Have brain eating, society crushing, putrefying, corrupted, stalking creatures missed your attention? If you are looking out your window, yes. But they are all around you on the Internet - and commonly called trolls. Not literally brain eating, but sucking the intelligence out of anything they can and drawing their strength from the meat viciously torn from innocent victims. Trolls are a species, a different species. Zombies are ruined, rotting humans who procreate by contaminating others. Zombies are much more like what we think of when we think of Internet trolls.
Zombie purists probably do not like this line of thinking. They would rather we grapple with a weaponized version of an ancient middle/northern European demon than risk exploring the real meaning behind the current popularity of zombies.
Certain entertainment subjects have been popular in the past because they are a blurry reflection of what is going on around us at that time. Intended to or not, these images resonate with us in some way. The Marx Brothers deflating fat cats, expressing the hidden desires of depression weary Americans; The Invasion of the Body Snatchers echoing America’s unease with McCarthyism’s “enemies among us”; the racism reflected in The Day the Earth Stood Still and now the obsession with zombies in this, the heyday of hate on the Internet. It is not a coincidence.
Hate on the Internet is one of the most destructive forces in our society today (1st Amendment? that’s for a later blog post) and it is ugly, vile, contagious, indiscriminant and corrosive. Zombies are vile, thoughtless, degenerate, dehumanized, creatures preying on the minds (brains) and hearts (flesh) of innocent vulnerable people who are then forced to hide in order to survive. Sounds like internet hate, sounds like trolls.