I’m getting old, but then so are you.

You might notice this more and more now.

For five seconds just now I thought assumed I was 28. And then for five seconds after that I corrected myself and thought I was 22. I’m 23.

Memory- it’s starting to slip. I, my friends, am getting old. But then, so are you, but don’t then say that we all are because there is a difference in the ‘getting old’ of those aged 21 upwards and the ‘growing-up’ on all those aged under. Also, I know a lot of you will say that 23 is the prime of existence, but don’t say that to a 21 year old. They’ll laugh, in which case you might as well do it as everybody needs a laugh here and there. Unless that 21 year old’s being sardonic. Fuck that sardonic 21 year old and keeps your opinions on the yearly prime of life to yourself. Damn, I really hate that guy now.

And that’s another thing. Hate. Gosh- it really is easy now. Getting up in the morning and achieving some really high-levels of hate and expressing them, particularly whilst waiting, can happen all of a sudden and make you feel…oh so…’oh so’. I find that lately, for some reason, I’ve found my hatred of 21 year olds to have reached a peak, and taking the time to grumble and groan about them is a pleasure to share with those kind enough to be within earshot.

About a week ago I made my way into a movie theatre to watch ‘Gangster Squad’. Admittedly, I did enter with the express intention of eating some cereal and going to sleep and so, therefore, I did. This had an interesting effect on my opinions of the rest of the audience as, pre-sleep, I felt almost obliged to take their anonymity for granted in that I gave no fucks as to whether or not I snored whilst Sean Penn sneered (now that’s method acting- he sure knows his Hebrews), and then post-sleep I felt concerned that they had all been so near me as I unwittingly left my mouth open. I asked my fiancé, she denied any involvement.

What I’m getting at with that particular anecdote is that- I must really be getting old. I used to watch the sleeping elderly during the more boring of the films I endured. Now, I am of their flock.

However, it did make the movie that much better: setting, problem, climax and the conclusion equals a far superior way to view a shite movie. I recommend it (bring a mouth-guard for your waking ego.

Plus my memory’s getting bad.

Two more things before I head for an early night (because now I just love horizontality), and they are both concerning my body (literally, and, forgive me)

Number one: my beard. So far we have had single hairs of blonde, red, ginger, black and now grey. I’m a natural brunette. I’m 23.

That fury against 21 year olds is simmering up again so I’ll hurry along now to number two: metabolism.

Getting up and about is not a matter of sheer, thoughtless ease evolving into joy at the speed of sound. Now, I eat a biscuit, and I swear I can see the exact weight and diameter of that biscuit shining out of my stomach. I guess I need to have more of every activity I am not offered, get some sex done, dance, beat the shit out of something daily. Wholesome, natural, fun you use your hands for. I’m sure that’ll help and I recommend it to all. Apart from 21 year olds.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but my memory’s getting worse too. But one more thing; since when was 1983 30 years ago?!

All the best of good wishes,

Sam.

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The advertisements are becoming ‘one of you’.

The advertisements are becoming ‘one of you’

You Love go compare? Good! Have some more!

You hate go compare? Too long! Good! So do we!

You love compare the meerkat? Good! Here’s some more!

You hate compare the meerkat? Good! So do we!

What I am referring to by this is the manner in which two of the most notable advertisements of the past three years have double-backed on themselves and taken the irritation that you feel at their advertisements, and then made it seem as though they were against it all along.

The adverts I’m referring to are the ‘Go Compare’ and ‘Compare the Market’ strategies, both of which gave their product a scenario in which they’re somewhat amusing to the point of being asked to stop and, more importantly, the commercial gimmick begins to outshine the product. Of course, this is normally fine- most products that have an advert released with it are outshone by the very advert used to promote it. There are many advertisements that I have viewed both absent-mindedly and repeatedly on television for which I have no idea what the product is, not that I against this, but it is another example that the creativity of those being paid to make something attractive is persistently outweighing the actual product.

Good for them.

Good for them, until the monotony of the product begins to dig in and the viewing public begin to associate the name of the company with the gimmick, rather than the product.

“Go Compare? That’s that Italian-looking opera singer, right?” and “Compare the Market is a meerkat.” both are reasonable statements from the public that wish to watch and enjoy television, rather than browse it for products. Here the advert has overtaken the product and needs to be reined in, for the affability of the commercial, though important, is distancing itself from the commerce.

And how are they doing this? By tapping into the conscious of the public whose smaller groups have made it clear that they dislike the gimmick and are tired of the frequency that they are seen. Both advertisements have received a fair amount of flack (whatever that is) for their previous efforts, both having Facebook groups formed against their continuation (although there are also such groups espousing the love for the group).

