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We're All Zombies
Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Directed by George Romero

“I have always liked the ‘monster within’ idea. I like to think of zombies as being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.” – George Romero

The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human. Fear of cannibalism along with the other two great taboos, incest and inter-family violence, are the bedrocks of human culture. Without these taboos there is no human civilization, yet zombie cannibals are everywhere, from the most popular TV shows in the US and Europe to the most played PC games. Everywhere we look there is a zombie dragging his feet looking for human prey. The ubiquitous nature of this meme of semi-human creatures that survive only by breaking the most fundamental of human taboos is a clear indicator of a collective cultural pathology.

Humans must not only kill and eat plants and animals to survive, we must make sure they keep coming back so they can be killed and eaten again and again. Life needs death; we must kill to live, and eventually we all wind up as someone else’s food. This paradox lies at the core of the world’s religions and mythologies and the fear/repulsion of eating other humans is the keystone of our culture, without it we turn on ourselves and self-annihilation ensues. The zombie meme is a modern myth pointing to a deep fear of self-destruction.

The great psychologist and mystic Carl Jung was asked if a myth could be equated to a collective dream and he answered this way, “A myth…is the product of an unconscious process in a particular social group, at a particular time, at a particular place. This unconscious process can naturally be equated with a dream. Hence anyone who ‘mythologizes,’ that is, tells myths, is speaking out of this dream.”

If a person had a recurring nightmare that she was eating her family it would be a clear symptom of a profound psychological disturbance. Cultures don’t dream, but they do tell stories and those stories can tell us much about the state of the collective psyche.

Many of the themes in our popular culture are conscious story telling devices with the definite purpose of social engineering/control, but others seem to just emerge from the collective unconscious like the stuff of dreams. The zombie meme is clearly of the latter variety. It’s pointing to a fear that something has broken in our culture and what awaits us is a collective psychotic break of apocalyptic proportions.

In the 1950’s there were widespread fears of a communist takeover that expressed themselves through films like The Village of the Damned or the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But the zombie meme exposes something much darker in our collective psyche. The fundamental taboo around cannibalism is a pillar of human culture, yet the zombies are obsessive cannibals and we can’t seem to get enough of them.

What does this new archetype of a cannibalistic apocalypse reveal about out culture? By nature archetypes point to transcendent themes that evade definition. They are not symbols that have a clear equivalent, they can only point in the general direction which in the case of the zombie meme is the inverting of some of our most sacred myths and the embracing of our most horrid taboos.

The Walking Dead - The most watched TV show
in the 18 to 49 year old demographic in the United States.

The zombie meme emerged onto the American consciousnesses with George Romero’s 1968 cult classic, The Night of the Living Dead. The archetype was invigorated with Danny Boyles’s 2002 film, 28 Days Later which introduced an important new element: the apocalypse.

The meme reached maturity in 2010 when AMC launched The Walking Dead, now the number #1 show on US television for viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. The Walking Dead was created by Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption, and is based on a comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The key to the success of The Walking Dead is the dystopian zombie apocalypse in which the story unravels, allowing it to outperform even the ultimate social opiate, Sunday Night Football.

This is not simply an American phenomenon. In France the series The Returned (French: Les Revenants) has been very popular with both viewers and critics. The Returned puts a fascinating twist on the return of the dead- they just start walking home after having been dead for many years as if nothing had happened. The BBC’s In the Flesh focuses on reintegrating zombies, victims of PDS (Partially Dead Syndrome). World Z had Brad Pitt save the world from fast moving zombies on the big screen and Mel Brook’s son Max even wrote a book titled The Zombie Survival Guide.

The Inverted Christian Mythos

In one episode of The Walking Dead the zombies are seen shuffling under the arch of an episcopal church inscribed with a passage from the gospel of John, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”. Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him. Catholics believe this sacramental right gives them eternal life. In the zombie meme, the infected humans die and are born again but not unto salvation but into a hell of insatiable appetites and mindless meandering.

The Christian myth is agricultural; Christ is killed, buried, and comes to life three days later as the seed emerging from the ground, just as the moon hides for three days behind the sun each month, only to be born again. Christ’s body is the ‘sacred’ meal, the sacrificial food of the gods, his blood is their elixir. The Catholic acts as the god receiving the sacred meal and by doing so gains the eternal qualities of the gods by breaking the most embedded of human taboos – the eating of human flesh. It’s certainly a curios paradox that the sins of man are forgiven by committing cannibalism, as Catholic doctrine clearly states that Jesus was both man and God and the transubstantiation of the Catholic mass physically changes the bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus.

