Zombie Theories

Sometimes I wonder where these zombie theories come from in this age of scientific advancement. Humanity is not an idiot, but some of the lesser-known theories deserve to die a quiet death with little to no fanfare whatsoever. These Monday Mayhem posts have been a staple around here at JackFlacco.com, so why not talk about them, giving them the proper respect they ought to have? Perhaps there is something to learn for everyone involved.

Witch Doctor [Photo Credit: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Witch Doctor [Photo Credit: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
The very first theory is that voodoo will bring back the dead. For that to happen, there would have to be a witch doctor willing to bring back the dead. Unbelievably, such a case in Haiti existed where a man had died and a voodoo doctor had brought the corpse back to life. What is now known is the good doctor had poisoned the victim to deceive the family into believing the man had perished of an aliment of some sort. When the family had buried the victim, the voodoo doctor had exhumed the body, fed it another cocktail of hallucinogens and made the man a servant keeping him drugged for decades until the doctor’s death. The case was nothing more than a charlatan taking advantage of the poor in order to gain free labor from its intended victim.

Going further with the case, should zombies truly rise from voodoo, civilization would be in a quandary. Who would administer the drugs? What will be the effect of these victims on the economy? Should it really happen, where would it take place? Certainly, it couldn’t happen in the developed countries of North America.

George A. Romero
George A. Romero

The other theory, which far surpasses reality, has to do with aliens. This theory is so farfetched that it isn’t even worth documenting. However, an element of fun exists in this theory that no one can really resist not documenting it.

Consider an alien race that has come to Earth as a means of populating it with its kind. The aliens utilize ray beams to change the masses into obedient servants, thereby rendering the population vulnerable to conquest. Sounds ridiculous, yet George A. Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead has a variation of the theme where an accident from space changes a quiet town into a zombie feeding ground. Gone is the audience’s sense of intellect, replaced only by the acceptance of sheer fiction in a situation that is as likely to happen as the earth standing still for forty-eight hours.

Lastly, no zombie apocalypse would be complete without the dreaded virus that turns humanity into bags of roaming nut jobs. Who can dispute that above all the outlandish theories, this is the one that has remained in the forefront as the one-and-only that makes the most sense. However, the reality is far from perfect. For this theory to work, the virus’ victims would have to succumb to yielding their inhibitions to consuming human meat, not only from an individual standpoint but also from a community perspective. Unless plied with a crate of dopamine, it would appear that such an event would fall in the realm of “hardly unlikely”.

With that, the forum is open for discussion. What do you think of zombie apocalypse theories?

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What other theories are so outrageous that they aren’t worth the time reading?

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18 thoughts on “Zombie Theories

  1. Heh…there is a book called “Night of the Living Trekkies” where a zombie outbreak happens at a Star Trek convention…you should check it out. I think you’d enjoy it, even though it’s ridiculous.

  2. I think the ” chemical / drugs ” option would be very likely, but – if nanite technology / nano – technology is brought in, it could be a viable – option.
    Cryonocists who tell people that frozen dead people can be thawed & revived rely on nanites as an agent.
    Suppose that a swarm of nanites escapes containment & gets beyond the lab. They start rebuilding necrotic tissue with a frenzy, indiscriminately. In effect, bringing back the dead. I wonder if it would be as flesh – eating zombies or as fully restored living human beings, or somewhere in between. This science – fiction scenario is somewhat more appealing to me.

  3. It’s scary (for you, Jack!) that we’re on the same wavelength, except I’ve been thinking of doing a ‘tour’ of classical literature to see if I can uncover the origins of the dead, though you make an excellent point about voodoo/religion that I hadn’t considered. I suspect ‘zombies’ or the concept of the walking dead has been around with humans since prehistory, before language(s). I’m sure it’s been done before, though, but maybe those people who just walk through life–in a traditional bildungsroman, not a sci-fi story, even, like Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde or Poe’s works, etc.–as being a kind of proto-zombie. One of my favorite zombie-like creations that do touch on the alien influence is “They Live” (though I’ve sadly never read George R.R. Martin’s book–I guess there is one predating the movie–nor the screenplay). SPOILER!!!! The disguised alien visitors in that movie, if you follow the interpretation of the movie, are making us real people into followers–mindless zombies of a sort, tricking us through things like rampant consumerism and subliminal messaging. Anyway, another great discussion, Jack, although I can’t really think of any other origin theories of zombies apart from the conspiracy types (which I don’t generally enjoy) akin to ‘the government experimented on people and made them into zombies.’ I guess my problem is I apply ‘zombies’ pretty broadly sometimes (they don’t have to eat brains and need to be ‘killed’ per se, but represent an ideology or mode of living that is not beneficial to humanity, a la the banksters in Wall Street or corrupt politicians or the like and either are themselves predatory and brainless like zombies OR they make us into zombies).

  4. The alien slant is new to me, but growing up reading fantasy, folklore and old-world religions, zombies and other “mindless” undead have been part of the lexicon of human fear for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The zombie apocalypse is a relatively new spin on it, as is, of course, the science-accident or viral one. I don’t think any of the theories aren’t worth considering though. There are a lot of creative, if far-fetched, ideas out there, and what’s looked at as entirely plausible today could be completely disproved tomorrow – like most of the magic-based undead lore that was in the realm of possibility only a century ago.

  5. Not sure where to go with the zombies, but the voodoo drugs thing is interesting. Create a food product that has the drug inside it. Sell it to the masses and see what happens. Heck, make it a supplement or set of supplements since many of those aren’t FDA regulated.

  6. Okay. So, Jack Flacco, you are saying that I can put away my total dread and fear of a zombie apocalypse because it is entirely inconceivable as a concept? I know on the intellectual level that you are totally correct in your posting today. However, my sketchy brain has a problem with sorting out the difference between fact and fiction. That is something, my friend, that is not easily fixed I am sad to say 😦

    I really enjoyed your research and fact based post today. Course, I enjoy all of your posts…fact or fiction 😀

    Leslie

  7. Ha! Thanks for waking me up with that scary looking guy. I think he lives near me.;)

    Voodoo and aliens, interesting. I think what distrubs me so much about zombies is that they reveal a desire within us to run around whacking other humans with a shovel and being totally justified in doing it. Zombies lack humanity, they are dangerous, and we are only doing our duty. I cannot blame us for having this fantasy, it is a great stress reliever, but still, this desire to dehumanize the humans always disturbs me.

    • Anytime I can be of service, please do not hesitate to ask! 😉

      Dehumanizing humans is a tough call. Yet, zombies doing their thing is fun. Hmm, not sure where I’m going with this…

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