Monday, September 14, 2009

What's So Hot about Immortality?

There is a vampire craze sweeping the nation. Can you think of a fictional monster that has been represented more in television, movies and books than the vampire? This isn't a new thing. From Dracula to Edward, vampires have been popular fiction for some time. It seems that new series are popping up all the time. The vampire is more and more becoming an icon of pop culture.

Before you think I'm being critical of this trend, here's my confession. I admit to watching True Blood. And perhaps I've read the books it is based on. I might also have read a little of Twilight...and the three other books of the series. I may have taken a day off work to see the Twilight movie the day it came out. It's a sickness, I know. I'm not the only one who has it. What is it that we see in these fictional beings? I mean, let's be honest, not exactly the most original stories out there. Mysterious, tormented vampire boy meets human girl. A difficult relationship ensues. That describes most of them.

There are a lot of different aspects to vampire lore that the media explores. Do they melt in the sunlight or just sparkle? Holy water? Crosses? Wooden stakes? There is a lot of variations out there. But one thing all the vampires do have in common is immortality. Is this the draw?

In a time of plastic surgery and anti-aging creams, it's not that surprising that we find the forever young and beautiful an interesting concept. In a society that often fears death, living forever seems alluring. This immortality is often depicted as a trade off for ones soul and bought at the expense of other's lives (drinking blood and all that). (I wonder how many people would trade their souls (or humanity, if you will) to be forever young and beautiful?)

I think what brought up this post now was a recent pondering of what the draw was for me. I am around death all day long. I wouldn't say I fear death (not as long as there is a good palliative care team around to adequately control my symptoms) or growing older. I never came up with a good philosophical answer. Probably just the romance and mystery paired with sexy actors, like everyone else. I tend to over think things.

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