Other Haunts – “Vampires Suck” @ Slate

Fun little article at Slate.com about how contemporary vampires suck, or more precisely, that they don’t. The once terrifying Other is now just a cuddly idealized boyfriend – who no longer sucks blood. The article nicely traces a line from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to Anne Rice’s tortured immortals to Buffy’s beau Angel to the monster’s nadir in the paranormal romance genre a la the Twilight series.

( http://www.slate.com/id/2223486/ )

Makes me wonder if all objects of terror undergo a certain domestication, a processes of Disneyfication where anything that is truly terrifying is sanded flat, made safe and consumable. Happens with all attempts to depict the wholly Other, I suspect, making that “make no graven images” commandment a bit more sensible. After an experience of awe / wonder / terror / amazement it’s understandable to make some record of that encounter. But then there will be folks whose only experience of that Other is via the representation, through the vicarious thrill. At the risk of sounding like a neo-Platonist here, the continued repetition of representation pushes the Other farther and farther away from our actual experience. It’s how that piss-your-pants / fall-on-the-ground-numb / struck-blind-with-scales-on-your-eyes experience of true religion becomes gradually codified into something boring and mundane like ethics and orthodoxy.

Damn. Did I slip from talking about the Monstrous to talking about the Holy again?

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