Though we have yet (and hopefully never…) to see roving mobs of reanimated quasi-living corpses that feast on the brains of the living, zombies have been very active in the popular culture, especially in scads of comic-books, movies and video games.
But they’ve been active in scattered news articles too, whether brain-dead rogue communications satellites, insects controlled by parasitic fungi, alleged CIA mind-control experiments, even parts of the New Testament, but I suspect that it was mostly due to the seminal cult favorite by George Romero, Night of the Living Dead, that the ball really got rolling for the undead.
Though they were technically ghouls and not zombies, the similarity to the soulless automatons of Haitian folklore was striking, and once the connection was made, the name seems to have stuck.
On behalf of the public, I apologize to Mr. Romero for the confusion that continues to this day, though even I think it’s possible for me to be too pedantic, so zombies it is, I suppose.
Personally, I think the walking dead are kind of cool and a good metaphor for modern consumerism, but being a bit easily disgusted by gore, I can’t watch movies about them, though comic-books I can stomach without too much trouble.
I’m going to steal a page from Jay Novella and say that if the zombie apocalypse were ever to happen, my plan is to intentionally get myself infected and to shamble around biting all the peeps I don’t like.
My readers are exempt from that, just don’t expect any favors from the other zombies: They might not be as conscientious or discriminating about it.