"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).