Negativity is a virus.

The Metaphors In 'Zombieland'

Negativity is a virus.

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"Oh America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America. But I've come to realize you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland."

All quotes taken from ZOMBIELAND (2009)

This bleak outlook in a post-apocalyptic world is a metaphor for where our country may be heading. Zombies are enraged, not alive, yet not dead, blood thirsty creatures. With no regard for accountability, they look to tear down anyone in their path with a pulse. Some real-life humans could be, and probably have been, described as enraged, not living, but not dead, blood thirsty creatures who, without acknowledgment of accountability, look to tear down anyone in their path with a pulse. Negativity is just another virus, passing from each infected victim to the next.

Zombieland follows its cowardly protagonist, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), as he navigates his way through the treachery that is now the United States of Zombieland. Flooded with ravenous, flesh-eating freaks, a few questionable survivors, and tons of laughs in between, Columbus explains how he has survived this long on his own. He strictly follows the rules. His rules.

RULE #1 | CARDIO

While Columbus explains you need to be fast to outrun the undead, a strong cardiovascular system also protects you in the metaphorical, real-life, Zombieland. Put simply; toxic people are stressful to deal with. If you deal with toxic people on a regular basis, that stress can start to affect your health. One of the best ways to deal with stress is exercise. Cardio melts fat and promotes heart health, readying you for anything Zombieland may throw your way.

RULE #2 | DOUBLE TAP

"…As the infection spread and the chaos grew, it wasn't enough to just be fast on your feet. You had to get a gun and learn how to use it. Which leads me to my second rule, the double tap. In those moments when you're not sure the undead are really dead-dead, don't get all stingy with your bullets." While staying healthy is a great stress deterrent, you need also to learn how to defend yourself against toxic people. When you get that fight or flight sensation, sometimes flight is not an option. Kill your doubt, double tap it when necessary, and stand up for yourself.

RULE #3 | BEWARE OF BATHROOMS

"It wasn't long before the zombies began to get clever. When you're at your most vulnerable, somehow they could just smell it. Don't let them catch you with your pants down." Toxic people go for the jugular. If they know you're insecure about something, they'll likely think of clever some way to exploit it. As you should beware of bathrooms in Zombieland, beware of this vulnerability tactic. Don't let them catch you with your pants down.

RULE #4 | SEATBELTS

"When zombies began to outnumber humans, well that's when you had to cut loose of all emotional ties. If the girls in your neighborhood are now fucked up little monsters, well maybe it's time to stop driving carpool. You had to focus on your own survival, which leads to rule number four… Fasten your seatbelts. It's gonna' be a bumpy ride." If you're surrounded by, what seems to be, a bunch of zombies, it may be time to turn a new page in your life. Prepare yourself, brace yourself, and buckle your seatbelt; It's gonna' be a bumpy ride. (But it's worth it).


Bill is a 31-year-old writer/game developer from Boston, Massachusetts. He's a content creator in Southern New Hampshire University's Odyssey community, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and is wrapping up his Game Development program in October 2018. With an Associate's in Liberal Arts and a forthcoming BS in Game Development, he is ready to excel in the gaming industry. Outside of work, Bill can be found supporting local bands in the greater Boston area.
Cover Image Credit:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/loadmagazine/3992350926

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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