ORDER IT NOW

As the Christian myth begins its third millennium, is the zombie meme telling us that this religious story is no longer viable ? Are billions of ‘zombies’ eating flesh and drinking blood but finding no nourishment? The vast majority of Western people have a profound belief in science and science tells us that the story of Jesus is not to be taken literally, yet our churches insist that the ‘myth’ of Jesus is historical. The Christian software no longer works as the science ‘virus’ has rendered it useless.

Myths are other people’s religions and for Westerners in need of spiritual ‘food’ the Eastern systems of yoga and Buddhism, which don’t depend on dogma that contradicts science, seem to be more palatable to their scientific worldviews. Unfortunately, those ‘programs’ where written for a machine other than modern Western man.

Joseph Campbell described believing in a literal, historical God as someone eating a menu believing that they were really eating the food. One clear component of the zombie meme is the spiritual starvation we are experiencing in the West. We are eating the menus so the speak- old, meaningless books written by foreign peoples from far off places thousands of years ago, and they give us no nourishment.

The Hunger

Dawn of the Dead (1978) George Romero

Another essential quality of the zombie is its unquenchable hunger. No amount of flesh and blood seems able to quench the longing to consume live human flesh. Modern man has a similar problem- no amount of money, sex, gadgets, job titles, drugs, entertainment, pornography, art, religion or gurus seem able to quench our thirst. We live in constant hunger.

If we equate the zombie ‘hunger’ for flesh to the human desire for money, the comparison becomes almost uncanny. Most adult humans spend most of their day either making money or spending it while being constantly bombarded with propaganda/advertising to keep them hungry.

From the most humble street vendor to the billionaires on CNBC, no one seems to ever have enough money. Zombies need to eat live human flesh and money is at its core, human labor. Our craving for money is really the craving for the work of others, for the sweat and blood of millions to furnish us with unlimited amounts of food and consumer goods.

The vast majority of Westerners have ceased to create anything tangible. Only one in five Americans actually produce anything. Eating what one produces on a farm or trading manufactured goods for food connects us to life. But when people spend ten hours hours a day in an office looking at a computer screen and two hours in traffic, somehow eating, and living, become abstract. What are we actually doing to create the food , heat, and the shelter we need?

Our hunger for food and things far outstrips our practical needs and has become the cause of our ever more obese, angry, unsatisfied society while our spiritual hunger leaves us addicted, chasing empty consumer thrills. There is no end to what can be consumed and there is never enough for even those with billions; we always need more.

Zombies Don’t Surf

Halloween surf contest in Santa Monica – Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Zombies don’t think, they simply move in big herds looking for their next meal, reminiscent of the herds piling up behind the doors of malls on Black Friday. Curiously, the only way to kill them is to shoot them in their least vulnerable point, their brains.

Modern man is almost entirely without out any practical skills. He doesn’t know how to grow food, hunt animals or build a house. He uses all sorts of electronic tools whose core technologies he doesn’t really understand and which he doesn’t have the slightest idea how to fix.

This set of circumstances is a recent development in human history, beginning in the 18th century and growing exponentially in the last 30 years during the information revolution. We are helpless slaves to technologies we don’t understand and to media that programs us to believe all sorts of propaganda designed to keep us from actually thinking critically.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Dawn of the Dead – 2004 Re-make

At least since the time of Christ, western man has been waiting for one apocalypse or another. Be it the return of Christ, the turn of the millennium, nuclear war, killer meteorites or UFO’s, apocalyptic fears are nothing new to us. Yet it’s no coincidence that just as the zombie took over prime time with The Walking Dead, the term ‘preppers’ began to appear. The intensity of apocalyptic thinking has noticeably increased in the last few years as shows like Doomsday Preppers is the most watched program in the history of the National Geographic Channel.

The latest wave of apocalyptic furor to take over the US is not based on fears of nuclear war or the return of Jesus, but on the collapse of the financial system which gave us a shot over the bow in 2008. We are so far removed from any practical and productive activities that if the extremely complex financial and logistical infrastructure of the world gave way, how would we survive? If our stores were suddenly empty how many people in the West would be able to produce food, fuel and shelter? The vast majority of us are so far removed from the practical necessities of life that we are in a very real sense, mindless, insatiable, endlessly consuming zombies.

Not only do we not understand the technologies we use, we seem to trust that the complex systems that maintain us will continue working seamlessly even as doubts grow over the people who brought us the sub-prime debacle, the Iraq War and quantitative easing (QE). What would happen to the world supply chain if the confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency were lost? Is the ever increasing gap between rich and poor about to explode into all out class/race war? A key element of the zombie meme is the underlying fear of societal collapse.

The Myth is Dead

Sometime after Galileo but before Newton, science lost the need for meaning. For Galileo the universe, including the earth, was alive but by the time of Newton it was a dead machine. The importance of this shift cannot be overestimated. Galileo was describing something that was alive, that had a soul, a soul humans participated in, but by the time of Newton and the Enlightenment we were existing in a cold universe. The world went from breathing like a mother to ticking like a clock.

