On Vampires

 

For something that ‘does not exist’ there seem to be a lot of conscious on what they are, do, look like, etc.  If someone deviates from the vampire stereotype, like making them sparkle, they catch no end of hell because apparently, you can’t make up new facets to a fictional character.

Where does this collective agreement on vampire life come from?

I read a lot.  I don’t ever change my side widget over there but I’m long past the Outlander series that didn’t actually have any vampires but did have a zombie adventure in one novella.  I read the entire Dresden series, including short stories, and his vampires all conform, he does, however, break out different types of vampires and have ‘reds’ ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’. The Reds are the common ones, Blacks are more evil versions but with all the sunlight and blood issues.  Whites are energy drinkers – that was a new one for me but…

635520038055890005-day-shift-cover-artCharlaine Harris, who is most famous for the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire novels that True Blood is (loosely) based on also has a few other series that I love all the more.  Recently she published a new series, Midnight Texas, that is in the same Vampires are ‘out of the coffin’ world but includes a vampire that can eat energy.  So unless Mr Butcher and Ms Harris conspired there is yet another vampire class being acknowledged with distinct characteristics.

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I also read the Laundry Files, a series by Charles Stross.  It is a good series and I like the premise of an underground organization fighting extra-worldly things that are a threat to us.  In a middle book of the series Vampires come in and he does not change the general stereotype of pros (strong, mind control) and cons (sunlight), but, he offers a more scientific explanation for the condition.  Harris and most others allude to a virus that causes vampirism but Stross takes it a step further and I like his explanation overall.  Pushing the envelope just a bit but keeping pretty close to what we all define as a vampire.

In the carpool drive, I decided we need some entertainment so I checked out an audio book series A-Z mysteries.  I highly recommend this for the lower elementary group, the stories are short and well written.  We have 15min in the car so each story lasts a little over a week.  This week’s story is what put me on this thought; there is a vampire in town and the 3 protagonists know all about vampires including that they dislike garlic.  Is this how the stereotype is passed to each generation?  Children’s authors conforming to, and passing on, the myth of vampire.  I actually don’t know how this one ends yet, I’m sure he isn’t really a vampire, but still my kids are getting indoctrinated.

So what is the deal?  How did such a hard and fast set of ideas happen with allegedly no basis in reality?  Or are there vampires and I’ve just never run up on one?   Just so many books and movies and common culture that can’t be denied.  But hey, passing it on to the next generation all the same.

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