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zombies in reality and fiction

Over the last few decades, the concept of zombies and/or a zombie apocalypse has transformed from a horrific or humorous form of entertainment, into a cultural phenomenon. With a rise in popularity through cult classic movies like “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), films depicting blood thirsty, brain eating, human undead running amok has created an astronomical size think tank to ponder the idea, “What would I do?”

The immense popularity of the concept has created a plethora of new zombie culture, gaining a recent mass appeal through high-level production television programs like “The Walking Dead,” which unlike a film’s necessary resolution prior to the credits, can keep a viewer coming back each and every week to see what happens next, and rationalize whether each and every decision the characters make is right or wrong. Countless video games have allowed the player to live and die virtually throughout the process of a zombie takeover. This vast realm of decision making based on a quite fictional and highly unlikely scenario is like nothing we have ever seen before, but it only raises the questions, “Is this a fictional and highly unlikely scenario?”

zombies in pop cultureThe Walking Dead (source: WGSN)

Zombie potentiality and preparedness has thrust its scaly, mangled hand up through fictional culture and now begun to chew at the minds of even the highest level thinkers. Many scientists, professors, survivalists, and medical professionals have begun to throw their chainsaws into the ring through television programs and media which give their take on whether this could or could not happen, how it could happen, and what to do if it does happen. This leads many thinkers to ask, “What can I do to be prepared?”

You’re in luck, because there are now more zombie preparedness guides than there are pay phones. Look no further than Google shopping to find an endless amount of kits, books, maps, weaponry, medical and protective gear for surviving the seemingly inevitable. The University of California at Irvine will be offering a college level “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Course” in the upcoming semester. Media news outlets like NBC News, The Huffington Post, and CNN frequently feature stories based on zombie preparedness or potential “real life zombie scenarios,” (i.e. zombie virus, Miami zombie attack, krocodil).

zombie preparedness

Whether or not you believe in the potential of the zombie scenario, it’s beginning to become impossible not have a personal opinion or position on it becoming reality. The staggering idea behind all of this is that there really is no perfect plan or solution, which allows a never ending conceptual debate unlike anything Americans have been party to before. So, after thinking about how zombies have begun to blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction, or maybe more specifically, the lines of perception and reality, all you can really do this Halloween season is ask yourself, “What’s my plan?”

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