What follows is penned by a good friend of mine, whose blog you should all read, and if you follow me on Twitter, whose links thereto you’ll have seen. You should read the following; it needs no introduction:
So, I write about different types of horror, and monsters to the ones your usual writer appears to. In fact, I focus entirely on the modern-day monsters, in some kind of insane attempt to understand just what they’re saying about us.
I’m sure all readers will appreciate and understand the current resurgence of the monster in popular culture, primarily in film and TV. And I’m sure you also have all noticed that the central figure is that of the vampire.
There’s been a lot of backlash over how the figure has become ‘defanged’; I see no point in exploring that any further, as deconstructing texts like Twilight is too easy and a waste of time. More interesting is the sheer popularity of these monsters. The thirst we have for them seemingly unquenched – still, more and more vampire-related series and films are being produced. In thinking about this, and wondering just how we will look back on the period known as ‘fang-citement’ (as I have dubbed it), it occurred to me that these monsters are our modern day myths.
But instead of these myths being our own, “our core myths now belong to the corporations, rather than to the folk” as Jenkins notes in this article. We’ve imbued these figures with super powers – created them in the image of man, and unshackled them from the confines of social expectations. We idolise them, desire them and obsess over them (granted, not everyone does, but not everyone has a ‘religious’ impulse). They are our gods now, and we use them to explore our key issues and attitudes, rather than as a mere form of entertainment.
This is why I find modern-day monsters so interesting. Because for those of us who do not share the arduous feelings towards fictional beings, analysing the root of these urges becomes an obsession itself.
If you want to read more about modern-day monsters and their current cultural infestation, my usual blog can be found here.