Any of you reading this who have a better knowledge of zombies can probably provide more depth to what I am about to write. As it is, even though I like zombies I have always been more a fan of vampires. And my experience with zombies mostly lies with the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, where zombies simply walk and kill.
The modern take of zombies is that zombies not only walk around killing/eating people, but they carry a disease which turns other people into zombies.
My cousin had an interesting take on zombies. She said that zombies are a symbol/metaphor for consumerism. It never occurred to me that there might be zombie philosophy.
I began to ponder what she said. It seems to make sense. Zombies eat and eat and eat and eat. They are never sated, never can get enough. Their condition spreads so fast that a zombie apocalypse is able to occur.
Now compare that to consumerism: there is no such thing as a time in which a person has enough stuff or enough money to buy stuff, if that person lets consumerism take hold. Let’s take for example a story my cousin (different cousin) told me about Black Friday. Her aunt (on the other side of the family) was at Wal-Mart for Black Friday deals. She was reaching for a camera when another lady bit her arm to make her drop the camera, so she might take it for herself. Yes. The other woman bit her. I really can’t think of anything to add to the biting detail that would add anything significant. It pretty much sums up the point.
So. Is our society turning into a bunch of zombies? It could be…
I just find the whole Black Friday thing bizarre. It is maniacal, really. Crazy-early hours, mass hysteria, a focus on stuff. Objects. A part of me wants to go see it, but only for the sake of anthropological study of my own culture, which, honestly I often find more bizarre than any other culture I’ve thus far encountered or studied. I just reminded myself of the German girl I met in Italy who wanted to go watch the crazy Americans.
Now, before anyone harps on about how Black Friday is a joyful family tradition, let me add a bit: I get that there are really good deals and to many it is a long-time tradition. The part where I find issue is the mass hysteria and the absolute focus on stuff. Say what you will about deals. When mass hysteria is combined with a complete focus on objects that really hold no long-term significance, the results are just dreadful and frankly embarrassing.
A note on mass hysteria: it spreads just as quickly as any zombie disease. It has no logic. Only reaction based on what the crowd is doing. It isn’t always absolutely negative. Example: a movie theatre full of high school kids laughing and crying largely because someone else in the crowd made a big show of it. However, it is often dangerous. Remember the Salem Witch Trials? The Red Scare of the 1950’s? Two scary examples of mass hysteria.
Anyway, here’s hoping that we don’t become a bunch of zombies this Christmas season!