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Introduction WhenIwatchedthefirstepisodeofTheWalkingDead,Irememberbeingcompletely

captivatedbyeverythingithadtooffer.IthadeverythingIthoughtofwhenIpicturedazombie apocalypticlandscape.Theblood,thezombies,thepsychologicalchangesinthecharacters, andtherealnessithadreallyhadmehookedfromthegetgo.Ichosetoobservetheshownot onlybecauseitismyfavoriteTVshow,butbecausemoviesandmediaarestartingtohavea zombiethememoreandmore.Ithenrealizedthatafterfindingoutabout"zombieviruses"on computersandwatchingsomeofGeorgeRomero'szombiemovies,thatthezombieisnotonly ascaryplausiblerealitytotheviewerbutitisalsousedametaphorforcapitalisminmanyareas oftelevision.ThisiswhatIfound. LiteratureReview: Zombie:EmbryandLaurosaysthatazombieisaslavelikebodywhoultimatelyisa

metaphorforcapitalism.TheWalkingDeadrepresentsazombieasaphysicallyfunctioning althoughdecayingbodywhoisnotalivementally. Walker:InTheWalkingDead,thecastoftheshowgivestheterm"walker"tothe

zombiebecausealthoughitisseeminglyalive,thezombieisinfactdeadinmindandisjust walkingaroundaimlessly.Theybecomerabidwhenthehearnoiseanddevouranyfleshthey cansmellout.IntheTVshow,theywalkwithagrowlandtheirskinandorganaredecayingif notalreadyextrudingfromthebody. Capitalism:Awayoforganizinganeconomysothatthethingsthatareusedtomake

andtransportproducts(suchasland,oil,factories,ships,etc.)areownedbyindividual

peopleandcompaniesratherthanbythegovernment. FascinationoftheZombieinFilm:TheWalkingDeadfranchisehasrockedthe

primetimeslotsoftelevisionputtingitselfinacategoryofitsown.Americahasgonecrazyfor thepopulartelevisionshowbecuseitundoubtedlycausesanaddictingtypeoffearinits viewerslikenicotinetoacigarettesmoker.LauroandEmbrysuggestthattheideaofdeath and,moreimportantly,thefactthatthezombieinasensemocksourmortalityiswhathooks theviewer.TheyrecallaninterviewwithzombiemovieproducerGeorgeRomerowhenhe wasaskedwhathewoulddoifhegottenbittenbyazombie.Hesimplyansweredthathe himselfwouldgooutandgetbittenbythezombiesohecouldliveforever.Thatintrigued EmbryanfLauroatthefactthatdeathissoscarytosomepeoplethattheywouldwantto unconciouslyliveforever. ModernZombie:Intoday'ssociety,anactualthreatofazombieapocalypsedoes

existandthisisparrtiallyduetotheheightenedawarenessmadebytheriseinzombiemedia. AllanCameronsaysthatthemodernzombieisthemediazombie.Healsoreferences GeorgeRomero'szombiemovieseries.Cameronsaysthatroleofactualmediaandnewsin themoviesdrawstheviewertogetthesensethatanactualyoutbreakcouldreallyhappen. ZombiesandCapitalism:LauroandEmbryproposethattheroleofazombieis

actuuallyametaphorforcapitalistdroneandallitisrepresentingiscapitalisminmedia.They soneofthecharacterswhoistreatedalmostlikeslavestandinginhispositionbehindacash register.Capitalismisawayoforganizinganeconomysothatthethingsthatareusedto makeandtransportproductsareownedbyindividualpeopleandcompaniesratherthanby thegovernment.Inthesameway,aslaveisavictimofaformofcapitalism.Thatiswhy LauroandEmbryassociatethetwotogether.

