It must be said that it’s caught me somewhat unprepared: Having planned to be contending with brain-eating undead monsters, those plans have been thrown into disarray, with the realisation that the zombies are not actually what I expected, and that the need to stock up on shotguns, canned goods and bottled water may have been a little overstated. The zombies, it appears, are unlikely to want to feast on my brains, or any other body parts for that matter, (fortunate both for myself and them!) – in fact, I think the only harm that could possibly result from any interaction with them would be inadvertently tripping over one of the beasts.
These new generation zombies are easy to recognise – the typical, shambling gait, accompanied by unresponsiveness and a motionless standing posture – head bowed, shoulders slumped. They barely react to stimulus and often the only indication of any sentience at all is a slight nodding of the head and twitching of the fingers.
This is how technology has taken control of humanity. It has isolated us from the world around us, separated us from our fellow human beings and controls us, using devices that it seems, are smarter than ourselves. This morning, waiting in the station platform for my train, there’s must have been 50 of these zombies, barely moving apart from the rapid taps of fingertips on phone screens, every one of them seemingly on some sort of autopilot, controlled and subsumed by some alien and remote intelligence, having lost their own capability of rational thought.
Who would have thought it, even just ten years ago? And who can imagine what the next ten years might bring? I sure that none, bar the most pessimistic dystopianists among us, would have predicted that technological and communication innovation would have held anything but good and positive things for us, giving us freedom to live our lives to the full, when in fact they’ve enslaved us, tied us down and pretty much rule every aspect of our lives… Socially, collectively and intrusively.
Personally, I prefer my zombies to be of the old fashioned type.. The moaning , lurching, menacing type – the sort that can still be found causing mayhem in select locations around SL… In fact, there’s a zombie who hangs out in my local neighbourhood – Wilbur. You never quite know when he’s going to make an appearance, and he has been known to change his whereabouts every now and again. The great thing about Wilbur, and for that matter, SL zombies in general, is that his prime purpose in his undead life is to provide a zombie-shaped target for whatever weapon you might have to hand.
Now, I’m no advocate of violence, but sometimes after a hard day there’s something infinitely satisfying and therapeutic about being able to take out your pent up frustrations on a non-being who really doesn’t mind being blown to smithereens, over and over again! And, over the years, Wilbur has had to put up with an awful lot from me: I’ve mown him down using vehicles of every conceivable type, blasted him with everything from bananas to bullets, and even fried him in the occasional modest thermonuclear air-blast, all of which he’s taken stoically and without complaint. Zombie he may be, but he’s been good to me.
If I’m honest, I’d rather live in a world full of Wilburs than one populated by the sort of zombies I see every day, hanging around city centres, ignoring shop assistants at checkouts while taking calls, and blocking shop doorways and narrow stairs as they slowly make their way through the world, totally absorbed in the little glowing screen in their hand. Frankly, even if we were invaded by real zombies, they wouldn’t hang around long… There’s simply not enough brains left to keep them satisfied!
Drowning deep in my sea of loathing
Broken your servant I kneel
(Will you give in to me?)
It seems what’s left of my human side
Is slowly changing in me
Disturbed – Down With The Sickness