(Because lists of ten are for sissies.)
I’m not gonna lie (or deny it for that matter,) I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loved that show. Loved that show. I was eleven years old, had just finished reading Interview with the Vampire (and subsequently watching the movie) and my television watching outside of Saturday morning cartoons consisted of The X-Files, Millennium, The Pretender and Star Trek: Voyager. Suddenly, a magical wonderful show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer appeared. It changed the way I watched television. In fact, it changed the way I looked at the supernatural in general. Not to mention the genre itself. I will always view Buffy as one of the top role models for young girls (at least in the first couple of seasons, I still hated how much of a whore she became and Riley was a terrible choice for partners, better to have just ignored that whole part and gone right on to the sleeping with Spike business) especially in that era of television and prepubescent angst. I devoted six years of my life to that show (I missed the last season because I didn’t have cable living on the farm) and I don’t regret any of it. Except maybe the season with the Initiative – I really effing hate Riley. And Harmony. Especially vampire Harmony.
The point is that I still view the Joss Whedon era of vampires, and the predecessor of Anne Rice’s early Vampire Chronicles books, to be the epitome of vampire lore. (Dracula notwithstanding, and of course the silent version of Nosferatu being the pinnacle vampire movie ever made. EVER.) It’s in recent years, however, that I have really begun to fall out of love with the vampire genre. I loved the first two Blade movies (the comics are okay, but I never really got into them as much) but I think the decline and the idea that maybe I should start seeing someone else, started around the release of Underworld, and then continued with the subsequent horrors of Van Helsing and the movie adaptation of Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned. I was thoroughly unimpressed.
So, in an effort to reconcile with my lost love of vampires, I present to you a list of eleven things that they can do (or stop doing) that will rekindle my love with them. In no particular order:
- Stop Brooding.
Bloody hell. If it was awesome to be a vampire, don’t you think there’d be more of you? Or at least there’d be a lot more awesome things happening instead of all this emotional brooding garbage that I keep seeing. I thought I had it bad with Angel and his whole dark and mysterious brooding presence but I mean, seriously guys, you’re immortal, you get to stay up all night, party, have awesome superpowers, realistically have maybe 1/100th of the sense of morality that normal humans do and yet you can’t be happy for longer than a second can you? Fine, you’re like a thousand years old. Fine, you had to watch all your loved ones die. That’s sad, but that’s life. Deal with it. Even Lestat got over the loss of Nicki after a couple of decades, and Spike wasn’t all that upset about his crappy poetry anymore after he brutally murdered his critics with a railroad spike. (*Note to self: kill your critics who give you bad reviews with a railroad spike.)
- We get it, most of you can read minds.
It’s not really a surprise that vampires have all sorts of ungodly powers. Unnatural speed, strength, heightened senses of smell, sight and hearing. (And according to Buffy “An innate ability to learn kung-fu.”) So it really shouldn’t come as much of a shocker that some vampires can read minds. It’s like saying that the sky is blue. “I can read your mind.” coming from a vampire is like my boyfriend telling me that he has a present for me and then following it up with “and it’s in my pants.” I don’t see why this is such a big deal. And it’s not even really that it’s a big deal that a vampire CAN read minds, it’s more of a big deal when the vampire in questions CAN’T read minds. More specifically, a single mind. More specifically, the single mind of the object of said vampire’s current sexual frustrations. Lestat could read EVERYONE’S mind, except for Louis and Claudia because he created them. It makes sense, if you were planning to kill your creator, you wouldn’t want him poking about in the dark crevices of your mind would you?
9. Stop trying to blend into human society
You’re a vampire. People are going to question why you look like you’re sixteen and aren’t in school. You can’t really get a good job because you’re forced to sleep during the day. If you were lucky you should have been left a small fortune that over the years you could have squirrelled away and invested (or had someone else invest for you) so that you’re set up with enough money to last your eternity. If not… why haven’t you done that? You should be living it up like an eccentric old coot on a mountain or hill mansion, never to be seen during the day and always ignoring society like the plague humankind so assuredly is.
8. (but if it’s a must) Stop letting Goths and Preps tell you how to dress.
Yeah, so everyone gets lonely. So do vampires right? But I assume that listening to crusty old immortals talk about the ‘good old days back in 1492’ could get rather tiresome. So why not go out and mingle wit the fresh blood? Maybe you’ll even grab a bite to drink while you’re out and about. But seriously, please stop dressing like a spokes model for Abercrombie & Fitch. You’re from the deepest darkest regions of fantasy and nightmare, not the Jersey Shore. And while we’re at it, the leather and corset thing is great, but are you trying to fit in or scare off anyone who might potentially talk to you who has any degree of intelligence beyond the sixth grade? I’d be okay if a vampire showed up at my house in jeans, a button down shirt, and a leather jacket. (No, I’m not obsessed with Spike, shut up.) In fact, I’d be okay if a vampire showed up in period clothing like Lestat but I definitely would not be okay with a modern day Goth or a pasty vampire in khakis and a polo shirt showing up on my doorstep.
