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Obama's Election Means a Return of Vampire Flicks 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the pet-monsters dept.
gyrogeerloose writes "In a column in Saturday's San Diego Union Tribune, Peter Rowe makes a connection between the popularity of horror movie genres and the political party in the White House. A Republican administration presides over a period of zombie movies while a Democrat in the Oval Office brings on a cycle of vampire movies. Why? Possibly because the two genres 'are really competing parables about class warfare.' Hmmmm, maybe. On the other hand, it might just be a coincidence." Socialists are best represented by lycanthropes, and the Libertarians are most closely tied to any sort of horror from space.

*

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Obama's Election Means a Return of Vampire Flicks

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  • Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @05:59PM (#25711985)
    Finally something on idle that isn't a complete turd. I still say idle should be dropped.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And the fooking "story" tag
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And all this "change" bullshit. Why isn't music as good as it was back when I was young? You damn kids today and your habit of not doing things exactly the way I did them when I was your age! I'm OLD, damnit! Stop changing things! I told my dad I'd never be an old person, but that's going to happen if everything doesn't freeze in time exactly the way I left it! Get to it! Chop chop!

      • I'm sure there's a master plan for this story tag nonsense. Maybe the story tag will be broken up to be more descriptive - some would say story, if it's a news story like finding more water on Mars, reviews of anything would be tagged review, not story, journal entries would be tagged journal. I could be wrong, but I'd say we're in a transition period. I noticed the story tag as soon as I switched from the old index to the new one, so it's a fair bet they're related. The new index (not as it is now, but

        • it's being inserted by the editors? jesus i thought it was just some stupid obnoxious meme that was going on way after it was funny, even though it never was, like that time every single story was tagged "itsatrap" for five days.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Follow the magical link [slashdot.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Stop reading it then.

  • Genius. (Score:5, Funny)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:00PM (#25712021) Journal

    Wow, actually that makes perfect sense. Democrats suck, Republicans are mindless, socialists are hairy lunatics, and the best way to get rid of a libertarian is to nuke the site from orbit...It's the only way to be sure.

    //Thinks the vampire movies have been coming out for a while now, actually.

    • What about the Torries, they should be all drawn and quartered.

      • by wiggles (30088)

        Well, the last time we had a Tory party in the US, that type of thing happened on a fairly regular basis...

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      //Thinks the vampire movies have been coming out for a while now, actually.

      That's because because Bush was pretty much as big a socialist as any Democrat, despite having an R next to his name...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hobbit (5915)

        Calling Bush or the Democrats socialists is pretty laughable from anywhere outside America.

        • I think the GP is refering to what looks suspisiously like the nationialsation of the finance and insurance sectors of the US (global?) economy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonaskoelker (922170)

      Really?

      I'd think that as zombies always come in hordes (Night of the Living Homeless &c), so they represent the mob of the working class. If vampires expose their skin to sunlight, they turn to dust, and likewise with the... "paperless administration work" of socialist governments.

      Werewolves never use contraceptives or do abortions, but they do mate when they take a human form; just look at Oz and the red-haired sexy geeky wonderful Willow; *sigh*.

      Where was I? Oh yeah, werewolves! They're clearly the

    • Vampire movies are always coming out.
    • Re:Genius. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Atario (673917) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @02:06AM (#25716749) Homepage

      Republicans are in need of brains

      Fixed.

    • by dkf (304284)

      Wow, actually that makes perfect sense. Democrats suck, Republicans are mindless, socialists are hairy lunatics, and the best way to get rid of a libertarian is to nuke the site from orbit...It's the only way to be sure.

      Not quite. With Libertarians, you're dealing with bizarre aliens who are not of this earth. Reminds me rather a lot of John Redwood [wikipedia.org].

  • Libertarians (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bskin (35954) <bentomb@gmail . c om> on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:10PM (#25712177)

    Aren't libertarians tied to freedom lovers on the moon?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, just couldn't resist.

    • You write it, i'll produce it. It'll be the worst 'B' Movie ever.

      And when did blackula first enter the office... how is it a return? :P

  • by Rayeth (1335201) on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:14PM (#25712243)

    Which maybe isn't saying much, but this makes more sense than expected. However I doubt that zombies will suddenly drop off the map (Evil Dead 4 where are you!?) just because Obama took over the reigns. Also the line about competing tales of class warfare is total nonsense. Vampires = scary liberal democrats while zombies = brain dead republicans? I think some writer was just trying to be funny while letting his political bias show.

    Assuming this was right, why wouldn't democrats out of power want to portray republicans as vampires too? And ditto with republicans showing democrats as zombies. The door swings both ways on this, clearly the argument was made without thinking it through.

