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I was sitting in traffic last week, and the minivan in front of me had a flip-down television. Since I was tired of watching the road anyway, I decided to kick back and watch the movie with his kids. The film wasn’t as exciting as the time I was behind the guy watching Gia, but it was a pretty good zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead. Unfortunately the guy must have gotten tired of me tailgating him because he kept slamming on his brakes, and he eventually just got off the Interstate. In my defense, it’s not my fault he cheaped out and got such a small screen. If he had gotten the deluxe DVD package, I could have followed at a safe distance.

Now that I had to watch the road again, my mind started to wander, and I got to thinking about zombies. At some point they entered the public consciousness, and they’re even the costars of a vastly overrated show on AMC. People who think they’re only popular because of the blood and gore are missing the bigger picture. The reason zombie movies, shows and books are popular is because of the survival element.

There’s always a small group of people who made it through an event that turned everyone else into monsters, and they now have to battle a hoard of the undead to stay alive. There’s no more work or responsibilities, other than to keep breathing, and now that society is gone you can play by your own rules. Heck, you might even get to make out with that impossibly hot girl. After all, you look better than a zombie, right?

In a way zombie movies are the modern day version of Robinson Crusoe. Instead of being marooned on an uninhabited island and hunted by cannibal natives, they’re marooned in a city infested with cannibal zombies. The final question is basically the same. Do you have what it takes to survive when you have no one else to turn to?