WhatAreTheChances? Withtherecentexplosionofzombiemediainthisworldnow,itisinevitablethatsociety

wouldactuallyexplorethethoughtofanactualzombieapocalypse.Asreasonableasitis,what istheplausibilityofithappening?Let'stakealittlelessononthehumanbodyforasecond.Think aboutflushots.Theyaremadeofstrainsofdifferentvirusesandbuildupyourimmunesystem tofightoffthenewestgermthatisaffectingthepoulation.Butthereseemstobeadifferent sicknesseveryseason.Norovirus,swineflu,andthebirdfluaresomeofthemanyvirusesthat rockedtheworldwithitsstrength.Tokilleachvirusyouneedamixofdifferentstrainstobuildup yourimmunesystemtofightitoffandifyougetaflushoteveryyear,thinkaboutwhatthatis doingtoyourbody.Isitactuallystrengthingyoursystemorcausingharmandmorphingyour bodyintosomethingthatyouareunawareof?Asomewhatunsettlingthoughtisthatwerelease thesevirusesintotheworldunknowingly.Scientistsworldwidehavebeenstudyingthepolarice capsforyears.Recently,RussianscientistsstarteddrillinginAntarica'sfreshwaterlakesand uncoveredcloseto10,000newspeciesofvirus.Tenthousand.Birdsoranimalscouldeasily pickoneormanyofthesestrainsupandspreaditovertheworld.Couldavirusmakeaperson becomedeadmentallybutstayalivephysically?Quitefrankly,whenthegeneralpopulationis askedwhatazombielooksandactslike,theyaregoingtoillustateapictureofadecayingbody whowandersaimlesslyuntilprovokedbythesight/smellofmeatandblood.Theythenbecome angeredanddelirioustotheirtargetuntiltheyaresatistified.Doesthisnotsoundlikeatypeof rabies?Okay,MerriamWebsterdefinerabiesasanacutevirusdiseaseofthenervoussystem ofmammalsthatiscausedbyarhabdovirus(speciesRabiesvirusofthegenusLyssavirus) usuallytransmittedthroughthebiteofarabidanimalandthatischaracterizedtypicallyby increasedsalivation,abnormalbehavior,andeventualparalysisanddeathwhenuntreated.In TheWalkingDead,thosewhoareinfectedcangetbittenandbecomeinfectedwhichsoundsa

lotlikerabies.Inall,thereactuallyisazombievirusinthisworldtodayeventhoughitisoften overlookedbymany.Liketheeverchangingvirusesinthislife,whosetosaythatrabiescan't mutateintosomethingthatwewatchonprimetimetelevision? SoWhat? Sowhatdoesthispaperhavetodowithanything?Well,asourfascinationofthezombie

continuestogrowinmedia,themetaphorsforwhichitisusedwillcontinuetochangeaswell. Butwhyisthisimportant?Well,asyou'veseen,theinfluenceofshowssuchasTheWalking DeadandtheGeorgeRomeromovieseriescauseviewertoworryaboutanactualoutbreak. Alongwiththat,moreandmorepeoplearestartingtocatchonthatthezombieisametaphorfor capitalismandthatmaystarttocausecontroversy.Whateverthereason,thezombieisnowan influential,popularcharacterinmedia,technology,andliteratureandIamexcitedtoseehowit willexpandinthecomingyears. Citations: Lauro,S.J.,&Embry,K.(2008).AZombieManifesto:TheNonhumanConditionintheEraof AdvancedCapitalism[Electronicversion].. Boluk,S.,&Lenz,W.(2010).infection,media,andcapitalism:Fromearlymodernplagues topostmodernzombies. Cameron,A.,&,(2009).Zombiemedia:Transmission,reproduction,andthedigitaldead. Lowenstein,A.,&,(2008).Livingdead:Fearfulattractionsoffilm. Frankish,K.(2007).Theantizombieargument.

Deggans,E.(2013).Zombiesandhopeon'thewalkingdead'.Retrievedfromnpr.org (2012).InKirkman,R.(ExecutiveProducer),TheWalkingDead.Atlanta,Georgia:AMC.