Comments on: Summer Reading: Dan Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003 Thu, 31 May 2018 07:56:57 +0000 hourly 1 By: Kate Abbott Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:48:00 +0000 I’m fascinated by your comparison between zombies and vampires, from a conversation not long ago — fear of the powerful aristocrat vs. fear of the masses. And as I read this I’m thinking about how to define a zombie. What kind of monster a zombie is seems to define what kind of fear it represents.

An alien attack would be a fairly straightforward metaphor for fear of the other, fear of sentient creatures who are “not like us.” But a zombie attack seems to have slightly different cast to it. As I understand zombies in the kinds of films you refer to, the fear comes in at two points:

Zombies are mindless
Zombies used to be human

In Night of the Living Dead, the climax of horror is not seeing something alien — it’s seeing someone you know. Someone in your family has become a monster. Someone who looks human, who looks exactly like you, is suddenly acting inhuman. And you can’t talk to them.

In my mental map, I could compare that to the fear that people like me, in my country, in my culture, raised in the same system, can do things that seem to me not only beyond logic but drastically destructive to mass numbers of people. (By culture I mean American, in the sense that we share a national structure — our schools, our media, our politics, our states and towns, our vote. I am keenly aware that “American” blends many cultures and perspecitves and imbalances.)

Think of debates over vaccination, abortion, basic science education, pipelines, frakking, global warming, Israel and Palestine, gay marriage. Is the fear of zombies a fear of polarization?

By: Johannes Kleske Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:59:41 +0000 Have you looked at the Transition movement? It’s like the positive, community-oriented version of the preppers.