Monday, 15 October 2012

Humans versus Zombies

An open top button shows that you are a zombie who gets work done
but still knows how to have a good time.

We start our walk down misery lane with a phenomenon that has really come back into fashion. As recently as last week, they could be seen staggering about the University of Sydney campus in the latest event in afranchise dedicated to keeping them at bay.

Something about an apocalypse-fearing western world and the undyingly funny comedy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost has created this sick fascination with the idea that the world is going to end, that all humans will die, and – what’s worse –we will be rude enough to come back when we do.

Thanks to Emily Rose, the whole family can get in on the fun
Born (or perhaps born again) in African folklore, the zombie was the victim of a spell which snatched the soul, and left the victim at the hands of shaman or (as it was speculated) child powerful enough to cast it.

Whilst this image of the voodoo zombie didn’t stick, the contemporary rendition (the teenage zombie, we might call it, for its inability to articulate sentences, lack of independent thought, and often expressionless face) came about in 1930’s Haiti where it was rumoured that psychoactive drugs were being used to make slaves compliant. Zombie like. The claims are still contested, but thankfully, these zombies were not infections, nor did they hunger for human flesh.

Come as the ghost of Orlando Bloom's post Pirates career
Known for their slack jaws, unsteady gazes, thirst for brains and noble limps (for the rappers: it is worth noting that to “hurple” – or limp with one leg dragging – is one of the only words in the English language to rhyme with purple), today’s image of the zombie has become an incredibly popular trope in the face of the inevitable, Mayan-predicted end of the world. 

So this Halloween, if moving slowly and grunting a lot is your thing, let your flesh hang down, and your arms jut awkwardly forward, sporting any one of a number of living dead themed costumes we are carrying in store this season.

A bolt in the hand is worth two in the bush

Pick your jaws up off the ground and literally pull yourself together, tomorrow is going to suck.

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