With zombie preparedness an ever present satellite orbiting the culture of disaster preparedness and survival, it’s only natural that people would make tongue in cheek references to it while discussing Earthquake or other preparedness scenarios. But now that more official sources are giving what appears to be giving the subject the same treatment, it might be worth looking into the subject once again and studying just what zombies mean to us all, and why the city council in Bristol decided to go ahead and outline their own guide.
Zombie culture at the moment is nothing short of pandemic since the turn of the millennium. But why are so many official organizations jumping on-board the feeding frenzy? Some have suggested it may be because it allows these organizations the opportunity to showcase that they are keeping up on modern culture. Others say the cultural movement is a Jungian response to the world’s problems and is in a similar vein to other apocalyptic literature and feeling disconnected from a world where the source of all material possessions become a mystery. And some are suggesting we all deep down feel like a zombie apocalypse could really happen. And that last suggestion has more scientific backing than we may have once thought.
The idea of the undead returning from the grave and wreaking eternal flesh-eating havoc on the living may be a bit beyond the scope of reason for some people, but the more modern scenarios outlined in films such as 28 Days Later paint a picture that is disturbing because modern science can’t point to any single aspect to disprove it. The possibility of an unknown pathogen or virus destroying reason and turning people into mindless and generally psychotic killers is surprisingly difficult to debunk entirely.
So are emergency response agencies and city councils hedging their bets by posting tips on the zombie apocalypse? Alas for zombie survivalists, it appears this particular release by the counsel was primarily to advertise an upcoming tourist attraction. At least that’s what the very last few words of the post seem to indicate. But while that may take the teeth out of any zombie conspiracy arising from this message, there is still another side to it that seems strangely ignored. Zombies are a culture which has arisen from film, comics, video games, and in the case of Max Brooks’ World War Z, literature as well. Generally these media deal with a very specific scenario where the entirety of mankind dies a bloody death due to human beings literally consuming one another alive. Is it strange that our society has so quickly adopted a concept that once horrified us? Maybe we’re used to it by now. Or maybe there’s something else to it – a sort of understanding that whatever the method there is change on the horizon on a global scale – encompassing our entire world and everyone in it. And perhaps zombies serve as a symbol that’s comfortably distant and fictional. That is until it isn’t.