GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Fangs, but no fangs

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Vampires get organized, though satirical, opposition from Fellowship of the Sun. This self-proclaimed watchdog group gets a ton of mileage from conspiracy-theory thinking. Not to mention movies like Twilight and TV shows like HBO’s True Blood.

Like how? Place tongue firmly in cheek — or, perhaps, fangs in throat — and read on:

  • Opposing the fictional “Vampire Rights Amendment.”

  • Warning that humans can be “perverted” into becoming vampires.

  • Contrasting pictures of simpering, smiling humans with scowling, fanged vamps.

  • Using blog-style shorthand like CoD (Creatures of the Darkness).

  • Listing handy anti-vampire measures: garlic, crucifixes, lights around your porch.

  • Planting family-style fearmongering: “What will you say when YOUR daughter brings a vampire home?”

The group also mocks merchandising, with silver pendants with the triangular FoS logo, and bumper stickers with lame slogans: “Vampires? No Fangs”; “Mortal On Board”; “Vampires Suck.”

So, who is this site aimed at? Well, you think of groups against all kinds of folks: gays, Wiccans, Muslims, racial and ethnic groups. Except for the obit on the fellowship’s founder: “Reverend Theodore Newlin, tireless crusader for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” So much for subtlety.

There is, however, a more nuanced look at vampirism and its religious-psychological facets. See Nicky Loomis’ analysis on this Web site at the University of Southern California. It’s thoughtful and measured. Something to sink your teeth into.

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    Written by Jim Davis

    December 9, 2008 at 5:53 am

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