Recently I was in a public place where the emergency broadcast system went off on a couple of flat screen televisions that were mounted to the walls. What made this odd was that no less than three people turned their attention to the various screens, with their fingers crossed, and with a wishful tone in their voice said, “zombie apocalypse?!”
The only thing sadder than that is how many more people in that place were probably thinking it but didn’t say. What is more pathetic than that is the large number of people who secretly wish for, or more shamefully are preparing for, a zombie apocalypse. If only these people tried to get in shape like the vampires and werewolves from Twilight, then the time they would have to dedicate to a real life spouse as opposed to an imaginary or virtual one would take up the mental space to prepare for such nonsense.
A real life zombie apocalypse is coming, it’s called climate change.
Hurricane Katrina submerged 80% of New Orleans in water and caused over $100 billion in damage. Superstorm Sandy caused $80 billion and turned Manhattan into Venice. Did you know Venice now floods 1/3 of every year? The current drought in California is affecting 100% of the state. How about that deadly tsunami in Asia that killed 150,000 people? There’s no need to wait for an apocalypse people, the third world has been living in one for decades and the first world is headed in the same direction but just doesn’t want to think about it.
The Pentagon doesn’t give a shit about zombies, wizards, or leprechauns but regards climate change as a direct threat to national security.
We all need an escape from reality from time to time. I have certainly been guilty of being addicted to escapism, not wanting to face the real in favor of daydreams, binge TV watching, and video games. Unfortunately, a growing percentage of very smart adults are becoming so lost in the paradigm of personal entertainment entitlement, they are spending real-time, money, and resources on a concept that would get a child grounded at home, picked on in school, and forced to see a psychiatrist, take meds, or both.
Cosplayers take off the costume and go back to the real world. Zombie Apocalypse believers think that they actually know something others don’t. But lying to oneself in order to add value, purpose, and a sense of importance is not new. I empathize with those who are so bored with their own existence they have to hope and prepare for a fantasy event seen in too many mainstream movies over the past decade to become reality. Life has no instruction manual. Sometimes we lose sight of who we are and what we really want to do with our lives. Sometimes events outside of our circle of influence force us to change course to a life that doesn’t allow us to see or think beyond the survival plane for an extended period of time. Sometimes people don’t develop the internal muscles of maturity, responsibility, and desire to achieve. I empathize with people like this, I really do. I once found myself very lost, very bored with life, very much preferring the world of my imagination to that of the real.
But all these people addicted to fantasy are enablers of a real, physical world that is turning into something that will make the human race endangered or extinct. It is happening now, in real-time, before our very eyes.
There is nothing wrong with turning one’s brain off and doing something that is mindlessly fun after a long hard day or week of work. TV, movies, video games, comics, scrap-booking, web surfing, reading, concerts, drinking, whatever. Adults who pay their way through this world on top of keeping their mental, emotional, and physical shit together earn the right to have some “me time” to do something that makes them feel like a happy child again.
The problem, which seems to be evolving into an epidemic is people refusing to take up any cause other than their own entertainment. A widespread victim mentality along with disposable income and leisure time have turned multiple generations of human beings essentially into zombies. Unwilling, under the guise of being unable to think when they aren’t having their inner child killed while “on the clock”. But a professional or personal life that leaves one feeling dead inside is no reason to hope for the manifestation of George A. Romero’s wet dream. What we need is for people to move in packs like aggressive zombies with the rage virus to create policies and enact change on a global level to:
- cut greenhouse gas emissions
- mandate clean energy
- reduce the size and need for landfills
- build levies
- punish polluters
- take responsibility for keeping our water clean, our air breathable, and our food as organic as possible.
A zombie apocalypse implies that the Earth will still be inhabitable for the select few humans who are as over-prepared to be “Left 4 Dead” and “The Last of Us” as they are undersexed. But the real apocalypse for the human race seems more and more that it will not come from a rising of the dead but a rising of the sea levels. Maybe if AMC could make a slow burn narrative drama about that subject we can make some headway. I can promise learning about the causes of and solutions to global warming will in no way be any more boring than the second season of The Walking Dead.