Oct 30, 2009


I have a zombie phobia. It's odd considering my husband adores zombie movies, games & literature, one of my best pals owns Zombie Logic Press, and I've been known to illustrate zombie cartoons. I'm not sure when it started. Sometime in the 90s I started having these nightmares about the slow lumbering kind. The relentless ones who have all the time in the world to chase you down and get you and no matter how fast you were running or how far away you went or how much the dream changed into a lovely cotton candied, carousel riding bit of happiness, still the gnawing feeling that the zombies were on their way tainted any dreaming that came after no matter how good for the rest of the night.

This lead to my inability to be able to be around anyone even pretending to be a zombie without getting a serious case of the slap-fight panics (Where you swing your arms like mad squeal and then run.) I took the quiz and would only last 2 minutes after the zombie apocalypse. Dan and I stumbled into a live action roll playing zombie game last year during Gen Con (game convention) and it was all I could do not to pick Ella up with my sweaty palms and run while the teenagers lolled about in heavy white and red makeup and torn up clothes. When we lived in IL, if I got home from skate practice late and some drunken guy was walking home from the bar up Main St. weebling and wobbling along the way I would get the heebie-jeebies and panic trying to get into the door before the dark shambly form could get close enough to chomp my brains.

Still I've watched in incredible number of movies and continue to be fascinated. My pal at Zombie Logic Press had the good fun to participate in a zombie film a few weeks back. He was part of the undead hoard and had an absolute blast doing it. Though I was jealous and wished I could have participated too, the fact is I may have shown up, got in full make up and then panicked, hyperventilated and then passed before the camera even turned on. So it's probably good I didn't. Anyway the film is short and it's for a larger project that is brilliant called Nation Undead.

"The objective of the filmmakers is to build and submit stories that fit within the larger Nation Undead back story. Because Nation Undead is truly a collaborative effort, musicians, screen writers and graphic artists are all encouraged to contribute to this deeply woven universe with their own perspective talents."

This is exciting to me on many levels. First of all I want to see the finished product no matter how scary. Secondly, I know some people that are submitting. Thirdly, the story line is really scary - it has to do with the flu and a flu vaccine and how the flu mutates. Germ warfare and mutating viruses are the new radioactivity in horror movies.

It's topical. My niece is just today pondering aloud on Facebook if she should take her son to get the H1N1 vaccine or not. Most of the people that responded said "Don't get it, it's too new, I don't trust the vaccine." I responded to her with an article about how perfectly healthy and robust children and adults are dying from it in Houston and if I could get it (if it even were available to us) I would - especially for the kiddo. It's a horror fest soup happening in real life. We no longer trust our government, the pharmaceutical industry, news media outlets and sometimes even our own judgment. We live in an age where one can find a plethora of studies and truths on both sides of an argument and frankly we are too tired from trying to live to do weeks of scientific reading to reach our own conclusions. Bombarded from every side with conflicting information, we turn to anecdotal evidence form our friends and families and instead amble along and follow the hoard.

This morning I was thinking perhaps my zombie phobia is really about the crowd mentality, the fear of one's own ability to think independently and break away from the frenzy that we can whip each other into while traveling down a dangerous road of misinformation. The way that we can create a monster that craves the horde's attention and approval so much he'd lie about his son being swept away in a balloon or the way the hoard can be convinced that standing idly by while a 15 year old gets gang raped at a school dance, are the real life horrors that stalk us daily. The inability for us to trust the information that is available to us and the value of our own judgment is dangerous. While we find strength in the hoard it's also where we loose ourselves and let our consciousness and autonomy die a little.

Or perhaps I am just afraid of inevitable death.

Photo stolen from Tim Stotz and the upcoming movie "Kept" by Travis Legge who also did "Jimmy's Basement" available November 2009.


Mike Lyons said...

The swine flu? Really? The swine flu is no more dangerous than the flu any other year. Every single year they hype the latest strain of flu as more contagious and more lethal than the strain before. Yet, the human race continues, san zombies.

Jenny said...

it's my point exactly, we can find the statistics to support whichever way we fall on whatever subject you like. Truth is dead.

arizona said...

I find it ironic that the younger generation does not trust our government. When I was a young left wing radical hippie back in the 60's we did not trust our government, and some of the issues back then were the same as the issues facing us today (deja vu?). Today, I am much older (and I think much wiser)and although I am not as radical, I still lean to the left politically, socially and philosophically, and to this day I still don't trust our government. I also don't trust our media any more (whatever happened to reporting the truth?). I only trust my own judgement based upon years of watching this country of ours go down the proverbial shitter as it has let the cancers of greed and coruption and perversion fester as it spirals down the insane vortex of inner destruction (remember the Roman Empire?). For years I was told the only true way to affect change in our government was to vote. I have voted all my life, not for a party, as I do not subscribe to a political party but to an individual irregardless of his party politics. More often than not these same individuals have let me down, just as both of our political parties have done. Today voting is not getting the desired effect that the American people desire, as our politicians have turned a deaf ear to our voices. Once again I believe, (as I ferverently did back in the 60's) that the only way to change a corrupt and oppressive government that does not work for the people is through revolution (and now by todays standards that makes me a terrorist). But that is the truth, and truth is all I expect (and demand) from those I elected to represent me. I could keep going on and on and on about this, but all I want is for our country to be given back to the people who have worked and sacrificed all their lives only to see their dreams be sold out to the highest bidders in the name of greed brought about through lies and deception. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

Jenny said...

Well said. I even tried to change things from the inside out. While I know some politicians work their asses off the problem with government is that it is run by the people. And it is my opinion that we as a nation are loosing our ability to empathize.

Liz said...

I'm currently playing a rpg zombie game :D so far I've killed 3 zombies. I'll kill them all for you!