Thursday, November 3, 2016

What A Real Vampire Looks Like

Movie vampires are usually pretty sexy. Oh, not always -- and certainly not if you go far enough back. But if you've been watching the genre(s) for the last couple of decades, the pattern is pretty clear. Vampires are exciting. Back in The Lost Boys they were punk-rock outsiders who lived by their own rules -- not the heroes of the story, but a very real temptation that the hero must work to escape. By the time you get to Twilight, they're bad-boy superheroes who sparkle in the sunlight: strong but tormented, powerful but driven, frightening but desirable.

But that's not how vampires really are. They're rich, yes, but not from centuries-old investments; they're rich because they take from everyone else, as much as they can get away with, as much as they want -- and they always want. They're powerful, but not because they've honed their skills and learned to control their appetites; they're powerful because it never occurs to them to control their appetites, and normal people don't know how to deal with that, let alone defend against it.

Go back and re-read Dracula. A vampire is the one who hires you and brings you to his castle, lets you pour your blood and energy -- your life -- into making him stronger, and then casts you aside without a thought. A vampire is the one who follows you back home and tries to seduce your fiance or your wife or your underage daughter. A vampire is the one who demands you feed his pleasure, because why wouldn't you give him what he wants? A vampire is the one who comes into your room and admires your vulnerable nakedness, while you stand powerless to protest... because the vampire is the one who owns the building, owns your job, and probably owns you if it comes right down to it. A vampire is the one who takes whatever he wants, touches whatever he wants, and never feels remorse because what he wants can never be wrong. He thrills in being having the power to do and say things that ordinary people can't or won't. That's exactly what shows that he's better than everyone else.

Real vampires don't spend centuries struggling with doubt and remorse. They take what they want and expect you to give it willingly. After all, it's only their due. They're the special ones, the powerful ones, the noble ones. You should be grateful for the attention. And they do this, draining everyone around them, until and unless the peasants band together to stop them.

Whatever their actual role, they are always the aristocrats of their particular society. They may pretend to be ordinary citizens, but that's all part of the game; that isn't the company they keep or the treatment they expect, and it never will be. They do as they wish, or as their appetites drive them, and consequences are for other people.

You're probably wondering by now if this is a political post, and you probably already know the answer: of course it is. And if you're reading this, you're one of the peasants -- just like me. We don't use fire and pitchforks anymore -- most of us, anyway -- so get out there and vote.


  1. Bravo. What a fantastic post.

    I voted early. I hope everyone else who reads this (and can vote in the US election) has voted or will vote as well.

  2. When you have a political system in which the only things you can elect are vampires, perhaps that political system could stand to be... ermm... revamped.

  3. I voted on the first day of early voting here in Texas. I did NOT vote for the orange vampire.

  4. We don't have early voting here in PA, and Philadelphia is in the grip of a transit strike. I'm one of the lucky ones; I don't have to figure how I'm going to eke out the time to vote when commute times have doubled and tripled while the union argues with the transit authority. Nevertheless, I have my fingers crossed that they'll settle this thing before the election.

    1. Gah. Hope they get that figured out.

    2. Aaand the strike is over. Hallelujah, praise the FSM. And they didn't even need a court injunction. Yes, the transit authority was threatening to get one. The judges were not cooperating.


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