But every advertisement has its run, comes to an end and is replace Some are extended even further beyond the gimmick by making the nodding dog animated, or by have the children of the ‘stars’ of the advert have their own spin-off in which they go to university.

So, now this. They take their former work and revert it upon itself so as to become more relatable to the public. And I don’t know about you, but it really works. You have no idea how much I want to visit their site to compare insurance rates.

Never forget though, that the companies and their products are not one of us, but the people behind them are. That’s why they’re so good at it, and that’s why they’re not evil- but the final equation is. Beware companies, not all but most, and trust people.

It’s good for you.


The Evolution of the Vampire in Culture.

Before we look at Vampires in culture, we have to realise that literature is not inspired only by other literature, for in the culture of our time- a book can be inspired by a film, and a film can be inspired by the preceding culture. Nothing wrong with that. That’s how things have always been, essentially. Stephenie Meyer (‘Twilight’ author) herself states that she wrote the series whilst seeing it in her head as though it was a movie.

However, the first vampire of the screen, and perhaps one of the more horrific, was the ultimate and grotesque ‘Nosferatu’- a terrifying and silent presence that was the immediate benchmark for scaring the good grief out of people in the audiences around the globe. This was Vampirism’s, and indeed Horror’s, most remembered early film pieces.

But let’s go right back to the beginning of vampires in literature. Not so far back as to take note that they were born from the mythology of a people telling tales of unholy beast-like things, but I guess I’ve just done that, so we’ll carry on into literature.

This is important, owing to where the genre of vampire fiction has ended up, particularly considering Twilight. Lord Byron, of literature, mythology and the side of a can of ‘Relentless’, is considered to have been the inspiration for the original vampire of literature- ‘The Vampyre’ specifically, making the nocturnal neck biters an utter ink-incarnation of romanticism. Unbearably beautiful, withdrawn and brooding, moonlight-pale (ironically owing to ‘cure’ of blood-letting), the panache vampire was short-lived in popular culture, till something similar rose from the pit in the form of that iconic identity; and it had a cape.

This is the vision of a vampire indulged in by the Halloween-ers each October, the standard of Vampirism: slick hair, cape, fangs and, of course, pale. This is all thanks to the hugely popular cultural offering of Bram Stoker. And so from there, Vampires have become an aspect present as a character or metaphor in mass culture, rather than mere mythology.

Here, the evolution to ‘Twilight’ becomes clearer in its roots, but it is still a great leap from the evil and emotionless character drawing blood from the throat of a (typically) white-dressed virgin on a cold night in an alleyway, all the way to the high-school setting being the transformed castle of a misfit that no-one can possibly understand and isn’t good at sports.

By this, I am referring to the manner in which the teen-drama has penetrated the genre like nothing else has ever been, even to the extent of spawning near-identical television series such as ‘True-Blood’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’. Though all these share the same teen-focus that fuels them, and makes the box-office intake immense. It is the latter point that is most important here, as its box-office success is of such substance owing to the inspiration it received from movies.

Take, for example, ‘Lost Boys’, in which pretty boys go through the trials of teenage life, avoiding social situations and stakes. Modernised. Appealing to the young. A perfect breeding ground for what would follow a few decades later.

But why teenagers? Thinking  led me to the revelation that the link between the vampire and teenagers is what might be the most blatant aspect of them both. Nothing can ‘brood’ quite like a teenager. The need to stand out/away from the crowd of people being ‘pathetically’ happy is in abundance with the teenage population of every population. The premise of the idea is that most teenagers actually have no reason to be outside of the norm- they are very average owing to being essentially still children and therefore rather dull- the opportunity to escape from the awkward reality of adolescence and for an hour and half just pretend that there is a good reason to be moody is…bliss.

And this, noticed by the regrettably  talented people that write and produce these new vampire stories, is only too easy to achieve, particularly when this idea is twinned with another of being able to have a beautiful cottage for absolutely no reason (see the latest ‘Twilight’ movie.

But ultimately, I must note that the reason that Vampire literature and films are the way they are is owing to very simple key business equation. Find the audience that is similar, or make the product similar. And now here we are. But it’s not a bad thing- as the culture is simply extending, though more for profitable reasons that artistic, but then the greatest films and books of all time wouldn’t have been made if they hadn’t had an invested interest.

So now we have Twilight, enjoyed by millions, but as well as this we have another aspect added to the culture. We now have something to mock, hate, and hold as a standard of what we don’t appreciate in culture. If it weren’t for this we wouldn’t have a low-point to keep ourselves from.

I’m not going to watch it again though; no matter how much she wants to.