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Dr. Manny: America's obsession with 'The Walking Dead' is hurting our society

In this image released by AMC, zombies appear in a scene from the second season of the AMC original series, "The Walking Dead" in Senoia, Ga.AP Photo/AMC, Gene Page

Is watching “The Walking Dead” seriously hurting American society?

I would argue ‘Yes.’  Hate me all you want, or call me paranoid and misinformed, but there is one common theme that is pervasive in American pop culture today: violence.  Even more specifically, zombie violence. The idea of a zombie-infested world inspires fantasies of monsters possessed by an uncontrollable rage to kill, and viewers get a thrill imagining what it would be like to participate in this new world order.

We also see this zombie obsession in many videogames.  Even more disturbingly, these games create environments for young children, in which they are exposed to an imaginary world where they get to play with firearms and place themselves in dangerous situations that they find exciting.  And studies have shown that these videogames can sometimes condition people, especially young children, to be apathetic towards violence.  That’s why they’re labeled M for Mature.

This obsession with the undead in television and other media is quite puzzling.  The concept of zombies has been around for decades, and their mythology has even been studied by scientists to prove that such an outbreak can never occur. Yet, whether it be in books or film, zombie popularity has only increased after having originally been popularized by the 1960s film, “The Night of the Living Dead.”

Now, it seems that zombies on television are part of our daily routine.  The obsession also permeates into other facets of our lives, such as with so-called Zombie Runs, in which people dressed as zombies chase other “civilians” to make them run faster towards the finish line.  Even scientists at the National Institutes of Health have spent time creating an apocalyptic how-to guide on dealing with a zombie outbreak.

Give me a break. As a doctor and scientist, I know one thing for sure: When you’re dead, you’re dead.  Our brains should be less focused on imaginary zombie hordes and more focused on harnessing the tools that we need in order to enhance our lives, whether it be music, education, science or the classics. Entertainment should help us soothe our brains so that we can ease our minds of some of the stress from our daily lives.  

With this country heading towards a socialized system of government, in which officials don’t want you to think or focus on what is important for your own personal growth, I’m sure they’re more than happy to let you obsess over something as stupid as zombies.  

And in turn, you ultimately become the zombie.

Wake up and smell the coffee.  Stop obsessing over eating brains, and focus on cultivating your own.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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