I wanted to start by saying 'some of my best friends are zombies'. But then I though some people might feel kind of targeted. So let me try this instead:
Some of my best friends don't like zombies.
Ok, that doesn't sound all that shocking. No one likes zombies. Except maybe other zombies. But even that's dubious as zombies don't really have complex emotions and tend to respond positively only to things they can eat - hence not zombies.
But I disgress. What I meant is that my friends don't like cinematic or fictional zombies, so that when I tell them I've written this really cool post about the zombie apocalypse, or about an eighteenth century feminist philosopher and zombie fighter, they just smile and say 'zombies aren't really my thing'.
Aside from the inanity of their reaction - zombies aren't any body's thing! It's more a matter of who will know what to do when the apocalypse comes and who will just get eaten - they're missing out on a whole lot of rich and fascinating social and ethical commentary.
Take the following. My friend Barry who blogs here recently posted something on his facebook page about how zombie films are all a reflection of the battle between slaves and white 'owners' in The Birth of a Nation. The article he quotes is here. Basically, all the scenes in zombie films where some mindless idiots who didn't escape when they should have are holed up in some cabin in the woods and hordes of hungry zombies are trying to get at them are derived from that one scene in Birth of a Nation where some ex-slaves attack a bunch of white ex-owners holed up in a cabin. The film, and the scene, are horribly racist, of course. So since zombifinades are basically good people, they tend to reverse things. So my friend points out, in the night of living dead, the colours are reversed - the zombies are white and the mindless idiots are black.
This was brought home to me also last night when I watched episode two of the walking dead. Some people are stuck on a rooftop in Atlanta, with zombies walking the streets like ants gathering around a bit of meat. (Again, note these are mindless idiots who decided to come back to the city as a group to hunt for goods when they knew damn well that it was better to leave the one experienced guy to do it alone). One of the guys is white, big, racist and uneducated. He attacks one of the other guys who is black. A third guy who is a cop cuffs him to a pipe. When they figure out how to escape, the cop gives the key to the handcuffs to small black guy who then goes up to the roof to free big white racist guy but big white racist guy attacks him and in the struggle he drops the keys down a hole. So the last scene of is of big white racist guy tied to the roof top while the zombies are trying to break in to the building. It's not clear what colour the zombies were before they became zombies. Most of them are a sort of off-green with brown or dark red, depending on how fresh they are.
Anyhow, just thought that was an interesting image. The white racist guy is big, very muscular, with very short hair and dressed in very basic work clothes, And he's tied up and abandoned, probably feeling that his life is of very little value to every one else in the group. But fear not, Wikipedia says he will be rescued in the next episode when a group, led by the cop who hancuffs him, returns from their cosy hiding place. Note, by the way that the cop is played by a British actor and is a good guy - another turning around of stereotypes.
So, readers, when I write about zombies it's all about the social commentary and ethical reflection. Don't be put off by missing limbs, gnawing sounds, droopy eye balls - it's all worth it really. If you're just here for the laughs, remember, the funniest person in the blogosphere is an expert on zombies. And, if you come here because you like the touchy-feely side of this blog, please bear in mind that zombies can be touchy-feely too: they want to touch you and they feel yucky. Right, I'll stop now. No more zombies for a while, I promise.
PS: I wrote this while taking Max to the pub to make up for the fact that his imaginary girlfriend hadn't turned up when he'd invited her because her pink flamingo was sick. Then I had to stop because I had to run home to gut little fishes for dinner. You may choose to regard some of this as an excuse for this post. On the other hand maybe you won't.