    And now I have officially spent as much time on this post as the writer did on the column

    • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecransNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:21PM (#25712363) Homepage

      Which maybe isn't saying much, but this makes more sense than expected. However I doubt that zombies will suddenly drop off the map (Evil Dead 4 where are you!?) just because Obama took over the reigns. Also the line about competing tales of class warfare is total nonsense. Vampires = scary liberal democrats while zombies = brain dead republicans? I think some writer was just trying to be funny while letting his political bias show.

      No, Vampire movies are about the danger of a centralised danger preying on the masses, and slowly bleeding them dry. That is, big government and overtaxation. You never have a sole hero in a Vampire movie - it's always a sole villain. It's about the people needing to keep an evil elite in check.

      Zombie movies, however, are all about the individual struggling to overcome the masses. You always have fewer heroes than zombies in this type of picture, which strikes a chord with the Republican rhetoric of rugged individualism and self reliance. It's about an elite needing to keep the evil masses in check.

      I love BSing.

      • by Spasemunki (63473) on Monday November 10, 2008 @07:09PM (#25712977) Homepage

        I would say that the villain in each movie reflects the type of character most likely to be demonized by the administration. Vampires are ancient, aristocratic white people who suck the life from the young and vivacious- in other words, the dessicated plutocrats that liberals blame for worldly ills. Zombies are poorly dressed unintelligent masses that want to eat the brains of the small number of intelligent protagonists who had the 'good sense' not to become zombies- in other words, the masses of the urban poor who are leeching off of a small number of productive citizens. Zombies are, to a conservative, just brain welfare queens.

        Look at the financial crisis: was it the fault of a few Wall Street fat cats getting greedy (Dem view), or financially unfit masses dragging down the economy by not paying their bills (Republican view)?

        Socialists I would think would be associated with 1980's teen films and episodes of Scooby Doo. The real villain is always a real estate developer interested in making a public good (teen center) into private property.

        Libertarians would be bondage torture movies like Saw or Hostel. The enemy wants to tie you down and dismember you, just like the state wants to restrict your freedom and steal your property.

        • by Duckie01 (10586)
          It was the fault of the masses not paying their bills, and the fault of the Wall Street greeds to sell insecure mortgages as "secure" loans.  The combination of the two proved to be really bad.

          Perhaps someone should make a movie about a mass of zombies attacking a real meanass vampire.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        Actually, vampire movies are about the fear and/or admiration of elites, whereas zombie movies are about the resentment of conformity.

      • In D&D terminology, Bush/Cheney were clearly Chaotic Evil. Some of their advisers and henchpersons like John Yoo may have been Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil, and their main enemies were probably Lawful Evil, as well as the Neutral and Good folks who were collateral damage. Seems to be a good environment for Zombies.

        Vampire movies sometimes have vamps who are protagonists, certainly since The Vampire Lestat novels. And then you get the occasional Vampires vs. Werewolves sort of movie, which was obviou

        • by geekoid (135745)

          In D&D terminology, Bush/Cheney were clearly Chaotic Evil.

          sigh, another person who has no idea what the alignments mean.

          Bush is clearly Lawful good..becasue only a paladin would do such stupid stuff in the name of 'good' i.e. his belief.

          Cheney is lawfull evil...everything he does is technically within the law... and evil.

    • by bonch (38532)

      It's an incredibly stupid story, and I'm not surprised it comes from university professors. Demand for movies comes from the public, and they're not applying political parables to these things. I think it's just a bunch of movie buffs finding some dumb way to celebrate a Democrat presidential victory.

      • by Abreu (173023)

        Demand for movies comes from the public, and they're not applying political parables to these things.

        Untrue. Demand for movies comes from studio promotion. It is rare that a movie entirely flops, even when its braineating bad.

    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:29PM (#25712481) Homepage

      During the 90's, there was a lot of what I call "gnostic cinema" - films like The Matrix, Truman Show, Dark City, eXistenZ, and such were all about radical Cartesian doubt ("is the world all lies? Can I trust my senses? etc.") I really do connect them with the Clinton era, and also with the apparent unchallenged dominance of what was called the Washington doctrine. Although Clinton was a Democrat, the idea that unfettered markets worked best and that we were on the road to permanent prosperity was very much the consensus, far more than under Bush. After all, the Cold War was over. With that consensus came gnawing doubt - expressed in those films - that perhaps things underneath the gleaming, shiny surface weren't so good after all. When the dot.com crash came, and then 9/11, such Gnostic doubt was no longer necessary: that optimism disappeared.

