The Dark Side

The other night Cinemax showed a movie entitled “Queen of the Damned.” The TV Guide blurb described the film this way: “In this thriller based on Anne Rice’s novel, the vampire Lestat…is a rock star conspiring with the Queen of the Vampires (Aaliyah) for world domination…” Why do people apparently enjoy this *crap*?

I have an intelligent, well-educated friend who has become a devoted follower of the HBO series, “True Blood,” another show about vampires that attempts to portray vampires in a most sympathetic way. They want to become mainstream citizens, and to do this, they no longer consume human blood, but survive on synthetic blood so that they don’t have to bite humans. (Is this kind of like becoming vegetarians?) There are a couple of things wrong here. First, there is no such thing as a vampire. It is a literary invention. And second, if there were such a thing as a vampire, why on earth would anyone want to associate with him/her and learn to *understand* him/her ? Forbidden fruit?

OK, so I am missing the point here, I guess? Everyone knows that vampires are not real, no more than hobbits, 900-year-old Jedi masters, or Vulcans with copper-based blood, who have been trained since birth never to  do anything illogical. But hobbits, Jedis, and Vulcans are the good guys, and it’s OK to believe in them. A vampire shuns the sunlight, sleeps in a coffin all day, and comes out at night to bite people on the neck and suck the life’s blood out of them! His/her canine teeth can suddenly grow into fangs, and then just as suddenly shrink back again. He/she is hypnotically attractive and supernaturally strong so that humans fall helplessly under his/her power…and then the most “exciting” thing happens: the helpless, infatuated human gets bitten, losing so much blood that he/she turns pale, and then turns into a vampire, too! (How this occurs is never explained–evil magic, I guess.) A vampire, of course, can only be killed by a stake made of aspen wood, driven through the heart. But no one really believes this, do they?

Most of us, if we receive any upbringing at all, are taught that witches, vampires, wizards and the like are evil, and are in league with the devil. In children’s stories, these evil creatures always meet a horrible death at the hands of the hero. Why then, do many children grow up into teenagers and adults who love scary movies, Stephen King novels, and “scary” *reality* shows on TV? Even worse, they are attracted to drugs that have the power to enslave them. We see more and more of this kind of “entertainment”–drugs, violent crime, and horror–since, apparently, this stuff of nightmares is what people will pay to see, and the more realistic and gory, the better.

Where does that come from, I wonder? I know I risk offending some people who are fans of certain writers because they are so skilled at making their fantasies seem real. If it is the writing they admire, I guess I can understand that. But if it is because they get off on being drawn into a nightmare, then no, I don’t get it.


Bikelog–Week 26, technically

You have probably guessed that I am not pedaling away 6 days a week anymore. As a matter of fact, it’s been tough to get in 2 or 3 sessions since Week 24. One thing and then another, you know.

But it’s the only thing that keeps my knees free of pain and swelling (besides the one capsule of glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM that I take each night) and it costs nothing but 30 minutes of my *valuable* time. So I believe that 3 times a week on the exercise bike is worth making the effort, and certainly better than anything else I could do at home.

I’m not walking. I know, I know, I promised that I would get back with it once these hurricanes were over with. The weather is improving, so I really have no excuse. Life gets busier at this time of the year, and more stressful, so making time to walk and/or pedal is essential to keep me healthy and relaxed. I’m certainly not relaxed lately…

I’m no longer stuck at 220 lbs. Now it’s 218 and won’t budge! This week I’m drinking soy “milk”, and I notice that my stomach does not have that slightly upset feeling, and I don’t feel like I need to take a nap after breakfast. Although I have never had lactose intolerance, I guess it’s possible to lose some ability to digest it as I age. As for wanting to nap, maybe it is the tryptophan in the bovine product. I don’t think this is going to make me start eating Rice Dream(R), though……More later.