Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Brain did not wake up today

I really think it is unfair that Brain did not wake up today, while I had to be awake all day and go to work. The pain of keeping my eyes open at all times reached an excruciating level around 11.30 and by 1.15 I was almost in tears. I tried to watch videos on my iTouch and even tried listening to upbeat music but nothing seemed to work.

Of course, the moment I decided to open the notepad file to type this entry, mister the boss walks up from behind, looks at my sketchpad and tries to read something I had scribbled which said "the need to sleep has come and is not leaving". Fortunately, he read it as "the submarine has come and is not leaving".

Anyway, Brain's inability to join the rest of living world this day reminded me of vampires, naturally. It would seem that the last few years of the 2k's first decade could not have enough of vampires. Everywhere. Books, movies, tv shows. Southern and gentlemanly, teenage and hormonal, Italian and mafia-esque and apparently, sparkly.

I'm old enough to remember Buffy, the movie and then the tv show, and An Interview with a Vampire. But those were 90's vampires, somehow, something happened happend with the turn of the century that genetically altered these centuries old creatures, and with it they became uncontrollably addictive to humans. Vampires probably hired the world's greatest agents and PR reps or something like that.

Technically, I do not have a problem with all the vampiricism in media and pop culture. I do admit that I have read the Twilight nightmare of a series, and have seen the brain numbing movies. I admit that the quality of writing is horrid, and the movies are at best physically painful. I think Hitler said it best when he said "Kristen Stewart can lick a Walrus" and "Stephanie Meyers can write monkey butt". But Edward is hot. And that is enough for a shameless fangirl to enjoy the books/movies. Jacob is under age and hence, still not hot till he turns 18.

To give her credit, though, SM managed to do what many other fangirls had dreamed of for years. She wrote the most shameless, most successful and most lucrative Mary Sue ever.

I am also watching Vampire Diaries which is currently on hiatus. In a way, ok more than one way, Vampire Diaries is better written than Twilight, and the lead female character is just one notch less annoying than Bella and, unlike Bella, has more than one dimension. And to top it off, Ian Sommerhalder plays a sinfully delicious and menacing Damon.

Then there's True Blood which I don't watch but from what I hear it has the same ingredients, the dumbass damsel who does not realize that vampires equal dangerous, the self deprecating, brooding, conscientious hot by default good guy vampire and the evil, dark, also hot other vampire who does not have a problem with who/what he is.

Now, I am not saying I am some sort of media critic genius, but from what I see/hear the general givens are:
1. the girl who falls for the vampire and gets sucked into this world. Preferably she is not all that smart and struggles with rational thinking. she initially falls for the "good" vampire but soon starts to realize the seductiveness of the "evil" one as well.
2. the vampire who suffers from an existential crisis and trouble accepting his soulless, damned self. He is self deprecating, moody, emo. Of course he has to be dazzlingly gorgeous. He falls for the human mortal girl despite himself and this adds another element to help with his emoness.
3. the other vampire who is proud of who/what he is and enjoys the perks of being being a soulless bloodsucker. He is equally if not hotter than the good guy and knows it.
4. the girl's best friend who turns out to be another mystical being (witch, werewolf etc...) who is genetically programmed to be the vampire's sworn enemy. Oh, and he/she just happens to be of an ethnic minority.
5. the clueless dumbass parent/authority figure.
6. the town/city/area which has a history of being the setting of some weird, spooky event.

My questions/observations are

1. Is the "good" vampire considered "good" because he does not feed on people? In a time and age when each and everyone one of us is encouraged to be themselves, and not deny their true identity, shouldn't a non human blood sucking vampire be seen as someone who is rejecting his true identity and trying to be something he is not, and thus going against what modern society advocates and propagates? He is someone who is denying his true identity, trying to be something he is not and not giving his full potential or making use of his talents. Doesn't that make him a "bad" influence on a youth on the first steps of discovering who they are and establishing themselves?

2. WTF is with all the sparkling?

3. Why is there is a sudden booming interest and fascination with the undead? I know it is not something that has suddenly popped out of nowhere, but the quantity of media coming out at the same time does make me raise an eyebrow (ok, two, because I can't raise one on its own). It must be a reflection on our current socioeconomic situation as an international community, as well as some sort of manifestation of political issues. I think.

Do we want to be immortal?

Do the vampires represent us or what we want to be or what we are afraid of becoming?

DO we already see ourselves as monsters? Is the "good" vampire a manifestation of the remaining hope that there is redemption for us even though we've become monsters?

Vampires feed on humans, does this portray how humans have reached the point of no return in their obsession with consumerism? Have we gone so far that the only thing left for us to consume is ourselves? And in a way, aren't we?

Do we see ourselves as the human in the story? or the "bad" vampire?

Who is this sworn enemy? Why is it always of a specific ethnicity?

Is the "good" vampire the redemption or is he the ultimate being? A creature immortal and powerful yet pure and good? Is the bad vampire the creature we want to be? A being powerful and immortal and living his full potential, not ashamed of who he is?

4. The obsession with vampires can represent society/people not happy with who they are and looking to the mythical world for aspirations, or a reflection of the monstrosity of modern society and where we have reached in our struggle with good and evil. Our insecurities translated into blood suckers, witches and mutts.

It can also be seen as a reflection of the political status in the world. The good, the bad and the innocent... and the third party coming in to help the innocent while the good and bad fight. But again, who is good and why? who is bad, and why? And does the innocent have a choice as to who defends him? Who do the writers want us to sympathize with? Or are we meant to sympathize with all? Is the decision regarding who to side with left to us or is it imposed on us? Do we have a choice as to what political regime to hold onto? to side with? Is it at the end of the day, a struggle between two creatures that are immensely more powerful than us, over something bigger, and we are just caught in the middle? How effective is that creature that is meant to defend us going to be anyway? What will happen to us in the process? Will we be consumed by one or the other? Will be neglected? Will we be forced to join one side or the other? Will we be divided? Will it make us even weaker? Does either of the parties care about us anyway?

Will we ever be able to fight for ourselves?

5. Seriously, though, what's with the sparklingness?

6. Is it just simply, an escape from reality?

7. but I still don't get the sparklingness!

Alright, so these are my "all over the place" thoughts on vampires taking over our libraries, tv's and cinemas. Naturally nonsensical and most probably reaches no where, but that's what Brain sounds like all the time.

1 comment:

P.D.J said...

:D I can't comment on the whole thing, obviously, so here are a few things.

Answer to question 1. This century does not encourage you to be yourSELF but to be anyone you want to be since identity is a questionable concept and the existence of an essential identity, nature, etc. is therefore null. Actually, the vampire's choice to refuse his supposedly "essential" nature is totally Po-Mo (:p). But seriously, think about all other "essential" human "natures" that have been refuted, and the vampire is an affirmation of this and an example. it makes him a supposedly "good" influence on the youth because they ar shown that people can choose to be who they want to be, regardless of essentialist definitions.

heehee I like the analysis of vampire as metaphor within a socio-economic framework :) I expect a well-structured and supported prospectus by next Friday.

"Is the decision regarding who to side with left to us or is it imposed on us?" Is this even a question?

You forgot the Superhuman! To be beyond and better than human, and what the price of that is.