Anne Fleming

On Happening on the Zombie Walk

Why do people like zombies? I mean, the Zombie Walk is funny, okay, I get that. Zombies en masse. Lurching down the street. “Brains!”

It’s like pop culture zombies, Night of the Living Dead zombies (as distinct from “real” zombies, voudou zombies, who seem unfairly slighted), instantly filled a void that nobody knew was there. But what is it? There’s a laughing at death in zombies. A laughing at the gruesome. And you can’t blame zombies. There’s no malevolence there. Only programming. So maybe it’s a laughing at this other fear: that we have become or will become only a product of programming (“Buy things!” Lurch, lurch. “Buy things!”). Brainless, helpless, violent but emotionless, chawing on arms, neither recoiling nor relishing. I don’t know. I just know that the movie Fido wasn’t funny, except maybe to 12 year-old boys. And that Zombie Walks get bigger and bigger. 3000 in Toronto this year. There was even a Zombie Walk in Kelowna. I kept thinking, What if you were a paranoid schizophrenic and happened upon the Zombie Walk. Wouldn’t that freak you out in the worst way? Maybe I have to use that in a story.


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