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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

Miss

Very well said, Terry. As the shocking news begins to sink in, all the potential ramifications bubble up. If this were not enough to digest on the day-after, his identified cabinet selections exacerbate each frightening possibility.

November 10, 2016, 9:29 AM
Mike Speltz

Of all the campaign promises Trump has made, none is more fraught with danger then his promise to "cancel" the Paris agreement on climate change.

November 10, 2016, 12:12 PM
Bruce Hyland

Down here in New Zealand, there is, as elsewhere, shock at Trump's election. Your thoughtful words are a relief to the harsh rhetoric that has ensued over the past year or so. Vested interests in all societies need a shake up from time to time so that they reflect the public sentiment. Shake them too violently without regard to the public though has serious consequences. Let's hope that can be avoided.

Regards to you and our mutual friend Dan

November 10, 2016, 10:04 PM
KFreiberger and LAlthouse

Excellent article, Terry. You've said it the way it is!

November 11, 2016, 6:34 PM
Anna Pool

Thank you for bringing an element of sanity to a completely insane experience.

November 13, 2016, 3:21 PM
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