How to explain the current fascination with The Walking Dead, the "zombie walks" occurring across the country, or the televised warnings of zombie apocalypse? It's no coincidence that we're in the midst of a zombie obsession, says a professor who's studied the phenomenon: People get into zombies when they're fed up with societal woes. Zombie walks, for instance—during which people get dressed up as the undead and lurch around en masse—saw a big boost in the US as people grew more tired of the Iraq war, Sarah Lauro tells the AP.
"It was a way that the population was getting to exercise the fact that they felt like they hadn't been listened to by the Bush administration," she says. "We are more interested in the zombie at times when as a culture we feel disempowered." And "when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered." At times like these, "playing dead ... To me, it's such an obvious allegory. We feel like, in one way, we're dead." (Read more zombies stories.)