BREAKING: Vampires, Gays Insufficiently Frightening; Children in Grave Danger of Inappropriate Sucking
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Over at NRO, the very serious cultural commentator Tony Woodlief warns the nation that just like the gays, vampires are becoming disturbingly fashionable. This is a disturbing trend. In the good old days, real life gays and fictional vampires were, quite rightly, destroyed on sight as incorrigibly evil suckers of various repulsive bodily fluids. But nowadays, sadly, as a sign of our fallen moral world, we no longer consider either inherently evil as an inevitable consequence of their basic nature. Why, sometimes we even go so far as to portray them in films or on the teevee as misunderstood or even sympathetic, shudder.
We have fully reversed the symbolism of Stoker’s vampire, who represented a demonic assault on a virtuous community. Today’s vampire is the hip Other, and the community around him is either bungling, intolerant, or simply a source of comedic relief (as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Lost Boys, and Fright Night, for example). The modern vampire is in touch with his sexuality, but the community suppresses it. The modern vampire is coming to take away your girlfriend, and she kind of likes it. The modern vampire is the guy you wish you had been in high school, or the guy you wish you’d dated in high school, and Meyer has turned that into gold.There's a lot of weird shit in this article, but the nut of the, uh, nuttiness is right here. First, Woodlief gets his vampire stories wrong. The original Dracula (or "Crackula," written by "Gram Smoker," about "Vlad the Inhaler") really is very Victorianly odd on the issue of sexuality, especially female sexuality. There's an odd love quadrangle amongst the male heroes and the absurdly virtuous Lucy, there's the standard-issue virgin/whore fetish (the pure English maids contrasted to the slutty foreign vampires), the asinine cult of masculine virtue (our heroes' unwillingness to let a chick go on an adventure with them leads to disaster; even the Scooby gang was too hip too fall for that jive). In regards to more modern vampire stories, the remark about Buffy clearly shows that Woodlief didn't actually watch the series, or if he did, he sure wasn't sober....(Click for remainder).
The trouble with this evolution is that fictional monsters serve a valuable cultural purpose. They remind us that we live in communities, and that our communities must be defended from those who would rend them asunder.