It's a vampire, break out your torches and pitch forks! The geek have inherited the earth, but far from it being an accepting utopia, the acceptable targets have just changed and the haters run free. There are a lot of things that people like to crap on, but few get the singular hate that vampires get. As an artist and writer who toils heavily in the blood-soaked tales of these storied undead, I take umbridge with this and you reader are going to get to read about it.
Hating on vampires is not exactly new, but the current flavor of “because Twilight” is particularly odious to me because from what I see the Twilight fandom has faded off into the sunset the franchise takes its namesake from, but the hate rolls right on and I've seen a lot people just use Twilight as an excuse to blanket write-off vampire fiction. It's an incredibly weak excuse when a good amount of these people will admit their problem is “they're not real vampires”. And that reflects on the people writing “real” vampire stories… how?
Now, we've all got limited time, no one can be expected to read every genre or indulge in every piece of media to it is fullest. Still, I do believe it is very limiting to your own authorship to summarily dismiss popular genres just because they don't gel with you. As we discussed last time, some of the most precious treasures can be pulled out of the trash and vampires are definitely not trash, despite what people whose entire experience with them are a passing knowledge of over-hyped chickfic and seeing a corny Dracula once in a while seem to think.
Vampires are certainly very popular and overused, so much so that they can support whole youtube channels dedicated just to reviewing vampire fiction (Like Maven of The Eventide)but so are a LOT of things. Zombies right now are far more popular, far more over used and far more over hyped than vampires. They've had their fair share of terrible games, terrible movies and even terrible romance stories (seriously, hot zombie boy/girl friend is right behind vampire for popular fantasy romance), so where is the hate for zombies? Well, it is probably too much baggage to unpack in a little Sunday blog post, so I'm going to have to generalize a bit. Vampires are a huge story telling trope and have symbolized just about everything under the sun…er, hiding from the sun. However, in broad strokes, vampires often used to be a Victorian era convention to demonize marginalized minorities, ending with the strong Victoria-normative types learning their lesson, becoming properly repressed and sending that “horrible” gay/foreigner/promiscuous woman packing. “NOT TONIGHT, DRACULA!” could have been the last line of many of these sorts of stories.
As time has gone on however, vampires have changed drastically. While they may continue to embody some of those things in a lot of works, the stories they feature in are totally flipped. The vampires often still represent gay/foreigners/promiscuous women etcetera, but are often now depicted in a more positive, sympathetic light. Oppressed and alienated because of their conditions, forced to live in the night because they are cast out from “normal” society. In literary terms the vampire has become the equivalent of a reclaimed slur, which is kind of amazing BUT this has also made vampire fiction a thematic mess and a prime target for haters. We live in a culture of fans, with information so prevalent we're pretty much expected to have opinions on everything and throwing around those opinions is FUN. For example, I absolutely cannot stand Ready Player One, so much so that I listened to a podcast (372 Pages We'll Never Get Back) that came into existence solely to poke good natured fun at it. I really enjoyed the podcast, it is great to be part of a little group with like-minded opinions when something explodes in popularity to the point you feel like you are taking crazy pills for NOT enjoying it.
There isn't anything wrong with that, provided you can keep it in perspective and separate opinion from criticism. However, it becomes a real problem when you feel the need to try and destroy what someone else enjoys about it. Criticism, I'd like to define here as “a careful discussion of something in order to judge its quality or explain its meaning”…this rarely happens. Mostly what we see are people telling other people to stop having fun, stop writing stories and offering blanket discouragement uninvited or even prompted. This too is something I have personally struggled to keep myself from doing, the temptation certainly is there at times when people refuse to acknowledge what I see as the glaring flaws in a work. It's often hard to accept that for some people those things just don't matter or don't matter as much as they would like to think, particularly with every media campaign hyping that next franchise starter as “IMPORTANT”!
Please, don't demand people stop having fun but maybe be the person who offers someone the next book, a book maybe you feel is a little better and might expand someone's horizons.
—- Continued in Part 2 where I'll bring it back around to those dreaded vampires!
Special thanks to our patrons!!
Justnopoint - Banes - Stinger9 - Rmccool - Abt Nihil - Phoenixignis - Gunwallace - Cdmalcolm1 - PaulEberhardt - Scruff - Dragonaur - Emma Clare -
Amelius at 6:52PM, Nov. 25, 2018
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+