Mutants or Zombies?

ScientistOnce upon a time the Zombie was easy to define.

The Z had both arms held out and dragging a leg, you know the one. He  fell into one, and only one category-the zombie category.

But not so nowadays.

In our new millennium, the Zombie definition has become murkier. In today’s TV shows and films we see the zombie-like-dude on TV, but something’s off, and we hesitate to label what we see.

Today’s viral infected creatures walk a thin line between Zombies and Mutants. In fact, it’s sometimes between Zombies and Vampires. Hell, sometimes even Zombies and Stoners.

What happened? The rapid advancement of technology.

Once upon a time, in the good ol’ days, it was clear what was being portrayed on the movie screen. We had a particular monster who fell in a specific genre. A vampire. A werewolf. A swamp creature. A zombie  Period.

Each was crystal clear, and we had no doubt.

zombiepieThis line over the years has become blurred more and more, and apparently what looks like a zombie, could well be a hybrid vampire-creature or just some poor dude who is mutating. The well-defined zombie is history.

Zombies by definition are people who have died and have re-risen from the dead. At close inspection,the zombie should have the necessary death qualities of a nasty smell of rot, a non-working circulatory system, and dumb-as-hell as they are mostly brain dead.

Zombies are commonly human-vores who love to gorge on succulent, live, human flesh. I have yet to see any other –vore kind of zombie.

Why have the zombies become less rotting and more blood circulating?

Technology has changed, and thus, so have zombies.

Science, in the 1980s, was not exactly exciting in terms of cool gadgets. Trust me, I was in it. But it was better than the 1970s which was known as the Golden Age of Arcades.

Night of Living DeadThe 1980s brought us the first Mac. The Atari became a household must have, and MRI machines were just starting to be marketed.

The AIDS epidemic was just taking off. It was disease that was ignored by the public who considered it a homosexual problem.

The 1980 folks thought they were cool when they installed a cordless phone in their home. Cell phones were out but most people didn’t own one.

In the 1980s we certainly had the classic zombie tales of the Undead movies like The Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, The Return of the Living Dead, or Night Life. Each of these films portrayed the zombie we know and love…the guy dragging his feet and moaning nonstop.

But we also had Re-animator. A film about a scientist using scientific procedures to re-animate life. This was definite science take on creating a zombie.

FrankensteinWait a sec. Does that mean Frankenstein is actually a zombie?

Moving on…

By the 1990s, shit was happening.

For one, we got the internet baby. We now had information at our fingertips.

The first free-base email system was introduced. Hotmail. This ignited a new way to communicate with people.

The email…why it’s the precursor to Messenger, Texting, Tumblr… and helluva more.

CSIDNA was no longer an abstract concept. The Human Genome Project was launched in 1990.

Not to mention, DNA analysis was becoming mainstream in crime scenes. This not only revolutionized the way crimes were solved, but called upon a detectives who were high skilled and educated.

We got Dolly in 1996.

The first cloned sheep from an adult cell.

The year 2000 comes and goes; and the Y2K disaster never happens.

This decade zips past just like technology becomes fast pace. The number of people surfing the internet surges. We get the iPod and iPhone. The hybrid car is sold in mass to the public.

People start reading books on an electronic device called the Kindle. Someone from the 70s asks, “Wait, how do I turn the pages?”

During the first decade of the 2000s we watch videos of all different types of genre on the internet. A thing called Youtube.

By the 2000s the idea of connecting to people through a computer is not just tolerated, it’s embraced. We are now used to networking through emails and instant messaging. We start connecting through blogs, dating sites, meetup sites, and of course, texting.

sendmeapictureofyourpensHell, we even get Sexting.

Bioscience is not a fictional topic. Oh no sister.

We have robotic surgery that gives us precision over long durations without any worry of exhaustion or fatigue. Stem cell research allows us to consider cures to diseases we once thought incurable. Combined drug cocktails keep people with HIV alive for decades.