From the earliest known cave paintings made over 40,000 years ago to the mystery schools of pre-Aryan Europe through to medieval Christian Europe, the West has been guided by profound mythical stories.

Science can give us answers to almost all our questions, yet in the end its meaninglessness is disquieting. Science gives us technologies and deep understandings of the mechanics of the universe, but it’s unwilling to the breach the topic of meaning. We are asked to live for cliches, consumerism, hedonism or fundamentalism. Rejecting science is absurd but embracing it is deadening.

If we were able to understand our own religions in the same spirit that we decipher the religions of others (myths) while embracing science (with its limitations), than maybe we could find our way to a new myth that would shed meaning on our cold world. But myths emerge, they are not consciously created, and for the moment we wade in the void of knowing how but not why. We consume but are never filled, we seek but we do not find.

We are all zombies.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
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34 Comments to "We're All Zombies"
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  1. Brilliant article – much enjoyed this analysis of the popularity of zombies in our culture (they took over from vampires).

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    • Replies: @Kyle a
    Which is why I'm getting my werewolve costume early this year. Sure to be the next big thing
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  2. @Zachary Latif
    Brilliant article - much enjoyed this analysis of the popularity of zombies in our culture (they took over from vampires).

    Which is why I’m getting my werewolve costume early this year. Sure to be the next big thing

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    • Replies: @White Guy In Japan
    Don't think so. The vampire symbolizes seduction while the werewolf symbolizes rape. Vampire movie are more numerous and popular than werewolf movies. Go figure.
  3. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him.

    Well, this is just the first of many inane comments about Catholics and The Eucharist and it illustrates just how ignorant the author is about the Eucharist.

    Only a man who has received Holy Orders (Priest, Prelate, Pope) can confect the Eucharist.

    The author also makes many other fundamental mistakes such as thinking carnally and materialistically about The Eucharist; apparently he knows nothing about what constitutes Transubstantion and so he confuses accidents for substance.

    The Christian myth is agricultural..

    Sacramental right

    ha, ha, ha

    This should have been posted at Eye of the Tiber.

    O, and it is a pity that the author thinks just as did the Jews who rejected Jesus when He taught them about the Eucharist (John 6th chapter) but the author ought to have at least heard that Jesus is not dead and, thus there is no cannibalism.

    As for science, please…

    When it is warning us not to eat eggs, it is telling us about global warming and Piltdown men and just how safe Thalidomide is etc etc etc

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    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
    Generally a great article from CactusLand, but that one typo really needs to be corrected: "sacramental right"? I don't like readers who nitpick for harmless typos, but in this case, it's an essential distinction: the Eucharist is a rite!

    BTW: one point the article misses is the probable connection of the popularity of zombie culture in America with the ubiquitous American carnivore culture, especially including the insanely mechanized slaughterhouse industry. (I speak as someone who has seen it up close, in real life.)
    , @Anonymous
    Though I found elements of truth in this article, and appreciate the author's attempt to awaken us to the frightful implications of our cultural enfatuations, there is an unfortunate lack of experience with the Eucharist- the quintessential act of Transubstantiation- the ritual celebration of possibility of transformation from one condition into another. This is a hermetic mystery that provides a key as to how our pathetic zombie existence can be transformed into a real Life, a Life symbiotic and resonate with all creation, and an illumined consciousness that knows itself in connection with the Divine Creative Source of existence- which is LOVE. Without recognizing the spiritual, cosmic dimension of being, the human being is doomed to a zombie-like shadow existence completely ignorant of our higher divine nature. In the Eucharist, Bread becomes elevated to the Bread of LIFE and wine to the Wine of DIVINE spiritual LOVE. The Words of Christ "I am the Bread of Life" and "I am the True Vine" are an invitation to step out of one's limited egotistic confines into consciousness of the pleroma of Divine Grace. If one has never tasted such a moment of feeling connected to something so much bigger than the the uroborus of your mental processes, I urge you- get thee to a spring of living wisdom! I recommend Hafiz for starters.... then drink deep and ever deeper. Be not afraid of religion- it only means to reunite with the Divine source of All Existence.
    , @Lawrence Fitton
    well, mighty joe young, i greet you with a poem.

    man gets relgion

    free range primate sees
    zig zag zap
    joshua tree
    says to himself
    lord
    it cudda been me
  4. I found this column to be offensive to Catholics and Jesus.

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    • Replies: @J Yan
    It's an incite-ful [sic] article, and a dumb one at that.

