Thursday, October 27, 2011
It started with my fourteenth Birthday. My friend bought me a box set of the then trilogy, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. I kind of slid out of my life and into the world she created. A slumber party viewing of The Lost Boys a year before had sparked an interest but the books caused a full force explosion in my brain. Vampires! Why didn't I ever think about them before? They were sooo much more interesting than humans.
I started devouring anything I could find. Over the next decade or so, I watched old films, I wrote papers on Bram Stoker. I proclaimed myself a vampire aficionado and fed myself accordingly. I jumped on Buffy the Vampire Slayer with enthusiasm. I embraced the movie version of Interview With The Vampire even with the wonky casting. I grew up. I continued to watch/read/listen to anything vampire related, knowing I was at best eccentric and at worst a total freak because of my obsession. I dressed as a vampire for countless Halloweens and bought vampire wind-up toys. I dragged my husband to foreign films about vampire hunters. I wrote posts for work about blood suckers. I did everything short of dressing in corsets and black lipstick.
A few years ago, my best friend bought me two books within weeks of each other. One was a thank you gift and the other a Birthday present. The first was Twilight. The other was Dead Until Dark, the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series that True Blood is based on. I inhaled both and then all of the sequels. Twilight was like eating candy corn. You know it's technically a horrible terrible food. There's no sustenance or hint of anything real in there but you eat a bag anyway and then you feel sick and hate yourself. The Sookie Stackhouse books were better. They're snarky and self-aware and funny. Still fluff but fluff that knows it's fluff.
So, Twilight is brightly colored high fructose corn syrup. Sookie Stackhouse is chocolate with some chemicals mixed in but it's still chocolate.
They're both total complete bullshit, of course.
I know, I know. They're fiction. Fiction equals bullshit by it's very nature. And, I shouldn't argue what's right and wrong about made-up creatures in made-up stories. The fresh take on vampires is what originally drew me to the books.
My problem isn't really with the fact that the Twilight vampires don't go in the sun merely because they sparkle or with True Blood vamps owning nightclubs and drinking blood out of bottles. That stuff's kind-of funny. It's, in fact, almost palatable when compared with the fact that these old ass creatures are falling in love with teenagers and twenty-something waitresses.
Come on. If it's just about sex or drinking their blood, I can get on board. But, you can't tell me that a two hundred year old dude is going to fall head over heels for a broody teenage girl. Think about it. How old are you? 28? 36? 42? Can you stand talking to a teenage girl for more than five minutes? They're a total mess, I know, I was one. I can suspend disbelief and buy that there are creatures walking the earth that subsist on blood. I'll swallow that they can fly and control minds and even turn into mother fucking bats. But, tell me that a man who has been putting up with human bullshit for centuries turns to mush over a whiny teenager and that's where I draw the line.
Teenage girls are retarded. They cry all the time. They have no idea what they're doing in bed. They'll text their friends and brag that they're doing a vampire. They have pimples. They whine. They throw tantrums. They say things like, "Whatever" and "O.M.G." THEY HAVE HOMEWORK!!!
Let's break this down. Eric Northman (from True Blood) is over 1,000 years old and he falls head over for a twenty-five year old. Edward Cullen (from Twilight) is 105 and the love of his long life ends up being a 17 year old that, um, smells good? Stefan Salvatore (from The Vampire Diaries) is 162 years old but his soul mate is 17. Sure, sure.
I get why this is appealing. Women want to believe that they are special. It's the fantasy of some amazing creature falling for you because they can't help it. But, it's ridiculous. Give me vampires that merely want to kill things to survive. Give me Anne Rice-style vampires, who aren't even sexual but are turned on by blood lust and culture. They appreciate art and read books. They don't go to high school and fall for little girls. (Except sometimes they turn little girls into vampires but that's a whole other deal.)
So, I've said my piece. I know, I kind-of went off. And, yeah, I'll keep watching True Blood and whatever else Hollywood throws my way. But, I will snort indignantly when the vampire swoons for the girl.
Right after I pretend I am the girl.
*photo by Miss Edi Patterson.