Tuesday, October 29, 2013

…Thinking about Vampires today.

That seems appropriate for Halloween week.

This newest season of Supernatural really had a hold on me, until episode three last week, when its grip slipped and I started to plummet into the darkness that is entertainment related disappointment. As a brief, almost spoiler-free explanation, I’ll only say that I saw Cas getting expelled from the bunker coming a marathon away, and I was screaming “NOOOOOOOO!” the whole way, because, come on, guys. Such a cop-out. You can’t come up with any other way to maintain tension and drama between Cas and Dean except to keep them separated, can you?

Ever since season five they've repeatedly come up with lame (okay, some of them weren't bad, or were downright awesome, but it’s getting old) excuses why Cas doesn't just stick around. And this is coming from someone who doesn't see Cas and Dean as having a romantic relationship.

But, now I’m getting into an entirely different rant, about how my generation can’t seem to comprehend the idea of a close bond between two people that isn't sexual.

We’ll see if I can recover in the next few episodes. I’ll watch episode four tonight and maybe it will all be okay… Maybe Cas will get the truth about why he has to leave and see the necessity in it, or maybe at least they’ll have Dean come up with a decent lie. I really hope so, because I want to be excited about this season.

Which brings me back around to the vampires.

I was trying to think of ways that Supernatural could make it up to me, as I’m sure it wants to—our friendship means so much, and it’s so needy, geez. Very near the top of my list was Benny the Cajun Vampirate.

Let me take you back to innocent days. When as a youngster, what I wanted, more than anything in the world was a really good vampire book. I searched everywhere, but unfortunately I only found a lot of really horrible and one or two really mediocre vampire books.

Oh, and Dracula. Which is great.

Eventually, I gave up and decided I would just have to write my own. Since my ex-boyfriend had so recently condemned me as a Satan worshiper, and had me believing at least for ten seconds that he was going to attempt an exorcism and hide my no-longer-possessed body somewhere in cottonwood canyon, I felt like I was in a really good place to write something truly romantic and not at all about how men are psychotic monsters. Bonus points if you can pick out which parts of this story aren't lies.

My awesome (and never to be finished) vampire novel ended up resembling Benny’s story to a somewhat troubling degree. I had originally envisioned it as a romance with a lot of violence and bloody revenge, but as I wrote it chapter by chapter I found myself more engaged in a secondary story-line in which my main fanged man chose to watch over one of his still very human and clueless descendants… so, it evolved into a family story, with a lot of violence and bloody revenge.

Also, everyone was Cajun, which I didn't realize at the time is kind of a thing already.

So, my novel did help me get vampires out of my system for a minute there, but then I needed another fix. Just in time for one of my friends to ask me, “Have you read Twilight?”

I hadn't. I hadn't even heard of Twilight and apparently there was another book already out and I was seriously behind. I went ahead and read it, and let me tell you, it was exactly what I was looking for at that particular time in my life. Hear me out, haters!

No… that’s all I got.

No shame. I liked it. I’m really critical of books, usually, but I found it entertaining and it was what I wanted.

I can say negative things about it, and in fact, I will, in a second, but let’s get real. I can say negative things about every writer. Except Jane Austen. She’s perfect.

Charles Dickens relied on coincidence, Silvia Plath wrote through one narrow, angry perspective, Douglas Adams purposefully tried to piss off his audience, Shakespeare pandered shamelessly, Hemingway hates you and James Joyce are you kidding me?

These are great writers, and I don’t think anyone is going to accuse Stephanie Meyer of that, but she filled a void that had plagued my lonely, self-conscious, why-are-guys-so-mean?-adolescence. I’m happy she wrote Twilight. I’m happy I read it.

Rereading it didn't work out though.

I used to be the kind of person who reread books. Twilight cured me of that. Attempting to read the book a second time was oh so boring. The narrative that kept me going the first time around, just doesn't hold up when you have another go at it and the plot… well, there’s really not much in the way of plot, so what was going to compel me to read more than two chapters? The characters?

Hell to the no.

In my adult years, I would say I've transformed into a classicist when it comes to vampires specifically, but monsters in general. With few exceptions, I think they ought to exclusively be terrible and don’t fall in love with you, but kill you dead and eat you. And maybe turn you into one of them and then you’re a monster too. Which sucks. Pun absolutely intended.

Benny is one of the exceptions. He was believable as a good person, and as a monster. Usually, I find myself not buying either the good or the bad side of the archetypal conflicted vampire’s personality, and maybe that’s more my problem than the writer’s, but I’m gonna say no, it’s not on me.

Allow me to leave you with this clip from Community, of when Abed briefly became a vampire in order to meet a girl.

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