Are vampires still a thing? Did Twilight kill that at last? Are they still a romantic ideal of some sort – kind of an aristocratic rape-y sort of thing where someone in a higher economic class comes down and robs you of your free will with their eye-ruffies?
I hope not! I like vampires!
I know that zombies are still fashionable. They have multiple shows on TV, and although those shows are actually character studies on the selfishness of people in crisis situations and “oh by the way zombies,” zombies are at the very least present whereas there are far fewer shows about vampires.
Perhaps zombies are still more topical, especially with the current hellscape the US is becoming.
I mean, zombies are nothing to be afraid of. All they are is a mindless horde of creatures that all look similar, cross over borders at will, and the only way you can save yourself from them is to protect yourself with a giant wall.
Who could possibly make a boogeyman over such an absurd idea?
I prefer vampires. Certainly not because of their “cool factor.” Quite the opposite. Because, my dear ones…
and yes, I am going to say it…
My darling friends…
Vampires in the arts have ALWAYS been corny. Always.
Varney the Vampire? The title alone is ridiculous. Carmilla? Pap. Dracula? Ridiculous.
Okay, I might give you Nosferatu. Maybe.
But all the rest? Absurd. A vampire is an absurd monster. Also, a fairly accurate depiction of nobility at the time. But seriously, most of the very-real Hapsburgs were more terrifying than Dracula.
Hells bells, my DAD was more terrifying than Dracula. And occasionally they dressed somewhat alike. I can sincerely say that although I have far from perfect recollections of the past and consider memory to be unreliable at best, I have never had a nightmare about a vampire.
Portrayed in the movies, the worst you get is two mosquito bites, a couple of rough evenings, and then you get to live forever. Never see the sun again? Sign me up! Mornings suck!
But none of this is why I prefer vampires. It’s because of the logical possibilities once you accept that a vampire can exist.
Okay, so you have this being who can essentially live forever provided they take precautions. No sunlight, no vampire hunters, keep things on the down-low. Do these things, and one gets to live forever.
There’s the problem: “forever.”
Forever is a very, very long time, and people don’t tend to age well. I am not talking physiology, although there is that. I am talking mentally.
Ever get a hilarious uncomfortableness when a 50-year old man tries to talk slang like a 20-year old? Ever get a moment of jocularity when a 70-year old person tries to figure out gender identity? Multiply that by however many years a vampire can become.
Vampires aren’t suave. They’re not mysterious. They’re perpetually out of their depth.
But there is one larger, glaring issue: evolution.
Forever is a very long time. Over long epochs, species change. Presuming that vampirism isn’t just something that “appeared” in the 1400s CE, people have turned into vampires for a very long time.
Are there cro-magnon vampires?
Or to take it another way: suppose vampirism DID appear in 1400 CE.
Suppose someone named Armud J. Vampire (of course the disease would be named after him) was a budding alchemist. He was mixing mercury, garlic, and saltpeter in a tube with his finger, then accidentally cut his finger and put the mixture into his mouth. Boom! Vampire!
Suppose Armud also knows exactly what he has to do to live. He knows about sunlight, stakes, villagers, the Van Helsing family, etc. He’s struck the “dumbass clumsy alchemist” lottery. He gets to live forever!
Twenty-thousand years later, he’s the equivalent of the cro-magnon vampire. He’s a hairy ape living among whatever humanity has become. This is especially funny to me when I consider that the Twilight vampires aren’t even allergic to sunlight. Donna and Mitch get to spend the rest of eternity as ridiculously unevolved as their creator while time marches on and of course I cannot remember the original character’s names. Why would I?
Then there is fang placement. Vampires are typically portrayed as having longer canines than us mortals. Have you ever tried to bite a neck with your canines? Why not?
Anyway, the fangs are in a terribly bad place if you want to root around someone’s neck for food. You’d have an easier time using a Capri Sun straw.
All of these reasons are why I prefer vampires. They are the horror of the absurd. H.P. Lovecraft tackled the horror of that which should not exist. According to H.P. Lovecraft, that horror was minorities. Vampires are the horror of that which is too silly to exist.