May is Zombie Awareness Month. Zombie madness reached a peak in 2011. Everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. Huge companies including Sears, Doritos, Toyota, Honda, Red Bull, and even BMW featured commercials with zombies in them. After the 2012 SHOT Show, we saw a run of specialized zombie gear from Hornady, Leupold, EOTech, Ka-Bar, Mossberg and special, one-off runs of zombie guns. I have reported in the past that zombies are a big business worth around 5.74 billion dollars from sales of books, movies, video games, and websites. However, that report was from November 2011. Since then, I’ve noticed a drop off in zombie imagery popping up everywhere. Sure, The Walking Dead season finale on March 18, 2012 had a record-breaking nine million viewers, but was that because it’s a show about zombies or because it’s just a damn good show?
On the other hand, National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers series premier on February 9, 2012 had 4.3 million viewers, making the survivalist show one of their all time highest rated broadcasts.
Now, I haven’t seen all of the Doomsday Preppers episodes, but I have seen a lot of them. In the ones that I have seen, not a single prepper mentions prepping for the zombie apocalypse. So, is the outbreak over? Are we moving towards a more realistic reason to prep? The state of our economy, rising oil prices, and the upcoming election has many of us nervous. Zombies are all fun and games, but what happens when crap gets real? Maybe it is time to put down the lime green machete and start seriously stockpiling food, water, and ammo. Even though Doomsday Preppers shows the crazy and sometimes very unrealistic side of prepping, at least the scenarios the people are prepping for have the slightest chance of actually happening. As of right now, a zombie outbreak has a zero chance of happening. A traditional zombie is someone who has died and then magically comes back to life with an overwhelming taste for human brains. Scientists and doctors may play God, but they certainly are not zombie makers. Unless you practice Voodoo, then you more than likely do not believe a true zombie exists.
Research has shown that historically, during times of social unrest, zombies are more popular (io9). Since the zombie thing appears to be dying down, does it mean that our attitudes have changed or have us zombie apocalypse preppers just moved under the radar?
Despite all this, the zombie movement isn’t dead—har, har. There are plenty of people still creating buzz about it. In fact, in March 2012, the top two best-selling video games were zombie related. I just think people are moving toward a more serious approach to prepping. If make-believe zombie apocalypse scenarios were our way to get there, then so be it. At least you got there.
Like all fads, it is inevitable that the whole zombie apocalypse thing will eventually fade. Take heart, zombie lovers. They could come back in about 15 years, unless of course, the silent uprising zombie horde has taken us over by then.