Deborah Quinn Hensel of Reuters reports:
“The arrest of a Texas man who broke into a woman’s house, threw her against a wall and tried to suck her blood over the weekend has sparked discussion over the impact of vampire books and movies on U.S. youth culture.”
Although the article’s discussion seems lacking.
On the one hand, as author Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicle series is quoted saying to Reuters (bolding my emphasis):
“We’re all conscious at times of being alone, of being alienated, of being a secret self that fears exposure to the judgments of others. So we feel like vampires.”
On the other hand, Rice discounts that this identification with vampires is anything serious (bolding my emphasis):
“My readers are romantics. They’re into the poetry and the romance of vampires; they don’t think they themselves are vampires… I have never personally met anyone in all these years who claimed to be a vampire.”
The Reuters article ends on that quote, which indirectly silences a discussion on the effects of vampirism in popular culture, as the article was, after all, sparked by a man who identified with vampirism in more than a mere “romantic” or fanboy sense.
By ending on that quote, the article also avoids a discussion on actual vampire culture, which is not just limited to “True Blood” and “Twilight” followings, but inclusive of self-proclaimed psychic vampires, such as Michelle Belanger and JM Dixon.
The summary for Dixon’s July 3rd, 2010 interview on Coast to Coast AM reads:
“‘[A vampire has] a different species of spirit than a normal human, with different needs and different capabilities,’ [Dixon] explained. The human body is unable to produce enough energy to feed the more powerful vampire spirit, so energy must be taken through psychic and/or blood feeding, he continued.”
Furthermore (bolding my emphasis):
“Dixon admitted to consuming blood in the past, but now relies solely on psychic energy from volunteer donors and large crowds…Dixon estimated that about 25% of modern vampires continue the practice of drinking blood, and traced their desire for the vital fluid to an ancient curse placed upon Celtic vampires (the Sidhe).”
And then there’s the international organization (or secret society), Temple of the Vampire (bolding my emphasis):
“The Temple of the Vampire has been in continuous existence since its creation in 1989 when we formed our organization within the United States. We did this to allow our membership to benefit from the legal protections afforded to religion under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Belanger, Dixon and the Temple aren’t mentioned in the Reuters article. Or rather, what they represent isn’t mentioned: People who genuinely believe in and practice vampire-like, or just “vampire” acts — without necessarily assaulting others or infringing on the legal rights of others in the process.
Or so it’s claimed. Because the public really doesn’t know very much about this complex topic, or the phrase “modern vampire.” Which begs for a discussion that we probably won’t get (from mainstream media outlets) so long as “sexy” pale blood-suckers (or former, but still-capable blood suckers) dominate the popular depiction of vampires, while shrouding these (secretive) counter cultures.
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