When Ellen Page came out on Valentines Day at the HRC hosted Time to Thrive first annual conference for young people of the LGBT community many rushed to lend their support to the 26 year-old Canadian actress; one such supporter was author Anne Rice who got hostility for her words of approval. The 72 year-old American author, who gave new life to vampire fiction and created the character Lestat, posted a message of support on her Facebook page. Rice said that she applauded Page’s courage and that each time a “prominent person” came out, another blow against bullying, bigotry, stereotyping and ignorance occurred.
Published in 2009 Bite is a sort of chronicle of vampires for beginners. Jackson starts off by listing the various vampire myths throughout the world and points out that almost every civilization has their own version of vampires as well as unique names for the un-dead.
Considering the fact that the book itself consists of only five chapters there is not a hugely in-depth analysis of the vampire mythos it does , however, pay considerable “lip-service” to most of the more popular vampires of fiction.
The book goes on to discus vampires in literature, trotting out the old story of Byron and the Shelley’s and Polidori’s “monster” party where they challenged themselves to write a scary tale. Mary Shelley famously came up with the roots of Frankenstein which she later tweaked for publication. Polidori wrote about a vampire and was accused of plagiarizing Byron’s story.
The vampire on stage and celluloid are broached next with a minimum of attention paid to Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Max Schreck in their early depictions of the blood drinking Count Dracula.
There are quite a few books and authors that Jackson recommends and discusses. Anne Rice, Stephen King, Kim Newman, et al. The same holds true with films and television shows dealing with blood suckers although somewhat amazingly Jackson confesses that he did not like The Lost Boys, one of the best films dealing with the vampire genre in the 80’s.
Besides the fact that I seriously questioned the authors taste in film, I doubted that he had even seen the movie. How anyone could chronicle vampires in fiction and not like The Lost Boys worries me. More importantly to not recognise the important impact that the film had on future vampire films is almost criminal.
Still, he does cover a lot of material in his five chapter introduction to the lore and gore of the vampire world. But, as I suggested in the title of this post, it is just an introduction for all that. He does not spend enough time on any of the areas he writes about.
For the novice vampire fan, it will serve the purpose of at least giving the burgeoning reader or film-goer a choice of what to read or watch. Although the first chapter can drag a bit as he lists all the names of the different versions of vampires in different cultures. It’s somewhat akin to reading the Book of Genesis in the Bible and yawningly going through all those begets.
So I can safely give this little handbook 3 out of 5 stars. There are other books out there that delve a lot deeper into the subject than this one, but it’s not bad for all that.
Vampires, we are told, are fictional creatures that suck the ‘life force’ out of us mere mortals. They are incredibly strong and can only be killed or hurt by sunlight, holy water, garlic, crucifixes and wooden stakes. These supernatural “un-dead” beings can either drain us dry and extinguish our ‘light’ or they can transform us into carbon copies of themselves.
Vampires are wildly popular in media at the moment. I personally think author Anne Rice is responsible for this upsurge in popularity. She really started it all with her Interview With A Vampire. I think the less said about Stephanie Meyer‘s “non-vampire” series and it’s celluloid equivalent the better. In either case, the vampires are still considered to be fictional creatures. Whether you are talking about author Bram Stokers’ Count Dracula or True Bloods’ Bill Compton, they are not real, but characters developed by pen and actor.
I believe though, that vampires do exist. Not in the supernatural realm but in every day life. These ‘real-life’ vampires do not drain our blood. They do, however, drain our life-force. They also have to same power to extinguish our ‘light’ or to transform us into carbon copies of themselves.
These real-life vampires come in the guise of people with ’Passive/Aggressive Personality Disorder.’
I firmly believe that Passive/Aggressive’s fit solidly in the vampire world. I’ll explain.
Anyone who has had a relationship with a Passive/Aggressive can, I am sure, attest to this. I had a relationship with a Passive/Aggressive for years. I still carry the scars. Scars that are mainly emotional, but scars none-the-less. Trust issues being the first and foremost. People who have had Passive/Aggressive’s as lovers, friends, partners, spouses, or family members can avow that they have the same affect on you as a vampire.
They exhaust you by constantly keeping you off-balance. You will be: lied to, bullied, manipulated, isolated…well the list can go on and on. The eventual result of all this can be a kind of death. The death of your personality, what make you, you. It becomes lost amid the everyday relentless confusion and stress of dealing with a Passive/Aggressive. If it doesn’t “kill” you, it transforms you…into a Passive/Aggressive personality…a vampire. As effortlessly as osmosis, you will absorb the very personality traits that are killing you. And unless you escape, you will become the very thing that has been draining the very life out of you.
It is not entirely hopeless. Passive/Aggressive’s can be receive counselling. Unfortunately, it is a condition that is nigh-on impossible to cure. If you are in a relationship with one, at the very least, you might find out what has caused the Passive/Aggressive traits to develop, but that will offer you no real help.
I have no ‘ray-of-light’ message to deliver. I can only say that the internet has sites that offer help and support to people who find themselves dealing with Passive/Aggressive’s on a daily basis.
Google it. It may not be too late. There are forums that can help you ‘vent’ your frustrations, ask for support, or inform you as to just what the hell is going on. Give these sites a try. They could just save your “life”
Because God knows, holy water, crucifixes and garlic aren’t going to help you.