      As far as why Democrats are vampires and Republicans are zombies, remember that culture trumps economics in representation. The Democrats are still considered the party of the cultural elite. The Republicans are the populists, at least at the base (so much of the last election was a demonstration of the contradictions between the Republican base and the Republican elite.) Democrats may tax you more, but they also, ironically, believe in a heirarchy of cultural values: that a salad at Chez Panisse is superior to a cheeseburger at McDonalds. Republicans like uneven economics, but flat cultures (which make, after all, simpler and bigger mass markets, which creates economic elites like Sam Walton.)

      • by afxgrin (208686)

        Democrat Vampires, Republican Zombies - so the Shadowrunners get to take down both of them?

        Fucking cool!!!

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by Prien715 (251944)

        Wouldn't that be agnostic cinema since gnosis is Greek for knowledge, whereas lack of knowledge is represented in its negation (agnostic)?

        The Gnostics [wikipedia.org] were a group of early Christians who believed the god of the old testament was evil (especially for imprisoning spirits in bodies), but the good god periodically sent messengers to free us from him, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden or Jesus. Unfortunately, after the mainstream Christians were done being persecuted, they decided they rather liked the ot

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lemmy Caution (8378)

          Absolutely not: the idea that the world of the senses was an illusion, and that the true lay behind a veil of lies is central to gnosticism. Gnosticism is more a religious version of neo-Platonism (after all, Cartesian doubt has its origins in Plato's cave.) There were Christian and non-Christian versions of Gnosticism as well: Gnosticism developed independently of Christianity in other parts of the Roman Empire and its vicinity, though it was soon blended with various Christian practices and beliefs.

          I thin

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by torchdragon (816357)
            Suddenly the conversation I had in the car last week about neo-platonic duality doesn't make feel like a total outcast. Thank you.
    • by h3llfish (663057)
      I think you're the one who didn't think it through. Or, it would seem, rtfa.

      The republicans, according to this analogy, are not zombies. The zombies are (if we are to take this analogy seriously) like homeless people because they are dirty, clad in rags, and mumble to themselves They want to harm the innocent, hardworking living folks.

      Also, the Democrats are not vampires. In the Dem version of the analogy, it's the aristocracy (as in the prototype, Count Dracula), who feed off the blood (hard work)
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Personally, I think it a much more compelling notion that they appeal to the dominant fears of the majority of the voting nation, and as such to the party in power.

      Republicans are typically the 'haves', as well as more socially conservative. As such, among their greatest fears is socialism, or communism. The seizure and destruction of life and property by mindless, short sighted hordes. ( zombies )

      Democrats are more socially liberal. The bulk of their social fears are centered around the unjustly powerfu

    • by AEton (654737)

      I know you're skeptical that the kinds of movies we like reflect the kind of culture we live in year-to-year, but consider John Carpenter's masterpiece They Live [imdb.com]. Of course it was about politics in the Ronald Reagan era!

  • The obvious question (Score:4, Informative)

    by DanTheManMS (1039636) on Monday November 10, 2008 @06:29PM (#25712477)
    I think I speak for everyone when I say: "...what?"
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      >I think I speak for everyone when I say: "...what?"

      Just vote Zombie Reagan 2008^W2012 [strk3.com].

    • I think I speak for all of us, when I say I understand /
      Why you folks might hesitate /
      To submit to our demand.

      But here's an FYI /
      You're all gonna die screaming!

      ALL WE WANNA DO IS EAT YOUR BRAINS!!!
      We're not unreasonable /
      I mean noone's gonna eat your eyes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would living dead films be considered horror films or documentaries?

  • Call him Barry (Score:2, Informative)

    by RichMan (8097)

    http://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=1911&mn=75270&pt=msg&mid=6077056
    --
    What amazes me is that most people don't know that Senator Barack Obama was affectionately known to his friends as "Barry" during high school. My CEO's wife knew him immediately when he started his campaign, and was quoted as saying "Why is Barry on TV?" when she saw him announce his candidacy. That's not the message that peple got through the mass-media moron-tube though.
    --

    Apparently he was known as Barry before he bec

    • That's not the message that peple got through the mass-media moron-tube though.

      Apparently he was known as Barry before he become famous.

      Actually, I knew that. He changed his name when he went off to college. You know how I learned it? CNN played it for a week straight.

      Sorry to burst your "I never get news outside of Fox News/Talk Radio but still know what they say" bubble.

    • by Onan (25162)

      Wait, why?

      A lot of people go by different nicknames in highschool than in adult life. In fact, thank god that most of the ways we define ourselves in highschool don't end up as permanent choices.

