Popular Vampire series’ Dracula, Buffy, Twilight, and 50 Shades of Grey have all been prevalent influences for the vampire subculture (aka fanpires). A research report on WordPress blog “fivedotone” explores the way the vampire genre has created fascination and obsession leading to vampire fandom, and has become an iconic phenomenon in popular culture. Vampire fandom became increasingly popular as it began to appear through various mediums. While traditionally there are novels, television, and film – cyberspace has allowed fans to create fan-fiction literature, as well as engage in vampire fashion, music and gaming.
Common values and social structures were reflected in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Dracula, the most lucrative vampire novel of its time. The character Count Dracula had a sophisticated appeal about him, and created a sense of revolution with regard to everyday relationships and anxieties. Dracula represented themes such as sexuality, gender and race in a progressive world, which audiences could relate to and thus began literary reinterpretations of vampires.
This clip “Real vampires and the vampire subculture” features the ways that different people appropriate vampire identities. There are people in this actively growing subculture who believe the stories aren’t fictional, and consider themselves real vampires. Not the kind who roam cemeteries, melt in the sun or participate in satanic sacrifices, they are regular people living as contemporary and symbolic representations of vampires. There are different groups of vampires within the subculture – while many adopt the fashion (i.e. clothing, accessories, permanent fang teeth), the most controversial are those who feed on real human blood to acquire energy, and there are actual websites dedicated to finding vampire blood donors. Others absorb energy from the atmosphere or people around them, and dub themselves as psychic vampires. Many fans contribute to fan fiction literature by reworking and rewriting their favourite vampire texts. Fans employ varying levels of semiotic productivity and merchandise that has supported the ongoing fanpire community. Research on fanpires cultural interpretations has demonstrated a strong creative and devoted foundation for the vampire genre to thrive.
Violence portrayed in the media through television, films, video games and music has been known to increase the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour. This material is harmful especially to the young, prompting immediate and long-term effects. Representations of violence in the media directly provides a child with particular ideas and experiences which shape their attitudes and influence their behaviours. It is important to consider these mediums as elements in a controlled societal media among children especially. This is because certain characteristics, environments and media content can sway affect the degree of media violence. This content is threatening to young children as they cannot comprehend the connection between violence and its consequences. For example in many children’s programs there is a “good guy” and a “bad guy”. In the majority of cases both are included in violent acts yet the “good guy” isn’t punished. Children are then able to observe that cartoon characters typically recover from severe violent acts almost immediately. This type of exposure is then placing a false interpretation on reality to the child. It leads them to believe that in real life, victims of violent acts are rarely hurt.
A classic representation of violence in children’s cartoon shows is Tom & Jerry (1975). This show has been hotly debated because of the quirky violent behaviour between a cat and a mouse. Another important feature is that the show does not incorporate dialogue., which then demands more focus on the physical actions. Within the context or cartoon/animals it seems harmless, but the actual behaviour still seems unreasonable to some. An article in The Guardian described the show as “ultra violent” “morally unquestionable”. However, other types of media have poked fun at the cartoon. One example would be in “The Simpsons” where a parody of Tom & Jerry is made, known by the characters as “Itchy and scratchy”. Scenes where Itchy and Scratchy feature in The Simpsons, Bart and Lisa are always laughing in hysterics after each episode, which consistently entail gruesome (for cartoons) and violent behaviour.