(Theatrical release poster from 1992 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola)
For the last two centuries popular culture has embraced the notion of vampires attenuating our blood to remain eternal. Shape-shifting form (Bram Stoker's Dracula) manifesting supernatural powers, these romantic creatures have captured our souls and sexualities. Who wouldn't want to be nuzzled by the likes of Edward Cullen? (Twilight series)
To be destroyed by the one you love and the one who loves you, so he choose but not love you so he won't destroy you? What a delicious pleasure; oh the exquisite torment and tumult to love and not love. Whatever that "ethereal" love is, it is born of fear, nurtured by anxiety, stoked by grief and expelled by an unconsummated release into oneself, absent sharing, touching, exchanging. Great sublimation in our age of STDs and AIDS! What more could a teen want, or for that matter a romantic adult fleeing the realities of economic downturns, home foreclosures, debt crisis and default by "the greatest country in the world?"
Ah! To be swept up in a fantastic world of blood suckers, nefarious romantics, alluring, "loving," destroying to make themselves eternal. Oh God. Sounds like the banking CEOs who headed up every financial institution that either was bailed out or which profited from sucking the tax blood of the American people while they de-energized and drained the economy to its last vital drops, leaving an anemic, American near-corpse to be cannibalized into death by debt holding lions, China, Japan, UK and Brazil.
Life is a problem, especially for those who, not asking to be born, and having many resources at their disposal, have been stuck with elitism and privilege and can't really decide what to do with it. Do they perform some questionably useful task like reproducing themselves? Do they devote their substance to helping and enriching the less materially and culturally fortunate? Do they just let the natural blood thirsty juices flow into demonstrating the "finest" quality of their species: vampirism?
Like parasites, locusts and canker worms that siphon the phytonutrients from plants, social and cultural vampires exist in the vacuum that is themselves, to de-amplify their preys' life energy. They upend the reality of their own impoverished and malnourished condition by feeding, feeding, feeding. When the white sheeted, corpse-like victims crawl away bloodless, the human leeches celebrate their new life, perpetuate, inviolate and immortalized, amassing priceless treasures, stature and celebrity because their media handmaidens have alchemized their acts of depradation and despoiling, labeling it something other than what it is, vampiring off the middle and lower classes.
Our attraction to such vampires, their wealth, their talents, their audacious cruelty has become our destruction. We should not want to emulate the lifestyles of "the rich and famous" any more than we should embrace and lionize "The American Dream," (click to see the ironic rebuttal) the Horatio Alger myths, the "rags to riches" stories (most of which have been skewed to accommodate a denial of background of privilege). We are the finer, more prodigious, more energetic ones. Through our efforts, our "blood, sweat and tears," these vampires thrive to suck our vigor another day and perpetuate themselves in fostering destructive and malfunctioning institutions: The Federal Reserve, The Financial Industry, The Healthcare Industry. This recalls to my mind an Orwellian concept out of 1984: the title of the thing belies that it is its opposite. The financial industry does not bring enhanced finances to you, but quite the opposite. The Federal Reserve is not the federal government, but an international cabal of financiers. The healthcare industry often delivers and promotes death care. The pharmaceutical industry delivers drugs which are toxic. Likewise, the food industry does not deliver nutritious and wholesome food. Black is white; love is hate, right is wrong, vampires are healers. Where institutions are concerned, they function the opposite of their branding.
Such a confusing fog! Could one recognize a true healer if he came? Or would you think he was a vampire?
I find the current obsession with vampires revealing and disturbing. It harkens to some unconscious subterreanean wish to be "lovingly" overcome and bled out so we can no longer appreciate the robust joy and enthusiasm for living. Is it shocking that that is what our institutions and government are doing to us? I think not. Our entertainment impulses speak volumes. Enough with our infantalizing about having our blood sweetly sucked. There's nothing sweet about it. It's a masochistic, death wish...and with that you can "count me out!" And I mean "Out!"
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