Well, Patheos is at it again. From the people who brought you “Wiccan Privilege” we have our next round of…something. Vampires!
So what apparently started this whole deal is someone by the name of Margot Adler wrote a book called “Vampires are Us” exploring why people are so attracted to vampires. Or so the book claims, there’s a mix review on how good the book actually is, but apparently it was enough to sweep through Patheos and now everyone is throwing their two cents in, most either proclaiming the book is amazing, how vampires are analogy for the underprivileged, why we love them so much, how we’re like vampires, etc.
Now, I’m not saying vampires are bad or that they can’t be cool or that they don’t deserve to be discussed. They do, like pretty much everything. My issue, at this point, is that at least with vampires we’ve kind of forgotten the point of it all. We’re so caught up in Twilight, True Blood, and romanticizing and sexualizing vampires, wishing we were like them, wishing we could be with them, and using them for an analogy for “discriminated” groups that we’ve lost what Vampires truly are.
Now, maybe it’s because I’m “Evil.” Maybe it’s because I read the Dresden Files. Maybe its because I actually understand what it is not only to be a predator and a monster, but to face the and see the effects on those you care about. Be it the kind that sucks blood, or feeds of your mental energy, that can and generally is pretty damaging.
Sure, we have the erotic style of blood drinking these days, where the human willingly gives over to the vampire and feels pleasures beyond belief as they are fed from. It’s addictive, erotic, pleasurable, and primal. The idea that ones partner might loose complete control and kill you is thrilling in concept.
Right up until the point where reality hits and that happens.
It’s like the difference between a rape fantasy and an actual rape.
Maybe that’s what some people like. The idea that they are helpless and at the mercy of something powerful and dangerous. Maybe they have the secret desire to be powerful like that. Maybe they have to feel like the prey. In this age where so many people don’t want to be the oppressor, they have to be the weaker party and Vampires do that to humans. They take us from the dominant life form on the planet and turn us into prey. We aren’t “privileged” anymore. Even in shows like True Blood, where the Vampires stand in for any oppressed minority, that’s kind of the case. Sure, the vampires play nice and function like victims of a prejudiced society, but when you get right down to it they could slaughter thousands of people before beings stopped, if not more.
Hell, even those sparkling bastards from Twilight could do it. I’ve seen some of the fights from those movies. Super speed, super strength, pretty much unkillable unless you shatter diamond hard flesh, and even then it pretty much means you have to rip off their heads.
In one concerted effort, a population of 1000 vampires could probably kill 100,000 people in a night with their bare hands. Give them weapons, you’re looking at at least a million. And that’s on the standard to weak end of the spectrum like Twilight, True Blood, or Underworld. If you get some of the truly crazy powerful vampires out there like Alucard from Hellsing…one vampire can wipe out entire metropolitan cities by themselves.
Sure, we outnumber them and in an open war Humanity probably would prevail, but still, that wouldn’t mean anything to those that died, and even if only a quarter of those killed rose up as vampires, they could easily replenish their numbers as fast as they were killed in the right environment.
To me, ultimately there are two sides to the attraction to vampires. One) the person wants to be powerless, because being powerless means they aren’t at fault, they aren’t responsible, they can’t be held accountable for what happens. This gives them the freedom to just lay back and take everything thrown at them. “I can’t be privileged and oppress people, I’m nothing but a prey animal” and/or they want something to come in and punish humanity or themselves for all the “Evils” they’ve done. Two) They want that freedom. That freedom from being held back, of having to limit themselves. They want to swim in an ocean of blood, to strip away and ravage to their hearts content. They wish they could be monsters…but the don’t have the courage to be monsters, so they need something to release them and allow them to be monsters, because they feel humanity is already monstrous but that as humans we shouldn’t be monsters.
For a while, I was in that second group. I loved vampires like Alucard, who slaughtered their way through oceans of blood and violence and whose deeds were so black they cast a shadow on darkness itself. I loved that and I drank it up, right until I was someone capable of doing all that stuff myself.
But I knew going in what that meant. Most people, at least those over at Patheos…don’t. They’re so caught up in the Ball part of the Monsters’ Ball, they forgot about the Monster. Even the one that talks about “we are vampires” puts it in terms that we are ravishing and feeding off the planet like vampires. They look at it on a macro level and say “oh we are evil like vampires” or “vampires speak to our inner parasites as humans.” But they fail to see the truth of the matter, the truth of vampires.
Vampires are humans feeding on the planet in a “Reckless” manner.
Vampires are the darkness of night that we used to fear. They aren’t the sexy devils who arouse us because they find us sexy. They’re the beasts that sink their teeth into your throat and rip out your flesh until you bleed to death as they drink you dry. They are the beasts that rip apart your mind, steal your life force, you are nothing more than food to a vampire.
Once you’ve seen the effects of what even a psychic vampire can do when they’re unleashed, vampires stop being fun and sexy. Once you’ve seen the hollow, nearly dead look of someone who has been fed upon so much that they can barely be called alive, once you see the beast for what it truly is…it isn’t sexy. To me, this whole vampire craze is kinda like…little kids. Little kids playing around with something they cannot understand and cannot grasp.
And so they use vampires improperly. They use them to dampen guilt. To create desire. To be an analogy.
But when we use Vampires as an analogy for say the gay community like True Blood does, what are we really saying? Well, honestly, by using the same arguments for vampire rights that are used for gay rights, that it doesn’t matter if someone is a predator who will feed off and kill people, they shouldn’t be hunted down, but embraced. And in an odd way…that gay people are like predators on straight people, but that straight people should just accept being preyed upon.
When we use vampires to create desire like Twilight, what are we really saying? That it is okay to give up our own agency, our own power, in the face of something stronger and more powerful? That we should trust a hungry beast not to hurt us, that it is okay to be prey? That all you need is love, even in the face of something that by its natural nature wants to kill everything?
When we use vampires to dampen our guilt, what are we saying? That the only way to be a good person is if you’re under the heel of someone more powerful? That’s one of the big problems with the social justice mentality constantly popping up everywhere and I’ve talked about it. The only way to be good is to not be the person with privilege, and Vampires take away that privilege, so those under them must then be “good.”
And what about when we show vampires as monsters, like Hellsing and the Dresden Files? Well, that vampires are monsters. That those that prey on others are monsters, that no matter how sexy they are…they eat people. And sure, maybe you think some people deserve that, but for every deserving person that is eaten…hundreds more who are innocent are devoured. Yes, Alucard from Hellsing fights vampires and nazis and saves England…but he slaughters hundreds, thousands even, to do it and he laughs the entire way. Lara Wraith from the Dresden Files is pure sex and saves Harry numerous times…and she kills hundreds by devouring them to feed her powers.
I think we people today have forgotten just what a Monster really is. We’ve forgotten violence and predation so much that we now idealize it happening to us…but in the safe sexy way where the predator is only preying on others, but never us. I don’t though. I know what its like, because I’ve been the Predator and I’ve seen loved ones be prey to other predators. I wonder what it would take for the rest of those in dream land to see the truth.