If I Conjured This as a Fiction

A friend of mine sent me this article from the Miami Herald, about a very special episode of disaster preparedness. I’ll just go ahead and let the folks at AP explain:

The zombie attack exercise lays out the university’s response to attacks by “flesh-eating, apparently life impaired individuals.”

You can also find the article here, of course slightly abridged. Let’s add another notch to the ZCP. EDITS: The university mounts a cover-up without consequences; thanks to another friend, you can find the plan itself in PDF format here. 

It is good to see people being ready for a zombie apocalypse, and at least not taking disaster preparedness so seriously, unlike this new Spike TV show (full disclosure, I’ve seen only commercials and never a full episode). I think shows like this just make people more paranoid about things that may not really happen to them (kind of like the scam known as  car/homeowners/medical insurance). If you could not believe that these things happen, aren’t you now getting a fully dramatized and realized version of the event pumped right into your living room?  Forget having to imagine it yourself–or not having to imagine it at all–it is right there fully realized for you.

I think shows like this oinly heighten fear and paranoia of these events, while also creating a fuzzy barrier between fear-mongering and entertainment, much like the horror genre itself. Both genres traditionally work with realistic portrails of horrifying events. Much like the “Scream” films, what this show might be bringing to us, in the shadow of national tragedies and eight years of paranoid, secretive, government-malaise, is the growth of the Non-fiction Horror subgenre, or a way of slyly re-packaging certain dramas that are made to hype the fear of extra-ordinary events happening to normal everyday people.  Including a zombie outbreak excercise in disaster contingency plans, is a prudent and valid gesture–people should be aware and ready for this kind of outbreak–but I feel it achieves the same result as “Surviving Disaster”: blurring the lines between reality and entertainment, while ratcheting up the amount of fear in the population. 

Do you think they’ll make a zombie apocalypse episode?

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