The Pryor Times

January 29, 2013

‘Vampire lit’

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

— “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of a brain, must be in  want of more brains.”

So begins the book “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and so breaks my heart. I’m not sure what horrifies me more, that someone had the audacity to mess with a classic novel, or that nobody seems to be as outraged as I am.

It’s not just this epic Jane Austen love story that has been bastardized, unfortunately. (“Little Women and Werewolves,” “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” etc). They are flying off the shelves.

It goes beyond books, as it would seem pop culture has been taken over.  There is a supernatural/paranormal TV show for everyone. Viewers have their choice of sparkling angst filled vampires, or sex-crazed late night vampires. Television and movies feature wizards, werewolves, and witches (oh my!).

I’ve been sitting back and watching supernatural characters and plots take over pop culture. The final straw, however, came when a recent film proved that not even history is safe; Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

Come on people, you can’t be serious.

All of this got me wondering, what the heck is wrong with people? When even one of America’s most beloved founding fathers is hijacked by the craze, we know we’ve got a problem.

Psychologists have tried to rationalize the mania. They have theories that people are in love with the danger and sex appeal of vampires and that they offer a needed ‘bad boy’ archetype. (I presume the sparkly ones are exempt from this.)

These same professionals also suggest that people’s obsession with zombies comes from a primal need for violence and murder. Killing the undead does not come with all the messy morality of killing fellow humans.

In their infinite wisdom, these professionals report that you can tell a lot about a culture from it’s monsters.

What does it say about us that our heroes and our villains are the same dang creatures?

I’m not enough of a science fiction buff to understand the anatomical differences between the creatures, but I am baffled that all undead creatures are not created equally. Vampires are people that have died and been brought back to life, eat people/drink their blood and are immortal. Zombies are people that have died and been brought back to life, eat people/drink their blood and are immortal. Vampires are swoon worthy and zombies must be killed.

Our pop culture phenomenon doesn’t even make sense.

As a book lover, and potential book snob, I’m inclined to say that watching this craze take over, it feels a bit like zombies have already eaten the brains of the educated.

I’m not asking for much; just for things to be left well enough alone, and for humans to find their way back into pop culture.