Who invented Rock-and-Roll? Who should be credited as the inventor of the video game? Who’s responsible for the Zoidberg meme? Who is responsible for the way we celebrate Halloween?
Simple truth of the matter is, we can trace plenty of elements of culture to the general time period or people group where they originated, but never just who first came up with the idea of shoelaces, or “push it somewhere else Patrick.”
There’s plenty of our culture that we just accept without being able to credit the inventor, however, this Fame Day we’ll be shining the spotlight on someone we can.
The one and only George Romero, whose influence on our culture arguable is on par with Rock-and-Roll.
Romero, for those few of you who might not recognize the name, is the creator of such films as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead, and according to many the father of all zombies.
Now while that affectionate title has been attached to him, the fact of the matter is, Romero did not invent the concept of the living dead. What he did do, however, was bring the concept out of obscurity, and do it so well that his work has become the basis for all subsequent zombie-horror. Zombieland, The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil, Left for Dead, World War Z, Plants Vs. Zombies, Stephen King’s Cell, “Thriller,” I am Legend, you name it. There’s hardly an aspect of our culture that hasn’t had some zombie influence or spin-off (even before our recent craze), and there’s hardly an aspect of the zombie mythos that hasn’t been cemented and popularized by Romero. The man has simply hit it out of the park.
Now I’m not saying you have to like zombies- you don’t. I’m not saying that you have to like the films of George Romero- I don’t. But you have got to respect a man who has had such a profound influence on not only American, but world culture over the past half century (that’s right, half-century).
So, George Romero, in this last minute before midnight on Halloween 2012, we here at Culture War Reporters are tipping our hats to you.