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Vamped Up: Why Vampire Stories Never Get Old

Every few decades vampires crawl out of their coffins and into the blood of the mainstream. Fantasy, romanticism, and the supernatural are the obvious escapes we take during extraordinary times, but vampires aren't ordinary immortals.

Vampire tales were first written when sex could not be openly discussed so they came complete with metaphors. Because they deal with the eternal issues of sex, mortality, and exclusion, every generation can retell the stories and infuse them with contemporary politics, culture, and issues of equality. Michael Dylan Foster, a folklore professor, told the New York Times that in this post-9/11 world, people are drawn to conspiracy theories and the idea that an unknown world could exist right before our eyes.

Take True Blood. HBO created buzz before the show's debut by plastering PSA-looking ads, which said, "Vampires are people too." That was only a hint of what was to come. In the hyperreality of True Blood, vampires are "coming out" and asking for acceptance among humans in the conservative South. There are vampire haters, vampire friends, and vampire lovahs known as "fang bangers." But you know what? Vampires and humans still can't marry! Sound familiar?

Photo courtesy of HBO

Join The Conversation
bethpoo42blue bethpoo42blue 8 years
i agree with this article, it definitely has become apparent how our society uses a means of the supernatural to show the insane controversies that are floating around, and when you add hot vampires to the mix, it adds definite appeal. =D
tiaramh tiaramh 8 years
true blue is my absolute favorite show out right now. i am proud to say that i have sucessfully managed to get several of my friends and family addicted. one of the great things about this show is it's toungue in cheek manner of bringing to light the truths about our judgementaland prejudice society. the vampire rights movement is parallel to not only the fight for gay rights but also civil rights, women's rights, even the fight for freedom of religion. It's a centuries old tale of the fight for equality. all while be captiviating, exciting, sexy and hilarious
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
I love vampires. A great literary device and a facinating subject. Before Twilight made "vampires" something that makes me wanna punch things, I used to joke about being one because I have pretty pointy teeth, burn easily (pale skin woo!) , stay up late, and lick my own wounds (saliva has some pretty nifty enzymes when there's no first aid kit handy). But cannon vampires are awesome. Sparkly vampires that slap the cannon in the face and star in a published fan-fic that sounds like it was written by a 14-year-old starring a Mary-Sue and a host of plot-holes... no thanks.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
I'm not too big on a lot of vampire tales, though I see why they can be a useful metaphor. The ones I do like are Buffy and The Lost Boys.
neonbee neonbee 8 years
I think Alan Ball's a genius! True Blood really captures the essence of what vampires (and human-vampire relationships) are really about. (And watching Alexander Skarsgard aka Eric Northman every Sunday isn't bad either.)
bklynculture bklynculture 8 years
Vampires are truly en vogue! With such a depressing economic climate escapism is the route to go. I absolutely adore True Blood and I think Alan Ball's vision should make Charlaine Harris proud.. you can't help but notice the correlation between Vampire Rights and the Gay Rights Movement. Smart, Sexy, Thought Provoking Television... HBO keeps it interesting.
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