    I can stomach the turgid word "meme" and the reference to charlatan Joseph Campbell, but the blanket statement "The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human" is too much. The real zombies and the real human evildoers are those who would take part in a mindless military machine which kills by the millions.
  5. @Minnesota Mary
    I found this column to be offensive to Catholics and Jesus.

    It’s an incite-ful [sic] article, and a dumb one at that.

    I can stomach the turgid word “meme” and the reference to charlatan Joseph Campbell, but the blanket statement “The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human” is too much. The real zombies and the real human evildoers are those who would take part in a mindless military machine which kills by the millions.

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  6. @Kyle a
    Which is why I'm getting my werewolve costume early this year. Sure to be the next big thing

    Don’t think so. The vampire symbolizes seduction while the werewolf symbolizes rape. Vampire movie are more numerous and popular than werewolf movies. Go figure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    "... The vampire symbolizes seduction ..."

    A Spanish doctor noted, several years ago, that descriptions of human vampires are close matches to descriptions of humans dying of rabies -- fear of bright light/mirrors, hypersensitivity to strong smells (eg garlic), aggression, biting, hypersexuality and sexual assault, the association with bats (common rabies vectors) and of course, those who are bitten or raped are likely to become vampires themselves.

  7. I prefer “fairy tales from old storybooks” over this writer’s “myths.” The human inventions which have between them killed numbers so vast as to be incomprehensible are government and religion. They are both extraordinarily dangerous and destructive beasts that must be constrained to the greatest extent pragmatism allows.

    The search for meaning in life is a lot of navel gazing. The overwhelming majority of us will never do anything remotely meaningful. And of those whose lives do have an impact greater than biological reproduction, as many or more will cause harm and suffering instead of knowledge and happiness. Aren’t these old fairy tales just the 1st Century CE equivalent of the Kardashians anyway? Common people with common lives doing common things and looking for a bit of entertainment and escape in tales of magickal resurrections or talking flora? Is it merely coincidence that the same people are drawn to both today? Is it just too distressing to contemplate that we have no more “meaning” than the biological reproduction of ourselves? Better somehow to go kill our neighbor because we like our old fairy tale better than his old fairy tale?

    Humans (some of us anyway) have come an awfully long way in a very short span of time. In a mere 10,000 years some of us have gone from being hunter gatherers (and thus not much different from apes) to interplanetary exploration. Perhaps in the next few thousand years we will figure out our “meaning” is to ensure our biological reproduction is aimed at improving ourselves without inflicting harm on others. The rest is just entertainment.

    Nevertheless, the realist in me says the zombie is a metaphor for the fecundity of a certain hyper-violent population without the intelligence to even sustain civilization overwhelming the populations with below replacement fertility rates and returning the earth to its state 20,000-50,000 years ago.

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    • Replies: @bomag
    Is it just too distressing to contemplate that we have no more “meaning” than the biological reproduction of ourselves?

    That is the most powerful tool we have. That is the thing that determines creation or destruction.

    ...the zombie is a metaphor for the fecundity of a certain hyper-violent population... overwhelming the populations with below replacement fertility rates...

    This. And it highlights the adage that demography is destiny; and that modern states promote dysgenics.
  8. Brilliant text!!! Most humans are in fact, zombies, specially because they have at least a little bit of awareness to know that they no have many potential genuine choices. The worst part, the zombie awareness to know you are a zombie.

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  9. YES, WE ARE ZOMBIES, BUT WE CAN BECOME CONSCIOUS!
    Charles T. Tart
    Introduction by Peter Webster

    In seeking to explore the elusive nature of consciousness, philosophers have sometimes resorted to “thought experiments,” much as physicists do when thinking about the enigmas of relativity. Todd C. Moody, associate professor in philosophy at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, recently contributed a paper to The Journal of Consciousness Studies in which he proposed such a thought experiment. Professor Moody’s ideas sparked a lively debate in the on-line discussion forum of the Journal, and led to a published Symposium on the subject of his paper which was entitled, “Conversations with Zombies”. (JCS, 1, (2), pp. 196-200, available at http://www.zynet.co.uk/imprint)

    http://web.archive.org/web/19990117001446/http://www.calyx.net/~schaffer/lsd/zombie.html

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  10. In a conversation with a friend awhile back, it was presented to me that the reason there is such a prevalence of zombie shows is to get us peons comfortable with the idea of humans killing other humans. They use zombies so we aren’t as appalled.

