November 16, 2003

It occured to me while watching 'Interview With The Vampire' yesterday that humans generally react the same to Anne Rice's vampires. Once let into the secret of the vampiric world, they're only too eager to join the rank of the immortals. It struck me in the scene at the end of the movie where Christian Slater's interviewer tells Brad Pitt's Louis that there could only be one reason for the interview - Louis wants to make him immortal. And Louis is despondent. Has he not been listening to the tale? Can he not see the misery immortality has brought to Louis? Yet the interviewer responds with the same cliche that humanity falls prey to: "To see what you see, to live forever, what wouldn't I give?". So Louis grabs him by the throat and slams him up into the wall, baring his fangs, eyes flashing unnaturally, and growls "Do you like this? Do you like being food for the immortals?". The same happens with Jesse and Lestat in 'Queen of the Damned'. Lestat shows her what it is to really be a vampire and still she wants to join.

The allure of immortality and eternal youth is so potent that no downside can sway our human nature from the longing for it. It is the myth of the fountain of youth. It is the seduction of never dying. Mortals would be willing to live in a forever night-shrouded world, preying on the mortals they used to be one of, pursued by a blood thirst so great it is never quenched, living through all the ages without ever truly touching any of them, void of love, void of God, void of hope. But to be immortal and never age - when faced with the choice our human selves can see no possible downside. You think this is a story without implication, a useless pondering on my part, for after all there are no vampires in the world today. Oh no? Would you not agree that plastic surgery and all the acoutrements of modern science are attempting to offer the same heady immortality that vampires do? Is not the promise of eternal youth twisting our mortality even as I type this? In the quest for unfading beauty and undying bodies, how many of us would give ourselves over to that which we do not understand in a breath?

How many celebrities that we so revere have already been turned?

And you say vampires are myth...

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