Friday, August 21, 2009

Top 10 Ways In Which Zombies Are Misunderstood

Face it, the shuffling undead get a bad rap these days. In Hollywood, they're either abysmally slow or freakishly fast, but ALWAYS jonesing for a good meal. Is Tinsel Town implying that these poor people are smoking the wacky tabacky?

In video games, zombies are the endless fodder for gleeful trigger-happy teens racking up points to make up for that hollow feeling left behind by mommy and daddy's neglect. Is that all they are to us, lumps of meat for hormone-fueled target practice?

And what do the zombies have to say to this? Like with all ethnic groups portrayed in lump-sum fashion by the media, zombies are a misunderstood race. They have feelings, too. And some of the stereotypes propagated by pop culture today can be hurtful, not to mention downright debilitating, to a humble zombie's self-esteem.

I aim to get to the bottom of this by dispelling 10 of the most egregious generalizations aimed at our hard-working zombie brothers and sisters (and pets).

Here we go:

10. Zombies constantly try to keep a good civilization down.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zombies are not to blame when the government decides to collapse and anarchy reigns supreme. If the living masses are dumb enough to go screaming their fool heads off in the streets, the least any good, god-fearing zombie citizen can do is to catch up to their frightful neighbors, arms stretched out wide, and say: "Hey, Seth! Bro, you don't have to run from your shame. We can pull out of this tragedy together!"

9. Zombies disturb the peace with their incessant moaning.
This one I lay completely at the feet of the ignorant "fleshies." If the living would simply pick up a decent Zombie-English dictionary (Webster sells an abridged one for just $15.99!), you'd figure out that our undead friends are simply asking you about your day. Or when you last had a good meal. 99% of all zombie-human altercations could be avoided if we all just learned to COMMUNICATE with each other. Love begins with listening, people!

8. Zombies are angry ALL the time.
I place the blame for this stereotype squarely on the shoulders of smarmy, fleshy movie directors. Many of whom have never even bothered to understand zombies, let alone invite one into their home. If they had, they would have noticed that zombies approach their food with thoughtful consideration and--dare I say it--a gourmet's sensibility. They don't snarl and jump on their meals with barbaric abandon as the movies will have you believe. When was the last time you lashed out at a hamburger or steak dinner? Exactly. Don't assume other cultures are less evolved than your own, and you won't find yourself the main ingredient in an ass and pickles sandwich.

7. A pack of zombies are dumber than a sackful of hammers thrown down a rubber chimney.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, Hollywood's continuing campaign to disparage our zombie neighbors is truly shameless. Why in the films do zombies *always* get tricked by the sly and fast human fleshies? Seriously, do you honestly think a ladder or a dynamited bridge is going to stop a group of intelligent, well-meaning individuals just wanting to wish your family a "how-dee" and good night? And people say the undead are antisocial!

6. Zombies take a half clip, or two or three shotgun blasts, to bring down.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I see this mostly in video game land. Hello? How is this even legal? You're giving kids bad ideas, game designers! You're telling our impressionable youth that it's okay to empty 6 or 8 rounds into their undead buddies, and that Zed will simply pop right back up EVERY time when they do. No, stop this! It's spreading misinformation and, more importantly, is downright criminal. Zombies are fragile beings. Their arms and legs are not strong enough to withstand even 4 rounds, let alone an entire barrage from a policeman's special. They are not conducive to target practice. Populate your games with rightful fodder: aliens, Nazis, and of course . . . virginal elf princesses!

5. Zombies smell like the grave.
Correction: the *DEAD* smell like the grave. If you'd paid attention in your social sciences class, you would've learned that zombies are the "un" dead. Offensive body odor is just the by-product of your wasteful caste persecution of the livingly-challenged. What you're really smelling is the odoriferous guilt of your own fleshy bourgeois lifestyle. Zombies do the jobs you are too self-important to take. They toil in your garbage, slog through your sewers, and slay your livestock so that you can live high and mighty in your gleaming castles on well-manicured hilltops, feeling safe and secure. Just remember that the next time you bite into your nice filet mignon, madam! Chances are, a zombie had to procure that meat for you.

4. Zombies are not suitable to take on dates. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let's not even touch on the collective apathy living folk seem to feel towards human-zombie interracial relationships. That's a regrettably touchy subject in this day and age. Still, when a music video comes along depicting an innocent looking zombie schoolboy going all freakazoid on his fleshy date, it kinda stings. Zombies don't go to the expense of paying for two movie tickets, PLUS a large tub of popcorn and drinks, only to bring their would-be paramours into the woods afterwards and scare the bejeebus out of her with dated, awkward dance moves. I mean, pulleeze, Mr. John Landis! Like any yellow-blooded American zombie boy, he'd want a little action first.

3. Zombies have nothing better to do than to scare fleshy.
Contrary to popular belief, zombies don't get their kicks from terrorizing the living. The next time you see a shuffling group of moaners heading your way: relax. Don't panic. Pull out your trusty English-Zombie dictionary, raise one hand in greeting, and welcome your rapidly approaching new acquaintances. Before you know it, you're making fast friends for life (however much of it you have left, anyway). And you know what they say: once you go undead, you'll never eat bread. Yeah, think about it.

2. Zombies just want to get close enough to eat your brains.
I'm sure you don't need me to point out the ridiculousness of this shopworn trope. I mean, serious? Brains? As if! No self-respecting zombie would be caught alive eating such bland grey matter. Who do you think they are, the British? Show me a hungry zombie and I'll show you a fellow who enjoys a nice, succulent rump like any other hot-blooded American. Just make sure you don't turn around, or--HEY!

1. Zombies are out to convert us all.
This is perhaps the most hurtful stereotype of them all. It lumps our undead friends in the same sorry group as Seventh-Day Adventists, or worse--the Scientologists! But this is a blatant misdirect by the media. Zombies don't need to do anything silly like bite you on the arm or suck your brains out to swell their ranks. How gauche! No my friend, the zombie conversion is quite simple: sooner or later, all us fleshies must meet our end. Be it in bed through natural causes, or a friendly down-home rampant apocalypse to spur things along, the undead know that it's only a matter a time before we're all of us zombies, one and for all!

I hope this little tutorial has taught you the difference between the real world and that which you see on the dumb box. Zombies have rights like the rest of us, and it's high time society took notice and welcomed them into our midst. Take heed and keep an eye out for our undead pals. Chances are there's one walking right up to your door as you read this.

Is that a curious scratching you hear?


Kim Kasch said...

Gotta Love zombies :) and not just their brains ;)

Ashe Hunt said...

Funny! You know I'm a proud Zombie Bigot though, right? Shotgun blast to the head on sight. They just don't belong! (Said in a heavy redneck hillbilly accent);-)

David Batista said...

Kim, I can tell you're a gal of sympathetic mien. Bless you!

Ashe, that's just WRONG!!!

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