    Just putting it out there…

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    • Replies: @freefall
    Dude you hit it on the head! There is nothing new about zombies (as this article portrays them) that hasn't been known for some time. The apocalypse is far from being a new concept. It is a ridiculous meme as far as I'm concerned. So is the narrative about a public dream from the collective unconscious. This is simple mind control brain washing as practiced by the studios and other film makers for quite some time. The visual occurrence of people killing each other on T.V. happens so frequently that I very nearly become ill if I have to watch for very long. Look at the proliferation of law enforcement themed shows. It is a keen observation you have made and shared with us. I only hope that our collective conscious becomes aware of the constant bombardment of thought control we are all being subjected to by the mass media fake entertainment complex.
  11. Generalization narratives like ”black against whites” or ”USA against Iran”, creates real human zombies.

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  12. It is unfortunate that the real meat of this article – the clear and concise section cleverly subtitled Zombies Don’t Surf – was diminished, to the point of being almost overwhelmed, by the tastelessness of the rest of the text.

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  13. Excellent discussion of the state of western culture as symbolized by the Zombie myth. Looking into the mirror can be upsetting to some. I personaly gave up Catholicism for my better mental health. If however it gives you meaning, then I am happy for you.

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  14. Zombies are like sleep dreams and fairy tales – they can easily be interpreted psychologically in a variety of ways. And usually are. There usually seems to be at least a shred of insight in most interpretations. Anxieties about population and inescapable mortality are a couple of other more obvious dots that can be connected in zombie fiction.

    Oh, and then there’s the matter of the zombies’ different skin color, different facial features (generally perceived as being ugly and menacing), extremely low intelligence, the complete lack of morals and the inevitable violence that occurs whenever they’re in large groups – whatever correlation that might have with any modern day population in the civilized world. I suspect this is a big part of the appeal of zombie fiction. My evidence? How is it that zombies are killed? With magic? Stakes in the heart? Silver projectiles?

    No…they’re killed with plain ol’ guns. With lead bullets. The same down-to -earth way we imagine we would dispatch their real life counterparts, should it ever come to that. Fantasy zombie talk I encounter at gun ranges and forums often strikes me as being a sublimation of this very real anxiety. Remington even has a zombie shotgun. And it ain’t for huntin’ ducks or using as a prop in a horror movie.

    http://www.armoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ati-zombie-stalker-remington-870.jpeg

    People’s anxieties are going to reveal themselves one way or another, political correctness be damned. That’s part of being human.

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  15. The vast majority of Western people have a profound belief in science and science tells us that the story of Jesus is not to be taken literally, yet our churches insist that the ‘myth’ of Jesus is historical.

    How does “science” “disprove” Christianity? And how would you square this with most of the pioneers in science being Christians? And even more incredible …

    Myths are other people’s religions and for Westerners in need of spiritual ‘food’ the Eastern systems of yoga and Buddhism, which don’t depend on dogma that contradicts science, seem to be more palatable to their scientific worldviews.

    It’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where science disproves Christianity, and yet doesn’t do the same for other religions. The more logical explanation is that Westerners aren’t adopting Eastern religions; it’s just that, having rejected Christianity, they’re dilettantishly looking around for a replacement.

    If you want to know what religion post-Christians actually adhere to, look at their taboos, the targets of their witch-hunts, their saints, and their sacred or a-priori truths.

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  16. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Christ is killed, buried, and comes to life three days later as the seed emerging from the ground, just as the moon hides for three days behind the sun each month, only to be born again.

    I’ve heard of literary license, but that takes the cake.

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  17. bomag [AKA "doombuggy"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Stan D Mute
    I prefer "fairy tales from old storybooks" over this writer's "myths." The human inventions which have between them killed numbers so vast as to be incomprehensible are government and religion. They are both extraordinarily dangerous and destructive beasts that must be constrained to the greatest extent pragmatism allows.

    The search for meaning in life is a lot of navel gazing. The overwhelming majority of us will never do anything remotely meaningful. And of those whose lives do have an impact greater than biological reproduction, as many or more will cause harm and suffering instead of knowledge and happiness. Aren't these old fairy tales just the 1st Century CE equivalent of the Kardashians anyway? Common people with common lives doing common things and looking for a bit of entertainment and escape in tales of magickal resurrections or talking flora? Is it merely coincidence that the same people are drawn to both today? Is it just too distressing to contemplate that we have no more "meaning" than the biological reproduction of ourselves? Better somehow to go kill our neighbor because we like our old fairy tale better than his old fairy tale?

    Humans (some of us anyway) have come an awfully long way in a very short span of time. In a mere 10,000 years some of us have gone from being hunter gatherers (and thus not much different from apes) to interplanetary exploration. Perhaps in the next few thousand years we will figure out our "meaning" is to ensure our biological reproduction is aimed at improving ourselves without inflicting harm on others. The rest is just entertainment.

    Nevertheless, the realist in me says the zombie is a metaphor for the fecundity of a certain hyper-violent population without the intelligence to even sustain civilization overwhelming the populations with below replacement fertility rates and returning the earth to its state 20,000-50,000 years ago.

