By some strange quirk of fate, the media I consumed this week proved to be entirely vampire-related. As far as reading material went, I had The Delicate Dependency and Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone, both of which were fodder for a timeless question: aren’t vampires people, too?
Of course not! They’re vampires! And, as my reading material explained, that’s a bit different.
VDSA is straightforward in its purpose- a guide to seducing and dating vampires. I wonder, though, would vampires find this offensive fetishization? Perhaps, but plenty of them fetishize having a human girlfriend, so I guess it balances out. The advice is sound enough- dress in a manner reminiscent of their former time period without going into offensive costume territory, avoid perfumes with savory notes, leave if he starts to turn your friends. Where it falls down is trying to integrate its world-building (a setting where vampires have become an accepted, if misunderstood, part of regular society) with the lure of the dangerous that is a large part of vampires’ appeal.
You can’t say that vampires are far less predatory in nature than humans, and that they are unfairly discriminated against, then turn around and say to make sure your vampiric one night stand isn’t just interested in killing you. It doesn’t work both ways; if vampires are to be part of society, they can’t also be dangerous killers, to whom different rules apply. And if their killing nature has been overblown by the media, a dating book wouldn’t have to warn against it.
This isn’t to say the book isn’t fun (which it is!), but it should be viewed with suspicion as pro-vampire propaganda. Remain vigilant, my friends, and consider dating werewolves instead.
(As a side note, the different types of vampires presented- similar to those in Vampire the Masquerade- call to mind the old myth that vampires are obsessed with numbers and sorting things. Perhaps that’s what’s behind it; imagine a catty teenage Lestat telling Orlock “You can’t sit with us. Go over to the table with the Baldpires!”)
The Delicate Dependency also tackles the attraction/danger dynamic inherent in modern vampire stories. In this case, while the vampires are fearsome adversaries, blood drinking itself is downplayed. In some ways, they resembled Tolkien’s elves more than Stoker’s undead- immortal beings assured of their perfection, beautiful and cold to humanity’s attempts to keep up with them, guardians of the world from destruction. The way they accomplish this is unspeakably cruel, but I guess you can’t argue with results.
More than fear, the overwhelming sensation this book produces is oppression, a sense that you can’t win. They’re smarter than you, prettier than you, they’ve seen the rise and fall of empires, they can influence or turn anyone you care about. And why should you struggle against them, when they know what’s best for you?
"Because fuck you, that’s why." The hero doesn’t say that, but I did. It’s a very human response, and I’m sure the vampires would mock it, but it’s still mine.
After reading these books, what conclusions can we come to? Are vampires potential partners, potential causes of death, elves or illuminati? Are they more than human, less than human, or a little of both?
All of the above, I suppose. A heady combination.
The fact that its still debated whether or not Poe loved his wife is ridiculous when she’s described as pale, with dark hair and violet eyes and every single woman in every one of his stories is described as pale with dark hair and violet eyes. He wrote the young woman as a gothic queen; a symbol of intimidating mystery and intelligence, a grecian muse, and everyone just goes “oh, that’s not her, that’s a symbol for how he views women as objects of horror in some Freudian nightmare.” EXCUSE ME HAVE YOU READ LITERALLY ANYTHING HE WROTE?
Asked by lowereastnowhere
Push off a cliff: Xander. I’d give him a parachute, probably.
Frick frack: Dracula. Even Joyce agrees with me on this!
Marry: Giles. He’s certainly the best long-term guy on the show.
Set on fire: Caleb, I guess. Most of the other people I hate are either simply annoying and undeserving of death, or else the type who wouldn’t be killed by fire.
Wrap a blanket around: Tara. Poor girl, it seemed like everyone she ever got close to ended up abusing her.
Be roommates with: Oz. I miss him!
I’m still not over that Tzimisce dude’s face. I know that, in OWoD canon, Dracula was a Tzimisce, so that makes it more confusing. He’s perfect for the clan in personality- imperious and into torture and kidnapping- but he doesn’t look like a Cenobite.
Assuming he was a Tzimisce, I’m thinking that he used to do the spiky forehead thing, until one day he spoke to one of his braver brides.
"Tell me the truth," he said. "I promise I won’t get angry, but I need to know- do I look ridiculous?"
"Kinda," she admitted.
Thus ended Dracula’s spiky forehead phase.
- Push off a cliff
- Frick frack
- Set on fire
- Wrap a blanket around
- Be roommates with
And if I’m not in the fandom, I’ll go by what I’ve learned from tumblr
Someone do this