Picture yourself at a Halloween party.  Or, since the last weekend before Halloween was a few days ago, remember yourself at that party. (If you can, that is.  We don’t want to make you try to remember what you may not have been sober enough to notice in the first place.)

Like any other collegiate Halloween in our living memory, this year we saw a whole host of costumed individuals traipsing around. Our cursory glance at Welch Avenue showed nurses, police officers, monsters, football players and any number of other creative manifestations of your secret fetishes and imaginations.

Thankfully, we didn’t see many zombies out there. With all the zombie-related media out there these days — books (among them “World War Z” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”), movies and television programming events such as ABC Family’s “13 Nights of Halloween” and Syfy’s “31 Days of Halloween” — we might not have been able to tell the difference between the real incarnation of the long-awaited zombie apocalypse and imposters out having a good time.

Of course, in part we jest. We doubt there will be some cataclysmic event that unleashes a contagious virus that turns all those infected into man-eating shells of their formerly sentient selves. But don’t you think, just a little, that an entire month of Halloween-related movies (which naturally deal in the hellishly supernatural) could be desensitizing us all to the remote possibility that such an event does occur? Some of the TV programming to which we allude is humorous. Most of it is enjoyable. What else could we say of “The Addams Family,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Mummy” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas”? Normalizing such horrors as “Ghost Hunters,” “Rise of the Zombies” or “Shutter Island,” however, might be trying to cross a bridge too far.

Reconsider the party you imagined — or, if you’re cooler than us, the one you went to. This time, picture one of your friends showing up fashionably late, smeared with what — on any other night — you’d say looked like blood, and what — at any other time — you’d think was a deathly pale, vacant look. “Hey man, nice costume!” you say. Your friend, however, sees nothing but the next feeding opportunity and, arms outstretched, stumbles across the floor to take a bite out of your neck. Enjoy your transition, dear reader, from mortal human to one of the undead. In all seriousness, though: Lingerie and animal ears do not a costume make.  This Halloween — if your celebratory efforts have not yet been fulfilled — be a little more tasteful with your costumes.

Just not too tasteful, if you know what we mean.

(1) comment

Steve Gregg

Zombie movies tap into a primal fear from our ancient human history, perhaps our long struggle with competing human subspecies, like the Neanderthals. Every culture has a boogie man myth, the human-like creature who comes for children in the night to carry them off. The boogie man was probably Neanderthals who picked on the weakest to carry them off to eat. Zombies may well be a variation of the boogie man myth.

That said, rehearsing for the zombie apocalypse, even in fun, is good preparation for the devolution to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle the survivors will live after Obama taxes and spends America back into the Stone Age.

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