Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear everyone: You are important

Ever heard of Richard Matheson? Probably not; most people haven't. But he's had more of an impact on pop culture than you realize. In fact, he's sort of indirectly responsible for this:

And this:

I'll explain.

Richard Matheson is a writer from New Jersey. Way back in 1953, his third novel, I Am Legend, was published. It's been adapted for the screen several times, the most popular version being the 2007 movie starring Will Smith. 

The story follows a man named Robert Neville, the supposed "last man on earth" (which was also the name of one of the screen adaptations of the novel). The rest of the world has fallen prey to "bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures" (as Amazon calls them). My only firsthand experience with the story is the 2007 movie adaptation, but I remember the creatures in that one being a bizarre mix between vampires and zombies. That's what they're supposed to be, anyway.

And guess what movie director these creatures inspired? George A. Romero, whose movie Night of the Living Dead was so popular it transformed the way we see zombies, and continues to influence modern zombie culture. So even if you've never heard the name Richard Matheson, you can thank him every time you go into a bookstore and see zombie t-shirts.

But whether you love zombies or wish they would die (again), there's another message in here. Even if you have no say in pop culture or trends, you are still important. We tend to think we're insignificant because we don't always see the fruits of our labor day in and day out. It's frustrating working hours, days, and weeks on something only to get nothing in return. But you never know how you're affecting people, or how meaningful you can be in their lives.

I wonder what Richard Matheson thinks of zombie porn.

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