Hold up one minute, Geoffrey. From Night of the Living Dead to The Evil Dead to Shaun of the Dead to Zombieland, Zombie media has a rich and storied history. Surviving the inevitable forthcoming zombie apocalypse is a meme and subculture unto itself! What we’re seeing now is simply the subculture’s day in the sun!
- You’re wrong. This isn’t a recent trend, and it wasn’t born out of a community collective. Let me refresh your memory. Do you remember 2003?
Sure, that’s the year I graduated from high school. That’s six years before you were born.
- Correct. Myspace was barely a thing. Facebook wasn’t yet even a glimmer in Zuckerburger’s faceholes. For the most part, peoples’ moms weren’t doing much online and the web was still mostly used by nerds and other weirdos. Hearing quotes from Mel Brooks movies was as common as it is today.
Stop right here, Geoffrey. Mel Brooks didn’t make any Zombie movies.
- No, but his son Max Brooks DID write the book The Zombie Survival Guide that year. That book was the first of its kind to pull from the collective of pop culture zombie lore and frame it in a “how to survive” context. The book wasn’t exactly a New York Times best-seller, but within the still-somewhat-insular communities attending comic book conventions, the sheer fact that the son of the guy who made Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, History of the World Part I, and plenty of other films deemed sacred within the hallowed halls of true geekery, the fact this his son had written a book about surviving a zombie attack was definitely a huge point of interest among the nerdiest of the nerds, before such a thing was considered remotely cool.
Well, that is an eye-opener. But that was nine years ago, Geoffrey. Where exactly is this going?
First off, a confession: I’m one of these people, in a way. I dislike the noun “prepper” (though I’ll use it here), don’t share the politics of the bulk of the show’s subjects, and do not worship firearms. However, I do believe in community and individual self-sufficiency and, especially, preparing for what the world might throw at you via rational foresight and what your grandparents would probably call “common sense.”