The Zombie Apocalypse: Fact or Fiction?

By Jim Donahue

Recent events in North America have brought the words zombie, apocalypse, cannibalism, and dismemberment to the forefront of our vernacular.

First, let’s review the facts:

Sometime in the days leading up to May 26, 2012, it is alleged that Luka Rocco Magnotta murdered and dismembered Jun Lin, a 33-year-old college student from China. Montreal police discovered a headless torso near Magnotta’s residence on May 26, 2012. A foot was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party headquarters on May 29, 2012, and a hand was found later that day in a package addressed to the Liberal Party headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.

On May 26, 2011, in Miami, FL, Miami police shot and killed a homeless man who was allegedly feasting on the face of another homeless man in a daylight attack on a busy highway. Before he could be stopped, Randy Eugene had chewed the face of victim Ronald Poppo down to his goatee. “The forehead was just bone,” police said, “No nose, no mouth.”

On May 31, 2012, in Baltimore, MD, police discovered several metal canisters containing the partial remains of 37-year-old Kujoe Agyei-Kodie, a graduate student at Morgan State University. The canisters were discovered at a Baltimore area townhome shared by two Morgan State University students. The alleged suspect, Alexander Kinyua, 21, of Joppatowne, MD, has admitted to eating a portion of the dead man’s brain, as well as his heart.

It would seem that Zombies are indeed walking the planet, dismembering and eating their victims. And the forecast of impending doom and apocalyptic, cataclysmic events advanced by doomsday theorists is extremely disheartening. It is definitely the stuff of science fiction.
And now for the fiction.

AMC’s The Walking Dead, a series with its story line straight out of a science fiction novel has aired for 2 seasons, and are they ramping up for their 3rd. The show is based on a series of comic books of the same name written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. The executive producers are Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara and was developed for television by Frank Darabont.

If you watched the show, you know that the apocalypse has happened, and most everyone on the planet is infected with the virus that makes them into zombies and turns them into the Walking Dead. Death, dismemberment and cannibalism all follow. The featured characters are a group of survivors trying to understand the events, while fighting off the Zombies and looking for safe haven.

AMC is having a marathon viewing of all 19 episodes from the first two seasons of the zombie drama, culminating with a live episode of The Talking Dead, where the first scene of the third season will debut. The marathon begins at 11:30 am on Saturday July 7th and runs thru 11:00 pm Sunday July 8th.

The show is watched by millions each week and the survival techniques featured on the show are just one of many things to be learned from viewing.

So much so that Michigan State University is offering a Zombie survival course this semester, appropriately titled, “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse – Catastrophes and Human Behavior.” It’s a seven-week online course and teaches how human behavior and human nature change after catastrophic events, among other things. “We are using the idea of a zombie apocalypse to attract attention to the important research and science on the topic of ‘Catastrophes and Human Behavior,’” creator of the course Glenn Stutzky said. “Students will learn about the nature, scope and impact of catastrophic events on individuals, families, societies, civilizations and the Earth itself.”

Who knows? Maybe the end of the world is coming to a location near you in the not too distant future. Fact or Fiction?

I’d like to hear from you; what are your thoughts?