Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

Real Life Zombies


I've noticed that over the last few years, there has been an upswing in the number of zombies that we see in the popular media. Movies about zombies, video games, TV shows, books, you name it - zombies are everywhere. Star Trek has technological zombies called the Borg. Even at my beloved summer home, Camp Encounter, zombie dress-up night was one of the favorites.

Now I stand to be corrected, but it seems to me, the definition and common characteristics of zombies are:

-they are either re-animated dead people, or they are controlled by someone elses power

-they move slowly for the most part, although sometimes they move fast

-they don't have minds of their own, and don't use normal brain power

-their sole motivation is to either kill and eat brains, or to add to their numbers by biting people - or both simultaneously

-they cannot be killed by conventional means, as they are already dead

-because they have numbed sensitivity, they cannot be injured in a normal way

The reason I think its so interesting that zombies are so popular - is because of what they represent. In fact, we find them frightening on an unconsciously level, because of the REAL threat that we all have, of becoming real life zombies.

Wanna see a real life zombie? You don't have to look very far.

Go to an office complex full of little cubicles, filled with people plugging numbers into a computer WITHOUT THINKING, automatically, part of an industrial machine in which they are merely a cog, making no truly meaningful contribution to their own lives or the world around them, fulfilling functions half-asleep, eyes heavy and red from flourescent light flicker, living off coffee and donuts, and what do we have? ZOMBIES!

Or look down the street, or at a shopping mall, see the people milling around, not making eye contact with each other, not communicating, wandering aimlessly all day looking for sales, to buy yet another thousand items that they don't need, and what do we have? ZOMBIES!

Or go to a bus stop afterschool, look at all the kids in trendy clothes, making sure they dress the way other people tell them to, plugged in to their iPods, texting their buddies, just in case they have to notice the world, and the PEOPLE around them, and what do you have? ZOMBIES!

Or to the party, where the kids have been drinking, and other things, simply for the sake of turning off their minds, their feelings, their consciences, so they can get caught up in the communal booming of loud music and impulse satisfaction, pretending there are no consequences, and what do we have? ZOMBIES!

Or to the internet - people sitting there for hours, all day long, avoiding REAL relationships with REAL people, replacing them with safe interactive substitutes: from facebook, twitter, to pornography, and who's sitting there? ZOMBIES!!

Or to Whyte Ave, after the Oilers final, watching the mob, running around, creating mayhem, throwing trash cans through store windows, convinced that because they move as a mob, that they can escape personal responsibility, and what do we have? ZOMBIES!

Or to church, where people are simply there to fulfill their weekly obligation, who mouth the responses "and also with you" and "Amen" not paying attention to what they have just assented to, and when asked to volunteer some of their personal time, excuse themselves by believing that someone else will step forward and therefore they don't have to, and what do we have? ZOMBIES!

Conformity, just for its own sake = zombies.

Mob mentality = zombies.

Peer pressure = zombies.

Consent without questioning and debate = zombies.

Too cool = zombies.

Apathy = zombies.

Gang members = zombies.

Traffic jams = zombies.

Global climate change - caused by zombies.

Thirteen car pile-ups - caused by zombies.

Litter - caused by zombies.

World War II - caused by zombies.

Zombies ARE scary, because by choosing to be so, they either passively assent to, or actively cause, so many of the world's problems. And zombies want only one thing, to remain in their dull complacent lives, and make everyone around them zombies too - BRAINS they want to eat, so that no one can shake them out of their chosen state, so that everyone can be brainless together.

There are those in the Church, Popes and Bishops, who today are decrying the evils of individualism, and they're not wrong - individualism can lead to selfishness, narcissism, and a whole bunch of other problems too. But I'd rather have individualists that zombies.