When I was in college, I wrote a paper on the real life applications of zombies.
Whether you love them or you’re sick of them, zombies as a pop cultural milestone are incredibly useful when it comes to disaster preparation. Organizations like the CDC and FEMA will run drills to train their staff using “zombie outbreak” scenarios. Parents of young children are encouraged to frame home disaster plans in terms of zombie attacks, because zombies are a fun Halloween thing, rather than something as real and scary as a tornado or a house fire.
But I notice it in other parts of my life.
I was looking into a setup for making my own rope, because reasons. When I was asked why I would even care about how to do something like that, I didn’t have to explain that it’s a neat skill to have and I like the idea of being a little more reliant on myself and a little less reliant on Target. I said “in case of zombies,” and the other person nodded like I’d said something perfectly reasonable.
Same goes when I’m making arguments for why I’d rather know how to repair my own clothes than buy new ones. I could talk about ecological waste and sweatshop labor and all that stuff, or I could say “yeah, but when the zombies come, I won’t be the one with holes in my socks.”
And yes, the person on the other side probably already knows a lot of that other stuff without me reiterating it for the thousandth time, but also, constantly talking about all the ways the world sucks is really not doing my mental health any favors. Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and pretend the scariest things we’re facing are a bunch of movie monsters that can be outpaced with a brisk walk.