Vampires seem to be all the rage these days. They are everywhere. Books about vampires abound. People close to me read some of them two or three times. Movies are made from the books. Some of the people who read the books multiple times also watch the movies made from the books again and again. Vampires can be found on TV also, and the shows often end up on DVDs. I’ve seen a few myself, and can understand the interest in the genre.
Vampires are creatures who have many of the qualities of normal human beings, including a thirst for blood, a tendency to take advantage of defenseless others, hunger hard to control, and a propensity for egocentricity. The main difference between Them and Us is that they have nasty long canines and a few other eccentricities unique only to vampires that vary depending upon the whims of the writer of the particular storyline they happen to appear in.
We all know humans who take advantage of others and metaphorically suck the blood out of them. This is not new to the human species. Humans, having substantial brains and the ability to exploit opportunities, are the real archetypes for the characters of vampires. Vampires really don’t do anything We don’t do. They just do it more often and with more gusto. They are Us unleashed. Sure, some of them have hang-ups and try to control their behavior. But even the vampires with morals, fears, and feelings of guilt are still just on the verge of doing something awful, something beastly. Just like Us.
No wonder vampires have been the object of our attention for so long. It’s a bit like looking in a mirror. You just can’t resist looking at yourself, even if what you see is not exactly how you want to be.