July 26, 2015 at 8:59AM
10 Ways We Turn Generation Z Into Living Zombies
Our movie SIMBI_ZOMBIES challenges audiences with a reinterpretation of the zombie genre, to reflect the modern experience of our generations.
Urban dictionary: Zombie - a person who accepts the status quo because of fear and/or lack of conviction; generally, any formerly human creature that is no longer acting with free will.
As generation Z enters the age of majority, they will be faced with the hopeless world we leave them. The writer acknowledges that we could talk about generation X and Y, but let’s face it, we’re getting old, who cares about us? We will probably die before we face the apocalypse anyway. Generation Z will be the one to come face-to-face with the end of humanity as we know it. Where there is no hope and nothing matters, generation Z is poised to become Generation Zombie.
1. Foods in our diets have been genetically altered since 1994. 1995 roughly marks the birth of the first Z’ers. They have never known a time when we didn’t have altered foods in our diets, which is like 75% now. Z’ers have always had to pay a premium to eat “organic.” Maybe some altered food is good, but since there’s no labels, no one knows what’s what. The public has passively accepted bearing the costs of labeling our food “organic,” i.e., not altered, subsidizing private companies who make altered foods, who are free not to label. We’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of consequences.
2. Pop Music is mostly about image in today’s age. Will Z’ers ever know what it’s like to have a Michael Jackson, or even a Kurt Cobain? Like American Idol, corporate music has prioritized karaoke, over artistry and culture. Since Cobain’s death in 1994, we’ve passively allowed the dumbing down of our pop music. Now K-pop has become competitive with American pop, which is arguably even more about image. (exception: FKA Twigs)
3. Media sells to the lowest common denominator to remain financially viable. Becoming “viral” is now a virtue, and maximizing “views.” Even independent bloggers need to ride the coattails of virality over measured reality to remain viable. However, as consumers this is what we demand from our media too. Our mindless obsession with cat videos, has led even one company to hire a cat as its director of communications. (exception: Anthony Bourdain)
4. Drugs have proliferated into all kinds of synthetics with pharmaceutical marketing names, which are really just opium or heroin, and on the black market, cut up with god knows what, probably yoga mat too. Even traditionally naturals aren’t safe, because of pesticides, or Jesus, is there really a genetically altered ganja now? You can’t even trust good ol’ kaya anymore. And are we to just blindly trust vaporized nicotine too? Will the Z’ers ever experience a purely natural buzz?
5. Technology is progressing faster and faster, perhaps beyond our ability to adapt to it. Now virtual reality is making a comeback. Will Z’ers ever have the opportunity to fully appreciate the physical world? Is that why they seem to be the most sex-obsessed generation in recent time? Even scarier, they may be the generation that has to deal with artificial intelligence, marking the end of human dominance, according to Steven Hawkings. Z’ers may become the zombie slaves of machines, like the Matrix!
6. Earth is probably effed up beyond all repair, unless the Z’ers invent some magical contraption to circumvent catastrophe, like maybe turning plastic back into petroleum. Endless political debates about whether the damage real or not, makes no difference to the physics of cause and effect. We keep saying we have to save the earth, but we should really be trying to save ourselves. Or at least, please save the Z’ers!
7. Politics is all about trolling. Whoever says the most idiotic comments will be praised for being “courageous”, while getting all kinds of attention from critics, who conversely derive followings from lambasting them. Every generation probably suffers from a self-selecting group of people seeking glamour in government, however, Z’ers will suffer the most compounded consequences.
8. Police kill people all the time in viral videos now, but we are now comfortably numb to it. We are citizens who can vote and fire politicians who administer policing humanely, yet we blame only the police, without blaming ourselves. Z’ers are facing a world, where they can be shot and killed by their own government, and the public just goes, “meh.”
9. Guns are freely available, making mass shootings and terrorist acts commonplace. Under an extreme interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, we have created a climate where angry people can quickly and easily purchase the power to take lives, with the pull of a trigger. Sure, a person can possess firearms responsibly, but what happens when you take away that person’s hope and leave the gun? Z’ers must face growing random terrorism.
10. Wealth is distributed so lopsidedly, that even rich people are getting poorer, in deference to the uber-rich. We passively accept that if one entitled uber-rich person earns thousands of times another broke person who works three jobs with no benefits and no safety net, the entitled one must have earned it through “merit.” To add insult to injury, we label broke people “poor,” and say the poor people are taking advantage of the rich, via ambiguous rhetoric of “income redistribution.” We are surprised, if not downright offended, when we see “poor” people being happy, or having meaningful relationships in their communities. We are not happy unless, the “poor” are just our miserable zombie slaves. Then when a minority of them “riot,” we think they are morally wrong, but what do we expect people without hope to do? The American Dream is really American Zombie.
We know from watching Anthony Bourdain that food from the street tastes the best. We know from Kurt Cobain, that music made in a garage can be the most soulful. We know that some of the richest people in the world, are the most desperate, lonely fools.
However, because of the generations before them, Generation Z are being starved of real food, real music, real media, real drugs, real human interaction, real Earth, real government, real merit, real HOPE. Everything is a shell of a former reality, created by a situation of scarcity and the earlier generations prioritizing short-term comfort. Surely Z’ers are not stupid and probably realize this, but visualizing the prison around you, doesn’t mean you automatically reach Shawshank Redemption.
What can this generation look forward to then? Perhaps, this is just the natural course of things anyway. Maybe Generation Z can find freedom in accepting becoming zombies!
The World Wide Web has been a part of Z’er life from birth. The Web is still young enough that we don’t know if it will become a tool for evil or good. Though it can be a vacuum-sucking black hole at times, perhaps the Web may be our only saving grace. Revolution may not be televised, but it has and is being retweeted.
In our fantasy band movie, half-siblings from grunge and K-pop reunite and try to make music on the Web to save the world, but fail and destroy each other. After death, in service to The Grand Zombie, they are resurrected as SIMBI_ZOMBIES... playing reggae pop on the Web. So maybe it ain’t all bad. Maybe we should accept that no matter our egos, we are still pawns of a natural cycle.
Jam with us in the production of our fantasy band feature and to spread our message consoling the next Generation Zombie!