Sunday, October 3, 2010

Zombies

I will analyse, knowing full well that my obsession with zombies should make me patient to such analyses myself.

Why Zombies?

1.   Exemplify man's fear of man (l'enfer, c'est les autres).
2.   Exemplify man's resentment toward the nation state.
3.   Exemplify man's love for, and his guilt toward his love for, violence.
4.   Exemplify Western man's boredom and restlessness.
5.   Exemplify his sense of superiority toward the other.
6.   Exemplify his anxiety towards his responsibilities.
7.   Exemplify his need to face his own mortality.
8.   Exemplify his fear of communicable disease.
9.   Exemplify his fear of intimacy.
10. Exemplify his obsession with God and death and hell.
11. Exemplify his desire for a fresh start.

1. Zombies are the utterly irredeemable man. Their nature justifies my simple and wholesale reaction which I wish to apply ubiquitously: total annihilation which I need not justify.

2. The apocalyptic scenario manifests my desire to be free from the state's tutelage. I permit the state to tell me how to act (patriotically, in an environmentally-sensitive way, politically-correctly, hygienically, etc.) which I actually consider belittling.

3. This one speaks for itself. Violence is segregated to certain sports and movies, which provides more or less satisfactory sublimation. His guilt ameliorates itself through these soulless demons.

4. Here we have adventure at its best. The ultimate paint-ball match.

5. He can easily out-maneuver his mindless antagonist, the ultimate ego-trip for us insecure men. Would not the state of affairs naturally reflect my evident, yet unacknowledged, superiority to the other?

6. Again, the demise of civilization frees him from his debts and the value system he has been forced to endorse. Since he was not the one to bring about this destruction he is totally free of responsibility.

7. Even in these dire circumstances I am in control of my destiny. Against a foe and a situation that would make mortals quake I would surely stand head and shoulders above my peers because of my stalwart resolve and courage (that no one has yet had the opportunity to see: I watch the movie knowing full well that I would not make their mistakes nor exhibit such psychological weakness). Nevertheless, the one thing elusive, that I have not yet faced death down - I must free myself from the possibility that I may not act well here.

8. I must avoid the other. No one would question that to avoid the other is justified, would they? There are some fears that I needn't face.

9. And, thus, the best strategy is to make ones own way. Dependence is not wise, and therefore not something to which I am obligated.

10. Standing so close to the end of mankind must provide the proof for the meaning I have not yet discerned with certainty. Where is the white light? It must be here in damnation.

11. This time I will make the right decisions.


In sum, fear, pride and selfishness are primary. I am not sure if the same can be said of other genres. This setting allows man's preoccupation with self to shine forth. It is not about the terror he feels toward death primarily, it is about suppressing his suspicion that he is a coward. If he would be great in big things (like a zombie apocalypse) then he must surely be great in the little things that actually confront him: his job, being a husband, a father, etc. Or, for worse, if he is justified in abandoning his fellow in great things, how much the more in small things?

Perhaps one of the more surprising elements of zombie-fascination resides in what it says about man's resentment toward the 'nanny' state, as some have called it. Even if only some people overtly resent the incursion of government, I think it is intrinsic to the male ego to resent the moral instruction of the state. Liberal anarchism is just another approach to his desire to unsettle that which presumes to instruct him: who is the instructor, the state or the one who has a better (and far-reaching) idea of how it should be remade? It's not that he actually desires for his fellow man the sufferings these apocalyptic scenarios depict. His resentment is fully focused (in his unconscious) upon the personified 'state' itself and certain ways of life it seems to mandate. The mall, the church, the old family farm house, even suburbia - these are not just more affordable settings for Hollywood productions, but rather embodiments of his unconscious resentments.


The Christian Perspective on the Meaning of Zombies

Some people may be surprised how little I think of man, or at least the man for whom zombie films hold some interest. But I am one of those men - so why do I think so little of myself? Of course, just because one feels things, like when he questions his own character - how generous and brave am I? - does not mean that he thinks he is less than his fellows, or that he is a slave to his passions. The only hopeless person is him who does not doubt himself. I am up for the zombie challenge!

I see people as just a hair away from anarchy and cannibalism. Liberals asks, "How could _____ have happened?!" (fill in the gulags, the Nazi death camps, the witch hunts, etc.); Christians do not. Liberalism is indoctrinated against seeing man as he actually is. 9-11 came as an earth-shattering surprise to some. Christians know that if man is not in a bad way he doesn't need Christ. Christology must include an anthropology. Man is little more than a zombie, just a well-fed zombie. No zombie believes he is uncouth. That is the first truth of the zombie.

Some Christians yearn for the apocalypse, but they should check their motivations. One cannot yearn for others' suffering no matter for what end he imagines it.

3 comments:

  1. Are zombies always liberal men?

    DR DFFofSJB

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  2. The first truth of the zombie is that he does not believe that he is uncouth.

    The first rule of Zombieland is "cardio".

    I am taking notes to pass on to my descendants. Will they read them, or merely feast on my brain?

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  3. DebSJB,

    Insofar as zombism is a modern preoccupation, yes. My observations refer especially to the more recent movies, but I think can also be applied to the older ones, but I`d have to thin about that.

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