Tuesday, May 30, 2017

6 Things Humanity Should Learn From Vampire Culture

If you’re anything like me then you no doubt ponder the condition and future of our race with frustration and a healthy dose of pessimistic dread. I do so on a regular basis, usually while on the freeway or in line at Starbucks. 

All it takes is a semi-frequent, accidental overhearing of the evening news while doing something else (because who watches the evening news, Jack?! I mean, reruns of Seinfeld run at the same time!) to know that our race is in a bad way.

Just consider the atrocious acts perpetrated against humanity at the hands of fellow humans: Genocide is a global norm. Slavery is far from abolished, with an estimated 27 million slaves on our planet today. D-bags kicking their dogs… you know, instead of their cats. Homelessness and starvation are pervasive despite the fact that just a few of the world’s billionaires could single-handedly fix all of it, at least temporarily. Wars and rumors of wars. McDonald’s. You know the drill, end of the world status crap. 

As I contemplated the present state of our race I was all like, “man, what if we were more like vampires?” Then I realized that was a ridiculous thought, much like other moronic musings I have as I drift off at to sleep after a maybe-a-few-hours-too-long session of gaming and fast food ingestion. But then I thought that it would make as good a subject for a list as any other, so I quickly thought up 6 things humanity could learn from vampires before I dozed off. Then, after I woke up, I cursed my blasted neurotic follow-through mentality and fleshed the list out for your reading pleasure.

1) Subtlety
This first item might seem laughable in light of all the onscreen vampire-perpetrated massacres and what not. Thing is, those are fewer and farther between than human-perpetrated massacres, but the everyday life of your average blood-sucking creature of the night (not politicians you cheeky monkey! We're talking about vampires) is probably a whole heckuvalot more banal. 

I envision them doing a bit of bowling, in a league more than likely (vampires do tend to rove in flocks - see point #3) and possibly catching a play from time to time, because, you know... they're vampires. If you look at the majority of vampire lore the consensus is that most people aren't even aware of these gaunt graveyard-grazing guys and gals. 

Vampires utilize restraint as a way of unlife.

Think about it, they're generally believed to be many times stronger and faster than humans, with superior senses of smell, sight, and hearing, they're immune to disease and excessive temperatures (barring actual fire, and of course direct sunlight), they don't need to breathe, and they're friggin' immortal. Take any one of those powers and give it to a human and do you know what you get? 

You get brightly-colored underwear on the outside of even more brightly-colored tights, flowing capes, ridiculous decorative masks, and egos the size of the US national debt. Well, almost...

But vampires, they are somehow capable of holding all that power and greatness just beneath their cold, pallid skin. Humanity would do well to take a cue from our coffin-dwelling neighbors in this area (again, we're still not talking about politicians).

2) Moderation
Continuing in the self-control category, we turn toward vampire eating habits. Again, we are at the mercy of Hollywood sensationalism when it comes to vampires and their dietary habits. We've seen night clubs transformed into gruesome vampire feeding orgies, complete with blood rain and Wesley Snipes creating hemoglobin explosions left and right. But really, is Sunday brunch at Golden Corral any less grotesque? 

There's no less excess, with more food being left on plates than ingested and nearly as much on chubby faces than in those chubby faces. If humans were juuuust slightly more theatrical in our presentation they certainly would have mac n' cheese falling from the ceiling as you piled your plate full of meat and cheese and potatoes and gravy and whipped cream and... Oh! You didn't know about the whipped cream? Yeah, you can eat all the whipped cream you can eat at that place. It's not as exciting as it sounds.

But seriously, when you look at it realistically (just try, okay?) vampires can only really eat a couple of times per day, at least until the invention of blood banks and the accompanying blood bags. Even then, there's not an endless supply of those things, you know? At least not until vampire geneticists figure out how to bio-engineer genetically-modified livestock that produce human blood instead of bovine milk... (mental note, patent this idea and suggest this to human medical scientists, and make a billion dollars. No, two billion dollars). 

The takeaway here is that vampires really aren't anywhere near as gluttonous as humans. Case in point, I type this as I drink sweet liquid from a cup with a volume greater than that of my stomach. So, the human race, why don't you try being more like vampires dagnabit?! Well, maybe with less merciless slaughtering.