Sci-Fi from thirty years ago becomes reality. And it continues…

Teleportation experiments have been successfully carried out. Maybe not exactly Star Trek stuff, but we teleported a photon from one location to another.

And Hogwarts would be impressed. We have actually invented an invisibility cloak. This will undoubtedly come in handy for the many teens as they sneak in past their curfew.

Surgeons have carried out an entire face plant.

Plus, never mind printing out a report, we are printing out synthetic skin. The extinct Pyrenean ibex has re-risen, a goat that went extinct in 2000. Thank you science. There are talks about opening the first dinosaur park…gulp, Dr. Frankenstein would be excited about this!

But then there’s the side of things that are not so bright. Terrorists insert miniaturized bombs into small bags which are easily concealed in large crowds. The Boston bombing in 2000 is still ripe in our memories.

Terrorists use chemical and biological weapons to instill violence. Japan, in 1995, had five coordinated sarin attacks within a Tokyo subway killing thirteen people, severely injuring fifty and causing temporary vision problems for nearly 1,000 others.

Five government officials were killed by letters that were laced with Anthrax. Governments across the world have helped created super-viruses which have been destroyed or are tightly sealed away in secret facilities.

WHOAnd let’s take look at Mother Nature.

The Ebola virus is in Africa and has infected approximately 6,000 and killed about 3,000 in the year of 2014. This blog was initially started before the current infected Ebola patients in Dallas or America. Though the virus is only spread through fluids rather than air, it does give us a moment to pause.

Germs we once thwarted with antibiotics are now becoming resistant. We have germs that defy antibiotics and cause pneumonia, gonorrhea, and diarrhea.

Countries that do not encourage or provide access to their population for vaccinations against common diseases like small pox, mumps, measles are causing more harm than good. They are helping to evolve a vaccine-resistant disease. Oh, how pleasant. The World Health Organization (WHO) concludes we have increasing resistant bacteria because we have overused or misused our antibiotics.

And now, back to zombies.

Zombies are rooted to a form of scientific mutation nowadays.

I Am Legend is all about people infected by medications that were originally meant to cure cancer.

The Children is aboutThe Children mutated children who are not exactly innocent little people.

The creatures in World War Z make us ask what we’re looking at. Are they Undead or half-alive or alive but are almost dead or what-the-hell-are-they? Interesting enough, the first part of World War Z opens up with scenes that give the implication of a continually mutating or evolving virus.

In REC we watch as a virus turns residents in an apartment building into raging cannibals.

The movie Rabid has a young woman who turns into a vampire-zombie hybrid.

Even Romero, the famous zombie director, who gave us Day of the Dead now casts zombies that aren’t exactly zombies.

J_Pop Girl(Resident Evil)_copyResident Evil has zombies and definite mutants…this Japanese girl’s kiss might be too much for some.

28 Weeks Later gave us people who are not at all Undead. These guys are raged up on either too much Red Bull or just another stupid virus.

Zombies my good friends are not exactly Undead any more.

They are hot-blooded creatures that sprint, attack, coordinate, and most importantly…

Kill you via eating, beating you, or in the case of the Japanese-Woman to our right – suck you dry.

Zombies Beware. Your time stamp is marked…and you’re about to evolve into something else.

The new mutant.

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Bryce Bentley Summers is a psychologist who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He’s presently employed at  the Dallas Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Bryce is the author of the Young Adult Dark Fantasy (Sci-Fi) series AMEN to ROT, a story that pits young people against a sinister force, but also takes a look at learning what your capable of accomplishing when facing impossible challenges. The novel Nyte God will conclude this series and will be available in 2015.

Be on the look out for a ROTVILLE, a Sci-Fi Thriller (Horror) that will be published by DAMNATION BOOKS and be available in 2015. A story about an experiment gone awry, they wanted to create the perfect soldier, but instead, a hero was born…

Also be on the look for FRESH MEAT, a Paranormal (Horror with Multicultural & Gay Themes) and is about a sociopathic’s inner journey from evil to salvation.

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