Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Supernatural's Vampire Episode—Dead Man’s Blood

First of all, why is it that vampires always seem so cheesy on the big (or in this case, little,) screen? I love reading about them, but the instant someone bursts through a glass skylight or their eyes reflect, cat-like, in the headlights, my brain thinks, "duuuuuuuuuu-mb.

I'm a big fan of WB's series "Supernatural." The story follows two brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they X-Files their way across the country hunting down various spooks and things-what-go-bump-in-the-night. I've watched this show since its very first episode, and, for horror-TV, it's usually a hit rather than a miss. I was a bit nervous on Thursday night, however, when it seemed pretty clear we were dealing with vampires in "Dead Man’s Blood."

I should have trusted "Supernatural." They're usually very good at making what should be dumb monsters (possessed trucks?) into at least entertaining, if not downright creepy creatures. They solved the cheesy-vampire phenomenon deftly -- by acknowledging it. About five minutes after confirming that we're, in fact, dealing with vampires, Dean (played by Jensen Ackles, can you say: "yum?") says, "Vampires. Every time I say it, it sounds sillier."

That helped tremendously.

Also, they were willing to mess with the vampire mythos (while staying true to the folklore vampire.) The vampires in the "Supernatural" universe can go out in the daylight, ala Bram Stoker's very own Dracula (if you don't remember it, go read it again). They're transformed humans, which makes them potentially sympathetic. Oh, and, as the title suggests, they can be poisoned by arrows dipped in blood from someone who died (presumably by natural causes – or at least non-vampire induced trauma, otherwise dealing with the corpses of their own victims becomes somewhat problematic.)

Some things annoyed me. I am _so_ over vampires dressed in Lost Boys leather. I mean, I know vampires live forever and can be fashion victims just like the rest of us, but the whole eighties Goth thing is kind of been done to death (pun intended). Time to update your wardrobe, vamps! What I wouldn't give to see a vampire in the suburbs! Or dressed like a dork. No one would suspect the dude with the buzz cut, pocket protector, and the horn-rimmed glasses to be a bloodsucker. Step into chess club and I'll drain you dry! Bwah-ha-ha-HA.

Also, the whole vampires living in a nest together seems like a remarkably bad idea, especially given that in this universe there were people who were actively hunting them. Sure, crows rook to keep themselves safe from predators, and, in a sense, that is how this worked. The vampires turned one of their victims, so that when Dean came to rescue her, she acted as an alarm. But, still... a "nest?" It makes me think of that horrible John Carpenter movie called Vampires.

However, generally I was well pleased. I even ended up like the head vampire, Luther. I also really liked that in the "Supernatural" universe, vampires mate for life. They didn't say whether or not vampires lived forever in this universe, although Luther had been around when Colt was making guns, but I thought that was mightily fascinating, especially given that these are turned humans (not an alternative species.)

Another fascinating clue to the vampiric nature was that at one point, when the vamps are decided who's for dinner, the lead vampire looks into the eyes of the woman they've captured and says he sees something interesting. Later, as they turn her, he says, "Welcome home."

Creepy. Cool.

Does that mean there could be a potential vampire in all of us? Is it a potential for darkness or something insipid like midiclorians? (Me, I'm voting for the former.) Either way, THAT was worth the whole episode as far as I'm concerned. I absolutely love the idea that vampires chose who they turn based on a potential they see in that person's eyes.


Might have to steal that.

1 comment:

cylon said...

I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.

A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.

We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.

The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". personal development