What’s more frightening than a zombie apocalypse? The morons who think that zombies are actually real.
Even before Brad Pitt’s World War Z zombie film came out this summer, there was a show on the Discovery Channel that featured American citizens who have diverted significant amounts of their own money – in some of the worst economic times our nation has faced – to building bunkers and undertaking other preparations in case of a zombie attack.
As you may know, the Discovery Channel, once a pioneer of insightful informational television, has become a programming cesspool that functions as the head cheerleader for what can best be described as white-trash America. If the Weekly World News had a broadcasting arm, it would be the Discovery Channel. These clowns didn’t even apologize for trying to pass off a fake documentary claiming the existence of mermaids – shamelessly burying a disclaimer in the fine print of the closing credits, as if anything can be justified in the quest for ratings.
Now I can barely stomach the obsession many seem to have with vampires and all this Twilight shit. Yeah, I get it. You’re a 14 year-old girl, so naturally you think the idea of a cursed man wrestling between his infinite love for you and his pressing need to bite your neck and welcome you into his eternal family of night dwellers is absolutely dreamy. Geez. I’m just glad I never had to date a generation reared on such vapid nonsense.
But this whole zombie thing is beyond silly. The only way it makes any sense is if it’s all an excuse for a skittish Hollywood to portray massive violence without any sort of emotional or ethical repercussions. If the bad guys are all mindless corpses, as opposed to drug dealers or terrorists of certain nationalities and ethnicities, who is going to complain? The Zombie Anti-Defamation League? No, let the bullets fly!
Plus, like a Dolph Lundgren story line, the bad guys can just keep running into the meat grinder and the audience never has to wonder why they don’t think twice about it and perhaps try a different tactic. Zombies are the go-to villains for the lazy screenwriter.
I really enjoyed World War Z, though. It was a fun action thriller with a plot that – apparently unlike the original script – had some depth to it. As for those upset because the film resembles little of the book from which it took its name (at a cost of $1 million, if you can believe that), it serves you right for reading fucking zombie books, dickwad!
Others seem to have gotten hung up on the notion that the US military would rely on someone from the United Nations, let alone waste a drop of precious fuel to rescue even the organization’s top leadership. And I totally agree with that. No matter what happens – zombies, cicadas, or unpaid parking tickets – the personnel working for the United Nations have about as much chance at receiving assistance from the US government as the leadership of Cuba. And UN staffers are certainly not going to be given authority ahead of those from the DOD or CDC.
But if you are going to criticize anything about the plot, the best place to start is with the whole concept of zombies. If a body dies, it quickly loses all of its ability to function. The cells in the brain don’t send, receive, or process signals. Lungs don’t fill the blood with oxygen. The heart doesn’t pump the blood throughout the body. Muscles don’t receive the oxygen and other nutrients nor the neural signals they need to effectively function. Shit don’t work!
Now if a zombie can move, then a zombie is not dead. Its brain must be sending a complex series of signals to enable it to move with any sort of coordination. Its organs must also being function properly. The lungs must be drawing in oxygen, and the heart must be pumping that to the muscles. And if that’s the case, then not only is the zombie still alive, the zombie can also be easily killed by interrupting any of those functions – just as a living person would be.
The human body can survive up to three minutes without air (more if you are an experienced free diver, so be especially wary of zombified free divers), around three days without water, and at least three weeks without food. In the film, the zombies don’t appear to be eating human flesh, though that’s often their modus operandi. In fact, the plot suggests that they are merely biting humans as a means of spreading their “disease.” And as the zombies go “dormant,” they no longer even engage in that. Hydration doesn’t appear to be part of their agenda either.
So, rather than a long drawn out war, one could expect the zombies to cease functioning after about a week or two – tops. That is, of course, if they could ever function in the first place, because dead bodies – by definition – can no longer function.
Now I know there’s some Dungeons & Dragons grand master out there who is itching to point out that human history is rife with tales of the undead. But if one were to occasionally climb out of their mother’s basement and look at the facts up here in the big boy world, they’d realize that human history is really rife with people mistakenly pronouncing living people as dead – as opposed to occurrences of actual zombies. In fact, for a while it became fashionable to be buried in a coffin with a safety bell, just in case the “doctor” mistakenly tried to bury you alive.
So, no, zombies aren’t real. Never have been. And they cannot ever be. To reanimate a body would require bringing it back to life. And even if that were possible (someday, perhaps, hopefully long after Dick Cheney’s corpse has rotted away to worm shit), you still wouldn’t have a zombie…you’d have Frankenstein.