The thought occurred to me this weekend that the age of zombies might be over. Zombies have been popular, really popular for awhile now and like all monsters they have their time and then they fade. Then new monsters or other old monsters take their place. Fear the Walking Dead was coming out, and I was beginning to hear some complaints.
- I'm tired of zombies
- There is not enough gore and action
Generally I was hearing from people that the fear the zombies in Fear the Walking Dead present was not as palpable as it was 2 years ago.
I have heard a lot of people give different reasons for the rise of zombies. As an economist who on the side runs what I call the zombie index, I see zombies as representing a fear of society's collapse and that fear is most prevalent in economic recession. In particular, people become fearful when the stock market, housing market or other major market begins to crash or act in a volatile manner. The type of fear represented in these economic situations seems to translate well to fear presented by zombies. What if. What if the government is not as stable as I think it is? What if civilization collapses? What will people be like in apocalypse?
Well Fear the Walking Dead premiered at what I initially thought was a bad time. On Monday, everything has changed. Early in the morning of Monday August 24, 2015 the Dow dropped 1000 points, Also the VIX an index greatly surged. The VIX that has been called the "Fear index" tests volatility in the market place. The more volatile or fearful the market acts, the higher the VIX rises. These are both huge moves.
A couple of weeks or even a few days ago most people were not worried about the problems in the Chinese Stock market at all. Today, it is destroying the retirement of people all over the world. Suddenly, everyone is much poorer, and the world is suddenly a less friendly, and stable place. It also more fearful.
I can almost see the Walker shambling up the street.
Fear the Walking Dead is about this fear, a feeling of unease, that something is not quite right. A feeling that underneath the lights and building lurks something bad, something vile that is ready to take everything down. One of the scariest moments in Fear the Walking Dead is watching kids get on a school bus because you realize most of these cute kids (Maybe all), will soon be dead. As many walk around in the show like life is normal one kid sees the writing on wall. This character named Tobias is caught bringing a knife to school. He still doesn't want to get expelled but is beginning to look around and see the fragility of his world. How it could all come crashing down, and how terribly oblivious everyone is to this fact. The viewers of the show are much like Tobias and we are as unable to communicate the danger to the characters as Tobias is. We simply watch as civilization begins to unravel. Today there are a lot more Tobiases running around.
As I watch the markets with a bit of trepidation myself I can't help but think this show had perfect timing. Want to know what will do well in this market? Zombies!
Thats right, bet on Zombies.
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