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1. ISIS and the Zombie Apocalypse

In the opening of George Romero’s cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968), a young man and woman are driving through a desolate countryside to a visit a cemetery.  As Barbara and her brother Johnny are laying a cross wreath on their father’s grave, they are stalked by an old man who lurches awkwardly toward them, a twisted look on his face.  After the man attacks Barbara, Johnny tries to defend her and is killed.  Then the maniac chases Barbara to an old farm house, where she finds refuge with another man, Ben, who kills several zombies before boarding up the house and trying to save them from a growing horde of the undead that is surrounding the house and trying to break in.  Later, when a mass of zombies attack the house, Barbara is killed by her dead brother. 

Night of the Living Dead embodies one of the darkest themes in human pop culture—the living pursued by the dead, isolated and nearly defenseless against an unreasoning enemy we don’t understand whose sole aim is to kill us or devour our flesh.  Ghouls, vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, and the gigantic nuclear creatures of the 1950’s—in our collective nightmares, they are the instruments of our destruction, monsters who attack without provocation, as powerful and soulless as they are uncompromising and devoid of humanity.  Among our fears, we fear the unfamiliar and the irrational.  We fear losing our freedom and our sense of well-being.  We fear being pursued by forces stronger than ourselves.  We fear not knowing where safety lies.  In short, we fear threats we do not understand and cannot control.

Tags: ISIS, Islamic State, vampires, zombies, monsters, Frankenstein, werewolves, mummies, nightmares

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Comments

Ken Christian

The current administration is chock full of buffoons led by lunatic president. The two major power plants near me along the Ohio River have recently converted from coal to oil. The 'owners' recognized the need to reduce the plant carbon emissions and did something about it. Trumpster and his idiot staffers are on a path that may very well destroy this country if not civilization as a whole. I hope that enough public and private support can be developed to cause a reversal of the decision to abandon the Paris agreement.

July 19, 2017, 9:33 PM
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