Taking a breather from our Gulf Coast miasma in order to focus on an even ghastlier blight of cultural crude washing up on American shores. No, this is not about Lady Gaga.
Although, I do intend to address walking parasites. Demon fiends. Bloodsucking vermin. The Ushers at the Gates of Hell themselves, of which we are experiencing a veritable glut, and I'm here to say that my soul is so weary of vampires. Bleh.
Used to be vampires were stylish and dangerous and romantic, partly due to their rarity. These days, Children of the Night sightings are as frequent as "Law & Order" reruns. More ubiquitous than Subway sandwich shops. And about as horrifying. Movies and television and magazines and commercials and straight-to-video DVDs and books and comic books and kids' books and even Muppets. Only a matter of time before Fisher-Price comes out with a line of vampire mobiles to hang over cribs.
Bayou vampires and New York City vampires and Elvis Presley tribute artists and tiny vampires with thyroid imbalances wearing herringbone fezzes. Vampires fighting werewolves. Vampires befriending werewolves. Vampire cops and vampire legal department research assistants and vampire DPW dispatchers and vampire insurance adjusters. Admittedly, the latter smacks of redundancy.
Because of the proliferation of the walking undead to mainstream pervasiveness, these suburban mall vamps are consequently forced to raise the fantasy stakes to where the entire genre is tumbling into ridiculousness. Most frustrating is nobody plays by the rules anymore. Time-tested conventions are being discarded like blood ampoules at a neck-biters' winter solstice mortuary retreat.
Garlic is no big deal unless it is. They can run extremely fast. Except when they can't. Superhuman strength is at their command -- sometimes. Silver, mirrors, daylight, holy water and wooden stakes: Take 'em or leave them. That's the problem with kids today. No respect for their elders. If it was good enough for Bram Stoker, it should be good enough for these libidinous meat puppets.
You don't have to be Freud to get the repressed sexual desires theme. But wasn't it a lot more interesting when society was repressed and not flaunted by young starlets emerging from limos sans underwear? And what is it with the brooding? You're a thousand years old. How much time to do you need to adjust to the agony of immortality? Stop it with the teenage angst already.
And yes, yes, yesssssss. To be young is to identify with the alienation and the dressing all in black and the being pale and stuff. But the only thing less sexy than an ancient man caressing the carotid of a pubescent girl with his swollen incisors may be the prospect of she and he swapping denture cream. You think Anna Nicole Smith was creepy, multiply her husband's age by eight or 10 and try imagining that. Not enough Ambien in Patrick Kennedy's medicine cabinet to quell those nightmares. Makes Harold and Maude seem the stuff of fairy tails. Tales. That's Tinker Bell in Vegas.
And this anguishing over the weight of the eternal hunger is getting a bit old. You've had multiple centuries to come up with an efficient way to feed. You're not tormented, you're incompetent. You know, if Hollywood is really interested in a new way to make big bucks frightening America, they should green-light a series of movies about the inner workings of Congress. Now, those soulless zombies are scary.
Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who often writes. This being a fine example. He has performed around the world, and is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.