Activism During the Zombie Apocalypse

– by The Shitty Activist


Graphic: Tim Andrew

Are you one of millions of Americans infected by the zombie phenomenon? Are you counting down the days to the next episode of The Walking Dead? Have you caught every zombie flick from 28 Days Later to World War Z?

Yeah, well, me too. But sometimes I wonder what exactly is the appeal of staggering corpses with a taste for human flesh…

Is it an opportunity to quench our bloodlust through the vicarious slaughter of soulless humanoids? A commentary on a society whose members stare vacantly into screens all day long?

Yes and yes. But I also think a major part of the fun involves imagining how well we’d personally do in the zombie apocalypse.

My guess is pretty much every one of us thinks we’d make out just fine. We might picture ourselves as the weapon-wielding warrior dispatching every ghoul in sight. Or the brainiac designing the impenetrable fortress to keep out the raving hordes. Or the charismatic leader making the tough choices to keep your people alive.

Of course, until the virus is unleashed, the radiation spreads, or the aliens invade, we won’t know for sure. But perhaps there’s one way to figure out how we’d truly fare once the dead finally rise.

When you encounter an injustice in your life, how do you deal with it? Do you try to pretend it’s not happening, and ignore it in hopes it’ll go away? Or do you face things head on and take matters into your own hands?

If you’re someone who won’t even tackle the simplest of societal problems in our fairly safe and simple existence, do you really think you’d survive the chaos and terror of a zombie outbreak?

On the other hand, if you’re someone who steps up to a challenge and doesn’t give up without a fight—in other words, an activist type—the odds of you surviving are pretty good.

But even among activists there are some behaviors to look out for that could turn you into zombie bait. If you recognize any of these traits below, don’t worry, there’s still time to fix them before the undead outnumber the living.

The Denier is a well-meaning mainstream activist, perhaps set up with a cushy, salaried job with benefits. Deniers choose only to work within the system while maligning and shunning “radicals” who refuse to acknowledge “political reality.”

During the early stages of the zombie onslaught, Deniers will insist that the government has successfully contained the outbreak, and advise the public to stay at home and wait it out, instead of causing any trouble. Then, when rationing ends and the military withdraws, they’ll be left unprepared both mentally and physically, first torn apart by guilt for leading others astray, then by the broken fangs of the undead.

The Sellout is a once-staunch activist who has been well compensated by corporate foundation grants in exchange for a promise to never challenge the root issues of the problems they’re supposed to be addressing.

When the zombie shit hits the fan, Sellouts will find themselves lured in by vague promises of a safe zone, trading their caution—and weapons—for a false sense of security. Then, when the hunger sets in, they’ll abandon what’s left of their conscience to feast on the flesh of hapless travelers. 

The Blunderer is an activist who either ignores—or is outright hostile to—any sort of feedback or constructive criticism from inside the movement.

When it’s finally go-time, the Blunderer will refuse to learn from mistakes or adapt to changing situations, endangering their own lives, and those in their group.

The Pushover is an activist who knows the right thing to do, but is too afraid to speak their mind for fear of being labeled a “radical.”

When the dead roam the Earth, the Pushover will ignore mounting tensions in the group, turning away from the conflict until things blow up from the inside, leaving the group ripe for assault from skeletal invaders.

The Bully is an activist with power over others—typically of a financial nature—who abuses that power for their own selfish gain at the expense of the cause.

When the graves are emptied, the Bully’s manipulation of others’  trust will be the single greatest obstacle standing in the way of humanity defeating their ghoulish foes and reclaiming the Earth for the living.

So next time you’re watching a zombie flick and you’re picturing yourself as the hero, ask yourself: is it justified?

If not, don’t despair, it’s not too late for you to become a better activist! All you’ve got to do is subscribe to free, bi-weekly online issues of The Shitty Activist, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!


  1. Shannon says

    LOL! Some great analogies! I have seen all those forms of the above described “activists” in one position or another. Not sure where I fit in? I still need to hone my zombie defense skills but I don’t think watching zombie movies will help that much. My mind often slips into what if a “cascadia quake hit” or “1964 Christmas Day Flood” event times 2 hit and 1 to 7 million people in OR/WA are out of food, water, and electric for several months scenarios. That’s probably the closest Cascadians will come to such a reality in the next 10 – 20 years minus a complete civilization meltdown (which is also on its way no thanks to some of the folks you described above).

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