Zombies Always Win

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… :wink:

I saw Land of the Dead and my opinion of Zombies totally changed. Zombification is only an abhorration in the eyes of humans. And, well, most things with brains. Zombies are the ‘living’ dead, and as they are living they are Gods creatures, and they deserve human rights, and dignity. All this mis-understanding between the non-dead, and the living dead only causes further seperation in our already widening communities. It’s movies like ‘Shaun of the dead’ that make us think that zombies just want to suck out our brains. Sure, we all had a good laugh, but the message at the end was clear. Zombies are here to stay, and we need to work hand in hand with them. These Zombies just want jobs, a little respect, and some human brains to feast on. In this genetic age can’t we simply grow brains, and sell them at the supermarket? I’d go so far as to say that I would definitely allow my daughter or son to date a zombie. (Though I’d object to my son marrying one.)
Lets end this mis-labelling of Zombies, and be more pro-active in finding a solution to the mis-understandings that exist about them.

Personally, I find the word “zombie” to be offensive and prejudiced. The very word has come to signify a lack of moral center, creativity, or individuality. I propose we reserve the Z word for non-racially motivated labelling and call our undead friends Necrotic Persons. And all those necrophiliacs who feel ashamed of their natural urges should be encouraged to come out of the closet— or, if the closet is shared by a like-minded Necrotic Person, be allowed to remain there undisturbed.

I have always felt safe from the living impaired here in Taiwan. Lots of elevators and stairs and double locked double doors and bars on all the windows. And typhoon food stores and water from the sky every day. Good times. Let’em rampage. As long as I got my ADSL I’m fine.

Don’t you all know that despite liberal propoganda to the contrary, Zombiality is really a choice. Being undead is the product of each individual Zombie’s choices to commit the abomination of undeadness. As such, we should love the Zombie but hate the undeadness. We should combat the increasing Zombiality movement by setting up de-Zombification programs that will “cure” Zombies undeadness by helping them to choose to ask for forgiveness and be “born again” into a new life that replaces their old undead life of sin.

:fume: Undeadness is a life choice like any other. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and doesn’t need to be ‘cured’. Dead Pride! :rainbow:

Hey guys. Tom’s post was brilliantly witty and very original, I nearly got sucked in like the rest of you, and I know imitation is flattery etc. etc. but come on, have you got anything to say?

I heard that Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida) has been caught having sex with child zombies, but in a press release he has clarified that although their bodies appear young they’ve actually been dead for a long time. House ethics committee members are stymied by this development.

Of course not!

:fume: Undeadness is a life choice like any other. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and doesn’t need to be ‘cured’. Dead Pride! :rainbow:[/quote]

Hey what’s the cure a bullet to the head?
Bring 'em by the farm and me and the boys will give ‘em some healin’! I prefer those fast running zombies, just got to lead them a little more.

Pass the six pack and the .308 ammo! Dr. Bubba is here to heal!

Slime became organised. It slithered onto land. It turned into a mouse. The mouse became a monkey. The monkey became a man. The man becomes a zombie.
Zombies are the next step in evolution. Make way for the future. Zombie future!

Another view of same book:

[quote]World War Z is Max Brooks’ follow up to the successful Zombie Survival Guide which detailed the strategies and tactics that individuals should use to identify and escape zombie uprisings. Max is the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, and has a remarkable comedic ear for questions of public policy. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, is a Studs Terkel style retelling of the major events of a large zombie outbreak. The details of the outbreak are interesting but not particularly important; rather, what gives the book its strength is the plausibility (an odd word for a zombie novel) with which the tale unspins.

A zombie uprising represents a series of public policy problems that touch on virtually every role that the modern state plays. It is a health care crisis, a contagion control problem, a threat to social order and property, a threat to local police and legal institutions, and finally a problem of military capacity. Brooks traces the zombie uprising through all of these facets of state power, starting with the first outbreaks and the ineffective state responses. Institutions governing international trade and transit fail to contain the contagion. Social disruption in urban areas exacerbates the problem and overwhelms local authorities. Panic ensues, and public confidence in governmental institutions collapses. Military forces attempt to restore order, but lack the doctrinal and technical tools to solve the problem. Utter collapse and extermination threaten. Brooks describes most of these stages in realistic detail. I was especially impressed by his discussion of a military effort to destroy a zombie horde in Yonkers, New York. Anti-personnel weapons that rely on the destruction of part of the enemy’s body fail to seriously damage zombies. Tactics that concentrate on fire support, cover, and concealment are of no use whatsoever against a foe uninterested in its own survival. I spoke about this chapter with a seargeant in the Kentucky National Guard who had also read the book, and he said that he found the setup remarkably compelling; he had no doubts that officers would indeed order the men to dig in and construct useless field fortifications over the objections of the non-commissioned officers.

But, as we know from the movies, a zombie outbreak is an essentially soluble problem. Zombies are slow, dumb, and can be killed (Brooks holds to the traditional slow, mindless zombie, rather than the quick zombies of the new Dawn of the Dead or the learning zombies of George Romero). Local governmental authorities develop ways to detect infection and means for cordoning off and clearing certain safe areas. Brooks gives the most credit (both technical and political) to the Israelis, a decision that I found kind of interesting. He then gives an entirely reasonable account of how the major military organizations rethink their operations and restructure their tactics and procurement decisions based on the new threat. The zombies are eventually defeated, although they cannot be exterminated and the cost is extremely high.[/quote]

Lawyers,Guns and Money

I have nothing against zombies, so long as they don’t move in next door.

Found a reasonably priced copy of this book and currently reading it at a slow pace, which is really not my usual SOP but then this is not your usual summer reading entertainment.

Looking at it with the perspective of a real global outbreak, I am concerned with the next one, the one that might approach this metaphor even closer.

I see now where some folk got the you can’t save them all, but I think in our current situation it refers more to the unvaccinated/mask uncompliant and deniers rather than the sick/old/ugly. They have a name in the book for the ones that choose the zombie side.