I paid a short visit to the candy store that is Barnes and Noble this week and found myself, of all places, in the Philosophy isle. Okay, it was by accident that I ended up there but none-the-less I thoughtfully chose a book from the shelf with regard to intellectual growth. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. The cover of the Hunger Games did grab my attention though and when I pulled the book from the shelf, thinking that it was in the wrong section, I discovered that it was actually entitled, “The Hunger Games and Philosophy ” As I looked further I discovered that there were other books dedicated to the success of vampire stories and zombie stories. Why in the name of all that is warm and breathing are we so hypnotically drawn to the un-dead?
Well, it’s nothing new. In fact, one of the first vampire stories, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was written in 1897. The first feature length zombie film was featured in 1936, entitle, White Zombie. So why the resurfacing trend? One word, MONEY. But it’s not what you think. It’s more about the lack of money than the making of it. Society gravitates towards grim tales when times are hard. Basically recessions bring out the monsters. In the 30s monsters and horror films were on the rise and and our stock market was on the fall.
So why blood sucking vampires and flesh eating zombies? Why not GODZILLA or the BLOB? It’s about meat. Yes, ground chuck, T-bone, drum stick, meat. In the past it’s been hard to come by during recessions and war time, even being rationed at times. People associate meat with strength and feel as though without it they are weak. So we invent immortal monsters that will seek it out for us as we live vicariously through them. It’s also a reason why we’ve seen a recent rise in vegitarianism and veganism (I being the latter.)
Vegitarians and Vegans are, on the whole, not the norm. Meat eaters, lets face it, you don’t get it, right? Why would you give up BACON?! Oh sweet bacon, how I miss thee….eh-hem, sorry about that. Well according to this philosophy, meat eaters seek meat for strength and the Vs seek veggies for the same reason. They abandon the ideas that meat is the only source of power and look for alternatives in hard times. They’re those few strange individuals that like to play against the odds.
So, congratulations! You didn’t know that you were the one’s who decided what the recent Best Sellers would be about ,did you?