Canada and Zombies
Trip Start Aug 25, 2013
6Trip End Ongoing
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Zombie Apocalypse: the breakdown of society as a result of an initial zombie outbreak which spreads.
2013 was supposed to be my year.
2012 was a year of heartbreak. A year of stress. A year of hauling butt 16,000km across the planet for someone I cared about. Only to be treated like dirt. Less than dirt. Sub-dirt.
2013 was supposed to change all that. A new year, a new beginning.
It was not supposed to be the year my dad died.
Just days into "my year", what we thought was a short hospital stay and a course of antibiotics became an almost two-week nightmare of tubes, wires and long hours in the ICU. My dad hopefully unaware of it all, being in a coma.
I held my dad's hand while he died.
The memory of those last minutes stays with me. That I was there is somehow simultaneously comforting and tortuous.
I have no idea if he heard our voices. I have no idea if he knew I was there. I have no idea if he was scared, or comforted, or anything at all.
But he is gone.
All I have left is to live my life in a way that would have made him proud. Challenge the ordinary.
And so – Canada.
My life is pretty set up here in Australia. I have a great job doing something I care about. I work with amazing people and have incredible working conditions. In the last few months, despite the fact that I’m leaving, I’ve been given great opportunities to extend and challenge myself. I have a kickass network of friends and family I care deeply about. Home life is good.
So why up and leave?
Well… It’s the Zombie Apocalypse. Canadapocalypse. And I’ll explain why my move to Canada has so much to do with zombies.
I love love LOVE the Zombie Apocalypse genre because you can explore it on so many levels.
On one level, it plays on the current 'pet fears’ of society. Older zombie folklore reanimates the dead through witchcraft. Come 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, and George Romero’s zombies rise from the earth after exposure to radiation. The modern undead are almost always the result of viral outbreak and disease. Modern zombie stories also occur on a much bigger scale. Outbreaks are global. They so often play out in desolate post-apocalyptic landscapes – humans are or become scarce, morale is low. This plays on fears of being alone or being the ‘other’, losing our place at the top of the food chain, but also that we’ve become so entrenched in a world heavily reliant on technology and electricity… that we’ve lost our ability to survive on a basic animal level.
Firstly and most obviously because in most cases, although a dead body has been re-animated, any trace of the person within has been lost. This brings up the age-old question of what, within the flesh and bone, tendons and blood, nerves and millions of chemical reactions in your body… are you?
Secondly, the post-apocalyptic landscapes modern zombies inhabit move the genre into an exploration of who you really are… when sh*t hits the fan.
When society crumbles, and along with it the rules and laws and social norms that dictate the way you should act… how do you act? Do you run? …hide? …fight? In the heat of the moment, do you save friends/family/strangers or do you leave them to die? Do you sacrifice yourself to save them or vice versa?
When there’s nobody, no rules and no expectations to tell you who you are or who you should be… who are you?
Canada is my Zombie Apocalypse. When you take away my comfy job… all my usual support networks… my friends and family… and most of what is familiar to me…
Who am I?
What am I capable of?
Who do I want to be?
I feel this is best summed up in a quote from my favourite Zombie Apocalypse movie of all time…
“Oh, my God. Oh, my God, I can't believe I shot Bill Murray!”
“Time to nut up or shut up.”
Yeah. That’s the one.