The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Big Seattle Zombie Walk Err, Yesterday Now

So Seattle and New Jersey have a rivalry going over holding the title of the World’s Largest Zombie Walk from the Guinness people (records, not beer) and apparently Seattle was slated to have another go on Saturday.

The media coverage is.. shallow but supportive:

There’s something alluring about zombies — that white skin, those sunken eyes and most of all, those bloody lips.

They’re taking over Seattle’s Fremont district Saturday.


Last year, Fremont scored a Guinness World record with the most zombie walkers, numbering 3,894, but New Jersey trumped that record last October with 4,093. This year, Fremont organizers hope to take back the crown, by drawing more than 6,000.

They are luring folks in with makeup artists on site, two beer gardens, bands and food trucks. There’s also going to be a “Thriller” dance.

Most of the article focuses on the makeup aspects of giving the Living a good appearance of greenface; there’s no mention of the politics of Zombie Walks, of the merits of promoting Zombie culture in this fashion, or the potential drawbacks; it’s all about Living people having an excuse to put on makeup. Which is fine, in and of itself, but it can lead to a complete failure to consider the status and plight of the Differently Animated in America.

Case in point at the end of the piece:

David Amdal, a Fremont business owner, was trying out the makeup for the first time, before the walk.

“I’m just an onlooker, but I find it fascinating,” said Amdal, in his 50s. “It completely eludes me why people want to look ugly or repulsive. It’s completely opposite of what we usually want, to be attractive.”

Oh really? First of all, subcultures redefine what the mainstream considers ‘ugly’ as attractive all the time. Punks, Hipsters, Goths, etc. Secondly, it is worth keeping in mind, the ‘ugly’ or ‘repulsive’ appearance of many Zombies is not a fashion choice, or something you can buy at Hot Topic; they were Unborn that way, so to speak. Some *slight* consideration of that, and the sensitivity Zombies might feel toward their appearance, would be nice, Mr. Amdal.

Just a suggestion.

Amdal’s reaction is one of the major potential sticking points in these walks: the Living can see them as a chance to dip their toe in Zombie Culture without understanding it or making an effort to engage it, and that.. that can be truly problematic for The Movement.

Hope you had good luck with your walk, Seattle. And good luck with some more Zombie-Living outreach in the future too.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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