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1. ISIS and the Zombie Apocalypse

In the opening of George Romero’s cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968), a young man and woman are driving through a desolate countryside to a visit a cemetery.  As Barbara and her brother Johnny are laying a cross wreath on their father’s grave, they are stalked by an old man who lurches awkwardly toward them, a twisted look on his face.  After the man attacks Barbara, Johnny tries to defend her and is killed.  Then the maniac chases Barbara to an old farm house, where she finds refuge with another man, Ben, who kills several zombies before boarding up the house and trying to save them from a growing horde of the undead that is surrounding the house and trying to break in.  Later, when a mass of zombies attack the house, Barbara is killed by her dead brother. 

Night of the Living Dead embodies one of the darkest themes in human pop culture—the living pursued by the dead, isolated and nearly defenseless against an unreasoning enemy we don’t understand whose sole aim is to kill us or devour our flesh.  Ghouls, vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, and the gigantic nuclear creatures of the 1950’s—in our collective nightmares, they are the instruments of our destruction, monsters who attack without provocation, as powerful and soulless as they are uncompromising and devoid of humanity.  Among our fears, we fear the unfamiliar and the irrational.  We fear losing our freedom and our sense of well-being.  We fear being pursued by forces stronger than ourselves.  We fear not knowing where safety lies.  In short, we fear threats we do not understand and cannot control.

Tags: ISIS, Islamic State, vampires, zombies, monsters, Frankenstein, werewolves, mummies, nightmares

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Comments

Mary Nowotny

Thanks, Terry, for putting together and posting this thoughtful piece. It's helpful to hear from such rational people like you who may help influence others to do the right thing - VOTE FOR HILLARY! best regards mary

October 19, 2016, 6:41 PM
Anna Pool

Terry, thank you for this unequivocal analysis of Trump's character. As Michelle said, his vulgarity makes females feel vulnerable, whether we talk about it or not. I hate thinking about my daughter living a world where Trump has so much power. Your candor and courage mean a lot.

October 19, 2016, 8:34 PM
Maxine

Terry, again another excellent piece. You've highlighted the inaccuracies in what Trump proclaims, his inability to accept responsibility for anything he says or does, his unstable and vacillating temperament, and his lack of respect for not only women, but anyone he deems different, weak, or a threat to him. Thank you for taking the time and the risk to publish your thoughts. Vote Hillary and VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS FOR CONGRESS! Another 4 years of gridlock would be disastrous.

October 20, 2016, 4:26 AM
Joe Wade Plunk

Terry, I can only concur with every statement you've penned. Well, that and vote for Hillary. The aspect of his character - character?! - that has had the greatest impact on me during this horrific campaign season is not his vile nature, but rather the vindictive utterances he has caused to spout from the mouths of people whom I love and otherwise respect. I cannot even allow myself to consider what his Presidency would mean for America, which is already great.

October 20, 2016, 10:09 AM
Katherine Freiberger

Terry, your comments are right on target. Not only am I disgusted by Trump's ignorance and self-centered vulgarity, but even more frightened by the possibility that, as our nation's head, he could impulsively plunge us into situations with the rest of the world as well as ourselves.

October 21, 2016, 4:22 PM
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