Reconsidering Death

Posted: June 27, 2010 by shopfrontcontemporaryarts in under fifteen
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All excerpts from “Reconsidering Death: A Brief History of the Zombie Phenomenon” provided courtesy of author Dr. Jeremy Tuckwell. All rights reserved.

…What authorities failed to realise at the time (and in many states and nations this nascent understanding is only now beginning to be represented in legislation) was that this epidemic would significantly alter the fabric of global society as it stood at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Such sensationalisms are rarely the purview of judiciously cautious public servants and the nation’s leading scientists.
More’s the pity.
Despite the patently disturbing symptoms of the condition, few experts beyond those immediately affected paid little attention to the case in the first weeks of the outbreak. Beyond the fervid speculation of the expert-for-hire talking heads engaged by the broadcast news channels, the overwhelming consensus within the serious scientific community was that despite the pathogen’s spectacular ostentatiousness the genuine threat of the disease was in fact severely curtailed due to a combination of extremely unlikely infection criteria and that in many cases the pathogen appeared to be neutralised within the human body within two to three weeks…
For centuries, artists and writers pictured worlds ripped apart by conspiracy, fear and political stagnation. From Huxley to Orwell and beyond, dystopias erupted with cathartic shock into the creative conscious and the world shuddered a collective sigh of panic averted. And yet our literature, art, and indeed the sum total our civilisation’s collective myth-making has left us sorely unprepared for the brave new world with which we are now faced.
Since the preliminary outbreak the human race has lost predominance over one of the most fundamental aspects of not only our natural environment but of our culture’s fundamental psyche. For the first time since the dimmest recesses of our species’ past we are no longer the dominant species on the planet.
Despite all the censuring measures put in place by governments across the globe, in all aspects of popular culture and modern literature there is now perceivable an overwhelming sense of fear, a new zeitgeist of dread.
For many it seems, the human race has reached its climax…

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