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HuffPost Zombie metaphors – Sarah Lauro and Max Brooks

March 28, 2013

Recall Professor Sarah Lauro of Clemson University and my response that zombies are not all economics. Well now she has a piece she’s written herself in Huffington Post and it is much more theme inclusive, “Of Nerds and Zombie” by Sarah Juliet Lauro includes a great laundry list of zombie metaphor themes — all important but I’ll highlight a few: Capitalism, consumerism, globalization, Cold War, terrorism, climate, aging, viral, technology, postmodern, agency, —

AND

Zombies are cyclical, about the way we are haunted by history;

Zombies are the postmodern monster, about repetition and the fact that there is nothing new, that everything is always happening all over again.

Totally Hegelian — and also as a sort of double-bind that serves as a taboo conceptual blend to reinforce the primary concepts — it is neither dead nor alive and in so not-being, reinforces the existence of those primary beings (reinforced the notional categories of living and dead). All concepts are socially constructed – we hold life and death as absolutes but near the limits they are not certain (see Terry Schiavo, what does death mean? see also Richard Branson, what does really living mean?).

Then see HuffPost Live – 20 minute podcast video “Vampires Vs. Zombies” Hosted by Jacob Soboroff with Max Brooks, Bruce Watson and Glen Whitman about zombies: economics and other reasons (y2k, emergency “tsunami” survival prep). They refer to the same graphs as Drezner’s book and similar to my graphs, but these are all likely spurious correlations. Still this HuffPostLive gets very interesting at the very end with some great open questions:

– is Warm Bodies a Vampire movie?
– “When do Vampires start to sparkle?”
– “Where did all the slasher films go?

They also seems to dodge around the larger question of whether cultural characters can influence how we think about our world. After all, it’s not just vampires and zombies. It’s also werewolves, cyborgs, ninja, sea monsters, dinosaurs, mad scientists, unicorns, the whole menagerie, and zombies are just generic mass culture monsters. Recall again Mazzei‘s “Who’s Who in the Zoo” and AnthroZoo’s Animal metaphors for personality. Monsters too…

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