giovedì, dicembre 21, 2006

They'll be my jackals when I feed

Well, it's amazing what defining yourself in the face of opposition and provocation can do. I know much more about myself than I did at this time last week, and it's not a matter of me liking it so much as knowing it's there. Those flower children going off in the sixties to 'find themselves' should have just put up with a job in advertising media analysis and cripplingly annoying conversations with their parents. Two or three times a week. In lieu of that, with whatever passed for Evangelical Christians back then. I suppose the hallucinogens were much more fun, though.

Not much to say today - my cold miraculously scarpered as though to give me a chance to think about my options and I am, furiously. In what seemed like a too-good-to-be-true coincidence, I heard about a whole new one last night that I'm so keen on I can't even write about here in case I jinx it.

Speaking of superstition, I watched the 1931 version of Dracula with Philip Glass's score last night. It wasn't scary, and Figaro had told me it was really boring, but I found it nice to watch with the score; Béla Lugosi just looks so good and the acting was all cute and stylized. Sadly (in the pathetic sense), my freakoutability kicked in while I was watching the documentary afterwards and heard the original pre-credit shot of Dr. Van Helsing saying "When you're at home in the dark under the covers and thinking about the movie you just saw, et cetera, just remember: there are such things!" And of course that goes right to the heart of what everybody like me who refuses to watch horror films is really worried about.

Perhaps it would have just given me a frisson and passed, but I glanced out the window and saw a police cruiser creeping by, slowly, as though looking for something. I wasn't afraid of the po-po trying to track down a vampire in my trashtastic neighborhood. But my brain did choose that inauspicious pre-bedtime moment to make a creepy conclusion about vampirism being an archetype explaining the root of the parasitic human evil splashed across our news media and on plain view in this neighborhood every day.

If we could look at our species objectively, I think we would think of ourselves as more cannibalistic than chimpanzees and lions who eat each other's young. So many notions of success are based directly on the misery of other people. There are so many people on crack in this neighbourhood, and worst to see for me for some reason, so many crackwhores - maybe people who started off all bright and interesting and shit, and somebody making money I can't even imagine off ruining them.

10 commenti:

Masonic Boom ha detto...

You've hit on exactly what makes vampire movies in specific (and horror movies in general) so powerful - the realisation that these horrible spooky imaginary things are a metaphor for *real* things that may be much worse. (Imperialism, capitalism, economic vampirism - but also emotional vampirism.)

I love them for that reason, but then again, I've always been a person to embrace the dark side. You can take the girl out of goth but you can't take the goth out of the girl. ;-)

Melbine ha detto...

I was SO into Anne Rice's vampire series, she really made me believe that surely this must exist.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I read some Anne Rice books. Then I started getting a funny voyeuristic feeling I was reading personal sexual fantasies that were getting repetitive anyways.

But for sure you can't get the goth of the girl. Especially when one looks so good in black. It took me years to start buying colours even after I was "over" being goth.

Funny we need to use an archetype as airy-fairy and spooky-wooky as vampires to help us contextualize evil that's so common as to be banal.

Maybe having something all theatrically horrible as vampire stories is an unconscious defense mechanism of our rational and logical faculties, reminding us that the normal every-day evil our lazy emotions would like to just take for granted is in fact unconscionable.

Masonic Boom ha detto...

The human mind simply finds it easier to deal with and/or examine most things in their archetypical form than in the raw, fluid, ambivalent examples.

That is what I always liked about vampires, as a goth - they highlighted the seductive nature of evil. (And I'm sorry, but Lugosi is quite... sexually seductive in that film. As good vampires always are.) That it would be easy to recognise evil if it always appeared in its scaly batwinged fanged appearance. But it doesn't, does it? It often comes in a quite morally ambivalent form that can be dressed up as something attractive.

Same thing as in the Lost Boys - I was quite an impressionable teenager when that film came out. I didn't understand why these cool looking punk vampires had to become so *ugly* when they vamped out. It seemed a bit heavy-handed in its symbolism.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I never saw Lost Boys. But yes, Béla Lugosi does look all hot, for some reason, even if he doesn't have enough of a chin and has a little pot.

I'm looking forward to seeing "Nosferatu," the ugly German thing from way back, although I'm prepared for that meaning I'm going to cling to the F-word to get to sleep for a few nights after that.

I was thinking, last night as I looked forward to that, that since "Nosferatu" vampires have been getting better and better looking to the point where they're downright pretty these days, and that was leading me into some pretty bleak thoughts about modern notions of morality or the lack thereof.

Masonic Boom ha detto...

No, it says something about modern notions of morality, but not that we have a lack of them!

It's distancing ourselves from that Victorian morality where one must keep up appearances at all time, and anything that is evil will surely *look* evil - which we, in our modern world, know is simply not the case.

It's simplistic and unrealistic to think that evil can never be seductive.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I see what you mean. But my fairly Victorian brain leaps to the conclusion that evil is just too seductive these days, to the point we're incapable of recognizing a plague-spreader as a plague-spreader instead of a romantic hero that it would be awful fun to be, and I don't know watcha heard about me, but I'm a mothafuckin P-I-M-P, sort of thing.

Melbine ha detto...

I loved Lost Boys too, I was such a Corey Haim fan...I agree with you both. Like, how evil could evil really be in the guise of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt? Such pretty boys (though I've never lusted after either).

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

It's hard to imagine being attracted to Brad Pitt in any capacity except piggy-back rides. He looks strong, and horsey.

As for Tom Cruise, his chin is deplorable.

Sugarplum ha detto...

Tom Cruise is too irritating to be attractive and Brad Pitt is too adorable to be sexual. I'm with you.

For me, vampire stories were always forbidden and I was attracted to them for that reason. I wanted to prove to myself that there is nothing evil about desire which is a big part of the vampire mythology. It is about giving into lust and not having control.

I love a good vampire story but I think that they have moved away from the Nosferatu-style because our understanding of evil has deepened. In fact, instead of being suspicious of ugly people we are becoming more suspicious of beauty. So much can be done to change one's appearance that we question people who are too perfect. Modern notions of evil have moved away from monsters and towards technology. Flaws are beautiful because they are human.