I’ve been seeing way too much of these Twilight people. Especially that dude that they keep trying to tell me is hot. He’s all over TMZ. They show him with his shirt off, they show him with that chick from the movie that he may or may not be dating… I’m just waiting for the point when this dude pops out of my sock drawer. I see the guy. I don’t get it. Anyway, it’s not that I have a problem with the type of movie this dude is in — I like vampire movies. I’m just a little disappointed in myself for suddenly getting all purist over how a bloodsucker movie is supposed to be. That’s strange, because I’m no fan of Anne Rice, either; which is supposed to be what those Twilight movies are — they’re the new Anne Rice or whatever. Whatever. Personally, I’m a fan of the old Hammer flicks. Nobody does the Count quite like Christopher Lee. Which brings me to an old question that gets bounced around from time to time during sometimes sprited conversations between genre fans. The question being, which movie monster would you want to be? The choices are usually limited to the three primary movie monsters — the wolfman, Dracula (or a vampire generally construed), or Frankenstein’s monster (I say Frankenstein’s monster as opposed to “Frankenstein” because as the purists will tell you, “Frankenstein” is the name of the doctor, not the monster). I guess with the growing populariy of the undead flick, that we’ll soon be adding zombies to the mix. Although I suspect that I’m the only person that I know that would pick the zombie as the movie monster that I’d most like to be. My sister says that she dislikes zombies, not for the fact that they eat the flesh of the living ( although that has something to do with why she does), but for the fact that, according to her, zombies are jsut plain rude. They pounce on you and tear you to pieces without even asking! At least some vampires get you to cooperate by seducing you to give up your blood. But not the zombie. The hoarde sees you, and then they strike. And, what makes things worse is that, thanks to Zach Snyder, zombies aren’t the shambling, you can outwalk them types, oh no. They run. Fast. So, the name of the game is pick a monster. It seems pretty easy. People usually go for the vamp, not because he drinks blood, but because he’s suave, he’s usually pretty well-off, and her gets all the chicks. And if the vampire in question looks anything like Asia Argento looked in Love Bites, you can see why. Werewolves, although it’s admittedly cool to go around snarling and howling at the moon, are kind of hit and miss. If you’re stuck being the Lon Cheney, jr. sort of wolfman, you’ll look like some dude who went to the dog groomers and glued a bunch of shavings to his face. That look may have scared the pants off of people back in the day, but now it just screams “LAME”. If you’re lucky enough to look like David Naughton in An American Werewolf In London (probably still the best werewolf flick ever made), or the Lycans of Underworld (although the vampires looked cooler), then you’re better off. I thought that it was pretty amazing that the same guy who played Lucien in Underworld is the same guy who played David Frost in Nixon/Frost. But I guess that’s why they call it “acting”. Unfortunately for Frankenstein’s monster, aside from the occasional “ugh!” or “ummm!”, he isn’t that exciting. Nobody ever picks him. Even if you say that the monster (as played by Peter Boyle) in Young Frankenstein is an option. Wait. I think that I read once that Marilyn Manson said in an interview that if he had to choose, that he’d choose Frankenstein’s monster. He said that everyone picks Dracula because he’s a badass who gets the chicks. But the monster, Manson said, is a deeper character. He’s a monster, for goodness sakes! He’s already an outcast. He’s got a heart, and feelings, and a (abby normal) mind, just like the rest of us, but people run from him. They reject him at first sight because he’s an abomination. They try to destroy him. Even his own creator rejects him. Manson said that Frankenstein’s monster was a character that is closer to who he was and how society was treating him. (this was when Marilyn Manson was the musical “boogeyman” being blamed for every malcontented white teenager’s shooting spree. Remember back then?) But that’s the idea. Manson saw what the monster symbolized and applied it to who he saw himself as a person. The monster represented a being, who through no fault of his own, (he was after all, only what his maker had made him), was rejected and shunned by society. He was a monster who embodied all that was unnatural and sinful within man’s soul and desires. Desire is what the choice is supposed to reveal about ourselves when we pick which movie monster we’d like to be. The vampire