The irony of vampire stories

This post is filed under “random musings.”

I find the existence and popularity of vampire stories ironic given the zeitgeist of the age.

I was listening to a radio interview with an author who wrote a book called Vampires in the Lemon Grove. The author said she used the vampire genre because vampires represent certain human characteristics that we all wrestle with, particularly issues of appetite and desire. Questions of appetite and desire are also significant themes in the uber-popular Twilight series.

The “good” vampires are always those who conquer their bloodlust, who act contrary to their more destructive tendencies, who exercise self-control on behalf of others. This genre is extremely popular these days, especially among teenagers.

I find it ironic then, that these books are so popular in an age where the above characteristics (self-control, self-denial) are so downplayed, or even seen with disdain. We’re told everywhere to act on our baser instincts and to gratify our desires. Yet these themes are central in the vampire genre.

I wonder if that maybe, just maybe, despite the barrage of messages we hear to the contrary, that we all understand the war within, and that is really is a war. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually thankful that some of these vampire stories (I’m sure no all!) are helping some teenagers see the value of self-control and self-restraint.