Sara Davis, writing for The Smart Set website from Drexel University, links contemporary zombie fascination with vanitas still life Dutch paintings (and Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible):
[T]oday’s bogeyman and morality tale is a decaying body, a walking (or running) death’s head that all the cardio and training in the world can’t outrace. Zombies mock us, like the half-eaten fruits of the Dutch golden age and the weary speaker of Ecclesiastes, that though we may define ourselves by what and how we consume, it is all a pretty distraction from how we will be consumed.
In other words, gym culture gives rise to zombie culture in the same way that capitalist global trade (whether 17th century Dutch or ancient Phoenecian) gives rise to the recoiling underground man–the artist or writer who declares the following: “Pleasure is fleeting; time is passing. One day you will die. Momento mori.”
But the sun is still shining (for now). And the kitty cat of spring is purring. She’ll soon be warming our laps. Whatever works.
Above painting image: George Flegel (Dutch circa 1630). Wikipedia Commons.