So far, Dear Abby has waded us into some deep waters: the Mommy Wars and the decision of when to have children.
Grab your life vest, because this week, we're going deeper.
This week, we're helping a reader take a swing at an existential curveball. As he put it to me, "what's with all the zombie and vampire stuff?"
To be clear, he was not asking me about the flesh-eating zombies in Florida. He was asking about all the blood-sucking and staggering and crazy eyes you see every time you turn on the television or go to the movies or try to buy a book.
My answer? I have no earthly idea. But as with all things for which I have no answer, I blame Tom Cruise.
Every craze has its roots somewhere. 'N Sync is to Boys II Men as CrossFit is to jazzercise as Michelle is to Jackie. And back in 1994, Tom Cruise finished absorbing Jack Nicholson's version of the truth, let his fangs grow, and contained his urges to brush Brad Pitt's golden locks on the set all day. Instead Tom just sucked Brad's blood, the two lived in creepy vampire non-bliss, and Interview with A Vampire went on to make almost $225 million.
Somewhere that same year, Stephanie Meyer celebrated her 21st birthday by remembering she was a Mormon and baking some cookies. Ten years later, she had a dream about some blood-suckers and wrote Twilight. Five years later, humans everywhere divided themselves up according to Team Edward or Team Jacob and fought a war of global proportions until God killed everyone for being so stupid.
Not so much as to that last sentence. Pretty much pure fact as to the others.
In any event, Stephanie Meyer clearly had it bad for Tom Cruise and had it out for the rest of us. Because the Twilight phenomenon took our cultural zeitgeist (take that Scripps National Spelling Bee) by the throat and didn't let go until it, too, had been drained of all mortal blood. Every citizen of the world under the age of 7 is either named Bella or lives in a house made of the Twilight series books or movie posters.
Hollywood likes nothing better than a solid bandwagon, so within years there was True Blood on HBO and The Vampire Diaries on the CW and Grimm on NBC. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp threw Dark Shadows into the cinematic mix, nipping at the heels of such gems as the Underworld movies and the Blade movies. There's even a remake of Dracula in the works. And "vampire fiction" is a legitimate new genre of Young Adult fiction.
Kinda makes a girl miss the days when Buffy was just paving the way for Angel and then everyone cried when Sex And The City ended.
I haven't read a single one of the Twilight books. I half-watched half of the first installment in the movie series and had to stop because it felt like my blood actually was leaving my body. I am Johnny Depp's long-lost wife and even that relationship isn't enough to guilt me into going to see Dark Shadows. The vampire phenomenon is an enigma to me. (Seriously, Scripps, are you feeling any remorse yet at turning my Bee Application down?)
Someone, please explain the allure to me. I will cite you when I funnel that information to my similarly-puzzled reader who opened this can of coffin worms in the first place. What is attractive about extra-long, extra-pointy teeth? How is having your neck aggressively drilled an appealing way to not die? If you're going to have some sort of eternal existence, wouldn't it be cooler if it could take place in the sunlight and in comfortable clothes and with friends? Why is the corner of the entertainment world dominated by the likes of this heavy breather and Anna Extra-Space Paquin any fun at all to buy tickets to?
And for goodness sake, what's the difference between a vampire and a zombie, if any? (The way they're spelled is not an acceptable answer.)
Long story short, I wish vampires would go back to whatever six feet of dirt they crawled out of. I wish the Stephanie Meyers of the world would keep their trippy dreams to themselves. I wish I didn't live in a world where Anna P. had a platform to discuss her bisexuality or her baby-making with co-vampire Stephen Moyer.
I know it's not nice to disrespect the dead, but can't this vampire trend just finish dying already?
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