      What's so amazing about people not knowing the deep dark secret that at the age when everyone wants to fit in, Obama went by a more common nickname? Why would the "mass-media moron-tube", as your article so delicately puts it, consider that to be news? Or how is it relevant to what one should call him now?

  • I've seen sexy vamps in the movies but never sexy zombies. Who'd want to have sex with zombies? Well, maybe some might like these. [youtube.com]

    If Dems are vamps and Republicans are zombies, I'll stick with the vamps.

    • by kandela (835710)
      Necrophilia is a crime in many places, so clearly enough people want to have sex with the dead for it to be illegal. Or maybe they just do it because it is illegal - those rebels! Hmm...
    • Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat were written during the Reagan years, though she's been cranking out sequels through Bush and Clinton years and for all I know more recently. The movies got made a few years after the book, but it was Reagan-era vampirism.

    • by DinDaddy (1168147)
      Johnny Depp's character seemed to be on the fence in The Corpse Bride.
  • by lordnabob (1397169) on Monday November 10, 2008 @07:27PM (#25713219)

    And Bush presided over the resurgence of Torture Porn [wikipedia.org]

    I guess I'll go with the fuzzy fella.

  • Along the same lines as this, I have seemed to notice that when a more "liberal" administration is in office, the dominant auto commercial music tends toward "country" and when a "conservative" administration is in office, the car commercials seems to trend more toward "rock" genre music.

  • by jgoemat (565882) on Monday November 10, 2008 @08:38PM (#25714081)
    It is not the democrat in the white house that causes the resurgence in vampire media, but vampire media that causes a democrat to be elected. Tru Blood on HBO and the Twilight movie are two examples that have become popular recently, prior to the election. At least the twilight movie was in production and scheduled for release before the election. Maybe the increased visibility of vampires reminds people of the negative qualities of the republican party?
  • But no studies have been done--or could have been done to show what movies prevail under a black President. I betcha Blade is about to make a comeback.
  • Socialists are best represented by lycanthropes, and the Libertarians are most closely tied to any sort of horror from space.

    No, that is way off base. Many of the classic space invasion movies were about the communist threat associated with the Red Scare [wikipedia.org] or were about the Cold War [wikipedia.org]. For example, the The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic example of metaphorical critique of the Cold War and the threat of nations nuking the hell out of each other during that period.

    Libertarians do not have a large enough influence, in percentage of voters, to get either direct or metaphorical criticism from Hollywood. Libertarians are like Pa

  • I say we get torches and chase idle out of our humble /.
  • ... of the worst sort.

    And actually, the Sci-Fi Channel has been airing an astonishing number of vampire-related movies in recent years... more than I have ever seen and far more than I want to see.

    It has also been showing more zombie movies than I ever recall seeing in past years... but the vampire movies have outnumbered them by perhaps three to one.

    (When I say "showing more", I include repeat showings of the same movie.)

    For the most part, I could do without either one of them, for a very long
  • Libertarians are most closely tied to any sort of horror from space

    Ah yes, like the dreaded Ronulans.

    Once you drink the Ronulan ale, you'll be under their power.

  • A bloody comeblack on the black and white tellie? I wonder how long for "24" an Jack Bauer get a makeover for the real world...

  • The way I interpret the popularity of one type of horror movie over another has more to do with what people fear. People who tend to vote for republicans fear the throngs of poor huddled teaming masses coming to eat their brains (and their hard-earned cash). People who tend to vote for democrats find it more fear-inspiring to think about some powerful unseen force swooping in and draining them from above. So zombies would represent fears of tax and spend while vampires would represent corporate greed.
  • The Zombie/Unthinking follower (ie, everybody who blithely marched after Bush into the Iraq war and all his other self-made disasters), makes sense. --It is quite natural for Thinking People to fear this kind of monster threat. McCain supporters certainly seemed utterly mindless and vile, and there were altogether too many of them. I felt at times like holing up in my house with a golf club. --Or that any time I shot one down in debate, (easy enough to do), it JUST WOULDN'T DIE because it was too stupid

  • No no, the monsters are not the party. The monsters are the party's adversary. The aristocratic vampire leeches off the hapless working folks. The mindless horde of cannibals destroys a productive society.
  • The popular conception of Democrat politics is that they are fighting against a small cadre of unnaturally advantaged inhuman elites who only see the public as cattle and want to drain the vitality from of the world.

    The popular conception of Republican politics is that they are fighting against a larger bulk of subhuman, mindless things that are only a threat because there are too many of them to kill.

    The Libertarians, at least in the public eye, are a bunch of inhuman elites who are only concerned with

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