Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It goes by many names: "The Crisis," "The Dark Years," "The Walking Plague"

If you were to ask me a year ago if I was a zombie fan I would have said no.  I suppose in reality if you ask me now I'll still say no.  Perhaps I'll elaborate and say I like zombies in the same way that I like pirates and ninjas.  The internet has decided these things are funny and they show up everywhere and eventually you get worn down and agree that yes, zombies, pirates and ninjas are awesome.  But even knowing the internet's power, the amount of zombie media I have consumed still confuses me.  Pirates can be pinned on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and as a child I grew up with the Ninja Turtles, so I at least have some background with these topics.  Completely fake, pop culture based backgrounds, but backgrounds nonetheless.  I've been trying to figure out how zombies got added to my own mix and here's a timeline I've come up with.

Pre-2004 - Zombie stuff happens but I don't care yet

2004 - Shaun of the Dead comes out

2006 - I actually get around to seeing this movie.  I think it's funny enough to eventually see Hot Fuzz but don't think too much more about it

2008 - during a job interview I'm conducting I get bored with the string of typical answers to typical questions and ask the interviewee "Zombies are attacking the city.  What's your first move?"  I decide the question elicites funny responses, either in the form of great answers or just confused looks, and I start using the question in other interviews and when meeting friends' significant others for the first time.  I find it's a good way to weed out people without a sense of humor.

2009 - Zombieland and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies both come out. Boyfriend and I decide to see Zombieland, most likely because there was nothing else we wanted to see.  I love it!  Boyfriend is (rightly) baffled by this.  A few months later I'm in my neighborhood bookstore and a women is buying a bunch of zombie books because the local theater is having a screening of Night of the Living Dead followed by a zombie expert answering questions and she's picking up door prizes. (Side note, I love both the local bookstore and the local theater.) She decides against P&P&Z and I ask the cashier to throw it on my pile.  The book is hilarious and the book title is exactly right.  It is primarily the text of Pride and Prejudice but anytime the story starts to have one too many dances, meals or carriage rides BAM zombies attack.  I have lots of conversations with people while reading the book in public.  The cover draws lots of interest.

2010 - Zombieland comes out on DVD and I buy it on release day.  Around this time Brother is looking for a book to read.  He's not exactly what you would call a reader, so I'm surprised to hear he's actually looking for something to read by choice.  He's looking for World War Z and says it's about zombies.  I tell him about my new found zombie appreciation and he lends it to me after he's read it.  Brother fails to mention World War Z is not a funny book.  Laughs at me when I tell him I didn't know it would be serious.  Brother can be a bit of a jerk.

So here I am now.  I've actually read WWZ once before I started this blog but I enjoyed it enough, and wanted to write about it enough, to start reading it again.  This book has shown me that my conscious and my subconscious really can't agree on anything.  My conscious isn't afraid of zombies.  When I'm awake I think they're funny because they're slow (usually) and stupid and not very scary.  Especially if you read the Cracked article about how a zombie apocalypse would fail.  But the first time I read this I had zombie nightmares many nights.  They wake me up, which really only serves to annoy me.  Unlike normal nightmares where you still feel the residual fear, even when you know there's nothing to be afraid of, I wake up from these dreams just annoyed that I'm awake.  I know I was just dreaming about zombies; when I close my eyes I can see them again.  But I don't have any of that fear.  Instead all I think is "It's 3 in the morning, I have to get up in a few hours, and I don't want these zombies waking me up anymore.  This is annoying."  Not only do I now have zombie nightmares while reading the book, but now that I've read WWZ, other zombie things give me the same unscary zombie nightmares.  My subconscious needs to get it together so I can enjoy my zombies but still get a full night's sleep.

I swear my next post will actually discuss the book. In the meantime, check out this list of zombie contingency plans from  Mine most closely resembles the second one.  I will not survive a zombie apocalypse.  (I should get some credit or something from Cracked, seeing how I've mentioned them twice in this article alone.  They have a lot of zombie related articles.)

Title quote from page 1