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Zombie Documentary Airs on the Discovery Channel

Last night a new “documentary” aired on the Discovery channel titled Zombie Apocalypse. For several years now apocalyptic dread has been in the cultural air, and this week the Mayan calendar has been a major focus of this in 2012 that has included various television treatments, but zombie apocalyptic variants are not far behind. Recently several media outlets reported that gun sales have risen, not only in connection with angst surrounding the recent school shooting, but also in keeping with doomsday preparations, including concern over a possible zombie apocalypse. Discovery’s documentary includes many people who share this fear, and while the program may be understood as more of a pseudo-documentary where tongue is set in cheek as questionable or highly theoretical subject matter is treated as a real possibility, it is also indicative of fact-fiction reversals, and that the line between fictional monsters and the real world is close to being erased. Earlier this year a handful of independent attacks by individuals that involved biting and consuming parts of victims was scooped up by the media which quickly involved speculation as to whether these were the beginnings of zombie attacks. This was apparently taken seriously enough that the Center for Disease Control responded in an attempt to calm public fears. This phenomenon is featured in the Discovery channel’s recent program, and it provides yet another example of the power of zombies in expressing our deepest fears, which threatens to move from the imaginative and metaphorical to the real world in which we live.

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