“Train to Boston: Zombie Plague Times on the MBTA” now on The Bigger Picture


“If the late 20th century’s chosen monster to represent the horror of the AIDS crisis was the blood-sucking (and gay-coded) vampire, the 21st century’s mythical beast appears to be the zombie. The 2002 film 28 Days Later popularized the idea of zombism as a virus—rather than the shambling reanimated dead of George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its sequels, living humans in 28 Days Later became infected with the ‘rage virus’ which turned them into fast-moving, flesh-craving (but still technically alive) ghouls. The popular TV series The Walking Dead (2010-) has the zombie virus lurking dormant within every living human, ready to strike after death. So at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it felt like we were in the opening montage of a zombie movie or TV show—panicked news reports, picked-over supermarkets, empty cities, social unrest. The ‘United States federal government is lying and incompetent’ trope checked out. The ‘scientists with their charts are ignored and silenced’ trope came sadly true. The crisis felt both shocking and inevitable, the terminal outcome of a failed state…”

Read the rest at The Bigger Picture.