Vampire Mythology and Corporate America

Tales of vampires have been with us for thousands of years. The Babylonians had Lilith, who reputedly had a thing for sucking the blood of babies. The fiends lurk in the most unimaginable places…The Greeks had the lamaias, also with a penchant for the little ones. The Ashanti had Asabonasam, the Haitians had Loogaroo, India had the Rakshasas. Nearly every culture in every time has had some version of the myth. The specific traits may vary, but again and again we have the story of the undead creatures with the fearsome hypnotic gaze and the unholy need to drink human blood. It wasn’t until the advent of “Varney the Vampire”, however, that the vampire truly reached its stride in Western culture. “Varney” was published in 1847 (the same year as “Wuthering Heights, but that was about a different sort of soul-sucker) as a series of “Penny Dreadfuls” which eventually encompassed 108 episodes. Fifty years later, Bram Stoker gave us “Dracula”, which left a lasting imprint on vampire mythology…but eventually people turned back to other monsters to occupy their imaginations. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that vampires would experience their next true resurgence, but they took off with a vengeance and have been prominent features of our fiction ever since. What tale of ourselves are we exploring inside this particular mythos, and what possible application can it have here, at the beginning of the 21st century? Who is the vampire now? Continue reading

All About Eve

I found myself in a church classroom today. How and why I got there is unimportant to this story. The important thing is that I was sitting there in a little kid’s plastic chair, and I looked over at the various propaganda posted on the wall for the children to read, stumbling on the following: Continue reading