humans into zombies for a change? Granted that ‘deadly virus unleashed on the world’ has a certain urgent charm to it, but I thought that Netflix, with its penchant for stretching tiny ideas into four-season-snooze-fests, would have taken a shot at this topic by now.

Though I think I know why no one has gone down the long route of explaining zombies yet. It’s like the chicken and egg problem.What came first? The zombie or the zombie virus that spread because of the zombies?

Hold on! What if Frankenstein‘s monster was the first-ever zombie! Nope, can’t have been. He was far too intelligent to be classified as a zombie, and he was clearly hungry for love and affection, not human brains.

Interestingly though, what if the original monster tried to create another monster, and this loop continued until, eventually, they lowered themselves to a very primal representative of the original monster? Could that LAST monster be the first zombie?

Don’t think too hard on this. It took me fifteen minutes to cook that shit up, but for readers, it is not supposed to be a smidge harder than reading Trump’s Twitter feed.

Realistically speaking though, my interest in writing about zombies did not originate from Mary Shelley’s classic. Instead, it was Pixar’s heart-warming tale of a robot chasing true love, Wall-E, that inspired me to take a different look at the entire zombie myth.

Before I go any further, let me give you some quick historical context. Many people believe that zombies were an exaggerated representation of slavery and the extreme impact that the practice had on the oppressed folk. It is not a long shot to associate slaves with the sort of mindless pitiful creatures that we’ve come to know as ‘zombies’ in pop culture.

The issue with that parallel is that, though it draws from the actual physical sufferings of the oppressed, it does not capture the other nuances of a zombie, however fictitious they maybe! For instance, how do you explain the craving for brains or the unnecessary slow walking or the week limbs?

I have an alternate theory.

Zombies are a sociological comment on the way we are progressing as humans today. More and more people these days are exhausting their mental capacities while consuming OTT entertainment, excessively obsessing over social media gratification, and completely stepping away from interactions in the real world, which are now, thanks to COVID, further reduced!

While prolonged exposure to these ‘social’ habits has had a proven impact on cognitive and critical thinking abilities in kids and adults alike, the increase of indoor relaxation is gradually leading us to a future that isn’t far apart from the one Wall-E painted!

It will be no surprise if all of us turn into fat, slow walking (or no walking), brainless lumps of carbon in a couple of centuries, provided we do not blow up this planet before that!

So that sort of explains the brain-dead behaviour, the weak limbs and awkward walk, but what about the insatiable hunger for brains and the contagious nature of the virus itself?

Well, the hunger for brains could be a sign of two behaviours – either the zombies, a.k.a humans of the future, crave brains because they HAVE none, OR they look for fresher brains to corrupt so that THEIR existence is perpetuated!

This last piece is almost similar to the retweet feature on Twitter, where it only takes a few morons to make another moron viral so that a million other morons can offer validation. It’s called ‘viral’ for a reason.

But, as for the question that I began with, here’s what we’ve learned so far –

a. There’s a high chance that we are already on the path to this Wall-E x Zombieland future b. However, we can choose to not continue down that path c. More importantly, letting others go down the path, is also not a viable option

Because you never know who else might….


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