Sunday, September 6, 2009
I see dead people
Neil Gaiman Tweeted an interview he gave to "Entertainment Weekly" voicing his opinions on this new pop-culture passion for vampires on screen, film and books. It's well worth the read, for he does point out some very insight facts on why so many people are hook on tales about the Undead.
One being that vampire fiction does address our struggles with are ideas of human sexuality and we are a culture obsessed with sex. From Madonna parading in her leather corset outfit like a latter-day whore of Babylon or the Jonas Brothers with their purity rings, we are self-absorbed with our sexuality. But this is nothing new, ever since man and woman went out and became fruitful we human creature make rules on that drive that sends us soaring. Plato wanted to band flute players for he thought that the music lead to licentious behavior. Caesar Augustus wrote laws on sexual behavior, trying to outlaw homosexuality,
Our sexual nature is a great source of study and entertainment.
Another issue Mr. Gaiman bought up was the conflict that Aides has had on our ideas of sexual practice. Whither it's HIV, S.T.D.S or Herpes , sex can be dangerous, Even Oparh had a show discussing our young people having "RainBow Parties", a game played by girls and boys where a rainbow of lipstick rings and put on a boys penis. Damn: whatever happen to "Spin the Bottle".
I an also understand why Mr. Gaiman brought up the Christian idea of Communion, where the body and blood of Christ is taken. But that is only a symbol of utr union with the divine therefore the name Communion. Our Christian forefathers realized that they were giving the pagans a new religion and pagans need the mystery of the ceremony of book, bell and candle.
What the talented writer Gaiman failed to address was the fact that these vampire stories are well written stories that are character driven. In the book of Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse romance with vampire Bill isn't an easy ride in the coffin. Bill leaves her and breaks her heart. She a work-class girl that has to deal with everyday reality of paying the bills and being drawn into her co-workers personal dramas.
I recall reading Ms. Harris first book while I was dealing with a boyfriend who was cheating on me viva the Internet. Ironically the book was his for he was a great fan of comic books, SF, Fantasy and Horror fiction. I found myself relating to the pain of the heart broken Sookie.
I haven't read the "Twilight" books but i feel that the reason for the frenzy over these books is the fact that it addresses the sexual issues of teenage girls.
Sookie is an outsider and most girls in high school feel like outsiders and here are books addressing their own true desire to be loved for the outsider they are.
But still, what is more powerful is the fact that these characters are so damn interesting. We care about Tara Thornton who in the TV show "True Blood" seems a bit more interesting than Sooki. Vampire Eric upstages vampire Bill. And Lafayette Reynolds is one of the most noble characters in the show. Actually the show "True Blood" is really all about Gay Rights then vampires. But if it's the lives of the undead or small town working class folks dealing with super-natural creatures, we stay tune, buy the books, go to the movies because we care about the characters because they remind us of the issues we are dealing with and are so damn interesting.