Tag Archives: goth

True Blood: The Vamp Show That Didn’t Bungle

Whilst killing time at my amigo’s flat, the hour inevitably came when the bars were closed and we had played all the Smash Brawl we could reasonably stand. Calling my attention to a small, white box with mildly erotic cover art, he suggested we watch an episode from the first season of “True Blood,” his latest vampire-infused TV fetish.

I immediately recoiled, as if repelled by garlic or by sunlight. I’m really not much of a television enthusiast, truth be told, and rumors of Twilight’s blatant donk-canery had soured my taste for any attempts at mainstreaming the vampire genre. (Sparkling vampires? Stake through the heart. Or maybe a kukri knife, a la the original Stokerian epic.)

Due to boredom, masochism, or the perseverance of hope, I decided to give it a shot. After five or six hours of viewing time over two subsequent evenings, I am happy to say that my doubt has been laid to rest – the program is well-written, engaging, and most importantly, does not reduce the vampire to a glittering, Hot Topic-esque pissant conceived to arouse fifteen year-old emo chicks.

This does not imply that the show does not have its sensual moments. The vampire has long been a symbol of sexuality and deviance, and I cringed at first for fear of half-assed soft-core or soap-inspired shamefulness. Never you fear, gentle reader – True Blood rides the line between Steeleian cliché and pleasant sexuality like a drugged up fang-banger straddling their first vampire lay (puts “v-card” in a whole new light, doesn’t it?)

Outside the bedroom, the show continues not to disappoint. A host of believable if routinely traumatized characters (it is, after all, a drama) bring the town of Bon Temps to life, infusing the program with a down-homey, colloquial flare. While the dialogue’s backwoods simplicity was alienating at first, repeated exposure charms the viewer like a southern belle; drawing the audience into the more human aspects of a fantastic world. This is a strong claim coming from me, as a lifetime of exposure to Bush-era redneckery has embittered me toward anything that drives a pick-up and listens to Toby Keith; but it is true – seeing relatable characters in such familiar surroundings actually did much to assuage the shame brought on by my humble Midwestern origins.

And speaking of politicizing, I should applaud the satirical elements of True Blood. The message is subtle yet undeniable, as background programs host chattering about vampire-rights legislators and the struggle to legalize vampire marriage. Pricelessly, a Fellowship of the Sun cathedral even sports a bright yellow poster reading “God Hates Fangs.” If that doesn’t get you off, well, then I simply have no comment.

While the action scenes are not uber-abundant, they certainly occur often enough to maintain interest. The violence is intensely fast-paced and often over quickly, which upon consideration is better than the drawn-out, cheese-ridden excuses for melees that so permeated the genre’s prior failures. Also, as the name implies, the program is suitably ensanguined in other aspects, from vampire intercourse to the snorting of vamp blood to induce psychedelic journeys.

All in all, this is the program that got it right. While it is not my favorite drama of all time (bring back The Riches!), it is a masterful forward leap for the vampire traditions, honoring the genre’s hallmarks without trespassing into the cliché. The show maintains an aestheic homage to metal and gothic aesthetics at points (such as at the vamp-bar “Fangtasia”) while keeping Bon Temps and its residents believably normal – the only inconsistency is that landscapers and wait-staff walk around in high-end, sponsor-evident fashions. Also, I am proud to announce that HBO’s vampires balk at running water, recoil from sunlight and silver, and are precluded from entering private dwellings uninvited. And, once again, they don’t fucking glitter!!!

Red Pill Neo is a contributing writer for Project Group Think. He apologizes for the late post, citing an impending move back west brought upon by perpetual nomad-ism. Follow Neo and his PGT pals on Twitter – once again, we’re PGTblog!!!

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Art, Blood, Catharsis

Admittedly, I am not the most “productive” member of society. I say productive in the most capitalist, meaningless sense of the term, but on rare occasions I do in fact get down on myself for this perceived lack of responsibility. And, during these bouts of turmoil, I console myself by remembering that I am, mentally speaking, bringing food back to the tribe.

Or so I thought. I have noticed, on occasion, that this ideational food is often perceived as bitter, and less than nourishing. As an example, I ran into a girl I knew from high school at a party, the attendants of which were actively pro-drug, and somehow wound up talking about the uses of ketamine in transcending the human ego. Looking horrified, she asked that I not tell her things that would make her think of me in this (presumably negative) light.

This is sort of to be expected, and I’m not really crying in my beer over it (though I am saddened that someone whom I cared about was unable to benefit from my experiences.) One issue, however, seems to evoke this reaction more often than drugs, free love, or nihilist meta-ethics. I am speaking of the issue of masochism.

Barring details, I became acquainted with the art and philosophy of bodily injury on an intimate and spiritual level during the later months of two thousand and eight. I do not practice overt masochism at present, nor do I have plans to resume said practice in the foreseeable future. However, because of the recent nature of these events on the timeline of my life, they have, on occasion, been the subject of controversy of late (such as when a romantic interest found pictures of a particularly brutal work I had crafted in early January – BUZZKILL.) I address this issue because of the frequency with which I find myself pressed to verbally defend my actions, often without having raised the matter of my own volition.

Spiritually and aesthetically, there is something to the masochistic arts that I, a seasoned pursuer of bizarre experiences, found unique. To sit down and tear a knife over one’s own flesh, whether a quickie in the bathroom before class or a thorough-going, hundred cut masterwork, arouses psychical and aesthetic energies on a nuclear level, and does in fact produce beauty for those eyes which have taught themselves to see it.

I am not advocating this path to anyone, just as I wouldn’t hand you a checklist of drugs or sex partners and tell you to emulate the experiences that make my life unique. The point I am attempting to drive home is that much undue shock and chagrin is produced by the mention of a tradition that is as cathartic as it is aesthetic. Quite frankly, I have found otherwise intelligent, open-minded people reacting to the matter much as Victorian society reacted to homosexuality. More disturbing is the fact that, to the masochist-in-practice, those activities which are often symptomatic of deeper concerns are treated with all gravity, while the root problems are overlooked entirely. Not once have I ever truly given a fuck that I was scarred, bleeding, or in danger of some other non-serious biological reaction which the outside world construed as physical jeopardy. What I did care about was the inner blackness with which I found my psyche being consumed – a blackness which the masochistic experience attempted to pacify or resolve.

On that note, I yield the floor to group discussion. Perhaps you have a story of your own, of which I encourage to share as much or as little as you please. Perhaps this article has raised some questions in your own mind, or perhaps you merely think I’m a fucking moron and would like to tell me this in just so many words. If you would like to give feedback but are uncomfortable doing so in a public setting, I welcome responses at mfbrettx@unm.edu.

Redpillneo is a contributing writer for ProjectGroupThink.  Follow us on Twitter at username PGTblog.

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