As humanity evolved and formed larger and larger societies that had to cooperate more and more, we have come a long way with the things like "empathy," "ethics" and "caring." Human society has rules in place that try to keep an ordered balance between people. In this day and age, it is hard to be too much of a dick without some sort of repercussions.
That's why the collapse of society is key in a Zombie Apocalypse. It is said that nice guys finish last. Well, nice guys also get eaten by zombies.
Without pesky "rules" and "laws" and "social conventions" you'll be free to do pretty much anything you want, to anybody. Sure, you may not immediately launch into a rape and torture spree, but how long could you resist the urge to break a few windows downtown? Or go to Yankee Stadium and poop in the batter's box?
And if, say, it comes down to you and a dozen women to help repopulate the world, you would gladly perform your duty to mankind.
A Zombie Apocalypse provides the kind of freedom the antisocial youth of today could only dream of, in real life anyway. Watch those same kids inside the world of the Grand Theft Auto games and you see their fantasies come out. The whole selling point of that game's universe isn't the main missions, it's all the stuff you can do on the side. Driving a car through a supermarket, ramping a motorcycle into a swimming pool.
Or finally quit pants altogether.
We're just waiting for an outlet. From the moment we were toddlers until today, life has been all about not knocking over the lamp or spilling your drink or peeing in your bed. It's a fragile world where some grownup complains every time you put a scratch on it. Well, to hell with that. An apocalyptic world is a world where nobody cares what you break. The world is your oyster, albeit a very gangrenous and flesh-eating oyster.
So, sure, part of the fantasy is making your way to the Pentagon and barricading you and your band of survivors inside. But step two is to turn the thing into the world's largest indoor motocross track.
Let's face it: Everybody likes to be the boss. Even Rick Ross. Or more accurately, we like not having somebody else be the boss of us (actually being the boss, and sifting through expense reports every day, is probably Hell).
Notice how there's no power structure in the post-apocalypse world? Even if the survivors form some kind of hierarchy, the movie is certainly never about the guy at the bottom. No, the apocalypse has a great leveling effect. There are no more rich douchebags, no more handsome quarterbacks to steal all the hot girls. By the mere virtue of being a survivor in a world where they're scarce, you're already considered top dog.
And for a population of geeky guys used to being at the bottom of the social ladder, that's freaking awesome.
Sure, with great power may come great responsibility, but it also comes with lots of sweet stuff. You get to call the shots. You get the first pick of whatever artifacts are salvaged out of the ruins of civilization. You can probably get the pick of the opposite sex, all vestiges of your nerd past long forgotten.
Now, you might be thinking, "Hey, someone bigger and meaner can come and take charge of your operation." The answer: All that pre-apocalypse preparation will make you king. All those nameless victims who got turned into zombies at the beginning of the outbreak? They didn't spend their lives studying zombies. But you, you're prepared. You're the one who knows to shoot them in the head.
Who's laughing now?
And when the other survivors see you slaughtering waves of the undead, finally all of your video gaming skills the world mocked will have paid off.
That's right: The only thing between you and being the heroic badass everyone loves, is a massive outbreak of reanimated corpses.
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For our turn as zombie apocalypse advisers check out 5 Popular Zombie Survival Tactics (That Will Get You Killed) and find out How 7 Iconic Movie Characters Would Deal With a Zombie Attack.
And stop by Cracked's Top Picks to see our totally awesome zombie bunker (that Bucholz loaded with five-years worth the Cheetos, KFC and Jolt).
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