Friday, May 25, 2007

Zombie Halitosis

"We laugh because it's true." Whenever I hear this old saw, I want to quote Pilate and say, "What's truth?" (Preferably in a jersey accent, Marvin Dorfler-style, like, "What is this stuff, the 'truth', anyway? Somebody want to fill me in?")

That's a big question. What is truth? Is it an idea? Does it exist in some objective, transcendent form? Is it bad for your teeth? Perish forbid anyone would ever need a truth canal.

Which makes me think about zombies, this whole truth question. Bear with me a second.

George A Romero is obsessed with zombies. Look at his films. The flesheating ghoulhordes infest his stories. They are predators on the heroines and heroes, literally, when they catch them, consuming their flesh.

There's some truth to that kind of relationship. You don't exactly date someone if their whole aim is to chew off the muscle from your shoulder. You know where this kind of person is coming from; they just want to kill you and eat you. Okay.

So, why are these stories so entertaining? Isn't it interesting that the whole zombiemonster genre is so resurgent these days, that it doesn't seem like anything is entertaining anymore unless a zombie shows up?

Maybe we laugh because it's true; maybe we are entertained because there's something valid there.

Maybe, maybe not.

If there is some truth to zombies, what kind of truth is it? Does it mean that we believe zombies are trying to eat our flesh? Or, on the other hand, does it mean that we believe humanity has no real, natural predator?

Zombies are a pure, predatory mob: they exist to literally consume humanity while a living, conscious person is still running around. (Makes you wonder what they'll do when they run out of people.)

Yet we all know there's no such thing as zombies. That's the truth of the matter, the national consensus, right? (Granted, in Haiti, Africa and South America, the zuvembie is a major player in folklore.)

I wonder. If we think there is no predator out there, what kind of position does that put the human in? It does give us more time to think, and what we think about is some kind of search for truth, in some form or other, sublimated, obsessional, sociopathic, what have you, and what do we think about? How can I find better entertainment. What more do we want, when there's no hunter, no hunted, other than to be entertained?

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