is, according to those who read too many meanings into things, a vision of a rape fantasy. He comes to you (and it is usually a he) in the middle of the night under coat of darkness. He takes your blood without your consent. His teeth, of course, are merely metaphor. They are his sharp penises that penetrate you. You catch his disease by sucking from him (and there is absolutely no need to say what that means). It’s also worth noting that the type of vampire is revelatory as well. Do you want to look like Brad Pitt in Interview With the Vampire? or do you want to look like Max Schrek’s Nosferatu? The elegant, erudite ladies man (wait, Anne Rice’s characters were kind of gay, so I guess you’d be an elegant, erudite man’s man. Which is absolutely ok by me), or do you favor the bestial nightcrawler (who, on an episode of Spongebob Squarepants had a thing for playing with lightswitches)? Says a bit about who you thing you are. Primarily that at some point in your life (sooner rather than later) you’ll end up on a sex offender registry. If you say the wolfman, that’s supposed to be nothing but uncontrolled id. It is man’s inner beasts literally ripping through him and taking control. He turns from man to beast. Into the flesh-ripping wolf. Wolves have totally creepy eyes. Does anyone else think that? The wolfman doesn’t think he’s all instinct. Of course, like the vampire, there’s the enevitable sexual component to the monster. Of course, I could get crude, and suggest that you avoid bending over in front of the wolfman, lest you wnat to be had that-way-style, but since this is supposed to be somewhat academic, I won’t. Werewolf people are underhanded and seriously not to be trusted. How much can you trust someone who literally turns into a dog? Lastly, if you choose doc Vic’s monster. Well, you’re a sorry sack of crap that probably listens to too much of the Cure, and thinks that the world just doesn’t undestand his poetry. You hate people, but what you really want most of all is a girlfriend — which would require you to like people. Until then, you’ll just lock your bedroom door and sulk to Dead Can Dance.
Sometimes, one can benefit from looking around at the people around you. I started this whole blog thing with the intention that this thing would help me to focus my thoughts enough to write a book. I would, I thought, write the book that I wanted to read when I was trudging through my philosophy classes — you know, that book written by some smartass who would say all sorts of stuff like “It’s not that important that you learn what Kant has to say about anything”, or “Philosophy is in the mind of the beholder”… Yeah. I stroked the ‘I’m going to write a book’ fantasy for quite a while. So far, no book. I haven’t even started. This would not be a problem, if not for the fact that I started to feel like I was doing something wrong. I have this blog, and I write about what I wanted to write about — the intersection between popular culture and philosophy — but I felt like I wasn’t doing things right. Like I wasn’t saying something important. Maybe it’s has to do with President Obama and the fact that we’re all supposed to be changing things. I wasn’t feeling like what I was doing was contributing to the change that we’re all supposed to be believing in. Who cares about how we can learn Kant’s metaphysics from an episode of The Brady Bunch? Will that create green jobs? Will knowing Popperian analysis of scientific theory create peace between the Palestinians and Israel? will it fix California’s budget problems? No, it won’t. But, then, I did something. I started to look around at what other people are blogging about. There’s the serious, ‘we’re telling you what’s the news’ folks at The Huffington Post, but mostly, there’s people who ar just like me, who just can’t keep their ideas to themselves. And that gave me comfort… for awhile. I wasn’t so bothered about having my blog anymore so much as I was troubled by the fact that my blog is just so boring! I mean, I think that I can write entertainingly. And occasionally, i can rip of a funny line or two. But the cold, harsh reality is that I write like a person who does philosophy. I mean, yeah, that’s what I’m writing about, but it’s what I sound like that really makes me want to stick my head out of the window while speeding past the mailbox, you know. I’m thinking now that I should have pictures pasted all over my blog. I should have pics of Kant and Hume, and a little area devoted to Wittgenstein, or links to Monty Python sketches. But, there’s something that tells me that it should the content that I should focus on — the flashing lights and go-go dancers are just too postmodernist. Maybe. Then again, would putting pictures of Kant up really make things more exciting?