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Something Smells Gamey: Zombies?

Dear friends,

I come to you with grave concern. I do not want our depression to deepen, but I feel it is mine - and every one of our's - responsibility to ask the question: Have we, as a nation, killed too many zombies?

Yes. I do play Left 4 Dead twice a week, assisting in the death of over 1,000 zombies each campaign. (No, I may not kill as many zombies as my friends, but that's because I provide valuable support on an emotional, physical, virtual, and allegorical level.)

Yes. My most anticipated purchase in the next few months is Resident Evil 5, the next entry in the premier zombie gaming franchise. (No, I have not however pre-ordered the $90 collector's edition.)

Yes. I was as involved as any man in the rise of zombie nation, posting a quote from Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide on my facebook wall as early as 2005. (No, I don't necessarily recommend it as anything other than a coffee table book.)

So what, then, is the problem?
Just as Death Cab music flooded the radio when they signed with that one label, so have zombies flooded our social conscience. I would estimate that more citizens now have zombie apocalypse plans laid out than they do retirement plans, and this is as annoying as it is cute.

Yes. Zombies are fun, and still as relevant as they ever were to whatever (Bridging the gap of life and death? Allowing us to shoot humans?). No, they are not immune to oversaturation.

We need to back off, people, before they truly bite into our national neck, transforming us into the meandering automatons their creation purportedly refutes.

A zombie joke here and there may be fun, but I propose that we make a collected attempt not to reference zombies in daily, or even weekly conversation. Heck, menstruation is monthly, and we all know that's a bit too frequent.

Of course, when partaking in activities that directly include zombies (such as abovesaid games), this rule is flexible.

Besides, I fear the zombie allure is already dead. Or undead, as it were.

See my point?

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  1. Blogger P. Arty | 11:04 AM |  

    Wow. Snobbiest post ever on the Blogulator! And that's saying something!

    This seems like the typical I-don't-like-things-that-other-people-like mentality that drives me _crazy_ (and also that I am frequently guilty of, I guess).

    But this is far different from Gibbard and company, right? They're played on pop radio stations, which (unfortunately?) a large slice of the population listens to. Zombies are still very much a cult phenomenon. Yes, they are growing in video game culture, and video game culture is growing too, but I don't think zombies are nearly up to snuff with pop music in terms of pop culture penetration.

    Turn off your zombie video games for a month, and avoid zombie video game commentary. How many zombie references would you see? There are few zombie movies that come out and there are no zombie television shows (that I am aware of, at least). Yes, every now and then you hear about a zombie bar crawl or something like that, but these are few and far between and attended by fewer and further between.

    Get over it, Doktor! Just enjoy killing Smokers with me! I promise I'll heal you up real good if you need it!

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 11:20 AM |  

    I knew I'd get this comment. Thanks for playing into my trap! There are no repercussions.

    Maybe it does just seem more saturated because there are more channels and more nerd-oriented things in general, but I still feel like everybody loves zombies (and horror movies in general) now, which has decreased my enjoyment of said things. I was never a music guy, so I guess this is my pretentious outlet, even though I realize how stupid it is.

    Or maybe I've just hung out with Wipert way too much.

  3. Blogger DoktorPeace | 11:21 AM |  

    PS "That's what she said" jokes are still funny, though.

  4. Blogger chris | 12:10 PM |  

    I would argue zombies are way more oversaturated than Death Cab. My students, who listen to nothing but pop radio, say "braiinnnnsss!" in jest way more than they do "I don't mind the weather; I've got scarves and caps and sweaters."

    Remember Zombie City? It was incredible fun in its prime, but got old fast. My guess is Left 4 Dead will too, though I've never played it.

    It's like quesadillas. We can enjoy them every night for two weeks, but ultimately we'll run out of sour cream and cheese and not buy it again until last night, but then we'll be like "why did I do that? I don't really want a quesadilla tonight...or ever again."

    But I assure you I will make a quesadilla next week, approximately Thursday.

    See my point?

  5. Blogger qualler | 1:03 PM |  

    Wow, Professor Chris, way to use quesadillas and high school students to try to prove your point. NOT! (Not jokes -- not oversaturated, at the moment at least.)

    To me, oversaturation is all about if you are paying attention to those particular avenues of culture - i.e. were I to play Left 4 Dead every day, then play that zombie online game at night, then read books about zombies (like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) during the day, then yes, I would probably eventually feel like I've had too much zombie in my life. (Okay, so then I do agree with Chris's Quesadilla illustration.)

    I'd LOVE to see high schoolers sarcastically say "I don't mind the weather; I've got scarves and caps and sweaters." Like the time P.Arty said that to Ben Gibbard when it was cold outside before a Death Cab concert and Gibbard replied, "You are a giant douchebag."

  6. Blogger Brigitte | 1:12 PM |  

    I think this brings up an interesting point about oversaturation--personal participation in a cultural trend to the point of being oversaturated vs being annoyed that people around me are all participating in a cultural trend. for example, i might not want a quesadilla every day (i do) but if everyone around me ate them every day...that wouldn't bother me so much.

    what are we talking about?

  7. Blogger chris | 1:20 PM |  

    That is VERY true. Part of the problem is that zombies already had a renaissance with 28 Days Later where a lot of us got into participating in that oversaturation (Romero, Zombie City, etc.), so having another one so soon with Left 4 Dead is kind of boring. To me, anyway.

    But Quesadillas? That's a renaissance that hasn't quit for like a year straight for me. Though I'm sure when I do get sick of them, I will stop for a long time (like I have with grits, sourdough english muffins, and radishes).

  8. Blogger Brigitte | 1:24 PM |  

    I love quesadillas. love them. i've been eating them pretty regularly since i was a child, so i don't think that an oversaturation is possible. at least, it hasn't happened yet. i'm not as big a fan of zombies. they're kinda gross when you think about it. so are grits.

  9. Blogger Papa Thor | 8:10 AM |  

    So my new novel about the "anti-zombies", a comet explodes high in the earth's atmosphere, the people who breath in the dust become nice, they spread their nice-ness through contact with others, and all the "normals" (you know, jerks) have to figure out a way to stop the nice people from taking over, so does that mean that novel will work or it won't?

  10. Blogger Papa Thor | 8:17 AM |  

    Brigitte, if you remember we called them "tacalitas" because we made them kind of like crepes in the sense that we would put all manner of filling in them, not just authentic mexican filling, like ham and swiss with pesto, or tuna and muenster, or multi-layered club tacalitas with ham, turkey, roast beef, tomato, pickle, and dijon. Saying you ate a tacalita every day is like saying you drank a beverage every day, you never get sick of drinking a beverages.
    (This whole story is an allegory, btw which ties in with zombies and modern conformity, because after all, who are the true zombies?)

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