Being a zombie, with and without actually being dead.

The beginning of Dead Set was interesting to say the least. At first I did not think that the disasters all over the U.K. would be tied to zombies until we see the car driver get attacked. I am not a fan of scary/horror movies or shows, so being scared at first was a natural reaction. However, what came after that wave of emotions really surprised me. As I began to see more and more people getting attacked by the undead I began to think back to Marjorie’s violent actions in A Head Full of Ghosts. Every time a zombie takes a bite out of a human I picture Marjorie biting into the priest.

Zombies biting into human flesh, akin to Marjorie’s actions.

Following this method of thinking I can see how Marjorie herself might be similar to the zombies on the show. They are both not in a fully conscious(assuming zombies are different people than their human counterparts) or autonomous state. Their actions are influenced by factors out of their reach, and they are not the same person that they were before. I like to believe that Marjorie ultimately did suffer from a mental illness, and that led to her actions. I think this connection brings up the more important issue of how we deal with those that have mental illnesses. In the show we see that the human’s first action is to freak out, which is understandable because they are being attacked. However, when Marjorie begins to act strangely, her parent’s first reaction is to freak out as well. Mental illnesses are  highly overlooked and misunderstood in our modern day society. I think the lack of understanding allows those affected to become a “zombie” in a sense by being marginalized.

I’d like to keep developing the idea of what it means to be a “zombie” by tying it into the name of the class. I think that Death in the Digital Age is best embodied through Facebook’s “Remembering” feature. For those who are not aware this is a feature that allows for people’s Facebook profiles to remain online after they have passed. When one visits the deceased person’s profile there is a sign that reads “Remembering _______” with the blank space filled in by their name. As I am looking through several of these pages on my own Facebook account I realize that this too is a way that one can become a “zombie”. The deceased are no longer on this earth, yet their presences is still felt. We can see where they have been, what they have liked, and even what they looked like. Yet, they are gone. This is similar to how zombies  in the show are no longer living, yet continue to be present.

Facebook’s “Remembering” Feature

To a certain extent we can say that these Facebook profiles haunt us. We as friends of the deceased may not have asked to see the “Remembering” feature, yet it still there. We may never come across it, or may consistently encounter it. Regardless, the page exists and will trigger mixed feelings. Technology has allowed for all of us to become zombies once we have passed. Whether or not some of us approve of that is a question that should be brought forth. Should we consent to this feature? Should friends of the deceased be notified that this is happening and be asked if they are ok with viewing it in their feed? These are questions that should be discussed.


One Reply to “Being a zombie, with and without actually being dead.”

  1. Your mention of Facebook profiles foreshadows something we’ll be covering later in the semester…

    A minor, but important detail regarding your images: instead of having the images link back to their source image, can you have them link back to the article or page that contains the image? For example, it’d be great if the Facebook memorial image linked back to the Slate article itself, rather than the image that’s in the article.

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