The title of this post sounds kinda collegiate, kinda reminds me of my undergraduate English major days when I was analyzing text as a reflection of modern society …… aaaaaah, life was so easy then, no bills, no responsibilities, deep thoughts …… and now it’s all – PREPARING FOR THE ZOMBIE INVASION!
Well not really, but kinda. Or is it? I don’t know; but my mind ruminates periodically on how “zombies” are used in contemporary discussions about survival and general preparedness. What do I mean by that? Well …. let me answer with what I mean by “zombies.” For purposes of this post, “zombies” means the entire notion of them, how people talk about them, movies about them, books about them, etc. I’m talking about the zombies as a social subject.
Bah, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, actually.
What I mean to say is that I think many people that follow the survival/preparedness movement use the zombie pop-culture phenomenon as a metaphor for general shit hits the fan. Zombie-talk is a more socially acceptable way to hint at a greater, reality based fear that shit in one fashion or another could conceivably hit the fan at any given moment.
What I mean to say is that zombies are a more socially acceptable, less awkward way of conveying one’s discomfort with the stability of our society. It’s easier for many people to joke with others about a zombie invasion and entering survival mode than it is to talk about what life might be like if a real, deadly flu pandemic hit, what would happen if grocery store shelves went empty and the electricity ran out, with no foreseeable help to come. THAT is a conversation that’s harder to mention around the work water cooler than it is to talk about making a SHTF “go bag” in case the “zombies” attack.
Know what I’m sayin’?
I’m not casting judgment on people that use “zombie talk” to convey, perhaps on a subconscious level, their fears about SHTF scenarios. They’re not wimpy survival ninjas. No, I think the power of the zombie pop-culture phenomenon can be harnessed by TEOTWAWKI individuals such as ourselves!
For example, which question is more socially difficult to ask your neighbor, co-worker or friend:
“Hey, what’s your survival plan if the economy implodes and society collapses?”
“Hey, what’s your survival plan if the economy implodes and zombies invade?”
Do you see the difference? It’s subtle, but important. In the first question they might think you’re a SHTF blog reading freak. In the second question they might think you’re funny. That’s not to say using “zombies” means they’ll think you’re a joke. No, anybody in their right mind has contemplated “what if” survival situations in these modern times. Maybe they’ll answer the question and maybe they won’t, but you can rest assured, they’ll ponder the question ….. “What WILL I do when the zombies invade?”
Use “zombie talk” to introduce preparedness to someone you know – today!
Piss on Jack Handey, I like “Deep Thoughts with Ranger Man” much better.
You make a great point sir. I’ve always considered the zombie talk childish and impractical but never really thought of using it as a humorous way of dealing with a taboo subject in public.
I’ve always viewed the word “zombies” as a synonym for chemically insane, hygenically ruined, and insatiably hungry post-apocalyptic local townies trying to encroach past one’s mailbox…thought everyone did that…no?
In any case, I’m fine with pop culture beefing up the awareness of zombie invasions. I think most folks subliminally get it. The only difference is…it ain’t all about shooting zombies in their “undead” brains. Plenty of functioning organic tissue to lay waste to.
Hokiemagnum you sound just like one of my coworkers. Awesome. I agree with Ranger Man. Zombies are an allegory for any class of people who might come calling WSHTF. In the Cold War days, Hollywood used them (along with aliens) as a “less scary” version of Soviet Communists. I mean, “they’ll eat your brain and you’ll become one of them” sounds an aweful lot like “the Commies will indoctrinate you and you’ll become one of them.”
Interestingly, I had a similar conversation with some of my students one afternoon a few weeks ago. My students are all adult learners, and some of them (those in question) have interest in survival, zombies, firearms, what-have-you. One mentioned that if the zombies invaded, he’d hang out with another one of them, because he’d be able to survive the zombie-apocalypse. The second student and myself started on the discussion that zombies are just an allegory. It’s an awesome conversation to have.
A few weeks ago I bought the book The Zombie Survival Guide, Complete protection from the living dead. The author is Max Brooks. It is listed under humor but what I found remarkable is on the cover it clearly states: ONE MILLION IN PRINT! and NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER. Hmmmm. I was compelled to buy it.
After reading through it I found a helluva lot of practical information in this book. Max Brooks is a prepper for sure. There was some slightly off information and vagueness on many things but the topics in this book are vast. If you knew nothing and just read this “comedy” you would stand a better chance than not.
The Zombies in my opinion would be your neighbors trying to raid your stash and not the undead.