It’s coming up Christmas, and that means it’s time for the annual zombie shuffle. Zombies. I hate ‘em. My brother-in-law once told me that he hated zombies too. He meant the ones in Return to Castle Wolfenstein (2001).
The zombies I find irritating inhabit shopping malls most weekends, especially at Christmas. I realised it a while back when I was in my local mall – funnily enough, the one Anna Paquin used to go to when she was growing up.
As a writer I’m always on the lookout for different angles on ordinariness. And something struck me. Zombies. The place was full of ‘em. Not the George Romero variety from that mall in Dawn of the Dead (1978), or even the pub-denizens of Shaun of the Dead (2004). But zombies all the same. Real ones. People slowly shuffling around with their minds switched off and no apparent notion of where they were or what they were doing.
I think cynical designers work over those malls to make that happen, all glitz and glass – flashy, echoing and disorienting. They’re the same everywhere you go, and deliberately so. Customers part with more cash that way.
And that’s where real zombies come from. An insight into the deeper human condition, maybe. I doubt I’m the first to have that thought – in fact, I suspect Romero thought of it first, a quarter-century ago. Later, I’ll blog about vampires – not the imaginary ones who suck blood, I mean real people who suck money and self-esteem.
But enough already. I gotta go Christmas shopping. At the mall. “Braaaains….”