Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Stuff: Don't ask me, I just roam here.
Over a the Texas Observer, Owen Egerton files a jokey pop culture observation piece that leans heavily on the horror-as-current-events-allegory shtick. Right at the closer though, he pulls out a curious - and, as far as I know, previously untheorized - allegorical parallel between the divided American consciousness of our morality as individual actors in the context of our awareness of our nation's moral (or lack thereof) standing in the globe with the group dynamics of zombie flicks. Here's Egerton:
Over the last decade it’s become difficult to tell who the monster is. All too often we are the invaders, we are the torturers, we are the ones who terrorize. We no longer need an alien force or lab-manufactured monster. All we need is ourselves. Of course, it’s not any one of us. It’s our country.
Perhaps this explains the resurgence of the zombie film. The horror of zombies is all in their numbers. You can’t blame any single zombie for the chaos of Dawn of the Dead (2004) or Zombieland (2009), just as you can’t blame any single American for the crimes committed in our nation’s name. Any one of us is just another harmless, fun-loving, pleasure-seeking American. Like zombies, we don’t move that fast or think that fast. We spend our time loitering, every now and then pausing for a quick bite. Like zombies, one or two of us can be annoying, especially when vacationing in Europe, but no real threat. But take us as a mass, as a mindless herd of flesh-eaters driven on by base hunger, and we spell worldwide doom.
Zombies as self-absolving symbol of actorless, emergent evil? Interesting.