In films, television, books, games, pornography, and now even in firearms and ammunition being sold to the American public, zombies are one of the mainstays of the popular culture of our time. Far from being only a passing curiosity, Brian Patrick dissects the zombie, showing it as the articulation of deep-seated fears within the Western psyche, a symbol in fact for the growing dehumanization that many of us observe, or perhaps sense without fully realizing it, in modern civilization.
Patrick connects the zombie phenomenon to previous historical occurrences, drawing on both religion and psychology to show how such symbolic tropes that lodge in the collective unconscious of a culture are reflective of the psychological needs of large numbers of people in times of crisis. Patrick likewise shows how zombiedom has manifested particularly in American gun culture, and how this relates to the growth of a large-scale citizens’ activist movement in favor of gun rights.
Also included are practical tips on how to stay out of the clutches of zombiedom. Zombology is more than just a book about zombies, however. The zombie, for Patrick, is a peculiarly Western phenomenon, and as such, he examines how it can be seen as a manifestation of not-so-abstract forces battling for the future of our civilization: will collectivization or the individual, dream or reality win out? Patrick offers his own diagnosis.
At the very least the zombie adds some much-needed psychic contrast to the cold, to the grey and to the unending. It also provides a face, albeit necrotic, to the seemingly impersonal sociological forces that undermine the West; for in a near-perfect correspondence with the zombie, the West itself appears to be necrotic in a galloping way. Both need brains to ease the pain. — p. 48
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