Zombie Media and Apocalyptic Preparedness at Ball State

Eric King Watts does not really believe in zombies.

Extremist groups can't wait for end of civilization

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Eric King Watts talked about how zombie media and its apocalyptic end fuels extremist groups that generally shoot first and then ask questions later.

And Watts, a North Carolina professor, knows you don't have to be a zombie to run around the room and treat people as nothing more than wasted bodies.

The Zombie Media and Apocalyptic Preparedness speech was a big hit on campus Tuesday as the latest in the David Letterman Lecture Series drew a big crowd to Ball State campus.

Even Roger Lavery, dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media, sat in on the talk as Watts spoke about paranoia and fear that results from those who fear the end of world as we know it by flesh eating zombies.

Extreme preparedness groups like the Kansas Anti Zombie Militia actually exist and await the day that civilization gives way to zombies. That group even fights the federal government and its biological and agricultural plant in that state, fearing it produces germs that will turn humans into zombies.

There are even bigger survival and preparedness groups like Zombie Squad International who has thousands of people talking about a zombie apocalypse.

Watts has been on college campuses lately talking about the zombie media in advance of a book he intends to write on that culture.

The Discovery Channel recently did a documentary on preppers like the Kansas group that plans for survival when civilization falls because of disaster, war or zombies.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management even held a Zombie Preparedness Day last year  with the governor proclaiming as much because preparing for a natural is about the same as preparing for zombies.

"If you are ready for zombies, you are ready for anything," said Watts.

The professor pointed out how zombies prevail in media as well as news, pointing out how some now refer to the missing Malaysian airline as the zombie flight. 

And there are plenty of zombie shows whether it is AMC's Walking Dead or HBO"s Resident Evil.

But the fear or paranoia can come from economic or health decline as well as doomsday predictions like a deadly virus wiping out people or an asteroid destroying the planet.

"It is like some people are waiting for devestiation," said Watts.

The discussion was part of a pop culture class Watts teaches and found on many college campuses these days. Zombies have been around since the classic Night of of Living Dead in 1968.

 

 

 

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