    Is it just too distressing to contemplate that we have no more “meaning” than the biological reproduction of ourselves?

    That is the most powerful tool we have. That is the thing that determines creation or destruction.

    …the zombie is a metaphor for the fecundity of a certain hyper-violent population… overwhelming the populations with below replacement fertility rates…

    This. And it highlights the adage that demography is destiny; and that modern states promote dysgenics.

    Read More
  18. ” “A myth…is the product of an unconscious process in a particular social group, at a particular time, at a particular place. This unconscious process can naturally be equated with a dream. Hence anyone who ‘mythologizes,’ that is, tells myths, is speaking out of this dream.”

    Hence the Myth of 9/11.

    Held the Nation in sway for almost 15 years now.

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  19. The recent American “zombie apocalypse” craze is really a subconscious expression of life in a modern, ideologically, culturally and socially atomized country. Behind every seemingly friendly person you meet is a potential shambling monster waiting to be revealed, who depending on their hidden personal politics and beliefs, has the potential to gravely harm you and your livelihood through guilt by association etc, and thus must be treated with the utmost caution.

    The Walking Dead resonates with young people because they can relate. To survive in this post-modern multicultural wasteland where there is no such thing as the common good they all must find their “group of survivors” ie; the highly stylized social niche groups of nerds, hipsters, punks etc that have developed in place of the old American monoculture.

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  20. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld, I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down, and will let the dead go up to eat the living! And the dead will outnumber the living!
    – Epic of Gilgamesh, ca. 2100 BC

    This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another.
    – Zechariah 14:12-13, ca. 520 BC

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  21. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @White Guy In Japan
    Don't think so. The vampire symbolizes seduction while the werewolf symbolizes rape. Vampire movie are more numerous and popular than werewolf movies. Go figure.

    “… The vampire symbolizes seduction …”

    A Spanish doctor noted, several years ago, that descriptions of human vampires are close matches to descriptions of humans dying of rabies — fear of bright light/mirrors, hypersensitivity to strong smells (eg garlic), aggression, biting, hypersexuality and sexual assault, the association with bats (common rabies vectors) and of course, those who are bitten or raped are likely to become vampires themselves.

    Read More
  22. Guess I will have to go elsewhere to understand this infatuation with the zombie “meme”.

    Read More
  23. @Anonymous
    Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him.


    Well, this is just the first of many inane comments about Catholics and The Eucharist and it illustrates just how ignorant the author is about the Eucharist.

    Only a man who has received Holy Orders (Priest, Prelate, Pope) can confect the Eucharist.

    The author also makes many other fundamental mistakes such as thinking carnally and materialistically about The Eucharist; apparently he knows nothing about what constitutes Transubstantion and so he confuses accidents for substance.


    The Christian myth is agricultural..

    Sacramental right


    ha, ha, ha

    This should have been posted at Eye of the Tiber.

    O, and it is a pity that the author thinks just as did the Jews who rejected Jesus when He taught them about the Eucharist (John 6th chapter) but the author ought to have at least heard that Jesus is not dead and, thus there is no cannibalism.

    As for science, please...

    When it is warning us not to eat eggs, it is telling us about global warming and Piltdown men and just how safe Thalidomide is etc etc etc

    Generally a great article from CactusLand, but that one typo really needs to be corrected: “sacramental right“? I don’t like readers who nitpick for harmless typos, but in this case, it’s an essential distinction: the Eucharist is a rite!

    BTW: one point the article misses is the probable connection of the popularity of zombie culture in America with the ubiquitous American carnivore culture, especially including the insanely mechanized slaughterhouse industry. (I speak as someone who has seen it up close, in real life.)

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  24. Is it possible that George Romero, et al, “invented” zombies not to express a philosophy or stimulate a discussion about the state of Western Civilization but to…..entertain and make a buck? Just a thought.

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  25. Ego sum panis vivus, qui de caelo descendi. Si quis manducaverit ex hoc pane, vivet in aeternum; panis autem quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita. Johannes 6, 51

    Amen , amen dico vobis: Nisi manducaveritis carnem Filii hominis et biberitis eius sanguinem, non habetis vitam in vobismetipsis. Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, habet vitam aeternam; et ego resuscitabo eum in novissimo die. Johannes 6, 53

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  26. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anonymous
    Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him.


    Well, this is just the first of many inane comments about Catholics and The Eucharist and it illustrates just how ignorant the author is about the Eucharist.

    Only a man who has received Holy Orders (Priest, Prelate, Pope) can confect the Eucharist.

    The author also makes many other fundamental mistakes such as thinking carnally and materialistically about The Eucharist; apparently he knows nothing about what constitutes Transubstantion and so he confuses accidents for substance.


