Matthew got to see Zombieland. I like zombies. I hope to see it soon. While Matthew was rubbing it in my face that he saw it and I didn’t, we got to talking about some important issues.

Is zombieism just another manifestation of vampirism? To be specific, I am referring to your traditional undead and rather lethargic zombie, not the newfangled virus induced speed demons. Vampires and zombies, related? After all, they are both undead that feed on humans. To draw a distinction seems merely a class association based on dietary habits. Vampires are all suave and get all the girls while zombies are the worker bees of the undead. All guts – no glory. Zombies might just be vampires with bad hygiene.

Come to think of it, not only is there a caste system among the undead – there are levels even within zombiedom. Vampires look down on zombies. Fast zombies look down on slow zombies. Slow zombies look down on nazi zombies and nazi zombies look down on tea party protesters. It all seems very racist to me. It is easy to overlook the soft bigotry of lower brain function.

It occurs to me that our generation has reinvented the zombie to fit our culture. Zombies used to be the undead, not victims of H1N1. There was a spiritual aspect to the whole thing. Evil spirits inhabiting decaying bodies. Gross, but spiritual. Today’s zombies are victims. Everybody is a victim today so why not zombies? Can support groups be far behind? How about inclusion of the undocumented dead in the health care bill. Please.

Come to think of it, even the original zombies show signs of the secularization of our culture. Vampires sought to drink blood, what was then regarded as the life force. Zombies want to eat brains. I think that science and secularization is changing what is craved – in more spiritual times monsters craved blood for its life force – now they crave brains as animals crave meat. As a result they are less scary and more pathetic. Lions and tigers and bears are scary because they can eat you, but they can’t destroy your soul. Secular monsters are boring. I mean vampires aren’t even afraid of holy water and crucifixes anymore. They are clingy and misunderstood. If I want clingy and misunderstood, I will watch a Woody Allen movie. Come to think of it, Woody Allen is scarier than these vampires.

I like my old school monsters of the spiritual realm who took the lives and flesh of the innocent in a misguided attempt at eternal life, just like real monsters do.