Will this be known as the summer of the zombies?
RICHARD ROEPER firstname.lastname@example.org June 11, 2012 3:28PM
The Walking Dead features zombies. Zombie tales abound these days.
Updated: July 13, 2012 6:16AM
No joke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention really has a “Zombie Preparedness” page on its official website.
“In movies, shows and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and bodily fluids,” says the “Preparedness 100: Zombie Apocalypse” blog.
“Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a . . . medical paper on the zombies presented in ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and refers to the condition as Ataxi Neurodegenerative Satiety Defiency Syndrome . . .”
As for what to do in the case of a zombie outbreak, the CDC recommends having an emergency kit (“things like water, food and other supplies to get you through [until] you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp”), picking a place “for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home” and planning “your evacuation route [because] when zombies get hungry they won’t stop until they get food, i.e., brains, which means you need to get out of town fast!”
Good advice. A little bit insane seeing as how it’s presented by the CDC, but still.
Actually, it’s a clever little marketing ruse, as the “Zombie Preparedness Page” continually draws parallels to real-life emergencies and notes that all of the advice being doled out would also apply to real-life natural disasters and pandemics.
But given that 2012 has become the Summer of the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s just more fuel for the hype.
1. They’re not zombies
2. See No. 1
Remember the Summer of the Shark Attack? The Summer of the Missing White Girls? Every so often, the media latch on to a theme, and every time there’s a story even loosely connected to that theme, it gets extra play and often national attention.
Two weeks after that grotesque face-eating attack in Miami, we continue to hear about humans eating or threatening to eat the flesh of other humans, with the attackers sometimes said to be under the influence of “bath salts.”
Last Saturday in Miami, a 21-year-old homeless man who had been causing trouble near a restaurant entrance was arrested. He told an officer, “I’m going to eat you.” Later, at the station, the man made growling noises and tried to bite an officer.
Also over the weekend, a man in Scott, La., reportedly bit off a chunk of another man’s face.
We’ve heard of other incidents. A Maryland man kills his housemate, then eats his heart and parts of his brain. A New Jersey man stabs himself and throws his own intestines at police. A Canadian man is arrested and charged with killing a student and mailing the victim’s dismembered body parts to Canadian political parties.
And the headlines with “Cannibal” and “Zombie” and “Zombie Apocalypse” keep on coming. We’re even told the so-called “Zombie Bullets” are flying off the shelves.
It feels a little ridiculous to even point this out, but whether drug-crazed or just plain nuts, these attackers are NOT behaving in the traditional zombie manner.
Come on, folks. Zombies are re-animated corpses that do not speak. They have no self-awareness. They just stumble forward, growing and snarling, in search of their next human meal.
I’ve always said the zombie is among the least interesting of pop culture monsters. Vampires brood and wear elaborate costumes and make love to humans and sometimes have their own government. Werewolves are humans most of the time, dreading that next full moon. They’re often involved in doomed romances.
Zombies? Zombies just zomb. Lead ’em to a cliff, and they’ll just keep walking until they fall off. I’ve seen every episode of “The Walking Dead,” which is addictive because of the drama between all the humans. We’ve yet to see a single scene shot from the zombie-camp point of view. You never see zombies sitting around saying, “Well, what do YOU want to do today? We could eat, or we could lumber into town and then eat. Or we could snarl for a while.”
Expect to see “Zombie Apocalypse” stories through the Fourth of July holiday but winding down before Labor Day.
And then, just like that, the zombies will disappear.