Marina Bridges’ Zombie Report: September 11th and Zombies

When I was in college, my pompous ass of a history professor informed us that Middle Eastern terrorism would come to America before too long.  The entire class made mouth farts.  We were AMERICANS.  We lived charmed lives.  Nobody was going to mess with US.  Mouth fart, mouth fart, mouth fart.

I was living in Manhattan on September 11, 2001.  America totally changed that day, and it never really snapped back.  I don’t know what it was like to live anywhere else during the days and weeks and months following the terrorist attacks, but living in New York City sucked.  I remember feeling all brave when I first ventured out into the city after the attacks.  I even went downtown and spent some money.  I wanted to show that I wasn’t afraid, I wanted to help restore normalcy to myself and the lower half of the island.  But it was a depressing trip.  People were wearing masks, and I wished I had one, too.  Everything smelled like the worst electrical fire in the world because the worst electrical fire in the world was still burning and would burn for months.  It occurred to me that I was breathing PEOPLE.  Dead, burned vaporized PEOPLE.

After a week, the city recovered enough that most of us could go back to work, and that is when the long haul of sucking started.  There were rumors of impending biological attacks, rumors of impending chemical attacks, rumors of impending dirty bomb attacks.  We got some ridiculous advice from the government.  Buy duct tape and plastic so you can seal yourself in your apartment.  Have some food and water in there, too.  Be ready to evacuate.  Be vigilant.

Like plastic and duct tape can save you from germs and chemicals and radiation.  Like Manhattan could ever be evacuated.   Like being vigilant would result in anything other than, “Hey, what’s that guy over there do…” BLAM!

So we were nervous.  Real nervous.  I saw a panic in a subway car over powdered sugar from someone’s doughnut.  (ANTHRAX, ANTHRAX!)  A friend and I almost got beaten up for checking out what we thought was a bomb in a box at the bus station and it was actually somebody’s luggage.  We needed a way to cope.  We needed a way to release stress, a way to regain our confidence.   We needed something more constructive to do than duct taping our windows shut.  (Won’t we suffocate?  If we don’t suffocate, that will mean that AIR is getting in!  Only if we suffocate will we be safe.)

That’s when zombies lurched onto the scene.  Zombies had stopped being so scary after the early 1980s and had become cartoonish buffoons who moaned for “Braiiiins.”  Suddenly, cannibalistic walking corpses were back and they were so damned realistic.  And so ATTRACTIVE.

Books, movies, graphic novels…AT LAST, SOME REAL ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO WHEN THE WORLD TURNS TO SHIT!  How to evacuate, how to hide out in your home, how to survive the very worst, it’s all there.   Zombies are even like suicide bombers.  It’s hard to relate to their motivation, you have to kill the shit out of them before they’ll stop, and there are always more of them.

Although I can be an idiot, I’m hardly idiot enough to believe that the September 11th terrorist attacks on America made zombies popular worldwide.  I think the whole world is waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Americans just needed a graphic visual aid to find their inner zombie killer.

My idea of what would happen if the Zombie Apocalypse did hit NYC.  Click to buy it for your reading device.

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2 responses

  1. Marina, I believe this may be one of the best sociological and psychological explanations I’ve read for the rise of the zombie genre. Nicely done.

  2. Thank you, Happy Horror Writer!

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