3) Community
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they are universally despised (until Twilight, of course. Wait...) but vampires really seem to stick together. Sure, there's the occasional brawl between brothers, both in love with the same mortal and what not, but for the most part, those bloody-faced villains truly have what seems to be a much tighter-knit community than most human social groups can seem to accomplish. They look out for each other. I mean, they really got each other's backs, to the point that murder isn't ever off the table as a potential fix for nearly any situation, including but not limited to; a two-timing lover, a disagreement over a parking spot, or Burger King putting onions on your Whopper when you specifically asked for, no onions. No onions, dammit!

Now, I'm not saying we, as human brothers and sisters, should begin regularly committing homicide when our friends' neighbors are playing their music too loud at night or letting their dog crap on their lawn. 

I'll leave that to individual discretion. 

Every situation is different, but at the very least we should try and take a page out of the vampires' book when it comes to living together (un-living together?) in harmony. I mean, last week when a couple of guys asked if they could sit at my table at Chipotle I must've looked like a severely developmentally disabled deer in some of those way-too-bright halogen headlights, and then I spent the following 20 or so minutes steadfastly ignoring them until I wished them a good day, as I swallowed my last bite and ran out of there, thanking my iPhone that I didn't have to engage in small talk. 

This is not good. I know most people may be slightly more socially adept than I am, but the fact remains that overall we in the West are getting worse and worse at actual community as the increase of social communities choke out the real thing and even actual online communication gives way to an unending rage-inducing quagmire of political debate.

4) Monogamy
I wrote this point when I was half asleep and I really don't think I can substantiate its inclusion with actual observation of fictitious vampire culture, so please indulge me as I blatantly and unabashedly BS you for the next several sentences.

So, vampires mate for life, apparently... I read somewhere that the divorce rate for vampires is only like 2%! Can you believe that statistic? It's so stunningly low that it seems made up. Well, it's not! And that should say something to us humans who have a much higher divorce rate. It's like 78% or something for us non-blood-drinking bipeds, according to the portion of my brain that pulls statistics out of my butt.

Let that be a lesson to us, that if monogamy is good enough for those undead, soulless, killing machines then it's good enough for us. 'Nuff said.

5) Lust for Life
I would have written "Lust for Unlife" but I think I've already milked that blood-producing cow of a pun for all it's worth. 

That said, don't vampires really seem to live with gusto? 

They are known for making the most of every second as if it were their last. Maybe because, although they are immortal and nearly indestructible, there are always these pesky vampire hunters around every corner looking to make a name for themselves by staking, beheading, torching, or otherwise dispatching them with their vast array of weapons and devices which have been engineered for that singular purpose. 

If I knew there were a group of burly, badass assassins on my tail I would be trying to squeeze meaning and excitement out of every moment too. I would also try to not be anywhere near them, and maybe not draw attention to myself by murdering a bunch of people for their blood when I could probably just as easily kidnap one person and keep them locked in my basement like some kind of blood-producing cow. But that's just me.

In any case, the lesson here, people, is that you should be living life to the fullest, making the most of every single second until that fateful day when someone drives a stake through your wretched heart. Ya know, if that ever happens by some freak coincidence. I apologize if you end up looking over your shoulder all the livelong day and freaking out at the very sight of a janitor or maid, or whoever, who for some reason is still using a broom or mop made of wood. It was not intentional. Or was it?... It was.

6) Avoiding Sunlight
Yeah, I ran out of things. But seriously, why are you still going out where the sun can see you, when you know very well that it is, in all likelihood, going to be the cause of your untimely demise? 

I happen to know that the sun has it out for you. It is constantly bombarding you with radiation, it can blind you if you look at it too long, it is made of freaking fire* that's so hot that when you want to say something is hot you say it's "hotter than the sun", and every so often it produces a solar flare, which if directed in your general direction, could incinerate you in the twinkling of an eye. 

Beware the sun...

*This is unconfirmed by scientists, all of whom told me to go away and/or get a life when I asked them if the sun was made of fire.

I hope you have learned your lesson, humanity. Vampires are awesome and you suck. Wait... no, vampires are awesome and you suck, and they suck, but in a different way than how you suck. You suck kind of like how Rosanne Barr sucks, you know, any given day of her existence. Maybe if you were more like the vampires you wouldn't suck so bad, in the way you currently suck. But then would you begin to suck the way they suck? Well, that would be kind of a wash in my opinion. So do what-the-bleep-ever you want because you're gonna suck either way.

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