Zombies Trendiest When We're Dissatisfied

Interest peaks 'when as a culture we feel disempowered': expert
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2013 11:45 AM CDT
(Societal) Misery Loves Zombies
Costumed actors, promoting the Halloween premiere of the AMC television series "The Walking Dead," shamble along the Brooklyn Bridge in 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

How to explain the current fascination with The Walking Dead, the "zombie walks" occurring across the country, or the televised warnings of zombie apocalypse? It's no coincidence that we're in the midst of a zombie obsession, says a professor who's studied the phenomenon: People get into zombies when they're fed up with societal woes. Zombie walks, for instance—during which people get dressed up as the undead and lurch around en masse—saw a big boost in the US as people grew more tired of the Iraq war, Sarah Lauro tells the AP.

"It was a way that the population was getting to exercise the fact that they felt like they hadn't been listened to by the Bush administration," she says. "We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered." And "when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered." At times like these, "playing dead ... To me, it's such an obvious allegory. We feel like, in one way, we're dead." (More zombies stories.)

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