Monday, January 28, 2013

World War Z

I went to go see a movie the week before last, a silly film of no real consequence (or quality for that matter) and I was greeted by a World War Z preview. Now, my fiance who does not keep up with movies as much as I do (though my knowledge is still pretty lacking at times) had no clue what was coming up when I suddenly covered my eyes, plugged by ears and starting humming.

I knew the moments Brad Pitt showed up on screen stuck in a traffic jam in a city, with his family - that this did not bode well. First, I only knew of one Brad Pitt film coming up. Second - they were stuck in a traffic jam - one of the most inopportune moments for a Zombie strike to occur. Maybe I should write up a ZBA analysis of Traffics jams in the future. Anyways - I am trying to hum through this preview and of course, since it is a movie theater I cannot drown out the sounds of the film. I am just thankful there were a minimum of screams from people becoming lunch.

Some people have taken to trying to disprove Zombies as of late - which is somewhat disturbing. I don't see why you would have to spend time talking about how something is impossible if it really was. Additionally - there are existing parasitic viruses that would actually make a zombie disease quite possible. Truth be told there are parasites that will take control of an animal and direct it to do things that help it spread.

One of the more entertaining episodes of Fringe covers this well. There is a virus that infects a man, and the team is trying to figure out how the virus spreads because it seems to only attempt to spread at certain times. Come to find out, the virus is semi-sentient in a way because the virus takes advantage of its host's senses and understands when there are new people to infect. Once it has a larger group to infect, the virus will turn its host into a virus spewing biological weapon thus expanding its reach. It doesn't become contagious based on time or development - but on proximity to other carriers. Now that is a pretty vicious bug.

Back to the movie - that my fiance wants me to see. I am not going to see the movie - I don't think I want to have a heart attack, especially since a majority of films adopt the "jumping out as a method to scare" tactic. I like higher quality terror, jumping out at you doesn't scare you - it proves that your reflexes work. anyone who doesn't jump has PTSD or is a likely candidate for extended nerve damage. I prefer quality slow, gnawing terrors that come up inside your mind and leave you feeling horrified and questioning every shadow.

Come to think of it, that is kind of how my Zombie fear works isn't it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I really Hope Zombies Can't Swim

I really hope Zombies can't swim. Seriously. Do you know how difficult it would be to stop the undead hordes if Zombies could swim? Probably just a shade below impossible, and would seriously restrict locations people could call safe havens. This would of course rely on the fact that aquatic animals would not eat them, or their water logged flesh would soak up water and they would sink into the dark depths of the ocean. There, their decomposed forms would be crushed into a wet mass of undead mush.

As long as a location can be successfully cut off or easily monitored it can remain a safe location. Even if standing water is removed as a barrier, there still remains rushing water, mountains, fire and sheer cliffs. Each of these can create hazards that the undead would be heavily challenged by. I mean, if you could build near one, having a constant flow of magma from a volcano would be a pretty impressive barrier. Granted - being that close to a volcano may not be the best location for long term survival. Volcano's tend to be a tad bit temper-mental in even the best circumstances.

Part of the difficult in preparing a zombie free zone that one can live in comfortably is the basic idea that as Zombies have become more common in media - their myths have changed. Initially zombies only sought out brains - but after a decade or two their palates grew into a general hunger for human flesh. After their hunger changed, then they began to change into more fearsome beasts. Now they can run, climb and turn into relatively powerful monkey-like creatures to terrify humanity. I have to assume these myths changed because of the American culture itself. How could a zombification disease spread in a country that has more than one gun for every single man, woman and child within its borders? Making Zombies more powerful makes that possible.

However this expansion of the genre has its drawbacks. The original zombie idea was an embodiment of a slow progressing rot, a slow death through overwhelming odds. The fear of the slow inevitable end of your life as you are faced with your mortality from those that are already passed on. That is an incredibly different fear than "Holy crap that rage-beast is going to try and gnaw my limbs off".

One theory on the development of Fears is that for some people they are manifestations of other incremental problems in their life. these fears are the way that the mind takes a single object or theme and puts all those different pieces into a single larger one. While this doesn't work for all cases, with some analysis of what a fear entails a person can reasonably figure out why someone is afraid of something.

I am aware enough of my fear, and who I am as a person to understand a large portion of my fear of zombies, and how it is different from other fears. I can see the path my mind followed to create the fear, and why at this point in my life, this manifestations of my fear is so powerful for me. It warrants a close inspection from anyone with any level of fear, as to why and how that fear came to be a part of you. Like it or not, that fear probably has a good reason to be there.