7. Stop trying to regain your lost humanity.
You’re dead. Deal with it. You kill to survive. How is it any different than killing a pig for bacon? Oh right, you seem to have some of those pesky morals about you still. How about I go and kill a chicken for my own dinner and you go feed on that slutty chick who’s been grinding against you at the goth club all night? I guarantee she’ll go on to the next world (guided by Anubis, I’m sure) happier than a clam knowing that she was offed by a real-life vampire. Which brings me nicely to my next point…
6. Drink human blood, dammit!
Not the frozen stuff you get at the blood banks, and none of that going to the butcher to get his/her pig’s and cow’s blood that just gets thrown away anyway. Go out, find a hobo and drain him. Right now. I’ll wait for you. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll pick a drunk one and get some of that contact high drunkenness that comes with ingesting all that blood with a high alcohol content. Are you getting up? Hurry up, seriously, I’ll wait but I have to be home before dark, that’s when the vampires come out.
5. Stop coming up with reasons why you can walk in the daylight.
Mythology tells us that vampires can’t walk in the daylight. Some movies have even suggested that Dracula was the original Judas who sold out Christ, and then went on to hang himself but God was all like “nope, you aren’t allowed to die” so he became an undead, shunned from the world and unable to ever see the glory of the world in daylight ever again. That seems convoluted but okay! As long as you’re not allowed to see the sun, I’m okay with this. In fact, I don’t even care what the reasoning behind why you CAN’T walk in the daylight is, as long as you DON’T walk in the daylight.
4. What’s with this rivalry between Vampires and Werewolves/lycans/other were-things/shapeshifters?
No seriously. I don’t get this. Where did this even come from? Did like, the original Wolfman call Dracula’s mom a whore or something? Or did Dracula kill a werewolf once and mount it’s head on a pike in front of his castle like ol’ Vlad was wont to do? Or is this because Vampires were getting all the hot virgin action and the Were-things were jealous ’cause bestiality is worse than necrophilia? Is it one of those ‘the night ain’t big enough for the both of us’ things? Are all Vampires secretly Clint Eastwood? If someone actually knows the answer to this, I’m all ears.
3. Stop with the covens/clans/family togetherness bullshit.
Safety in numbers doesn’t work when there’s a Vampire Slayer on the loose. Werewolves are excused from this rule because they’re wolves. It’s a wolf thing. But we’re talking about Vampires here. Just because there’s a hundred of you doesn’t mean that you should force them to come over for Thanksgiving dinner every year. I remember what those dinners were like in my family – and we weren’t even psychic! Imagine all the resentment and discomfort multiplied by a thousandfold and add in psychic powers, short tempers and unnatural strength. All right, I’m entertained as hell thinking about the blood and gore that would ensue, but I don’t think that it would bode very well for anyone who ends up getting out of the bloodbath. How do you recover from a family dinner where you just tore your new cousin’s arm off? That relationship is never gonna be quite the same again.
2. Stop owning/working in strip clubs/the sex trade and overall being human fetishist sex toys
How is getting a boner even possible if you have no blood of your own left? And why are you even considered attractive? I personally HATE it when my boyfriend puts his cold feet on my legs when I’m trying to sleep. And cold hands anywhere on my body is not a pleasant feeling (unless I’m running a fever, but that’s beside the point.) So maybe you’re pretty damn perfect. And maybe you need a place to live. And maybe you need some money. Or lots of money… And maybe you have some inexplicable need to feed off of lust or pheromones to keep yourself looking fabulous. I don’t know. I just regurgitate the facts that I read in the Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse novels. (I think one of them calls it ardeur but I can’t remember which one. I’m convinced that the authors are cleverly the same person writing the same premise under different names with different heroines. Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris, I’m waiting for an email from either of you assuring me that you’re not the same person.) I’m really not reading vampire books for undead erotica. If I wanted that, I would go pick up anything ever written by Anne Rice under one of her erotica pen names and replace the main male protagonist’s name with Lestat… Or go watch Torchwood again. Jack Harkness kind of counts as an undead, doesn’t he? Whatever, the point is that with so many awesome abilities and opportunities available to you as a vampire, why would you work as a whore/stripper?
1. Stop sparkling.
Unless you’re George Takei or David Bowie and have been turned into a vampire.
Kai Kiriyama is still a geek girl, still a writer, and still working her way towards getting published. She would also like to point out that she has, in past vampire novels, broken at least four of these rules herself in an attempt to make her vampire novels more ‘mainstream’. Kai would like to point out that she is probably a vampire hipster but will bite you if you say that to her face. As always, there are several ways to get in touch with Kai.