Vampires rose up from the Slavic folklore and became the main characters of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Today you can notice the presence of vampires in almost every single aspect of the contemporary culture. They’re so popular is because they’ve gone from being grotesque and feared during the ancient times to being fascinating, gorgeous and sexy today. As vampires are projected as beings that don’t have a problem with social disapproval, they are often looked up to by teenagers as role models.
The reason why vampires have gained so much popularity, especially in the contemporary culture, is because they work as a highly effective metaphor for people’s own desires and anxieties. Though often monstrous in a certain (ahem) light, there’s definitely more to vampires than immediately meets the eye. From the serious to the silly to the sentimental, vampires teach us about ourselves by possessing exactly that which we can never have: immortality. The Twilight Zone literature aims its stories at a literate, adult audience, and uses the genre to pose complex moral questions. It’s not uncommon for people to try working things out about themselves through these creatures. It´s a favorite pastime among artists.
Most artists are vampires. James Joyce ripped Odysseus by Homer for his novel Ulysses, Dali ripped Da Vinci for his painting The Last Supper, John Williams ripped The Planets by Gustav Holst for the soundtracks of Star Wars…I ripped Dali for my painting a Cosmology of Civilization, the NASA sonorization of the electromagnetic waves emitted by the planets of the solar system to compose my opera, the concept of Joyce’s Ulysses and the story line of Mahabharata for my own novel The Maharajagar, … the list is almost endless. Almost every artist is in a way vampirizing the works of other people.
I have no problem with people finding inspiration in other people’s work in order to create something new. I know, there is a thin line between plagiarism and ripping, but the essence is that when someone comes up with an original idea, you cannot prevent people from taking inspiration into it. It is a long and difficult discussion, and not one that I want to start here. It could turn me into a person who cannot think of anything else than vampirism.
Mortality gives us a deadline that not only allows us to change, but forces us to improve ourselves sooner rather than later. Too often humans become clever instead of becoming wise. They become inventive, but not thoughtful. As mortals, we have a chance to recognize our incredible affinity for progress, we have the ability to fluently experience our lives in the context of our own time, or to create ourselves out of existence.