The largest gathering of zombies numbered 15,458 participants, and was organized by Zombie Pub Crawl (USA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 11 October 2014.
I do it to blend in. You know, zombies don’t mess with other zombies.
Perhaps the special power zombies hold over our imaginations is that they show us not only that we can fight powerful societal forces on our own but also that, when dealing with mysterious forces greater than ourselves, there will be a comforting sense of community even in (un)death.
What are the pleasures of watching zombies with disintegrating flesh disintegrating the flesh of others, challenging basic binaries of inside/outside, pleasure/disgust, alive/dead, libidinal/alimentary and male/female? To take delight in such images suggests there is a desire to configure the internal and clandestine plateaus of the human body as visually available and useful in perverse, but not necessarily offensive or unethical ways.
Zombie enthusiasts don’t talk about how horrific the collapse of civilization would be— they talk about what kind of weapon would get them the most kills. A zombie apocalypse isn’t a disaster, it’s carte blanche to run around killing your neighbours, co-workers, and all the strangers who used to cut you off in traffic. It’s an excuse to act out your wildest violent fantasies and not be punished for it. On the contrary—you’ll be rewarded for so much killing. You’ll become a legend.
Zombie killing is philosophically similar to reading and deleting 400 work e-mails on a Monday morning or filling out paperwork that only generates more paperwork, or following Twitter gossip out of obligation, or performing tedious tasks in which the only true risk is being consumed by the avalanche.
Zombies as threat and as comedy overlap as “monstrous placeholders” that point to the gap of what we are not directly talking about—what is censored in our collective public discourse—including economic and ecological crises that are psychologically indigestible…. Indeed, it is easier to imagine disintegrating cannibalistic corpses covering the planet than to imagine a sustainable shift in our socioeconomic system.
Regardless of whether the idea of zombies is coherent, it has stimulated fruitful work on physicalism, phenomenal concepts, and the relations between imaginability, conceivability, and possibility. For theories of consciousness it continues to pose a crucial challenge. If the idea is coherent, the objections to it must be met, and some kind of dualistic theory be made acceptable. If it can be shown to be incoherent, physicalism is virtually home and dry—but can the appeal of zombies ever be neutralized convincingly?
In a wonderful bit of irony and rhetoric, the monstrous zombies created by our imaginations, whether in a logician’s thought experiment or a director’s frame, may yet save us from our own misguided and arrogant urge to degrade and dehumanize ourselves into soulless machines.
We geeks are the true zombies—some of us shuffle, others amble along at a steady pace. Some of us even tilt forward and run at top speed. But the destination is always the same. The crushing realization that we’ve wasted our lives debating f*cking zombies.