Undead Gothic

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Okay Grant, one more parody to add to the long list. American Gothic was painted by Grant Wood only lived to be fifty-one. Hmmm, same age I am now. It was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. It won a $300 prize back in 1930. It has become one of the most famous paintings in the history of American Art.

Another institution that has carried on for years, spread worldwide, and has a cult following of millions is the zombies from George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead from 1968. There were several after that, including my favorite Dawn of the Dead. I'm referring to the 1978 version also by Romero, not the 2004 remake that Universal Studios produced.

As an eight year old, and already an avid fan of horror movies, The Night of the Living Dead floored me because the good guys were dying off. To take it even further, you don't really know whether the monsters/zombies are wiped out completely or not. It was in black and white, and even though the critics of the time were outraged by how graphic the violence was, I just couldn't be that scared of anything in black and white. My life long analysis of zombie psychology started at eight and got a booster shot ten years later when Dawn of the Dead came out.

With the ten years from the first movie, zombie intelligence had risen to the point they were using basic tools. Maybe not correctly, but using an M16 as a hammer will do in a pinch. Not to give away any spoilers, but at the end of the Dawn of the Dead movie, the zombies definitely had the upper hand. This led me to the question of what would a zombie culture develop into?

Once they had completely done away with the living, their favorite food of human brains would also be gone. Even the leg, thigh, and breast meat would be gone after a while. We never saw the zombies starving to death, if a dead thing can even die in the first place. At least a brain shot would stop them from wandering around. But here you have millions of undead with nobody to eat and nothing to do but wander around stiff legged and stiff armed.

Would their ability with tools continue to increase? Like the caveman evolving from neanderthal to cromagnon, would the Zombie continue their evolution? They would certainly have a long time to do it. And with no one being able to die, murder would drop off of the face of reality. If you stole something and learned that for the next ten million years, the person you stole from would keep coming for you, it might be enough to put the kibosh on theft. So you might end up with a very orderly society.

There wouldn't be much of a birth rate, but the death rate has dropped off to nothing, so that is a wash. Organized religion would probably take a real hit, because, "When hell is full, the dead will walk the earth." To take a line from the movie. So there is no threat of hell and no reward of heaven to keep the church's faithful going to church. Maybe zombie society would come full circle to where the picure above of Undead Gothic, might come to pass.

I never really came up with any long term conclusions or answers, but pondering the question was a hell of a lot of fun.



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