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What Does Our Obsession With Zombie Stories Tell Us About Our Politics?

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, constitution, corruption, cover-up, dishonesty, economy, elections, Govtfearmongering, healthcare, housing, lies, media, military, politics, propaganda, socialsecurity, SupremeCourt )

- 2140 days ago -
A year ago, a CBS poll suggested that, "Americans have long felt they have little say in government. But the trends are troubling: While 58 percent said they have little say in what government does in 1990, that figure has risen to 69 percent today.

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michael hall (42)
Friday June 8, 2012, 9:39 am
dat,,we ...vant...BRAINS!!!

Robert Irons (12)
Friday June 8, 2012, 9:43 am
LOL Love it Kit!

Kit B (276)
Friday June 8, 2012, 9:44 am
Photo Credit: Michael R. Perry

Zombie chatter reached unprecedented cultural prominence last week when reports of two murders involving cannibalism appeared in the national headlines.

But since the 2008 financial crisis, zombies have had quite a resurgence in popular culture. First, it was the comedy film Zombieland, followed by 2010’s sleeper hit, AMC’s "The Walking Dead." During the summer, we’ll get two youth-themed zombie flicks, the high school film Bad Kids Go to Hell and a stop-motion film called Paranorman from the creators of Coraline.

Zombies are everywhere these days – there’s even an Osama bin Laden zombie film coming to the big screen this summer. But why might zombies be so omnipresent at this moment in time? Maybe between widespread feelings of political disenfranchisement and growing economic inequality, it’s easy to feel as if we’re facing, say, a zombie apocalypse.

A year ago, a CBS poll suggested that, “Americans have long felt they have little say in government. But the trends are troubling: While 58 percent said they have little say in what government does in 1990, that figure has risen to 69 percent today. In the new survey, 85 percent say that people like them had too little influence on American life.”

Political alienation in the United States, in other words, has never been higher. A staggering 85 percent of Americans did not feel that American politics allowed them much in the way of participation.

It’s really no wonder that American popular culture has taken a turn toward the grim. Maybe zombies sell these days because, not unlike the sort of nuclear apocalypse tales that resonated throughout the Cold War, they posit an outside threat, a menace beyond the control of regular people. And maybe there are more feelings of futility now than there were then, even as anxieties about nuclear holocaust loomed.

These days, it is hard to believe how optimistic so many Americans were back in January 2001, at the end of President Bill Clinton’s presidency. It must be said that the level of prosperity the nation experienced during the Clinton years is often exaggerated. In fact, Clinton presided over what were then the most devastating social welfare cuts in American history by way of his Welfare to Work Program. He was not a good president for poor people, but even so, the middle classes had reason for optimism, with plentiful jobs and that talking point about how Clinton “balanced the budget” during his first term. The end of the Cold War was more than a decade-old memory, and Americans entered the 21st century without fear.

A little over a decade later, it seems clear to everyone who is paying attention that the United States is only just beginning a period of major social, political and economic decline. The big issues have been well-enumerated: Deeply entrenched wars in Muslim countries that continue even though President Barack Obama abandoned his predecessor’s “War on Terror” rhetoric. The near illegitimacy of the executive and legislative elected branches of government, both in thrall to corporate interests and “checked” only by a judiciary that can’t or won’t rein them in. Growing economic inequality between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us, even as Democrats offer hollow promises to support working people. A student debt bubble about to burst and leave hundreds of thousands of well-educated young people in dire poverty – all with few, if any, employment options.

AlterNet / By Kristin Rawls

Very good article with some tongue in cheek attitude.

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 8, 2012, 10:01 am
I've always preferred Vampires. Where is Barnabas Collins when you need him?

Kit B (276)
Friday June 8, 2012, 11:16 am

Well Nancy I have to admit I have still not seen the TV show "Dark Shadows" but I did see the movie with Johnny Depp - that was great fun. Yeah, I like vampires much better then Zombies, far more interesting myth.

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 8, 2012, 12:14 pm
Haven't seent he movie yet but the previews seemed a little more "campy" than the TV show had been. Now THAT was scary for an 8 yr old such as I was.

