So what happened to all the zombie apocalypse movies?
It’s not as if I miss them. Like most modern entertainment, they were big on computer graphics and small on plot. But as propaganda, they got the message across:
Zombies are yucky, scary, horrible humans who have been transformed into something despicable, something to be destroyed, through a . . . mystery disease.
Protagonists in the movies — the good guys, the brave guys, the big-name stars — spend their time running from clumps and clusters of zombies, which congregate like rotting sheep inside old, dark buildings.
(Zombies don’t go outside. They shelter in place.)
The goal is to kill off the zombies, eradicate them from the earth, make humanity safe from their threat. They used to be human beings, but they are no more. For that reason, it’s okay to attack them.
And while zombies don’t exist in real life (the commercial-based arena of our scientific community has not yet created a means to turn people, physically, into zombies) the fear, the panic, the suspicion and distrust focused on people, because they may be infected, feels disturbingly, increasingly real.
“Stay away!” the man behind the counter in a government building recently barked at me. “Don’t get too close!”
Another time, I passed by a couple in their 80s, walking arm in arm. My young grandson, wary of strangers, clutched my leg and peeked around it, but the woman misinterpreted.
“That’s okay,” she told me. “We’re old, and people think we’re dangerous to be around.”
The artwork, Gathering Thoughts, is a reminder to us of what we are as human beings, and what we can and should expect in our lives as human beings on this earth. While on one end, we can describe ourselves (and some people do) as a mass of bacteria, a repository for viruses, a collection of cells that potentially infect, this is a dreadful way to regard one another. It takes us nowhere as far as establishing meaningful relationships, humane connections, face to face interaction.
Rather, we are to be, like the woman wading through the surf — outside at the beach on a sunny, warm day — incredible, precious creations with the ability to think, wonder, question and question and question and question and question and question and question, feel, love, give, respond, and experience joy and freedom and beauty.
Why aren’t we doing this?
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are
Fear Blocks Our Ability to Think
Fellowship: It’s Not a Church Thing; It’s a Life Thing
All the images used in my blog are by fine artist Steve Henderson, who creates paintings celebrating beauty, hope, goodness, joy, thinking, and questioning. You can buy his work as prints at Steve Henderson Collections.
I often read what you have written and find myself nodding. It is indeed our ability to question and look at the world critically but with a desire to understand that helps us to grow as human beings, not unthinking fear of the other. Understanding and kindness are what we need as we work our way through this crisis. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your husbands beautiful art.
Thank you, Margaret, for your thoughtful comment. As humans, we have been given the ability to think and reason, to create — as intelligent as many animals are, they do not have this ability. So . . . how do we use this incredible ability we have? Some don’t use it much at all — content to sit in front of the television, watching drivel that others have made, they stagnate in thought and creativity. Others put their creativity to a cunning, clever use, one that results in bad things, but oh, how smart the world admires these people for being!(And they are: smart, not wise). And yet others choose to use their creativity to celebrate beauty, to hold out their hand to one who is struggling, to do good. There is a nobility to saying, “Whatever creative and intellectual ability I have, I choose to never use it to do evil.” That’s not a clever slogan; it’s a decision.
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