A review of Max Brooks’ new book, "World War Z, “…which purports to be an oral history of mankind’s war against zombies. Set a few years in the future, Brooks depicts a world in which a mysterious plague rises out of China (perhaps due to the deliberate flooding of a holy city?) and soon spreads to every corner of the world, borne on a wave of totalitarian dishonesty, human desperation, and Western indifference. The plague causes the infected to die and reanimate as nigh-indestructible zombies (“Zack,” as the survivors call them), seeking to eat the flesh of the living.”
Pretty good read.
[quote]Zombies Always Win
By Douglas Kern, 29 Sep 2006
The zombies always win. That’s why they’re the scariest monsters of all. What you are, the dead were; what the dead are, you will be. Look at the bones and the rot and realize: you’re looking at yourself. Death eats everyone and everything; in fact, it’s consuming you, right now.
It’s little wonder, then, that zombies make a perfect match for apocalyptic fantasies. Death may not be the end of the world, but it is surely the end of your world; we all face the zombie apocalypse of our own mortal existence, and thus we find something irresistibly cathartic about horrors that reflect our own futile flight from the reaper.
Just as the zombie hordes smash civilization down to its raw, unadorned fundamentals, so too does old age and infirmity reduce us from cultured intellectuals to savage barbarians, preoccupied with food and sleep and survival. Is it any wonder that the contemporary zombie mythos is preoccupied with brains - either as the weak point of the zombies, or as their preferred food? The seat of rationality is the nemesis of all things undead.
The indignation that energizes World War Z is the indignation of a truth denied, of a human need left unfulfilled for too long. Such indignation is the essence of the ur-horror story: implacable forces arise to impose a pitiless judgment upon arrogant man for neglecting and belittling the fundamental rules of life. And this is the rule that zombies rise to vindicate: men are born to die, so worthy societies ought to prepare men for death. As our wealth and privileges have distracted us from such preparation, we cheer a little when fictional catastrophes restore a more humane moral order. How strange: it takes the undead to teach men how to die. Or perhaps not so strange; Chesterton taught us that tradition is “the democracy of the dead,” and we know from current events that democracies can wage passionate war in the name of ideals like freedom, orthodoxy, and virtue. Egad! That means…
The dead are rising and they’re leaning neoconservative! Ayeee! Run for the hills!
I left the good parts out…