“One stick is easy to break, but a bundle of sticks offers more resistance.”
Since the beginning of zombie culture, speculation about zombies symbolizing the worst evils of the human race is now common zombie philosophy. It is important to remember the golden rule, however. There are always two sides to a story. Even though zombies may represent the worst of human consumer culture, lack of compassion and ignorance, zombies may also represent something more.
Zombies are often seen (in literature and productions) traveling in packs. It is interesting to think how the mindless zombie is able to draw the connection that togetherness is more effective than loneliness. The most efficient way to create change is by doing so as a horde rather than as a singular zombie. Once again, has the zombie shown us something that holds true in human societies from the beginning of time?
In the past decade, there has been a world-wide phenomenon occurring that Hubner, Leaning and Manning call “The Zombie Renaissance in Popular Culture.” Here, we see horror aficionados creating a culture based on the zombie influence. Large numbers of people have flocked to gatherings of mass proportions. Dressing in their worst clothes, putting on their mismatched, bloody, rotten makeup and attending the ugliest street party ever. The zombie walk.
So what is it about the zombie walk that holds such social importance to some people? These gatherings have become a mecca of sorts for people from all strata of society. It is more than just the love of gory, scary, thrill-inducing literature and movies. People of all shapes, sizes, colors and religion come together for the zombie walk. It is much more than a horror fan convention, it has become a uniting cultural experience where one does not dress for perfection but on the contrary dresses for imperfection; a macabre celebration of the human condition.
Zombies are equal opportunity marauders. They are not prejudiced. They travel within their horde and consume anyone without discrimination. Zombies are not judgmental. They do not exist in cliques. There is no hierarchy. Anyone can be a member of a zombie horde. One only needs to be a consumer.
We humans have a long way to go to reach such common social experiences, but maybe this is what the zombies are telling us. Maybe they want us to keep working against the evil that is discrimination. Maybe they see latent potential in their human counterparts that we, too can travel this world together as one in an absence of hate; an absence of fear.
Humans are faced with a dire question. Does this mean an absence of love as well or a validation and strengthening of love?
One thing is for certain. Lasting, efficient, and effective change has always been brought on when large groups come together, and yet it always begins with a single thought, a solo spark in humanity, or even a mysterious cellular mutation.
Yes, there are two sides to the story. Which side are you on? Will you risk traveling alone?