Saturday, September 1, 2012
It's that time of year again! One month just to celebrate zombies in all their unique and varied forms. Last year, the CDC posted guides on how to best survive during a zombie apocalypse on their website because of popular interest in the various viral incarnations of them in pop culture. They are the only fictional creature to prompt a government agency to increase awareness. To top that, there have been a worrying amount of events in recent months with distinctly cannibalistic and, one might say, zombie behaviors. Now, the CDC denies the existence of any such virus that would cause zombies to walk the Earth. However, people have gotten serious about zombie survival. Max Brooks saw sales of his Zombie Survival Guide sky rocket this summer and many sites, such as No Zombies! and Zombie Hub, are dedicated to real life application of zombie survival principles. Even Cracked.com got super heavy traffic on their article, 5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Happen.
The fact that so many people went straight to suspecting zombies so much that the CDC would feel it had to make a statement like this is very interesting and very telling. It shows how zombies scare a lot of people to the point of preparation and worrying about them in real life. Show me one other fictional creature that incurs this kind of response. Zombie stories tap into real fears, such as government cover-ups, weaponized viruses, and the inhuman horror with a decayed human face.