Friday, November 26, 2010


It may sound reasonably close to the title of the Bobby Darin's 1962 hit "Multiplication - That's the Name Of The Game"; but not quite. To his many fans, Darin who died tragically at age 37 in 1973, personified the American Dream. Though born at the height of the Great Depression from a working class Brooklyn, N.Y. family, he rose to substantial success and fame by crossing over through many musical genres from rock to ballads to standards.

Whether they're fans of Bobby Darin or others and however you may wish to define it; many would now suggest that there is not much of the American Dream that is left anymore. New York Times columnist, Bob Herbert summed-up things recently: "Wherever you choose to look - at the economy and jobs, the public schools, the budget deficits, the nonstop warfare overseas - you'll see a country in sad shape."

There is a sense amongst middle Americans that their standards of living are in decline and parents of my generation increasingly believe their offspring will inherit a bad deal. And, "Zombies" (it seems) are poised to bear witness to America's rapid 21st Century decline.

Regulars and followers of cartoonist/political satirist Garry Trudeau; "Doonesbury", will have already noted his recent fixation on the Zombie Game Internet application. Trudeau is just the most recent manifestation of young America's obsession with Zombies - Zombies are "In": As someone recently suggested - "This cannot possibly be a good sign!"

It's hard to track down just where, how, and when the phenomenon started. Some have claimed however that it was the launch of the 2003 black and white comic book series "The Walking Dead" which kicked things off. But if manifestations of horror are a reflection of the world around us; it's fairly easy to see where things are going...

Depending on one's prism of political persuasions and perceptions either American society of "normal" people is being threatened by a cadre of bloodsuckers. Or the United States is teetering on the edge of an era of Zombie politics - To wit: Uninfected humans have to band together and do..."whatever it takes to protect themselves against the irrational undead." As Gail Collins of the New York Times wrote recently.

Portent of our fate and future or not; America's fascination with the "undead" has been growing at grotesque speed - The "Walking Dead" comic book phenom has spawned a television series of the same name which launched on AMC Network on Halloween and is now touted as the hottest new show on television. The first airing on October 31 was viewed by 5-million people in the United-States; the highest ever audience for AMC which has been broadcasting for 26 years. It scored 85/100 (Universal Acclaim) on Meta-Critic an aggregator of TV critics' comments. Based on the success, AMC tripled the initial order of 5 first year episodes, and has ordered-up 13 episodes for 2011.
There's talk now of importing the BBC series "Dead Set" to North America, and the best-seller "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies" is about to made into a movie.

It seems that so far Canadians (may) have somehow avoided contagion from the mutants, the undead and mass zombifications emanating from south of our border. It is probably time to take the appropriate cautionary measures. Perhaps the government should re-cycle those left-over H1N1 (swine-flu) Vaccines into an antidote against this looming infectious epidemic.

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