Zombies and vampires—they just keep coming—in movies, books and on TV shows. Why? I want to know why so many people want to watch shows or read stories about flesh-eating zombies and blood-sucking vampires.
“Flesh-eating” and “blood-sucking.” A clue. My most useful book of dream images, Understand Your Dreams, says if you dream of vampires an association is “energy-draining fear.” Associations for zombies are “living death” and “unsatisfied hunger.”
“Unsatisfied hunger” leads me to another related term that troubles me. Consumers, who could also be called, “those-whose-hunger-will-never-be-satisfied-no-matter-how-many-hot cars/tools-good shoes-or-expensive-anythings-they-acquire.”
My aversion to being called a consumer is easy to track. To consume is to destroy.
When things are consumed they are no more. There’s more than a hint of addiction in consumption. Eating until all food is gone. Americans are stars at consuming. So many things passing away before the advancing hoard. We believe there is always more, so why not consume?
Shopping is not necessarily consuming. It’s a sport, even a treasure hunt, frequently satisfying even if nothing is acquired. It may not appeal to some, but it doesn’t necessarily involve consuming. . . even if you buy the same thing in several different colors. (Caveat: I suppose shopping could be seen as disciplined consuming, like someone who stays on a modest diet in the face of chocolate, or in my case, marzipan, craving. You love it and want it, but you don’t indulge in it too often.)
I diverge. Back to zombies. Zombies eat people. Consuming consumers. Buried here may be some deep chthonic fear. (Chthonic fear = a buried drive, from the Greek word meaning beneath the earth.) In our hearts we know that consumption inevitably leads to self-destruction. If we consume we are like the un-dead. . . not completely dead for ever, but toward the dead, too busy consuming to be living.
Movies and television are our group dreams. We watch movies or TV like we dream, to review and safely experience the things that frighten us and sometimes the things that are too dangerous to experience in our waking lives. Of course both dreams and media represent many other things as well.
The Twilight series broke new ground when it divided the vampire world into the good and bad. Good vamps no longer sucked people dry, just animals. They, of course, were the enemies of the bad vamps who wouldn’t give up the good human juice. This may be evidence of a subtle, gradual healing of group consciousness.
I have no conclusion. I remember in the 60’s buying only second-hand clothes, except for underwear, no one really wants used underwear, and those fabulous studded shoes from J. Magnin with the stacked heels and I still have them and they still fit. I digress.
I optimistically believe there is a strange unconscious ground-swell going on with all this zombie-vampire thing. I suspect we are befriending our fears— perhaps the first step coming to terms with the loathsome self-destruct consumer identity.
READ THESE POEMS
DON’T TRIP OVER THE GARDEN HOSE & OTHER BLOOD SACRIFICES by Elsha Bonhert
I own a painting of Elsha’s titled, “How I Plan to Become a Saint,”— a saint of poetry, I think. Elsha, master of the miraculous, writes of a life that would make most of us quiver with terror— of war, of rape, of abandonment, of pain and terrible dangers flying around her like black angels across the page. The result: a gentle peace of memorable images. Her poems always seem effortless, as if something inevitable had happened, words coming together to tell us it’s all really alright. Saints convert suffering into beauty.
Her plan is working.
Here’s one of my favorites. Actually, I don’t have a favorite I open the book at random and read. . .
One moment an earthquake the next a tsunami
your bunker of knowledge breaks apart
twisted rebar in chunks of concrete
sweep past you
taking along your baby photos
Throw your wallet after it
your brand new iPhone
hike up the mountain naked and young
someone asks for your arm?
your leg? give it
you’re a rose dropping your petals
with no thought
BUY THIS BOOK! (my wordpress won’t let me add a link to amazon today, so you’ll have to go there on your own—sorry)