    The Christian myth is agricultural..

    Sacramental right


    ha, ha, ha

    This should have been posted at Eye of the Tiber.

    O, and it is a pity that the author thinks just as did the Jews who rejected Jesus when He taught them about the Eucharist (John 6th chapter) but the author ought to have at least heard that Jesus is not dead and, thus there is no cannibalism.

    As for science, please...

    When it is warning us not to eat eggs, it is telling us about global warming and Piltdown men and just how safe Thalidomide is etc etc etc

    Though I found elements of truth in this article, and appreciate the author’s attempt to awaken us to the frightful implications of our cultural enfatuations, there is an unfortunate lack of experience with the Eucharist- the quintessential act of Transubstantiation- the ritual celebration of possibility of transformation from one condition into another. This is a hermetic mystery that provides a key as to how our pathetic zombie existence can be transformed into a real Life, a Life symbiotic and resonate with all creation, and an illumined consciousness that knows itself in connection with the Divine Creative Source of existence- which is LOVE. Without recognizing the spiritual, cosmic dimension of being, the human being is doomed to a zombie-like shadow existence completely ignorant of our higher divine nature. In the Eucharist, Bread becomes elevated to the Bread of LIFE and wine to the Wine of DIVINE spiritual LOVE. The Words of Christ “I am the Bread of Life” and “I am the True Vine” are an invitation to step out of one’s limited egotistic confines into consciousness of the pleroma of Divine Grace. If one has never tasted such a moment of feeling connected to something so much bigger than the the uroborus of your mental processes, I urge you- get thee to a spring of living wisdom! I recommend Hafiz for starters…. then drink deep and ever deeper. Be not afraid of religion- it only means to reunite with the Divine source of All Existence.

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  27. Did Carl Jung realize he was talking first about his own myth? That he was talking out of other orifices, beyond his own dream? That his dreams are flatulent ?

    For consciousness to exist, memory must also, as would sensory perception. One would also presume a unity of thought, were sanity to exist.

    Where do we find collective memory, much less perception, among the world population(s)? Collectively, people seem to forget during political campaigns how they have been beguiled repeatedly by the same rhetorical techniques. Few have the same perspective on historical events, even as witnesses to a crime or catastrophe. So much for collective memory.

    Plenty of similar examples exist for perception and unity of thought. With such evidence, the hypothesis is adequately falsified.

    It is far more probable that Eric Hoffer’s characterization of people attaching themselves to Mass Movements because of their founding ideology makes for the substance of the proposed Zombie mentality. The motives for such attachments Eric summarizes in The True Believer and The Ordeal of Change are far better insight than Carl’s flatulent babble.

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  28. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Fear of cannibalism along with the other two great taboos, incest and inter-family violence, are the bedrocks of human culture. Without these taboos there is no human civilization,

    Total bullshit. Read some history. Cannibalism has been around since the species stood upright (and still is). Incest as is defined in Western culture was also venerated in many tribal societies. Your attempts to project Judeo-Christian “values” have made you blind to historical facts.

    Besides being inaccurate, I found the rest of your rhetoric difficult to read. You failed (badly) on all counts, especially with this claim:

    “The zombie meme is clearly of the latter variety. It’s pointing to a fear that something has broken in our culture and what awaits us is a collective psychotic break of apocalyptic proportions.”

    WTF? A “collective psychotic break”? You sir, are utterly deluded. You don’t think that the money-making machine of Hollywood and its subtle programming of the human mind has anything to do with the meme? Are you really that ignorant or just interested in selling articles? You also failed to comprehend how this factory of propaganda has programmed the whole world to accept so many delusions (ET’s, apocalypse, consumption, the American dream, etc.).

    Civilization has rarely kept up with technological advancements. Human values and the comprehension of how these changes impact our society and individual lives lags far behind the constant acceleration of technology. But what has “caught up” is mind-control and how this propaganda can be used to create armies of mindless consuming insatiable zombies. This is why there is no happiness in a consumer culture, we are force-fed the lies of “happiness” that can only be “found” in consumption and insatiable entertainment.

    You missed the Ark entirely (again, I cheçked out your other articles before posting this) and are standing out in the rain, forlorn and lost. You’re not even in the same ocean as the rest of us.

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  29. @Anonymous
    Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him.


    Well, this is just the first of many inane comments about Catholics and The Eucharist and it illustrates just how ignorant the author is about the Eucharist.

    Only a man who has received Holy Orders (Priest, Prelate, Pope) can confect the Eucharist.

    The author also makes many other fundamental mistakes such as thinking carnally and materialistically about The Eucharist; apparently he knows nothing about what constitutes Transubstantion and so he confuses accidents for substance.


    The Christian myth is agricultural..

