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Entertainment 2013: Walking Dead

February 20, 2013

Walking Dead

I have always liked to think of myself as being rather progressive, open to new experiences and new ideas. However broad-minded I might be, until recently I never paid much attention to the renewed fascination so many have with zombies. The Walking Dead is now one of the most popular TV shows, available also on DVD. The recent first show of the series had a rating of 5.6, which means it handily beat out all other shows broadcast that evening. When one of my kids while on winter break spent a couple of days watching the entire series, I began to think there might be something to it, though my immediate thought was he must be very bored. So I actually sat down and watched, against my natural instincts, a couple of episodes.

It did keep my interest – sort of. Quite a bit of suspense, interspersed with lots of guts and gore, which I could live without but of course we know it’s not real. You would expect that in a zombie show.

So why is there such incredible fascination with zombies? What does it say about our society in general in the year 2013? Maybe we simply need some excitement in our lives, which is actually is not harmful to us personally. Some might enjoy the suspense, and the sense of danger. For others it might be a type of escapism from the real world, which after all isn’t most all entertainment? Perhaps it has a deeper meaning – we are all fearful of death and unsure of what lies beyond this world. Rebirth, reincarnation or the zombie state all speak of our fearful interest in what lies beyond this world.

Maybe what the new zombie craze is really telling us is that society is far from progressing, but in a way turning back to the voyeuristic violent days of the Roman Coliseum. It is like the games without a gladiator’s actual death, but nevertheless still filled with Hollywood violence.

Entertainment for relaxation purposes is not a bad thing. A balanced life has always been a Jewish ideal. So my suggestion is this: along with enjoying your entertainment try to also do something to make this also a better world. It is with the latter I’m sure you will ultimately find far greater meaning.

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