Vampire Life

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Vampire Life

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:10 pm

One of the things I really like about True Blood and the Sookie books is the notion that they have a life and culture which has to be catered to. Sookie has mentioned reading magazines like American Vampire and watching Vampire make over shows and reality shows, so it totally makes sense the human world would do things to capitalize on the special interests of Vampires.

So I try to do the same things. I have us reading magazines like Fang, the Vampire version of People and USATonight and we watch VNN and the various and sundry Vampire soaps. It is a fun little thing to throw in there. Plus there is WDED, starring Connie the Corpse that plays at Fangtasia while the entertainment takes a pause for the cause.

But I imagine there would things like that available and while Vampires would read them, humans would to. It is the one thing Sookie does in relation to her life with Vampires. At least she is not entirely clueless.

When Sookie goes to the big Vampire conference in Rhodes, there are vendors there who sell CDs of popular music from a multitude of eras for the listening enjoyment. Could you imagine it, being some elderly Vampire like Eric and he finding a recording of his music, the music of his human days when he was in the mead hall, carousing with the goatherd girl and being drunk and hearing some wonderfully bawdy drinking song and finally after centuries, finding a recording of it. That is why I get such a laugh in first season when Bill finds Eric in his tub, listening to Sancto Erico, wondering what the hell he is listening to. The nerve, anyone who can listen to Tuven Throat Singing needs his temperature taken.

If there were Vampires in our midst I know I would be fascinated with them and I know I would not be able to wait to preorder my first copy of a book written by Vampire Author. The funny thing about that scenario is there may have already been Vampire Authors, I mean they thought Lord Byron, the crowned prince of debauchery, as one part devil and one part Vampire. And don’t get me started about Marquis de Sade. He was everything you ever were afraid of, at least to the rest of the world. Can you imagine if those boys were still alive, well extant?

If you think you are obsessed by fangs now, you would definitely be obsessed by all facets of Vampire life. Of course like at Comic Con, you would still have people who would ask the dumb questions: How do you keep your fangs clean, what sort of coffin do you sleep in? Those sort of questions. But there would be serious questions too, and the Vampire would have to decide if there were some questions he or she would not answer. That is the thing that bothers me about Eric and Bill. There are way too many things they keep from Sookie, but I kind of get it, you have to be careful.

One of the things the Vampires would definitely have to write right away would be a Miss Manners sort of guide about Vampire Etiquette. Like hand shaking. See, Bill could have explained some of these things. On the other hand, it may have been Bill’s plan to make Sookie feel wrong footed when she thrust out her hand to Pam at Fangtasia like she does. What is strange is Sookie seems to have developed a few little standards of polite interaction. In Living Dead in Dallas, Sookie is scratched by a werewolf and Russell Edgington licks her wound. She explained she knew Vampire Etiquette. Let me get this down if you don’t mind Sook.

Apparently the ‘keep your hands to yourself’ thing applies to fellow Vampires as well. Bill and Eric do not shake hands with anyone, they don’t touch one another unless necessary, and they don’t like being touched by anyone. Eric makes that perfectly clear. So, Vampires are the ones who do the touching. And as I have told you before, you get a sense of whether or not they like you. If you are still standing and breathing after your close encounter with a Vampire they like you, or at least are interested in keeping you alive.

But I imagine there are Vampires who take on human behaviors to mainstream better. They shake hands and they allow casual touching. They smoke. In the short story, Two Blondes, Sookie talks about a Vampire who smokes cigarettes and in True Blood, we have Russell enjoying a fine cigar, though what they get out of it is a huge question mark, unless they just like the reflexive, meditative action. Plus they have the whole oral fixation thing. In case you haven’t caught on, Vampires are permanently stuck in the oral stage of development.

One of the things I find fascinating is they are as different among themselves as we are. There are Vampires who are traditionalists and there are Vampires who are very modern. I bet Eric hasn’t slept in the earth in years, though he knows that would be the safest place to sleep. At the same time, Bill was sleeping in the earth and under the floor of his house in Bon Temps. I am sorry, but damn it, Bill, it is time for you to leap into the brave new world of real beds in light tight rooms. I have lived in the south; I know what scurries around in the crawl spaces of houses. Roaches and other bugs, and critters of all kinds. Errggghhhh….

And Vampires may like the sexual openness of modern times, but I suspect some the allure of Sookie is that by human standards she is still a sexual neophyte. She has only had sex with four men in her life (Bill, Eric, Preston, the fairy her grandfather gave her for Christmas one year, and Quinn) so I think the Vampires in her life actually like that about her. She doesn’t know everything; they have done just about everything and like to see her reaction. She is also fairly modest. That would appeal to them too.

Of course one of the things I really like about the Vampires is what they might contribute to history. Eric and Godric and Russell (if he weren’t madder than a hatter) would be a historian’s wet dream. That was part of the allure of Gran Stackhouse to want to know and like Bill. He was certainly a coup for her to present an extant member of the Confederate Army to tell his story. That would blow my mind to know a person who could tell me about the world they lived in. Imagine the rush of historians to get friendly with elderly members of the Vampire world. Could you imagine if Eric actually worked with a historian to tell him about life in a Viking community and the things he might have heard about the things he would tell us we didn’t know? There would have to be considerations we have it all wrong, of course and would have to rewrite some commonly held beliefs about history, but this would be historical revisionism I could live with.

Another thing I think about is how different it is for Jessica. I mean, okay, Bill has not been a great maker, but he said, “I envy her, times are so different,” and I imagine they are. They are no longer hunted, they can live theoretically where they desire, they need not hide as they did once before. Eric is impressed with the modern age, the advances of the world and the changes of culture, though he looks with suspicion on technology. He does not like the idea of technology taking over everything, but he appreciates the ways it makes life far simpler.

One of the things that is interesting is the way Sookie points out not all Vampires are comfortable with modern things. Like, when she was bringing Charles to her house, she observed not all Vampires were comfortable with cars or other modes of transportation. There was also mention Sophie Anne had property which was once a monastery and some of the elder Vampires were uncomfortable there. Had they developed a sort of phobia for religious places like the old stories said about ‘sacred’ places being off limits to Vampires, who had been thought of as inherently evil?

Vampire life and culture is so nuanced with tiny details, it is a fascinating world to ponder.

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Aslinn Dhan
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