Daniel W. Drezner

Your generic zombie trend story template

Both Chuck Klosterman and Johann Hari wrote zombie trend stories this week. This comes on the heels of a prior batch of these essays — and I know there’s gonna be at least a few of these in the future. As a public service for writers contemplating these kinds of essay, here’s the generic template ...

Both Chuck Klosterman and Johann Hari wrote zombie trend stories this week. This comes on the heels of a prior batch of these essays — and I know there’s gonna be at least a few of these in the future. As a public service for writers contemplating these kinds of essay, here’s the generic template for the "Zombies are hot. Why?" story:

Section 1: Set up premise that zombies are culturally hot right now. Mention The Walking Dead/zombie flash mobs/spike in movie releases/Minnesota court case. Ask why. Note: try to put as many references to "shambling," "shuffling," etc. as possible.

Section 2: Compare zombies to vampires. Mock Twilight series. Point out that vampires = sex and zombies = death. Observe that zombie renaissance is surprising, because individual zombies are not interesting characters like vampires. Note: if artsy essay, be sure to name-check White Zombie.

Section 3: Propose that interest in zombies is a metaphor for something else that’s rotting through American/global society. Possibilities include:

a) Brainless political discourse;

b) The deadening consumerism of everyday life;

c) The plethora of daily irritants we want to destroy like so much of the undead.

Section 4: Conclude that the current era stinks, and only when things improve will these zombies disappear. Note: try to end with joke.

[And how is this template different from your book?–ed. Um… footnotes. Footnotes and international relations theory. The ingredients for a smash hit! — ed.]  

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