    Sacramental right


    ha, ha, ha

    This should have been posted at Eye of the Tiber.

    O, and it is a pity that the author thinks just as did the Jews who rejected Jesus when He taught them about the Eucharist (John 6th chapter) but the author ought to have at least heard that Jesus is not dead and, thus there is no cannibalism.

    As for science, please...

    When it is warning us not to eat eggs, it is telling us about global warming and Piltdown men and just how safe Thalidomide is etc etc etc

    well, mighty joe young, i greet you with a poem.

    man gets relgion

    free range primate sees
    zig zag zap
    joshua tree
    says to himself
    lord
    it cudda been me

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  30. @abj_slant
    In a conversation with a friend awhile back, it was presented to me that the reason there is such a prevalence of zombie shows is to get us peons comfortable with the idea of humans killing other humans. They use zombies so we aren't as appalled.

    Just putting it out there...

    Dude you hit it on the head! There is nothing new about zombies (as this article portrays them) that hasn’t been known for some time. The apocalypse is far from being a new concept. It is a ridiculous meme as far as I’m concerned. So is the narrative about a public dream from the collective unconscious. This is simple mind control brain washing as practiced by the studios and other film makers for quite some time. The visual occurrence of people killing each other on T.V. happens so frequently that I very nearly become ill if I have to watch for very long. Look at the proliferation of law enforcement themed shows. It is a keen observation you have made and shared with us. I only hope that our collective conscious becomes aware of the constant bombardment of thought control we are all being subjected to by the mass media fake entertainment complex.

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  31. Re: “…The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human. Fear of cannibalism along with the other two great taboos, incest and inter-family violence, are the bedrocks of human culture…”

    I must, respectfully, disagree…
    I’ll concede: I’ve NEVER responded to a ‘person, eaten / eating, another’ during my 22 year pre-hospital career; (22 Yrs.: E.M.T-Basic; 16 Yrs,: A-EMT-4-Paramedic, A.C.L.S.).
    DON’T misunderstand: I’ve heard ALL the jokes about Chikitilo, (Russia), and Dhamer, (U.S.), including:
    Q.) What is Jeffrey Dahmer’s favorite midnight snack? A.) The ‘Cold Shoulder’…

    I’ve certainly seen things that would make some / most people ‘revisit’ launch, merely in the re-telling, because I’ve, (unintentionally…), caused a person, (or three…), to lose their lunch, via recounting some of my EMS ‘War Stories’, etc. however…
    As unbelievably, terrible as some of the things I’ve run, into were…I NEVER ran into anything that might be considered to be, (potentially / actually…), causing a species extinction.
    I’m reminded of a Star Trek episode where Capt Picard, (Pat Stewart), runs into an ‘Omnipotent_Being’ who has destroyed an entire species in vengeance for that species killing his wife, and Picard says: The Federation, “has no law by which to try this, (omnipotent), being…etc.”

    The two primary concerns I have, re this issue, are:
    1.) Thermonuclear_War
    2.) Anthropocentric Global Weather Instability…aka, Co2-overdose.

    I think #2 is the MORE insidious of the two, because this emergency is, (currently), in ‘full afterburner’, and NO amount of pretending OR, (Humpty_Trumpty’s / other’s), denial will solve the problem…
    The other issue: our society is overly, dependent on Co2-producing functions…and it’s a very slow, ‘relatively’ gentle, quiet disaster, overtaking humanity like the water, sinking R.M.S. Titanic; (URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreck_of_the_RMS_Titanic#/media/File:Titanic_wreck_bow.jpg)…

    Having accidentally, survived the late, Great 1 WTC, (destroyed via blasphemy, in Sept., ’01)…
    I think the WORST, (criminal), act any hominid / group, of hominids can commit is…
    Species Extinction.

    One only needs to watch ‘Dr. Strangelove’, and realize, (given the 10′s, ‘O, 1,000′s of megatons, on 4-5 minute alert just like my paramedic ambulance. (…STILL), is / I used to be…
    WILL occur so much faster than the hominid nervous system can inform it’s unfortunate hominid_owner, that…we, literally, WON’T know…
    It is NOT a ‘rhetorical’ notion: ANY species extinction is forever!

    Yes, there IS talk that Mammoths may be making a ‘test-tube’ comeback, via Mammoth D.N.A., combined with modern elephants / gestated in elephant wombs, and…
    Presto: in some number of artificially, induced generations, the resulting animal(s) will be, (for all intents / purposes…), a 100% ‘mammoth’ animal just like it’s D.N.A. source, recovered from the slowly, disappearing northern tundra(s), was…

    Which begs the question: Amazing as such a species_recovery will be…why are we bringing mammoths back, even as we’re proceeding to exterminate our, (current), elephant / other species??

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