December 14, 2018

By CASSIDY FOULDS

There have been many theories as to what the future has in store for the human race. Just looking back through the decades, it’s easy to see the trends. All we really did was take the styles and culture of the day and add some technological feats into it. The 1980s’ version of the future was just a glorified version of the ’80s. In the 1990s and early 2000s, we seemed to think that we’d keep that grungy culture, but we’d have lots of bright lights and white rooms. In the 2010s, things started to change. The popular theory of what the future could become was a bit more bleak and medieval. Medieval as in zombie apocalypses.

The idea of zombies and the living dead isn’t new. It goes further back than any zombie film you have seen. Legends, horror stories, religions and societies have all featured some sort of living dead as far back as these things have been recorded. So why now? Why the sudden interest?

We could probably blame it on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Yes, the show is based on the comics with the same name by Robert Kirkham, but the craze would not have reached this height without a little help from an outlet with a much larger target audience.

For anyone unfamiliar with The Walking Dead, the premise is that the dead have become reanimated. They’re hobbling around neighbourhoods, cities and countrysides, trying to take a nibble out of every living person they spot. Societies fall, governments crumble and survivors are left to fend for themselves.

That might leave you scratching your head, wondering why anyone would actually want this to happen. That’s a valid question.

I think that apocalypses present people with the idea of a free and lawless land. If there aren’t any societies, there’s nothing stopping people from quitting their desk jobs, from not paying their bills, from not having to worry about school or just life in general. It’s the classic Get Out of Jail Free card.

In some cases, the zombie apocalypse is romanticized to be beautiful and exciting, as is the case in the game produced by Naughty Dog called The Last of Us, where the world became a sort of natural utopia, short of the literal apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic impacts. In other cases, these scenarios are presented as the bane of human existence, and all that’s left is survival with almost no hope. People fantasize about a future devoid of human hustles and bustles, and that’s what is so appealing. That’s really all it is, though – an interesting fantasy in which people are freed from their worries, and only have to focus on the simplest of human instincts … survival.

Do I think an apocalypse of zombies will ever take us over? Probably not. But this fad isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Zombies are now an integral part of our culture. It’s just one more craze to add to the list.

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