Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why do we love vampires so much?

Anne Rice aided in the development of the vampire, from a macho monster to an emotional male archetypes in her novel Interview with the Vampire. This is quite the leap from previous horrific illustration of vampires. Bram Stoker depicts his vampire to be a creature of deception and dark blood. Vampires from early 20th century are on a mission to toy with humans for their own pleasure. They could careless about hurting peoples feelings. Present day vampires from series such as Twilight are given human characteristics, they crave companionship and life. Only way vampires from Twilight are dangerous because they break hearts. If Dracula were to encounter Edward Cullen, he would be repulsed by the development of his kind and would call him a fairy. The vampire role has shifted from being the villain to being the beloved hero. Vampires used to represent the fear and realities of society, now they entertain our fantasies and aid us in forgetting our daily problems. Instead of being a villain and stealing the hero's lover, the vampire is now the hero and the girl instantly falls in love with him.

Coincidently, its been a rather vampiresque week in my household, between watching True Blood and discussing their supplementary book the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I found the television series to be more dramatic and shocking compared to the books. The books were milder and much more romantic. Yet its over the top and risque compared to Bram Stoker, which was considered to be pushing the envelope for its time. Popular literature today is written for profit rather than its art. Media is all about entertainment and giving people everything they want to see, sex and gore. The characters in these vampire show all show pain and are yearning for a companion, but miserably fail or have a monstrous struggle. Modern day vampires are like humans running around raging for sex. People strive for love and go on this life mission fighting with it. People want to have love but are to selfish to give into it; to be loved rather than to love is current generation mindset. We live in a world of now, mass production, and easily accessible information but consequently a world of waste and a disposable society. Once something no longer satisfies us, we immediately dispose of it and just as quickly find something else to give us our fill. Our country might claim to be independent, but we are still dependent on something else to make us happy. People are becoming the vampire, sucking the joy and happiness on a source, then swiftly trashing it.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Monster Island by David Wellington is the first zombie literature I've ever read and surprisingly it wasn't bad at all. The online novel is a light read but keeps you on your toes. David Wellington knows how to capture the reader and feed us the right visuals. My favorite character is Gary the medical student; he is a nice refreshing twist to stereotype zombies. In epidemic like this, you either become the zombie or it's food. Gary's solution to this problem was to become a zombie with freewill still intact. He manages to do so by submerging himself in a tub filled with ice water and equipping himself with a respirator, pumping oxygen to his brain while his body dies and undergoes the process of becoming a zombie. Wellington describes the world's end from a zombie's point of view and what drives them and how they feel. Usually when it comes to the topic of zombies, you see the survivors' stand point, struggling to fight off the persistent undead and losing loved ones. In Monster Island, you get the chance to see both sides, the living and undead. Wellington gives you insight on Gary's thoughts, his struggles and temptations.

My favorite visual David Wellington conveys is when Dekalb and his shipmates enter one of New York's bay, they run into heaps of bodies dumped in the water. David Wellington describes it “...there had been to many dead for even the sea to accept” (chapter 6). In natural science, all life comes from the sea. The infection has mutated life so extensively, the sea wont accept the copious quantities of unnatural creatures. Another funny addition to Monster Island is the army consisting of young girls in school uniforms swinging around AK-47. Reminds me of a ridiculous video game Onichanbara, which is about two sisters slaying zombies. The army of girls fill the sex icon quota of a typical story formula. Zombies in relation to today's world represents society hunger for mass media and products. The mass market is highly infectious and spreads instantaneously. Survivors in zombie flicks reflects the rebels doing everything they can withstand it, but eventually give in. David Wellington feeds our hunger for zombies with a breezy and concise style.