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Zombies vs. vampires: no contest

Why vampires win over zombies.
Why vampires win over zombies.
"The Vampire" by Philip Burne-Jones

Recently I was involved in a conversation between several parties, who claim knowledge of the undead realms, regarding whether zombies or vampires are the more powerful lords of the underworld. Perhaps I did not understand the question. The answer is obvious to anyone who can step off their soapbox and objectively look at the facts.

Zombies have no power in and of themselves. Yes, they are relentless in their pursuit of living flesh, and they do possess super-strength, however all of these two powers come to nothing if there is not a zombie master to harness and direct them. Zombies have no minds.

Vampires not only have minds, but they have the ruthless wisdom of ages to draw upon in their quest for warm, living blood. They also have an unclassified, but undeniable, seductive draw that zombies just can't touch. Ice cold, marble hard flesh begs to be explored. Sloughing, rotting flesh smells bad and inspires cringing.

Both species are very popular in the media these days. However, even in pop culture vampires have it all over zombies. Vampires have Twilight (by Stephanie Meyer), True Blood (HBO), The Vampire Diaries (novels by L.J. Smith, now a televised series on the CW), Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys), and a growing section at bookstores that seduces women and teenage girls on a daily basis. The public reaction to vampires is almost invariably positive, despite the blood-sucking factor.

Zombies have Zombieland, World War Z (by Max Brooks) and 28 Days Later. The public reaction to zombies is either pure horror or laughter. This is because in and of themselves, zombies are uninteresting. For HBO to have a successful series about zombies, they would have to focus on the zombie masters themselves, who are invariably interesting characters with colorful backgrounds. They also have superpowers, which makes them more interesting.

However, even a zombie master would not stand a chance when faced with vampires. Vampires are smarter than zombies, stronger than zombies, sexier than zombies and more long-lived than zombies. Many people are interested in becoming a vampire and living for the rest of eternity as an elusive, seductive force of nature. Anyone interested in becoming a zombie is just messed up.

Your best bet on seeing a zombie is to run, or walk briskly, because zombies are slow. Your best bet on seeing a vampire is to pray, because if a vampire has decided you are lunch, there is absolutely nothing you can do.

Perhaps the question you should be asking yourself is not whether you will be one of the few, strong and proud who will survive the zombie apocalypse. Perhaps the question that should concern you is, if you do manage to survive and drag yourself out of your fortress to face the post-apocalyptic devastated Earth . . . what will you do about the vampires?

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