Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teen-age angst-ridden vampires and the girls who love them

It's Halloween Week at the video store where I work, and so we're showing Halloween-related videos on the screens around the store all week. Yesterday was "Twilight" day. I'll admit up front I know very little about Twilight--and I don't care to be enlightened. I find the idea of vampires not being able to go out in sunlight because they "sparkle" to be silly. What the author seems to have done is show laziness by wanting to create tragic immortal beings who were not really vampires without going through the effort of establishing something else.

Anyway, the movie's tag-line keeps bothering me: "If you live forever, what do you live for?", or something like that. It occurred to me that nowhere have I ever seen vampires try to do anything useful with their immortality. At best they create art or something, but most of the time they sit in Gothic mansions and brood, plotting and scheming against their own kind.

Why is it we never seen a vampire given to scientific pursuits? Imagine what an immortal researcher could accomplish? They have all the time they need to ground themselves in the history and theory of their field, all the time in the world to patiently test each hypothesis. They don't need to worry about achieving some great, life-defining work before they die, because they don't.

I'm not so naive as to think vampires might do this to benefit humanity. But imagine the things they could do to benefit themselves, at least. But they never do that. Vampires are wasting their immortality. So why do all these vampire fans want to believe that vampires are somehow superior to mere mortals? They waste all the positive aspects of their existence.

It's no wonder vampires are so popular with goths and certain other crowds. Many of these people do with their own mortality what vampires do with their immortality. They waste it on brooding.


Ronaldo said...

Amusingly enough, I recently found a graphic novel at the library entitled "Life Sucks", about a young vampire in Los Angeles - working as the night manager in the convenience store owned by his vampiric master. He'd walked in for an interview one night, gotten the job, and gotten bit to make sure he kept it. It's kind of a fun story in the way it takes the vampire image and completely breaks it into bits. What, even in Los Angeles, vampires can't afford to just go kill someone every time to get hungry? Even the undead need money, apparently a fortune doesn't magically pop into existence. And imagine trying to get home from work before sunrise when someone stole your bike and the buses don't run that early.

Ronaldo said...

About my favorite bit, though, is when the guy goes to visit his 'master' to get the night off. He has to go to the 'club' all of the old and powerful vampires meet at, which is inside an old church-like building in a graveyard, down in the basement, through a locked door....and inside is a room rather like an ordinary bar, neon beer signs, deer head, and a few middle-aged guys in shirt sleeves sitting around a table playing poker and arguing about whether Bela Lugosi was a good actor or not.