Question no. 01: Why does the folkloric concept of zombies appeal to modern-day society?
The significant reason why the folkloric concept of zombies is popular in modern American culture is its unique derivation from North American construction and Western African culture of Haitian vodon’s “witchcraft” tradition. Voodoo is a religious practice throughout Africa and some parts of America that believe in witchcraft (Del Guercio, 1988). Zombies are often portrayed in both cultures as robots with rotting flesh but beings who are slow, relentless, and stupid yet strong. The term “American zombie” parallels the social change that is brought into modern American culture due to certain intruding groups. These groups have a ravenous appetite for bringing social change within just like reawakened corpses (zombies) are always famished for brains.
Question no. 02: How does zombification work in conjunction with our needs, as a society, to want to live forever?
The idea of zombification works in conjunction with contemporary society in terms of helplessness. Like us struggling in society for basic needs, our survival, safety, civilization, culture, and the urge to live forever, zombies do the same struggle for their survival, safety, and hunger for brains, but fail like us and finally die (Bishop, 2010). Besides, they live for creating more hosts to inhabit limitless brethren like human beings who live for the purpose of reproduction and growth in society. Zombification is ultimately doomed and so is mankind.
Question no. 03: Finally, looking at the concept of zombification found in our society through drugs, media, and propaganda- have we become a society of zombies?
The concept of zombification is widely spread in modern American culture and around the world by schools, media, propaganda, and churches. Everyone is zombified by the ideologies of personal fulfillment, materialism, and status quo striving for their daily existence but in reality, they are spiritually dead within themselves. The contemporary age is an age of decadence and cynicism where people try to be the vessel for higher humanity through the religious practices they were taught in churches, ethics they became familiar with in their schools, and freedom and needs they become aware of through digital sensations (Bishop, 2010). However, within themselves, they are psychologically and spiritually already living dead like zombies.
Question no. 04: Have we lost the ability to think for ourselves and to blindly go and follow the masses?
In my opinion, by all means, yes! We are so lost in today’s race of being super-humans digitally that we do not have enough time to use our human consciousness, willpower, and our leadership tendency to make this world a better place to live in instead of just blindly following the herd. Media through its propaganda has made us individuals with a “learned helplessness” tendency by repressing our thoughts and consciousness which we need to overcome in order to grow as “living” human beings.
WILLIAM BISHOP, K. Y. L. E. “The idle proletariat: Dawn of the Dead, consumer ideology, and the loss of productive labor.” The Journal of Popular Culture 43.2 (2010): 234-248.
Del Guercio, Gino. “The secrets of Haiti’s living dead.” Science 240 (1988): 274-77.