I started out this gig talking about vampires, and through careful manipulation I have ensured that my writing milestones are all centered on vampires. I review True Blood every year, I interview vampiric kind of people, make bloodsucking playlists, I've got straight vamp legitimacy, OK?
Recently, I found myself unwilling to part with an appendage in order to buy the final Game of Thrones book (Still only in hardcover), so I picked up the only other George R.R. Martin paperback at Barnes & Noble, Fevre Dream. The book follows a 19th century steamboat captain fallen on hard times who partners with a vampire to try and build the grandest boat on the river as well as bring the vampire's potion that alleviates bloodlust to his brethren in hopes of ending the predation on humans.
It's a good book. Cliché to be sure, what with all the gothic New Orleans stuff going on and a plotline that moves pretty predictably. Think of it as a mix of the brotastic portion of Interview with the Vampire and the mainstreaming dreams of the Sookie Stackhouse universe. I enjoyed it immensely, but there came a scene that is so overdone in all vampire medium that it took a whole glass of wine just to power through the damned thing. It's the moment when the vampire antagonist condescendingly tells a human why vampires are the master race and we are all just cattle to them.
Any authors out there wanting to write about vampires... please, just stop doing this scene. It is ridiculous, always has been, and I can prove it.
The big thing, of course, is that vampires eat us and we don't eat them. We are their food, and as we all know being higher on the food chain means that you are more evolved. Of course, anyone that has read the Wiki entries on saltwater crocodiles, komodo dragons, or bull sharks knows that the whole food chain thing gets really subjective when someone wanders into the wrong neighborhood. Shark on the beach ain't much of an apex predator, and neither is a man hanging out in murky shallow water.
Still, I'll allow that there is a certain master and slave relationship implied by loading the plate instead of being on it. On the other hand, mosquitoes feed on us as well. So do tapeworms. And athlete's foot. Just because something eats a human doesn't really make it better or more intelligent than humanity.
Those examples don't really kill us, though, and that's another talking point in the vampire superiority complex speech. "I am superfast/strong/smell good and I can end your life in seconds!" Yes a vampire can kill a man with just the equipment that he was born with. Then again, so can a member of the Gracie family or just a really fat guy if he falls on me the right way. Barring that, any meth head with a broken bottle can end my existence. Hell, I can do it myself.
Besides that, the one thing vampires, even the ones who are protagonists, claim to be best at they are not even close to beating humans in. Let's say you have a 5,000-year-old vampire, and let's say he kills one person a night, every night, and drinks his or her blood. Over the course of his life he's brought an end to roughly 1.8 million people. That's a lot of death, but Hitler managed to best it by 600 percent in less than a decade. If you count the direct deaths from battles in World War II that you can pretty much lay right at Adolf's door then the number is even more one-sided.
Our hypothetical vampire isn't even second when it comes to killing people. Even if you exempt people like Joseph Stalin and Ghengis Khan who left bodies piled up in the millions, vampires are still lagging behind fleas. Fleas infected with the bubonic plague killed around a million people in Europe a year for a solid century, more than double our master vampire's lifetime score every two years. When it comes to killing, vampires are amateur hour.
In fact, they're amateur hour at pretty much everything. Immortality is completely wasted on every vampire you have ever read about or seen on screen. They do nothing. They kill, get rich off the loot, and then fucking loiter. Where are the great vampire scientists? The architects? The authors? Marius in the Anne Rice books is a painter, and Josh York from Fevre Dream is a scientist who develops a synthetic blood substitute. They are literally the only vampires I have ever read who bothered to spend their eternity doing anything at all to better themselves or vampire culture.
Can you imagine where we'd be right now if someone like Tesla could have been immortal? I'll tell you where, in TARDISes picking up hot alien chicks on the way to the velociraptor races. Meanwhile, all vampires seem to be able to manage is an iPhone app that kills Tina Majorino.
I got into this argument with the host of True Blood in Dallas after I said that not only did vampires fritter away eternity, but that they are always completely dependent on humanity for culture. Even their own. Especially their own. The host brought up a pair of vampire dancers who appear in a Sookie Stackhouse short story as evidence that vampires do in fact create art. While I admitted that dancing was indeed an art, they were still dancing to human music. Even their one act of creation was built on the backs of human work.
Vampires feed off human creativity and achievement in a way that honestly makes killing us seem like the lesser crime. It takes a pretty impressive as well as hypocritical set of testes to call the species that built your house, developed your clothes, invented your appliances, and discovered the electricity that they run on cattle.
That word shows up a lot in Fevre Dream, and I've heard it elsewhere. Humans are livestock to vampires just as cows are livestock to humans. In the monologue in Fevre Dream the antagonist, Damon Julian, compares human Abner Marsh to the roast chicken he is eating at dinner.
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What nobody ever brings up at this point is that except for an almost statistically insignificant portion of the population human beings aren't waxing poetically on the beauty of the livestock and/or fucking them!
This is the final argument. In 90 percent of all vampire literature the actual seduction of humans is not only necessary for sucking their blood, but for the procreation of vampires period. When humans want to have a baby they don't need to go orally pleasure a farm animal then turn it into a human in some sort of cuddle session. We just insert human Tab A into Human Slot B and nine months babytime is all the time.
Even in Fevre Dream, where vampires are born, not turned, they go on and on and on about how beautiful humans inflame the bloodthirst while fat, ugly humans don't give them fangrections. So what I get from all this rhetoric is that all vampires are creepy animal humpers who also can't so much as a knit a Christmas sweater and have all the killing acumen of someone playing Hitman for the first time.
They are crap, and I implore authors and filmmakers to either stop writing that stupid monologue scene over and over again, or at least have someone pointing out that when humans catch another human fucking their food, we laugh at them and arrest them.