Good evening ladies and gentleman
Have you ever wanted to just watch something ridiculous and tune out of life for an hour and a half? Just literally get to the point of being hassled all day, stressed, hot, tired and overworked… on the edge of snapping at some poor sod who really doesn’t deserve the both barrels you’re going to end up giving them.
Afternoons like that are times to watch zombie films- purely because they are utterly ridiculous. These sorts of movies are never going to win an academy award, never destined to be revered by audiences up and down the streets of Broadway or throughout London for just what a remarkable motion picture “Evening of the Living Zombie” is or mention any Oscar worthy performances by “Zombie 243.”
They are just literally for the purposes of taking some time off from the world thats becoming ever increasingly more stressful. The sights, sounds, seemably constantly fluctuating emotions and endless confrontations over what Carl Sagan infamously referred to as “a fraction of a dot.”
It did however forge a particularly strange connection for me between the idea of the “undead” and a theory developed by the famous psychoanalyst from the early part of the 20th century Sigmund Freud. Think of how many hundreds of zombie related ideas and shows have taken off the ground, even since the dawn of the millenium.Through this you have a good idea of what a zombie is and what its existence entails.
In essence, it’s one thing- survive. How does one survive?-
Food. Eat, and when there is potentially more food, get it and eat that too.
Freud had a theory which highlighted a similar idea in the following of instincts. Instincts are the base formula for our continued existence as a species and without it we would have been wiped out generations ago, no matter the lengths we are going to destroy each other anyway. This, according to Freud, is the work of the Id- a part of your mind that is a slave to these instincts, the part of you looking for your DNA to survive and for you to have enough food to carry on ensuring that DNA is passed on. The Id isn’t interested in risk, the Id will go to lengths most people wouldn’t imagine to achieve its goal.
Hence why we see the pack mentality, and food arguments in the zombie films, the desire to feed reigns supreme when following these instincts so blindly.
Freud continues this theory with the existence of the superego. This the one one trying to fill your mind with fear, with the social constructs and obsessiveness of the modern world. A stickler for the details and avoiding the debilitating anxiety of a surprise. The over-thinker is at home here, understanding these feelings of needing to know everything and driven by the fear of never knowing enough. The superego is fuelled by the self conscious, the media savvy, the one who cannot live with the idea of someone disliking them. Driven by the fear of life, but too fearful to live.
In between these two wildly contrasting theories is the ego, the parent of the two unruly children if you like. One is impossible without the other, the level is the key to what makes you a human being in this modern day and age. The ego is the puppet master if you will, this one pulling the leads on the other two to keep your instincts and obsessive self control in check.
Freud wrote this theory of the id, superego and ego in the early 20th century. Put Freud in front of the world you can see from your phone screen right now- would the theory still stand? Or in many ways, are we becoming more and more driven by instinct? The need to peacock, to show how impressive we are, to display how worthy of continuing this bloodline to the next generation? In the end, as much as the superego is trying to stop you thinking about these instincts…without them- what is it all for?
The more i think about- maybe human beings are all zombies. Maybe what we are just driving for different things, the instincts that drive us have evolved from the need to eat, because for so many of us in this world food, water and shelter aren’t even something we give a second thought for because a store or a restaurant is never more than a few minutes away. Maybe what we strive for is different- as the zombies we have become, acceptance is the nourishment so many of us desire so badly.
So many of us think the acceptance has to come from other people- but most important is to accept yourself. It almost has to be like an instinct. You are who you are, evolution, pain, stupid mistakes, broken heart, dark soul and all.
We feed ourselves to survive. With love, hate, pain, loss, lust, loneliness and green faced envy. These sensations are all a part of you, a part of us. Without them, maybe we are just flesh eating morons…
Yours, with love as always.
D. R x