Yvonne White (229)
Friday June 8, 2012, 3:54 pm
LOL! Yes - my sister & I saw Dark Shadows this last weekend..:) Loved the retro-70's vibe!:) Love Johnny Depp & the 70's soundtrack..but I did have one gripe - if you eat 6-7 Hippies you SHOULD be stoned, I don't care if you are a Vampire!;) So where were all the pretty colors??;)
"a CBS poll suggested that, "Americans have long felt they have little say in government. But the trends are troubling: While 58 percent said they have little say in what government does in 1990, that figure has risen to 69 percent today"..Well, duh! We're ALL more cynical than in 1990 - the government has Proved IT doesn't believe in the Constitution any We don't believe in the Government! Zombie or Vampire, they're all out to get us! (I knew I'd be right to be paranoid someday!;)

John C (75)
Friday June 8, 2012, 5:11 pm
Hornaday is a long established company that make bullets for "re-loading" supplies. The largest selling "re-load" bullet in its line of products is the Vampire killer. I don't know if they sell silver bullets or Garlic bullets but I find their line of marketing thought interesting. The buyer thought line even more so.

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 8, 2012, 5:56 pm
"if you eat 6-7 Hippies you SHOULD be stoned, I don't care if you are a Vampire!;) So where were all the pretty colors??;) "

Good one Yvonne.

Kit B (276)
Friday June 8, 2012, 6:59 pm

I dunno John if you're doing the reload why not a silver tip or even a wooden tip? The wood maybe not, but silver could be....then we would have John the Vampire Hunter. I just sold a bunch of Hornady reloading stands and equipment.

John C (75)
Friday June 8, 2012, 7:11 pm
Should have e-mailed me. A stake of Rowan always did the trick in the "old days".

Yvonne White (229)
Friday June 8, 2012, 7:30 pm
LOL! I like DIY, but I think reloading my own ammo is a little out of my comfort zone... and I am still worried after finding a Werewolf of Anspach, Germany page online, since that's my maiden name..

Brad Miller (120)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 4:58 am
I am compelled to share a comic.

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 7:17 am
The question should read - what does our obsession with zombie stories tell us about the human race !!!

bob m (32)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 7:55 am

tells us we are dead.. dead in trespasses and must be born again...

Saturday June 9, 2012, 8:39 am
Don't use "our" in that title, because I am not included. I think all this Zombie stuff i nonsense and it shows how sheep minded people are.

Orange Blossom (0)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 11:37 am
I prefer vampires, but will settle for zombies if done well. Has nothing to do with politics. I won't watch that, it's never done well. No plot whatsoever!

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 12:33 pm
It says it all, Kit. The people that inadvertently support the bad guys, do so because they let hate be instilled into them by fox.

Fred Krohn (34)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 2:56 pm
Read all about it in Mira Grant's 'Newsflesh'! Our politicians have descended from decent competence during the Cold War (at least among conservatives) to the Idiocracy we've seen for the past two decades.

Michael Barth (43)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 4:31 pm
Unfortunately, this is the way society is. I think it's due to the extremely self-centered lifestyle of Me First and Only. I wish society would replace more of the me with we like We the People.

Kamila A (141)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 10:42 pm
our movies are our modern mythologies, and zombies and vampires live off the blood of the livingOf course, these would be the sociopathic politicians and CEO's of multinational corporations. Joseph Campbell would be so proud to know we "get it"!

Rin S (10)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 11:46 pm
I've always had a zombie obsession. Ever since my dad first introduced me to George A Romeo's movies, zombies have been a passion of mine.

Anthony Hilbert (6)
Sunday June 10, 2012, 11:33 am
Zombie movies and series are popular because you can't make a story these days where any kind of people are mindless monsters who you can only keep from killing you by blowing them away. Zombies allow us the fun of a plain simple fight to the death with zero moral qualms - you don't even have to feel bad about killing them, they're already dead.

Someone once observed that the secret of Anne McCafrey's "Dragonrider" books was that by inventing a blindly destructive threat with no consciousness to negotiate with, she could have the romance of a warrior class without the ethical problems. Zombie movies have the same appeal.
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